UN Peacekeeping Troops Involved in Sexual Abuse and Exploitation
Wednesday, December 2, 2009 3:35 PM

 2 December 2009

In 2009, dozens of United Nations peacekeeping troops have been implicated in charges of sexual abuse and exploitation, a UN spokesperson said on 5 November 2009. Many cases of UN troop abuse have occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Sudan, Haiti, Lebanon, and Côte d’Ivoire, which represent only some of the 113,000 UN personnel that are posted in 18 missions on four continents throughout the world.

The UN has instituted a “zero tolerance” policy regarding misconduct, although implementing disciplinary action is still relatively infrequent. A UN spokesperson argued that the UN follows up with misconduct cases as far as it can, and then recommends the case to the home country of the military personnel.

Thus far in 2009, the UN has sent 112 requests for action concerning misconduct, which includes sexual exploitation, to the home countries of involved military personnel. Of those requests, only 14 responses were received as of 3 November 2009. In 2008, however, the UN sent 192 requests regarding troop misconduct and received only six responses on action taken against officers, while in 2007, 146 requests were made and nine responses received.

Since January 2009, 33 military personnel have been punished in connection with sexual abuse and exploitation while serving in UN peacekeeping missions. Additional action has been taken regarding military personnel convicted of other forms of misconduct including fraud, theft, traffic-related violations, and negligent loss of firearms.

Compiled from: UN News Centre,UN peacekeepers involved in abuse are being punished, world body says,” (5 November 2009).