UN Peacekeeping Operations: The Emerging Problem of Sexual Exploitation
This chapter provides an overview of the history of peacekeeping operations (PKOs), focusing on challenges faced by PKOs since the early 1990s when the first serious allegations of sexual exploitation by peacekeepers emerged. After profiling peacekeepers and the people who are beneficiaries of PKOs, and discussing the increased interaction between these two groups, the chapter introduces the alleged problem of sexual exploitation as it emerged in the context of PKOs. The early reports alleging sexual exploitation of local women by peacekeepers are examined. The chapter concludes with the observation that serious allegations of sexual exploitation by peacekeepers have continued into the twenty-first century. These allegations have included involvement in trafficking women for the purposes of forced prostitution, rape and sexual assault, and the exchange of food and other humanitarian aid with beneficiaries in return for sex, known as ‘survival sex’.