Activists in New York called Wednesday for the lifting of immunity for United Nations peacekeeping staff accused of sex crimes, saying the current system was permitting human rights abuses in conflict zones around the world.
The campaign by the organization AIDS-Free World, dubbed “Code Blue,” coincides with the suspension of a UN staff member last month, who had given French authorities an internal report on the alleged rape of children by French troops in the Central African Republic.
Alison Giffen, an expert on peacekeeping at the Stimson Center in Washington, said she endorsed calls for greater accountability but worried about exposing UN officials to hostile local governments.
“I would be concerned with the possibility that UN personnel could be held accountable by the justice systems in the countries where they’re serving, only because there are some countries that are antagonistic towards the UN and their personnel,” said Giffen.
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