Putting a stop to sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers

Blue helmets and flak jackets worn by U.N. peacekeepers. There has been a significant decline of allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by U.N. peacekeeping personnel since 2005. Photo by: Marie Frechon / United Nations / CC BY-NC-ND

In 2004, several allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by U.N. peacekeepers led then-U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to ask His Royal Highness Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein, permanent representative of Jordan and a former civilian peacekeeper, to prepare a report that would detail the extent of these incidences in U.N. peacekeeping missions.

This was not the first such report, however. As early as August 1996, a UNICEF report on the impact of conflict on children noted that in six out of 12 country studies on sexual exploitation of children during times of war, the entry of peacekeeping troops into these countries accompanied a “rapid rise in child prostitution.”

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    Anna Patricia Valerio

    Anna Patricia Valerio is a Manila-based development analyst focusing on writing innovative, in-the-know content for senior executives in the international development community. Before joining Devex, Patricia wrote and edited business, technology and health stories for BusinessWorld, a Manila-based business newspaper.