Blue on Blue: Investigating Sexual Abuse of Peacekeepers

Authored by: Phoebe Donnelly, Dyan Mazurana, and Evyn Papworth

Categories: Human Rights
Sub-Categories: Peacekeeping, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), UN Resolutions
Region: No Region
Year: 2022
Citation: Donnelly, Phoebe, Dyan Mazurana, and Evyn Papworth. "Blue on Blue: Investigating Sexual Abuse of Peacekeepers." International Peace Institute. April 2022.

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Executive Summary

It is commonly assumed that the main threats to uniformed peacekeepers originate from outside of peacekeeping missions. However, many women (and some men) deployed as military or police peacekeepers are subjected to sexual abuse by other members of the organizations they serve. Until now, there has been little research specifically focused on this sexual abuse by uniformed peacekeepers against their peacekeeping colleagues.

This paper helps fill that gap, drawing on a survey of peacekeepers as well as data from interviews and a closed-door workshop. It presents findings related to the extent, frequency, and type of abuse peacekeepers have experienced and witnessed; the perpetrators of this abuse; the organizational cultures that enable it; and peacekeepers’ perceptions of the UN’s response. These findings reveal that while sexual abuse is a major threat to uniformed peacekeepers, especially women, the UN and troop- and police-contributing countries (T/PCCs) have not adequately responded to the issue. This lack of attention is in contrast to the relatively robust architecture for reporting on and investigating sexual exploitation and abuse of host communities in peacekeeping environments.