The Secretary-General’s Bulletin: Evolution and Reception
This chapter aims to explore the policy and legal responses that followed the emergence of the problem of sexual exploitation in peacekeeping operations (PKOs). The chapter will describe the official responses to the problem that led eventually to the promulgation of the Secretary-General’s Bulletin (SGB) and its provisions in relation to prostitution and sexual relationships. It evaluates the reception of the SGB by researchers who undertook empirical studies into sexual exploitation in PKOs between 2003 and 2008. It begins by tracing the development of institutional responses to alleged sexual exploitation, and describes and analyses these developments in three stages. Drawing on feminist scholarship and the work of the few critics of the policy, the chapter concludes that the zero tolerance policy is an inappropriate response to the problem of sexual exploitation in PKOs, because it treats all sex between peacekeepers and beneficiaries as exploitative, which is inconsistent with international human rights law.