Poverty-stricken children in third world countries were gang-raped and paid for sex by staff working for foreign aid NGO, MPs have been told.
The International Development Committee heard how children revealed a decade ago that they were abused by men at peacekeeping camps while their families reported being powerless to act.
Corinna Csáky, a child development consultant who investigated claims of child abuse carried out by humanitarian staff and peacekeepers in 2008 for Save the Children, said both local and international aid workers were involved in the sexual exploitation of children.
MPs investigating exploitation in the charity sector were told how the research found perpetrators preyed on the most vulnerable, with victims often existing “outside the system” — not on any register for schooling, humanitarian aid nor other services.
“These children are often alone. They are separated from their families. They are living in extreme poverty. Without the protection and support from families, many are using transaction sex just to survive,” Csáky said.
Sharing testimony from the research, for which she interviewed victims from Haiti, South Sudan and the Ivory Coast, she reported a father lamenting that aid workers who abused children “don’t even hide what they are doing”.