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Shaming the State: Sexual Offences by UN Military Peacekeepers and the Rhetoric of Zero Tolerance

  • Róisín Burke
Part of the Thinking Gender in Transnational Times book series (THINKGEN)

Abstract

As of 31 August 2013 there were 15 United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations deployed across the world, consisting of 115,582 personnel.1 UN peacekeepers have done much to contribute to peace and security in many conflict-affected states. These peacekeeping operations are increasingly multidimensional, requiring UN military contingents to engage in activities that necessitate interaction with and close proximity to civilian populations of UN mission host states, including women and children.2 Since the 1990s, the contributions made by UN peacekeepers have been marred by numerous allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) by UN peacekeepers, including allegations of serious crimes, such as rape, forced prostitution, ‘rape disguised as prostitution’,3 sexual abuse of children, trafficking and other forms of sexual violence.4 SEA by UN peacekeepers is not only morally reprehensible, it violates the relationship of trust between peacekeepers and the civilian populations they have been sent to protect. Moreover, the continued incidence of SEA by UN peacekeepers,5 and impunity for such, discredits UN operations and undermines the values the organisation seeks to promote.

Keywords

United Nations Sexual Exploitation Sexual Offence North Atlantic Treaty Organization Security Council Resolution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

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© Róisín Burke 2014

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