This week a UN report shows that, in 2014 alone, United Nations personnel were accused in nearly 80 cases of rape, sexual assault and sex trafficking, including 13 allegations of sex with minors.
In 2005 the then UN General Secretary Kofi Annan denounced the incident of child abuse as an “ugly stain” on the image of the peacekeeping missions.
A Save the Children report from 2008 concluded that sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers is chronically underreported.
It has become clear in the recent months that there are numerous state-run institutions and bodies, which need to be investigated for their culpability in the sexual abuse on children.
Organisations and businesses, which operate overseas, should not be able to evade the spotlight and need the scrutiny of any inquiries into the abuse of children.
As shown in this barely publicised UN report, even bodies which are set up to protect the most vulnerable in the world have been accused of child abuse.
In too many instances, organisations whose staff are accused of abusing children overseas conduct private internal investigations which are hidden from public scrutiny.
British child abusers must not continue to abuse overseas with apparent impunity.
This is even more important in the case of the UN, who are often deployed to the most conflict-ridden parts of the world, whose personnel are protected with legal immunity.
The UN should waive this immunity in such grave instances – military courts and a fund for child abuse victims is not enough.
Awareness needs to be raised today about the concerns that child abusers are obtaining employment in organisations which allow them to travel abroad, for the purpose of abusing children.
We hope that International organisations will set an example by using the opportunity to check that they have the proper measures in place to ensure that they are not being used as a vehicle for abuse.