Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by UN Peacekeepers: A Threat to Impartiality


Grady, Kate. 2010. “Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by UN Peacekeepers: A Threat to Impartiality.” International Peacekeeping 17 (2): 215–28.

Author: Kate Grady


This article reconceptualizes the idea of the impartiality of UN peacekeeping in light of allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeeping personnel. It considers the role that sexual exploitation and abuse play both during and after conflict. The paper argues that sexual exploitation and abuse are political acts that bring about financial and propagandist benefits for the warring parties. It then tracks the history of neutrality in UN peacekeeping – originally defined as objective inaction against the warring parties – and its development into impartiality – now identified as unbiased interference, but with greater reference to core universal values such as fairness and justice. Peacekeepers’ involvement in sexual exploitation and abuse is of political advantage to the parties and therefore breaches the principle of impartiality.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, International Organizations, Justice, Peacekeeping, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

Year: 2010

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