A prominent Canadian humanitarian worker is accused of sexually assaulting children in Nepal.
Nepal’s police chief, Pushkar Karki, said on Monday that Peter Dalglish was arrested in his villa in April with two Nepalese aged 12 and 14 after several weeks of investigation.
His case will be heard by a court in Kavre, near Kathmandu. Karki said 60-year-old Dalglish was accused of raping the two boys and was sentenced to 13 years in prison.
Mr. Dalglish, who founded the organization Street Kids International, has been involved for several decades with various aid and development organizations, including UN agencies, which work primarily with children. He has worked in Afghanistan and Liberia.
Officials said Dalglish was bringing home poor children with promises of education and travel before sexually assaulting them.
Investigators followed Mr. Dalglish for several weeks after being informed of alleged assaults, Karki said. The investigation will be expanded as the police found evidence of assaults that allegedly occurred more than 12 years ago, the officer said, without providing further details.
Nepal’s laws on pedophilia are nebulous, but new laws are due to come into effect in August.
Dalglish was appointed to the Order of Canada in December 2016.
Prevent, denounce and act
Visiting Montreal Monday as part of an address by the international president of Médecins sans Frontières, Dr. Joanne Liu, at the International Relations Council, the Minister of International Development and Francophonie, Marie-Claude Bibeau , admitted that she had no words to describe the cases of sexual assault by workers supposed to help the inhabitants of less developed countries.
“Humanitarian workers, the vast majority are people like Dr. Liu, here, who go there by passion, by vocation, who want only to do good,” she noted, pointing out that cases of attacks are identified in all spheres of activity, but when they affect humanitarian aid in developing countries, it is “even more shocking”.
“Above all, do not discourage those working in the humanitarian field,” she added. We need even more effective measures to prevent, denounce and act as much to help the survivors of this violence as to deal with sexual predators. ”
Dr. Liu, for her part, was in favor of public pressure against various humanitarian organizations on this issue.
“I’ve been fighting for that for years, I want to have safe mechanisms so that people can declare, divulge what’s going on, have independent and professional investigations,” she noted, adding that critical public scrutiny of organizations will allow them to improve.
“We are a reflection of society. There is a sacralization [of] the humanitarian, [but] unfortunately, we are humans with human behavior, with human slippage. But, I understand, and I totally agree with our donors, that there is no space for that in what we do today. We are with populations that are precarious, vulnerable, so the abuse of power in all its forms has no place. Put pressure on us, make sure we do our job properly, “she said.