UN agencies in charge of refugee camps for victims of Haiti's earthquake are inexperienced and dysfunctional, the US charity Refugees International says.


The groups says reports of gang rapes are common, and a lack of translators means UN police cannot do their job.


A UN spokeswoman told the BBC that the organisation was doing its best, but said the scale of the disaster made their job very difficult.


More than a million people were left homeless by the quake.


Thousands of US sex offenders, prisoners on parole and other convicts were left unmonitored after an electronic tagging system shut down because of data overload.


BI Incorporated, which runs the system, reached its data threshold - more than two billion records - on Tuesday.


This left authorities across 49 states unaware of offenders' movement for about 12 hours.


BI increased its data storage capacity to avoid a repeat of the problem.


By David Jackson and Gary Marx


Two years after state authorities vowed to safeguard youths in psychiatric hospitals from sexual assault, the Tribune identified at least 18 cases of reported rape or sexual abuse at some of the Chicago area's most prominent facilities.


Hospitals sometimes failed to properly supervise patients known to be dangerous or didn't notify police and state regulators of the attacks, government records show.


A hearing was held Wednesday by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security that addressed sex trafficking of domestic minors within the United States. Currently, the committee is considering the Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act of 2010, which is sponsored by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). Witnesses at the hearing stated that as many as 100,000 to 300,000 children are victims of sex trafficking within the US annually.


By Emma Lacey-Bordeaux, CNN


Washington (CNN) -- Are law enforcement officials producing misleading statistics on the prevalence of rape in America?


Yes, victims' advocates warn.


Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pennsylvania, who convened a hearing Tuesday on the "chronic failure to report and investigate rape cases," agrees. Specter also indicated during the Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing that he would push for change.


The Pope must ensure decisive global action against  the sexual abuse of children by priests in the Roman Catholic Church, Amnesty International said on the eve of Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the UK.


"We welcome the acknowledgement by Pope Benedict of the gravity of such abuse, but we expect the Pope to ensure that no more children suffer from sexual abuse at the hands of priests and that those who have already suffered are able to seek justice and receive reparations," said Claudio Cordone, Senior Director at Amnesty International.


By Laura Sydell


Congress is set to hold hearings Wednesday on the sex trafficking of minors, and among the witnesses will be a representative from Craigslist. The online-classifieds company recently shut down the adult-services section of its website after repeated threats from state law enforcement officials.


But Craigslist isn't alone in its shady offerings.


By Michael Matza


WASHINGTON - Holding a gun to Sarah Reedy's head, her attacker demanded oral sex.


The Pennsylvania woman, 19 at the time, was working the late shift at a gas station near Pittsburgh in 2004. She survived the assault - then had to endure the skepticism of a local police detective after she called 911.


Instead of believing her, the officer assumed she had robbed the station and fabricated the rape as a cover-up, she testified during a congressional hearing Tuesday.


By Malcolm Gay


CURRYVILLE, Mo. — A troubled young man from this remote stretch of eastern Missouri, Chester Mast had traveled north in the summer of 2004 to stay with his extended family in Wisconsin. Mr. Mast, a member of a conservative Amish community here that eschews conveniences like electricity and telephones, was meant to apprentice with his uncle, a carpenter.


HARTFORD, Conn. — Craigslist closed the adult services section of its website Saturday, replacing it with a black bar that says "censored," just over a week after a group of state attorneys general said there weren't enough protections against blocking potentially illegal ads promoting prostitution.



Subscribe to RSS - News From the Field