The Afghan Govt Must Safeguard Human Rights for Women and Children
Numerous newspaper reports have surfaced over the last few years about the so-called "cultural" issue of raping young boys in Afghanistan. This act is allegedly being perpetrated by Afghan Army and Afghan police officers on young local boys, while Canadian soldiers are allegedly instructed to turn a blind eye to the culture of "Man Love Thursdays."
Travis Schouten, a former Corporal in the Canadian Army, has been haunted by the images and memories, and especially since the Canadian military seems to be sweeping this under the rug.
Western society cannot condone the continuance of such practices. In fact, we must take an immediate and active stand against this by threatening to withdraw all forces immediately if this practice is not condemned and perpetrators prosecuted. Not only has the Karzai government recently passed a bill that clearly stipulates that women are legally required to follow a man's wishes, but now we find Canadians continuing to support a government that ignores the rights of children also. Once you allow the rights of one group to be trampled (women), it is a small step to ignore the rights of another (children).
Do we need international outrage to spur on our government and military leaders to demand that the Afghan Government agree to both change the law and take active measures to defend basic human rights for women and children before we continue to sacrifice the lives of our own brave men and women?
This practice must be stopped in its tracks. Perpetrators must be jailed and prevented from continuing this disgusting violation of human rights. The Afghan government must not receive support from Canadian, American, British, German, Dutch, or any other governments until this practice is vehemently condemned and prosecuted by the Afghans.
Oct 6, 2009
One issue related to the Afghan war that had disappeared from view was the alleged rape of young kids at the hands of ANA and ANP (aka “Man-Love Thursdays”). DND will soon launch a Board of Inquiry into aspects of this issue. As well the NIS is back on the case.
Sept 21, 2009
Every day, Travis Schouten lives with the image of the rape of an Afghan boy at a Canadian Forces base.
Sept 20, 2009
The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service decided
not to send any of its investigative team to Afghanistan but came to
its initial determination by early October 2008 that there was little
to a soldier's claim he had seen two Afghans sodomizing a young boy at
the Canadian installation outside Kandahar.
Sept 19, 2009
Last year, Brigadier-General J. C. Collin, commander of Land
Force Central Area, passed on to senior army leadership concerns raised
by military police who said they had been told by their commanders not
to interfere in incidents where Afghan forces were having sex with
Sept 18, 2009
staff and National Defence headquarters officials were told in 2007
that young boys had allegedly been sexually abused by Afghan security
forces at a Canadian base in Afghanistan
April 02, 2009
The argument that NATO is protecting the rights of women (in a nation where women were once treated as chattel) is faltering. A new Afghan law backed by President Hamid Karzai would hurl many of the country’s women back into the Taliban era.
April 11, 2009
1,000 days and counting on an end to Afghanistan
Then there’s that weekly ritual I observed at forward operating base Wilson in the summer of 2007, where young boys selected by Afghanistan police officers were brought inside the base for what disgusted Canadian soldiers told me was “man love Thursday”. This weekly ritual of child sexual abuse may continue even now, although Canadian soldiers have been told to practice zero tolerance against it and a military investigation has been launched.
Dec 15, 2008
No wonder Canadian soldiers come home confiding that killing Taliban insurgents isn't as stressful as knowing an innocent kid might be regularly raped by an Afghan cop inside a Canadian military base.
Oct 19, 2008
Critics slam Afghan rape probe
The Canadian military's National Investigation Service is telling some witnesses it could take up to two years to investigate claims by Canadian soldiers that they've seen Afghan soldiers and interpreters raping young boys near Canadian bases outside Kandahar.
June 16, 2008
Canadian military covering up rapes in Afghanistan
Canadian soldiers serving in Afghanistan have been ordered by commanding officers "to ignore" incidents of sexual assault among the civilian population, says a military chaplain who counsels troops returning home with post-traumatic stress disorder.