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At Sexual Slavery Presser at UN, Qs of Rapes by Peacekeepers, Ladsous on R&R

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 23 -- The issue of so-called “comfort women” in World War II was the main topic of the International Parliamentary Coalition for Victims of Sexual Slavery press conference on November 23 at the UN. Inner City Press asked the panel not only if North Korea and China participate in the Coalition, but also about UN Peacekeeper sexual abuse and exploitation in Central African Republic, Haiti and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

  There was an even more troubling connection: the current head of UN Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous linked peacekeepers' raping to “R&R, and said the peacekeepers have no comfort. Video here.

  US Rep. Michael Honda (D-CA) said the UN peacekeeping question raised his awareness -- will the US Congress take it up, including Ladsous' comments? -- and Canadian Senator Yonah Martin said these are issues the Coalition can take up in 2016. (She said the Coalition is of five countries for now, but will grow.)

  Joy Smith of the Advisory Council of Canada said there is not enough coverage of these issues, referring specifically to the peacekeeper sexual abuse and exploitation issue. After the formal press conference ended, she and the other panelists continues speaking, including Rep Honda, who represents Silicon Valley, telling Inner City Press that the US Congress should absolutely take up the issue of UN Peacekeepers' rapes. Periscope video here, near end.

  The South Korean mission, which sponsored the press conference, is well positioned to take action on these peacekeeping / Ladsous issues.


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