Teenagers 'used for sex by UN
A HUMAN rights investigator who claims she was sacked
for exposing the sexual abuse of Bosnian women by her United Nations
colleagues, told a tribunal yesterday that girls as young as 15 were
offered for sex.
Kathryn Bolkovac, 41, said women were forced to dance
naked in Bosnian bars frequented by UN police officers.
Mrs Bolkovac is using a British employment tribunal
to bring her case of unfair dismissal from an American recruitment
agency which has an office in the UK.
The former American policewoman claims she was sacked
because she sent an email to Jacques Paul Klein, the chief of UN
mission in Bosnia-Hercegovina, which highlighted the sexual
exploitation of women by those who had been sent to protect them
from the sex trade.
Details of the email, sent in October 2000, were
given to the tribunal at Southampton, Hants, yesterday.
In it, Mrs Bolkovac, a mother of three from Lincoln,
Nebraska, claims that bars were frequented by UN police officers and
other humanitarian workers who availed themselves of women forced
The tribunal has heard that her employer, the
US-based agency DynCorp, which is registered with the State
Department to provide American police officers to work on
humanitarian and peacekeeping duties, admits that there was a
problem with officers using prostitutes and that one was sacked for
paying for a woman to live with him to provide sexual services.
But the company, which has an office in Salisbury,
Wilts, denies that it sacked Mrs Bolkovac for exposing the abuse and
said that she was dismissed for time-sheet irregularities.
In her email, Mrs Bolkovac said that women and girls
were handed over to bar owners and told to perform sex acts to pay
for their costumes.
"The women who refused were locked in rooms and
withheld food and outside contact for days or weeks. After this time
they are told to dance naked on table tops and sit with clients.
"If the women still refuse to perform sex acts with
the customers they are beaten and raped in the rooms by the bar
owners and their associates. They are told if they go to the police
they will be arrested for prostitution and being an illegal
The tribunal has heard that after sending the e-mail
Mrs Bolkovac, who was investigating human trafficking and forced
prostitution, was demoted and removed from front-line policing.
In April 2001, she was sacked for allegedly
falsifying her time sheets, which she denies.
Giving evidence to the tribunal, Mrs Bolkovac said
she had discovered "extensive use of brothels" by UN police and
She said she also found that international staff were
helping local police to sell women for the sex trade and she feared
this was being "covered up".
"The victims of trafficking were reporting extensive
use of the brothels and other criminal acts by the international
community and international police task force," she said.
She claimed that Mike Stiers, the international
police task force's deputy commissioner, had flippantly dismissed
victims of human trafficking as "just prostitutes".
This attitude led many members of the peacekeeping
mission to believe it was acceptable to use sex slaves and go to
brothels, she said.
Spencer Wickham, the head of DynCorp, has told the
tribunal he sacked three police officers for using prostitutes.
The tribunal is taking place in Britain because
DynCorp contracts state they are governed by UK employment law.
DynCorp's Bosnia site manager, Pascal Budge, said
that after Mrs Bolkovac's email was sent, he circulated a memo
warning officers they would be sent home if caught using
But Mrs Bolkovac called an investigation by DynCorp
into her allegations "inadequate".
The tribunal continues.