2014 | HRW Report The Powers these Men have over us.
The United Nations, Human Rights Watch, and other organizations have documented high levels of sexual and gender-based violence against Somali women and girls, particularly the displaced. But the involvement of AMISOM soldiers has largely been overlooked, including by the mission’s leadership and international donors. As this report shows, some AMISOM soldiers, deployed to Somalia since 2007 to help restore stability in the war-torn capital, Mogadishu, have abused their positions of power to prey on the city’s most vulnerable women and girls. Soldiers have committed acts of rape and other forms of sexual abuse, as well as sexual exploitation—the abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes.
This research documents incidents of sexual exploitation and abuse in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, predominantly by personnel of the Ugandan People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) at and around AMISOM’s headquarters, the AMISOM base camp, and at the camp of the Burundian National Defense Forces (BNDF) contingent in Mogadishu. All of the incidents documented in this report occurred since 2013.
On 8 september 2014 AMISOM posted a press release responding defensively to HRW's September report. AMISOM published its policy on prevention and response to sexual exploitation and abuse in 2013 (see our Legal Instruments page in this section).