Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Are budgetary threats the best way to end impunity for peacekeeper sexual violence?

For years and years, incidents of sexual abuse by United Nations peacekeepers have been steadily made public. Even so, the perpetrators have very rarely been held accountable for their crimes. Now that some US Senators have proposed cutting funding until the UN deals with the problem, it seems that the UN might start taking it seriously, especially since the US contributes 28% of the peacekeeping budget. Since withholding UN funding has been successful in the past, this could be a good way for big contributors to hold the UN accountable and change the culture of impunity for sexual violence.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.


Jeni Whalan, Global Peace Operations Review

May 2, 2016

After years of moral outrage and stern official rhetoric, the odious scandal of sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers of the vulnerable people they are sent to protect may finally attract tangible penalties for the organisation. US senators this month threatened to withdraw funding from the UN over its leaders’ failure to prevent sexual violence by peacekeepers and to hold perpetrators to account when it occurs. Given that the US funds 28% of the US$8.3 billion annual peacekeeping budget, it’s a threat with teeth.

This latest legitimacy crisis for UN peacekeeping has been brewing a long time. Since the first widely publicised abuses by peacekeepers in Cambodia in 1992, allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation have followed the UN’s deployments to crises around the world: Bosnia, Timor-Leste, Kosovo, Burundi, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Haiti, the DRC, Côte d’Ivoire, Sudan and Mali.

But it is stories of widespread sexual violence against women and children in the Central African Republic (CAR) that have captured global media attention and which may finally prompt meaningful reform.


Click HERE for the full text.

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