In Liberia, UN Staffer Jailed for Child Support,
Immunity Would Have Applied Like More Serious Abusers
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
November 7 -- In Monrovia it was
reported that a member of the UN
Mission in Liberia was arrested for failure to
pay child support. But since the UN cites immunity from
when for example peacekeepers are charged with rape or sexual abuse,
this staffer get locked up?
at the UN, Inner City Press asked UN
spokesperson Michele Montas why the accused didn't have immunity. "In
cases like this," she said, there is no immunity, "because the charge
has nothing to do with his mandate or service." And rape does? It was
offered that while a peacekeepers or soldier might have immunity, a
staffer wouldn't. Video here,
from Minute 40.
seemed strange, since non-military officials of the UN often cite
UN in Liberia, child support and policies not shown
Finally, very soon after the noon briefing, the following arrived:
"Further to your question
about the former staff member of UNMIL, we have the following
information from UNMIL: The person in question is no longer an UNMIL
member. His contract ended at end of September. His case has been
between the UN Mission in Liberia and UN Headquarters, and it was
that he no longer has privileges and immunities."
implies that if he was still under contract, he would in fact be
City Press asked Ms. Montas if the UN has any policy about how UN staff
treat children that they "leave behind" in the countries, usually in
Africa, to which they are sent. "The UN doesn't say anything about
that," Ms. Montas said, "the UN has no policy. But shouldn't it?
Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on
UN, bailout, MDGs
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
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