When the protector becomes the perpetrator : accountability for human rights violations by UN peacekeepers

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Marinze, Yvonne
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“There are currently thirteen United Nations peacekeeping operations around the globe. These missions are established to assist countries affected by conflict and internal instability by providing support and guidance when transitioning from conflict to peace. The mandates of peace operations have expanded enormously over the decades and today peacekeepers have the task of protecting the local population, upholding human rights while simultaneously providing peacebuilding support. However, peacekeeping operations, unfortunately, do not only comprise of positive outcomes but most often entails various noxious consequences such as sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA). In 2013, a UN investigation into peace operations revealed that SEA by peacekeepers has the most deleterious effect on UN peacekeeping missions. Despite the Secretary-Generals' Bulletin on zero tolerance of sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers, SEA by interveners has become pervasive in peace operations ranging from pornography to transactional sex, sex trafficking and even raping at gunpoint. The trauma of sexual violence and violations of human rights during a conflict is already by itself horrible and challenging to maintain. Thus, when peacekeepers who ought to be the protectors turn around to be the perpetrators of horrendous human rights violations against the most vulnerable people; these acts are deemed more treacherous than ever.”
Second semester University: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
peace keeping, United Nations, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, human rights violations