Reading a fascinating piece in the Telegraph about Kathryn Bolkovac, the woman whose story has been made into the film, The Whistleblower.
In What the UN Doesn’t Want You to Know, Kathryn Bolkovac tells a story of horrific human trafficking in Bosnia after the war where:
“She discovered numerous individuals in the Bosnian and UN police…who were not only using trafficked prostitutes but were on the traffickers’ pay-roll.”
It’s shocking to read about both the involvement of UN personnel in human trafficking but also the backlash Kathryn Bolkovac experienced from other UN colleagues as she drew attention to it. Read it here.
One part of this story that struck me as absurd (i.e. ridiculously unreasonable) was the fate of Jacques Paul Klein. The article reads:
In fact, Jacques Paul Klein, the head of the UN mission in Bosnia, went on to lead the UN mission in Liberia, where he presided over similar scandals.
He has now ‘dropped off the face of the earth’, says Bolkovac.
He was retired from the UN after allegedly having an affair with a woman who was taking his UN secrets to the Liberian dictator, Charles Taylor.
Interesting, isn’t it, that the downfall of Jacques Paul Klein was not due to his complete failure to protect women and girls from being trafficked. It was not due to his failure to stop his own personnel from working with and for human traffickers. His downfall came when he made a romantic misstep into the clutches of an immoral woman. His crime? Not being able to keep it in his pants.
Indeed, isn’t that the only crime being committed here? Men, too weak in the face of deprivation, make errors of judgement.
But we can’t just let men get away with it, can we? Some of them fall on their swords and lose their jobs (a man losing his job…the greatest indignity).
Do you feel that people who decide to work for an organization such as the UN should be held accountable to higher moral standards? Did it disappoint you more when UN staff on management level failed to support you in the disclosure of your findings?
Absolutely! A higher moral standard should be expected by UN staff, peacekeepers, IPTF, and contracted private companies. We all represent the United Nations and our home governments. This work should be a calling to service, not a money-making venture.