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Trial begins for France soldier accused of abusing minors in Burkina Faso

[JURIST] The Paris Criminal Court [official website], began a trial Tuesday over the alleged abuse of two minors by a French soldier in Burkina Faso in 2015. The French soldier, only recognized by the name Sebastian L., is alleged to film himself touching the young girls in a hotel pool. Sebastian was in Burkina Faso as part of a French strike force there to combat Islamic militants in the region. The charges were only brought after the mother of the victims found [Slate Afrique report, in French] a camera left behind at her home after Sebastian and another soldier had visited her home. The footage revealed the alleged abuse, which led to an immediate withdrawal of the two soldiers back to France. If convicted of the offense,Sebastian could face up to 10 years in prison.

All across the world children are subject to sexual abuse at the hands of adults. This issue spans borders and leaves lasting impacts on the lives of all the children unfortunate enough to experience this trauma in their lifetime. On Monday an Egyptian court acquitted [JURIST report] a dual American-Egyptian citizen over an organization which attempted to help street children citing that the state lacked to provide any substantial evidence. Yet in America a tradition that has taken root in Africa has found its way to the state of Michigan. On Friday a Michigan doctor was charged for performing female genital mutilation [JURIST report] on minors out of his office. The problem of sexual abuse of minors is clearly an issue the world has been struggling to cope with. In response, the United Nations in January announced a plan [JURIST report] to create high-level task force on sexual exploitation and abuse.

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