OVERVIEW: We are delighted and proud to report that through an organisation he co-founded, www.HearTheirCries.org, our CEO and Chairman, Professor Andrew MacLeod has played a part in winning a major international lawsuit using innovative technology to bring reparations to children abandoned by the men who fathered them through sex workers.
The following is a press release.
Melbourne/Geneva/London/Calgary – 21 December 2023 – Hear Their Cries
For years sex tourists and abusive aid workers have escaped with impunity when impregnating vulnerable women and children in the developing world – until now.
A new precedent for accountability was set December 19, 2023, in a King’s Bench trial out of Edmonton, Canada using new DNA techniques to track fathers and hold them to account.
The precedent can be used in all Common Law jurisdictions including the UK, Australia, USA and New Zealand.
Using Genetic Genealogy, for the first time ever in any jurisdiction, the court accepted the parentage of a child using a combination of Familial DNA evidence and travel records.
In this case a man had impregnated a woman during a casual encounter in The Philippines, denied paternity and vanished. The mother had no record of who the father was.
Investigators led by Hear Their Cries co-founder Professor Andrew MacLeod, used the DNA* of the child, identified extended family members on commercial websites and were able to determine through genealogical triangulation the paternal grandparents of the child.
The paternal grandparents had two sons with one who had been adopted out at birth. One of their sons, either the adopted out or kept child, had to be the father of the child. One son had never been to The Philippines but the adopted-out brother had, making him the only possible father.
The father obstructed the trial process as much as he could, hiring and firing three lawyers, giving false addresses and evading service that involved a car chase through Calgary.
Despite his attempts to evade responsibility Justice Marta Burns held that given the weight of evidence, on the balance of probabilities and given the father’s refusal to do a DNA test, the adopted son of the paternal grandparents was, in fact, the father of the child.
The court has now ordered him to provide financial disclosure for child support purposes. Steps will now be taken to secure Canadian citizenship for the child, so that she has the opportunity to come to Canada and avoid falling into the trap of prostitution.
Max Blitt KC and co-counsel Himanshu Singal were representing counsel for the court hearing.
“What this technology and process shows, as endorsed by the court, that men who abuse women overseas, either as aid workers or sex tourists, can now be found and held to account”, said Professor Andrew MacLeod.
“It is now time the UN and large Aid Agencies, who for years have said ‘Zero Tolerance’ for sexual exploitation and abuse, to back their words with meaningful action’, said MacLeod.
“We will show any interested agency how to use this process. Now when a woman claims to have been abused by an aid worker resulting in pregnancy, the individual responsible can be found and held to account. It is time agencies now found the men in their midst that use the cover of aid work to abuse women and children’, MacLeod concluded.
About the organisation
Hear Their Cries was set up by former UN staff and whistleblowers to ‘hear the cries’ of whistleblowers in Aid and ‘hear the cries’ of child victims of sexual abuse in Aid.
|Hear Their Cries – Stop Child Rape in Aid
A Swiss Association
Peter Gallo peter@HearTheirCries.org (Scotland) +44 7719 063462
Andrew MacLeod andrew@HearTheirCries.org (London) +44 7408 810 851
Abbe Jolles abbe@HeatTheirCires.orc (Washington DC) +12023528656
*(An educational background on the techniques is found here: https://promega.foleon.com/theishireport/november-2020/children-left-behind-by-sex-tourists-and-aid-workers-do-the-fathers-ever-think-of-them/ )