Protesters Call for UN Accountability and Child Support for Peacekeeper Kids
- Monday, September 19, 2011 9:27 PM
NEW YORK, USA (defend.ht) - An international coalition of Haitians from around the world won the premises of the United Nations building on the first day of the 66th General Assembly to demand accountability from the world organization's military force even up to ensuring the care and well being of children born of UN soldiers.
The coalition consisted of over 17 grassroots organizations with members who traveled as far as from Miami, Montreal and the mid-west United States. Organizer, Salusa Basquin, spoke to Defend Haiti via telephone explaining to us what they are calling the United Nations to do.
Justice for rape victims and family members of murder victims. The Haitian Senate is preparing a resolution to remove immunity from United Nations personnel, including soldiers, for crimes committed. The group in New York is calling for the same, Basquin told DH.
Lawyer and missionary, Mirta Desir added that the UN should be aware of children that are being born by their solders. Desir, a frequent participant in medical missions to Haiti explained how young men, soldiers, in a country not at war, with most of its citizens in poverty make a vulnerable situation for young girls.
Desir confided in us that most of the foreign forces in Haiti are likened unto tourist only with guns and nothing to do. She said records of children born by soldiers should be taken, soldiers should notify the mother of all possible hereditary illnesses and monetary compensation, child support, should be mandatory before they leave the island.
"It's about the kids at the end of the day," the lawyer spoke to Defend Haiti on the phone from New York.
The coalition expects a bigger rally on Friday at the same location. The President of Haiti Michel Martelly arrived in New York on Sunday. The delegation has a series of engagements through out the week with the UN and the international community.
About the president not boycotting the United Nations, Salusa Basquin told DH that "there are different ways to attack a problem... he is the President he has to look out for the people, his way."
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