Barracks and Brothels: Peacekeepers and Human Trafficking in the Balkans

Authored by: Sarah E. Mendelson

Categories: Peace Support Operations
Sub-Categories: Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV)
Country: Balkans
Region: Europe and Eurasia
Year: 2005
Citation: Mendelson, Sarah E. Barracks and Brothels: Peacekeepers and Human Trafficking in the Balkans. Washington, DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2005.

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The majority of uniformed service members and civilian contractors working in peacekeeping operations do so honorably. Yet peacekeeping operations in the Bal- kans have had the unintended consequence of providing the demand for trafficked females from Eastern Europe and Eurasia for forced prostitution. Human traffick- ing involves the recruitment, harboring, and movement of people through the use of force, fraud, coercion, or deception for the express purpose of enslavement. Sex trafficking is therefore not “just about prostitution.” Rather, it is about people being sold as chattel, stripped of their passports, and forced to pay off bogus debts to their traffickers. In the Balkans, literally thousands of women and girls have been traf- ficked in the last several years. At least 10 percent of them are minors.