Rethinking ‘Sexual Exploitation’ in UN Peacekeeping Operations

Citation:

Simic, Olivera. 2009. “Rethinking ‘Sexual Exploitation’ in UN Peacekeeping Operations.” Women’s Studies International Forum 32 (4): 288–95. doi:10.1016/j.wsif.2009.05.007.

Author: Olivera Simic

Abstract:

This article will question definitions used by researchers in their studies of “sexual exploitation” in UN peacekeeping operations. The article will suggest that there is confusion about the definition of “sexual exploitation” not only among scholars undertaking empirical studies and exploring “sexual exploitation” issues in several peacekeeping missions, but also among UN peacekeeping personnel and local people. I look closely at nine empirical studies and explore the language used, the definitions of “sexual exploitation”, the identified causes of “sexual exploitation” and the difficulties of gathering evidence in cases of “sexual exploitation”. My article will suggest that the term “sexual exploitation” is broadly defined and contentious, and might cover activity that is not necessarily “sexually exploitative”. The article concludes that researchers have not questioned the over inclusive and broad term of “sexual exploitation” defined in the Secretary General's ‘zero tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and sexual abuse’ [SGB (Secretary General's Bulletin) (2003) Special measures on protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. UN Doc ST/SGB/2003/13] and, consequently, conflate all forms of sexual relationships with forced prostitution, rape, human trafficking and other forms of sexual offences.

Topics: Gender, Women, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, SV against women, Torture, Sexual Torture

Year: 2009

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