Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by UN Military Contingents

Moving Beyond the Current Status Quo and Responsibility under International Law


In Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by UN Military Contingents: Moving Beyond the Current Status Quo and Responsibility under International law Róisín Burke explores the legal, conceptual and practical difficulties of dealing with sexual offences committed by military contingent personnel deployed on UN peace operations. Some of the inadequacies of current legal frameworks for dealing with such abuses are examined. The book addresses the difficulties with applying international humanitarian law, human rights law and/or international criminal law in this context, and the broader issue of state/international organization responsibility. The book proposes policy options to increase accountability both for perpetrators and for troop contributing nations otherwise indifferent to the crimes of their national contingents.
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Biographical Note

Róisín Sarah Burke, PhD (2012) at the Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law, University of Melbourne, is currently a Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland Galway. She has published articles/chapters on state and international organization responsibility, gender-based crimes, and international law, including, with the Journal of Conflict and Security Law and Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher.

Table of contents

Excerpt of table of contents:
Abstract; Preface; Acknowledgments; List of Acronyms and Abbreviations; Introduction;
A SEA – The Problem
B Statement of Research Questions and Study’s Limitations
C Methodology
D Chapter Outline
E Scope of Study, its Context and Purpose
Chapter I Background – Current Accountability Framework and UN Initiatives
A UN Standards of Conduct and the Prohibition of SEA
B UN Response to SEA
C Conclusion
Chapter II Status of Forces and Jurisdictional Immunity
A Status of Forces
B Jurisdictional Immunities
C Host State Consent and Customary International Law
D Conclusion
Chapter III Applicability of International Law and SEA by UMC Personnel
A Applicability of IHL to UMCs and SEA
B Applicability of Human Rights Law
C Extraterritorial Human Rights Obligations of TCCs
D States Obligations under IHRL Treaties towards SEA Victims
E Conclusion
Chapter IV The ICC as an Avenue for the Prosecution of UMC Personnel
A SEA by UMC Personnel – Chapeau Elements under the Rome Statute
B Further Restrictions in the Rome Statute
C Gravity Threshold
D Complementarity and its implications
E State Cooperation
F Positive Complementarity
G Conclusion
Chapter V Moving beyond the Status Quo – Alternatives for Holding UMC Personnel to Account?
A Justifications for Prosecution of UMC Personnel by an Internationalized Justice Mechanism
B Tri-Hybrid Justice Mechanism
C Trial Monitoring and Onsite Courts Martial
D Conclusion
Chapter VI State and International Organization Responsibility
A Command and Control
B Attribution of responsibility
C Consequences of Wrongful Act or Omission
D Avenues for holding the TCC or UN to account
E Conclusion
Main Findings and Conclusions; Bibliography; Index.


The book seeks to engage not only an academic audience, but also with military, government, NGO and UN personnel; gender officers working with peace operations; and legal practitioners.