CNN Wire, Fox News Network, AP, and the Voice of America were among the only big media outlets that covered the new U.N. report on sexual abuse committed by U.N. peacekeepers; the report was released a few days ago. Where were the broadcast network nightly news shows, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and all the others?
There were 99 allegations made last year, up from 80 in 2014. One in three incidents of sexual molestation involved children. That this is going on despite the U.N.’s zero tolerance policy makes this story all the more disturbing. One reason why this problem is getting worse is the U.N.’s legal inability to do anything about it: for valid reasons, it has no authority to prosecute these peacekeepers. Moreover, the home country of the offenders often does nothing about it.
There is another story here that needs to be told. When the U.N. goes after the Catholic Church about this problem, it never fails to lecture the Holy See on the Church’s teachings on sexuality. The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child is especially given to berating the Church to change its teachings.
There are two problems with this stance: (a) it smacks of religious bigotry and (b) it is totally nonsensical. Muslim-run nations, for instance, are never told to junk their traditional teachings on sexuality. Just as important, condoms and abortion do absolutely nothing to solve the crime of sexual abuse.
The media give high profile to wayward priests—just one miscreant clergyman garners big coverage—but when the U.N. peacekeepers abuse women and children, they yawn. There is no “Spotlight” on those predators, and there never will be.