Международный правовой курьер

В перечне ВАК с 2015 г.

Analysis of the perspectives of a natural origin for acts of sexual aggression by peacekeepers and the establishment of a system of regular rotation of troops as a solution to this problem

Sexual offenses are among the obstacles undermining the credibility of peacekeepers. As part of this work, the author demonstrates that natural weakness coupled with the long duration of missions constitute one of the factors causing this problem. To justify such an assertion, the author relies on a certain number of factors, in this case the criteria for selecting mission personnel, namely compliance with minimum conditions and pre-deployment training, which make one presume that personnel quality. The author also relies on the statistics of the various denunciations of sexual crimes which reveal the general nature of the problem across all nationalities and categories of UNPKO personnel affected as well as the persistence over time of the problem despite all the preventive measures taken. On the basis of this analysis the author proposes the adoption of the principle of regular rotation of troops on the ground as a solution to the problem of sexual crimes committed by peacekeepers.

Keywords: sexual offenses, peacekeepers, duration of the mission, natural weakness, minimum conditions, pre-deployment training, statistics of denunciations of sexual crimes, regular rotation of PKO.

Анализ перспектив естественного происхождения актов сексуальной агрессии со стороны миротворцев и создание системы регулярной ротации войск как решение данной проблемы

Аннотация: Сексуальные преступления входят в число препятствий, подрывающих доверие к миротворцам. В рамках данной работы автор показывает, что природная слабость в сочетании с большой продолжительностью миссий являются одним из факторов, вызывающих эту проблему. Для обоснования такого утверждения автор опирается на ряд факторов, в данном случае на критерии подбора персонала миссии, а именно соблюдение минимальных условий и подготовку перед развертыванием, которые заставляют предполагать качество персонала. Автор также опирается на статистику различных заявлений о сексуальных преступлениях, которая раскрывает общий характер проблемы среди всех национальностей и категорий затрагиваемого персонала ОНОП, а также сохранение проблемы во времени, несмотря на все принятые профилактические меры. На основе данного анализа автор предлагает принятие принципа регулярной ротации войск на местах как решение проблемы сексуальных преступлений, совершаемых миротворцами.

Ключевые слова: сексуальные преступления, миротворцы, продолжительность миссии, естественная слабость, минимальные условия, подготовка перед развертыванием, статистика разоблачений сексуальных преступлений, регулярная ротация ОПМ.


Peacekeeping operations appeared after the founding of the United Nations. The first peacekeeping operation called the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO)[1]was launched more precisely in 1948 with the mandate to monitor the ceasefire between Israel and its Arab neighbors and to provide a military command structure for peacekeeping missions in the Middle East. Having no trace in the United Nations Charter, the UNPKO developed on the basis of practice. It is for this purpose that many aspects of its mechanism remain discretionary. This is particularly the case for the duration of troops on mission.

The duration of a UNPKO is in fact set by the Security Council in the mandate organizing the mission. Following practice, troops are deployed for a minimum period of 1 year in the field and for a period of 2 to 3 years at United Nations headquarters.[2], which represents a fairly long duration. With the launch of multidimensional missions in the early 1990s, peacekeepers are called upon to spend more time with local populations to participate in post-conflict reconstruction efforts. At the same time, it is from this period that the alert will be given on the systematization of cases of crimes of a sexual nature, more precisely abuse of minors and sexual relations for money.[3].

As part of this work, the question that the author will attempt to answer is whether there is a relationship between the duration of the mission with the acts of sexual abuse committed by the peacekeepers or in other words , to determine if there is a natural cause for cases of sexual abuse.

The study of data such as the measures intended to prevent this problem of sexual abuse, the seriousness that these crimes have reached nowadays both in terms of the number and the variety of members of missions involved, the persistence in the duration of this problem will serve as arguments to answer this question.

Sexual crimes indeed represent a profound evil of UN peacekeeping today. Statistics show the involvement of almost all UN PKO personnel in the commission of these offenses, whether UN officials, simple volunteers, civilian personnel both at headquarters and on the ground, police personnel and finally military personnel. Within these different groups, all nationalities are found to be involved. Taking the example of the report on accusations of sexual crimes for the year 2022, we realize that nationals of 21 countries are implicated, namely Burundi, Cameroon, the Republic of Congo, Gabon , Mauritania, Rwanda, Tanzania, United States of America, Bolivia, Ghana, India, Malawi, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, Paraguay, South Africa, Zambia , India, Chad and Guinea. In addition to being widespread, the problem of sex crimes also appears to be constant. an investigation carried out by the associated press over the period between 2004 and 2016 reveals information according to which the united nations received no less than 2,000 accusations of sexual crimes[4]during this period. The available figures for the various denunciations over the period from 2010 to 2022 show a consistency in the high rate of accusations each year. For the year 2022, for example, the document records 58 accusations against 119 military personnel concerning acts of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation which very often resulted in pregnancies. Acts committed against 111 victims including 86 adults and 25 children[5].

This trend contrasts with the various measures implemented to put an end to this problem within peacekeeping troops. Since the beginning of the 2000s, the United Nations have in fact adopted a series of measures, namely a system of prior preparation of troops for missions or troops aspiring to participate in the peacekeeping mission and the implementation of a certain number of rules of conduct on the ground.

The prior preparation system concerns, among other things:

— Minimum conditions for deployment. These are a certain number of criteria, both professional and personal, that anyone wishing to join a peacekeeping mission must respect. All of these criteria are contained in Annex 1 of the guidelines for Operational Readiness Preparation for Troops contributing countries (TCC)[6]and concern, among other things, membership in a professional body in one’s country of origin, active service for a minimum period, physical and health fitness, mastery of first aid care, knowing how to use certain equipment such as a radio, knowing how to use a weapon, etc…

— Pre-deployment training, which aims to prepare troops for the mission, consists of theoretical sessions and practical exercises. Theoretical sessions consist of training series in the form of modules carried out using core pre-deployment training materials (CPTM). The goal being the acquisition of basic knowledge about the United Nations, its structure, its organs including peacekeeping operations; knowledge of mandate tasks including partners and priorities; knowledge on the protection of civilians in general and children in particular; knowledge about conflicts relates to sexual violence; knowledge of human rights and humanitarian law; knowledge of previous missions: knowledge of the different policies of DPKO-DFS and guidelines in this case the zero tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, the 10 rules of conduct of the UN peacekeepers. The practical sessions essentially consist of group exercises and simulations. The various requirements concerning pre-deployment training are contained in Appendix B of the guidelines on operation readiness preparation for TCC in PK mission[7].

On the other hand, we also note verification tours by the Secretary General of the United Nations prior to deployment.

Once on the ground, the troops are subject to restrictive measures aimed at avoiding any blunders. These restrictive measures can be found in documents such as the Secretary General’s 2005 resolution intended to prevent sexual offenses[8], the zero tolerance police[9], the status of civil servant of the United Nations[10]etc. These include, among other things:

— the prohibition of any sexual relations with minors under 18 years of age, in exchange for a sum of money, a service or assistance. Relations between civil servants and those receiving assistance

— Restriction of contact with local populations,

— Wearing a uniform outside the camp,

— The designation of the territorial limits to be covered,

— The introduction of a no excuse card[11]which is a card to be carried by all personnel deployed in the field to ensure all personnel will adhere to the code of conduct of the united nations and know how to report allegations.

In view of everything that has just been demonstrated, it would not be daring to assert that these offenses derive part of their origin from natural weakness, more precisely, due to the weight of the duration of the mission on the physical and on the morale of the soldiers. Because how can we understand if it is not a natural explanation that a problem can persist so much and be so general. Based on this observation, reducing the time of ground troops through regular rotation mechanisms therefore appears to be a solution. It will therefore be a question through rotation not only of preventing the exhaustion of the troops but also of preventing them from weaving networks of corruption of sex trafficking and exploitation. The regular rotation of troops, which we then imagine in the form of a renewal of men per quarter which includes the possibility of the return of former personnel after a 3-month rest, will also bring a boost to the relations between the Peacekeepers and local populations which will help maintain consent and the success of the mission. It is now up to the Secretary General as part of his reform program[12]UNPKO to implement this measure as a solution to the fight against sexual crimes by peacekeepers.

Reached the end of this workin which it was a question of finding a natural explanation for the problem of sexual offenses, it emerged that criteria such as the general nature of the problem, namely which affects all the personnel of the mission and of all nationalities, the perpetual nature in the time, which contrast with preventive measures support such an assertion. As such, reducing the duration of the mission appears to be a solution to remedy this problem. However, it should be noted that even if the regular rotation of troops could have a considerable impact in resolving this problem, it should not prevent the implementation of other solutions. In this regard, we note the increase in female participation in peacekeeping missions in accordance with resolution 1325.[13]of the Security Council and the improvement of judicial mechanisms against peacekeepers who commit sexual crimes.


-Allegations received in 2010-2022 URL:https://conduct.unmissions.org/sites/default/files/update_to_information_on_all_allegations_reported_to_peacekeeping_and_special_political_missions_2010_-_2022.pdf

-UNGA. Special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and abuse. URL:https://conduct.unmissions.org/sites/default/files/a-78-774_-_sg_report_on_special_measures_for_protection_from_sexual_exploitation_and_abuse.pdf

-UN Peacekeeping. Military. URL:https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/military

-UN Department of Peacekeeping operation and Field support. Guidelines Operational Readiness preparation for troop contributing countries in peacekeeping missions. December 2018. URL:https://peacekeeping.un.org/sites/default/files/3._military_-_4_guidelines_on_opr.pdf

-United Nation Peacekeeping. URL:https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/no-excuses-card-launched-to-prevent-and-end-sexual-exploitation-and-abuse-south-sudan

-Circular from the Secretary General. Special provisions aimed at preventing sexual exploitation and abuse. March 22, 2005. URL:https://documents.un.org/doc/undoc/gen/n03/550/41/pdf/n0355041.pdf?token=WaeVDJ2LDon8JO1u2n&fe=true

-Buchanan .E. UN Peacekeeping: Allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse a 20 year history of shame. International Business Times. URL:https://www.ibtimes.co.uk/un-peacekeeping-allegations-sexual-exploitation-abuse-20-year-history-shame-1547581

-. Why do some UN peacekeepers rape? Aljazeera. URL:https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2017/8/4/why-do-some-un-peacekeepers-rape.

[1]United Nation Truce supervision organization. URL: https://untso.unmissions.org/

[2]United Nation peacekeeping. Military. Getting involved. URL: https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/military

[3]Buchanan E. A peacekeeping allegation of sexual exploitation and abuse. A 20 year history of shame. International business times. URL: https://www.ibtimes.co.uk/un-peacekeeping-allegations-sexual-exploitation-abuse-20-year-history-shame-1547581

[4]Azad Essad. Why do some UN peacekeepers rape.Aljazeera. URL: https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2017/8/4/why-do-some-un-peacekeepers-rape

[5]Allegation received in 2010 2022. Updated 1 February 2023 and 31 January 2024. URL: https://conduct.unmissions.org/sites/default/files/update_to_information_on_all_allegations_reported_to_peacekeeping_and_special_political_missions_2010_-_2022.pdf

[6]Operation readiness for TCC. Annex A Guidelines. 2018. URL: https://peacekeeping.un.org/sites/default/files/3._military_-_4_guidelines_on_opr.pdf

[7]Operation Readiness for TCC. Annex B Guidelines. 2018. URL: https://peacekeeping.un.org/sites/default/files/3._military_-_4_guidelines_on_opr.pdf

[8]Circular from the Secretary General. Special provisions aimed at preventing sexual exploitation and abuse. March 22, 2005. URL:https://documents.un.org/doc/undoc/gen/n03/550/41/pdf/n0355041.pdf?token=WaeVDJ2LDon8JO1u2n&fetrue

[9]United Nations zero tolerance police exploitation and sexual abuse (SEA) file:///C:/Users/User/Downloads/PSEA%20poster%20A3_EN%20-%20CZ%20version%20v2.pdf

[10]Staff regulations and regulations of the United Nations, circular from the Secretary General. URL: https://hr.un.org/en/page/staff-status-and-regulations-of-the-united-nations-circular-du-secretary

[11]United Nations Peacekeepin. No excuses card launched to prevent and end sexual exploitation and abuse in south sudan. 30 Oct 2017. URL: https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/no-excuses-card-launched-to-prevent-and-end- sexual-exploitation-and-abuse-south-sudan

[12]United Nation Peacekeeping. Action for Peacekeepin. URL: https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/action-for-peacekeeping-a4p

[13]Security Council Resolution 1325 adopted at its 4213th meeting. October 31, 2000. URL: https://reliefweb.int/report/world/r%C3%A9solution-1325-2000-adopt%C3%A9e-par-le-conseil-de-

Информация об авторе:

мбох нгома Ален Пьер Лоик— Аспирант Российского Университета Дружбы Народов (РУДН) имени Патриса Лумумбы. 117198, Москва улица Миклухо-Маклая 6, Москва, Россия

Нга Этжеке Даниель – Аспирант Российского Университета Дружбы Народов (РУДН) имени
Патриса Лумумбы. 117198, Москва улица Миклухо-Маклая 6, Москва, Россия

Information about the authors:

Mboh Ngoma Alain Pierre Loic— PHD student of People`s Friendship University of Russia (RUDN) named after Patrice Lumumba. 117198, Moscow Miklukho-Maklaya str. 6, Moscow, Russia

Nga Etjeke Danièle Victoire — PHD student of People’s Friendship University of Russia (RUDN) named after Patrice Lumumba. 117198, Moscow Miklukho-Maklaya str. 6, Moscow, Russia

[1] https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/what-is-peacekeeping

[2] https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/our-history

[3] https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/where-we-operate

[4] The Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP): Attached to the University of Uppsala, in Sweden, is consider as the most important active research center in the measurement of armed conflicts

[5] https://peacekeeping.un.org/sites/default/files/ladsous_20_october_2016.pdf

[6] This Définition  is contain in Chap 1   part 2.1 of the capstone doctrine entitle The Normative Framework for United Nations Peacekeeping Operations 

[7] The enumeration of these competence can be found  in chap 2 sec 2.3 of the capstone doctrine entitle The Evolving Role of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations 

[8] https://www.crisisgroup.org/fr/global/l-avenir-des-operations-de-maintien-de-la-paix-dans-les-conflits-contemporains

[9] https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/congo-expels-un-peacekeeping-mission-spokesman-after-protests-2022-08-03

[10] Thierry Vircoulon (03/2022), the unpopular blue helmets published ; IFRI website.

[11] Article: Are military takeover are on rise in Africa? https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa

[12] Article:Trends in World Military Expenditure 2021https://www.sipri.org/publications/2022/.

[13] Chapter VII: UN CHARTER: Action with Respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace, and Acts of Aggression

[14] The list of the peaceful mechanism of resolution are contain in art 33 UNCH

[15] Art 26 UNCH « In order to promote the establishment and maintenance of international peace and security with the least diversion for armaments of the world’s human and economic resources, the Security Council shall be responsible for formulating, with the assistance of the Military Staff Committee referred to in Article 47, plans to be submitted to the Members of the United Nations for the establishment of a system for the regulation of armaments.”

[16] Action for peace is a reform program initiated by united nations secretary Antonio guterres with the aim of reforming certain essential aspects of peacekeeping operations. https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/action-for-peacekeeping-a4p

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