A man breaks up a fight between a group of girls in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on January 13, 2013. He was passing by and rushed over to stop them. “It takes a village to raise a child.” Photo by Peter DiCampo @pdicampo #abidjan #ivorycoast #children #girls #fight #latergram
We hope you had a restful and joyous New Year! Our project is going well and we’re excited – and to that end, here are some recent stories of Afghanistan, human rights, and markets in the news. Let us know of any interesting or relevant articles or pieces you see in your reading travels!
Shopkeepers and businesspeople affected by the fire at Kabul’s Mandawi (main commercial district) are exempt from tax for the next 4 years – Wadsam Afghan News Business Portal
A former United Nations police officer is suing a British security firm over claims that it covered up the involvement of her fellow officers in sex crimes and prostitution rackets in the Balkans.
Kathryn Bolkovac, an American policewoman, was hired by DynCorp Aerospace in Aldershot for a UN post aimed at cracking down on sexual abuse and forced prostitution in Bosnia.
She claims she was ‘appalled’ to find that many of her fellow officers were involved. She was fired by the British company after amassing evidence that UN police were taking part in the trafficking of young women from eastern Europe as sex slaves.
She said: ‘When I started collecting evidence from the victims of sex trafficking it was clear that a number of UN officers were involved from several countries, including quite a few from Britain. I was shocked, appalled and disgusted. They were supposed to be over there to help, but they were committing crimes themselves. When I told the supervisors they didn’t want to know.’
DynCorp sacked her, claiming she had falsified time sheets, a charge she denies. Last month she filed her case at Southampton employment tribunal alleging wrongful dismissal and sexual discrimination against DynCorp, the British subsidiary of the US company DynCorp Inc.
DynCorp has the contract to provide police officers for the 2,100-member UN international police task force in Bosnia which was created to help restore law and order after the civil war.
Bolkovac has also filed a case against DynCorp under Britain’s new Public Interest Disclosure Act designed to protect whistleblowers.
As well as reporting that her fellow officers regularly went to brothels, she also investigated allegations that an American police officer hired by DynCorp had bought a woman for $1,000.
Many of the hundreds of women working in Bosnia’s sex industry are lured from countries such as Romania and Ukraine with promises of jobs as waitresses but then delivered to brothel owners who confiscate their passports. Bolkovac claims that Dyncorp officers forged documents for trafficked women, aided their illegal transport through border checkpoints into Bosnia and tipped off sex club owners about raids.
In an email to more than 50 people - including Jacques Klein, the UN Secretary-General’s special representative in Bosnia - Bolkovac described the plight of trafficked women and noted that UN police, Nato troops and international humanitarian employees were regular customers. It was shortly after this email went out that Bolkovac was reassigned.
Collection of favorite tracks from 2012. Could have put many more tracks from channel ORANGE and Coexist. I am still in the process of consuming all music that is 2012 thanks to the glut of lists that are now out. So expect a few more tracks to make their way onto this playlist.