Sexual Abuse and Exploitation by UN Peacekeepers as Conflict-Related Gender Violence

  • Valorie K. VojdikEmail author
Reference work entry
Part of the International Human Rights book series (IHR)


For nearly 30 years, military and civilian peacekeepers across the globe have engaged in rape, sexual assault, forced prostitution, trafficking, and sexual exploitation of women and children. The mechanisms for policing and punishing peacekeeper SEA have been inadequate, creating a culture of impunity. Rather than treat sexual exploitation and abuse as a crime committed by individual peacekeepers, as the UN has done, the international community must situate peacekeeper SEA within the gendered structures of power that help perpetuate conflict-related violence against women and girls. Peacekeeper SEA is rooted in unequal gender relations and poverty, exacerbated by the social and economic dislocations of war. Peacekeeping troops often engage in masculinized social practices that encourage sexual exploitation and gender violence against women and children. With the rise of new peacekeeping economies, peacekeepers often fuel the growth of prostitution and survival sex, harming the individual victims while reinforcing the inequality of women in post-conflict societies. To address peacekeeper SEA requires dismantling the structures of gender inequality and empowering women. It also requires transforming the institutional norms and practices that encourage and enforce masculinized violence by peacekeeping troops.


Sexual exploitation and abuse Peacekeeping Militarized masculinities Gender inequality Post-conflict 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Tennessee College of LawKnoxvilleUSA

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