Peacekeeping and Prostitution in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo

Citation:

Harrington, Carol. 2003. “Peacekeeping and Prostitution in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo.” Paper presented at the 5th European Feminist Research Conference, Lund, August 20-23.

Author: Carol Harrington

Abstract:

This paper compares the organisation of sexual violence in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo during UN operations to the sexual violence associated with US military bases in the Republic of Korea (ROK) during the 1970s, while also drawing some comparisons with the way sexual violence was organised in wartime Yugoslavia. I argue that in all of these cases military men agree that soldiers are entitled to heterosexual encounters, and thus provide women for soldiers to have sex with, treating the women concerned as people whose well- being, dignity and bodily integrity is of no relevance at all. Such sexual violence appears to be institutionalised across contemporary militaries. However, the political logic that categorises women as people to be protected or as people who have no rights to bodily integrity differs across sites. My enquiry is based in a sociology of the body that treats sexual violence as political violence, thus I expect that the sexual categorisation and organisation of women for soldiers will reveal important aspects of the political order the militaries involved are defending. I will elaborate on this theoretical perspective in relation to the three cases in the course of my discussion. Through comparing these three military contexts I seek to understand how military thinkers in the case of Bosnia and Kosovo divided people in relation to physical security and rights to bodily integrity, and thus to uncover the logic of the political order these peacekeeping operations defended. (Intro)

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Militarization, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Sexual Slavery, SV against women, Trafficking, Sex Trafficking, Violence Regions: Asia, East Asia, Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Korea, South Korea

Year: 2003

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