In the Shadow of Peace

Sexual Exploitation, Abuse, and Accountability in UN Peacekeeping

In: Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations
Audrey L. Comstock Arizona State University School of Social and Behavioral Sciences USA Tempe, Arizona

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Despite decades of success, abuse has pervaded UN peacekeeping. This article argues that there has been a combination of incremental, conditional, and tenuous accountability for UN peacekeeping personnel accused of perpetrating sexual exploitation and abuse against civilians. This article argues that the relationship with accountability has been shaped by the reliance on troop-contributing countries to supply peacekeepers. This has limited the ability and desire of the UN to institute full accountability for peacekeeper actions. Looking at examples and trends of abuse and punishment, the article demonstrates that there has been a push-pull relationship of accountability between the media and nongovernmental organization reporting on one side and UN reliance on troop-contributing countries and institutional reluctance on the other side.

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