Between immunity and impunity: sexual offences by peacekeepers

Image of United Nations Peacekeeper in the field

Event details


Date & time

Friday 01 May 2015


RegNet Meeting Room, Level 3, Coombs Extension, Building #8, ANU
ANU Canberra


Roisin Burke


Emma Larking
+61 2 6125 1513

Complicity by UN military peacekeepers in sexual abuse and sexual exploitation has been well documented over recent years. In response to the dilemma the UN has undertaken a number of initiatives and reforms in attempting to eradicate such abuse.

These measures, to some extent, have taken two different trajectories given the different legal status of the various categories of UN personnel. Sexual abuse and sexual exploitation by UN military peacekeepers has therefore been dealt with separately by the UN to similar conduct by UN officials and experts on mission. This to a large extent is due to jurisdictional concerns.

In mid-March 2015 an internal UN report, dated November 2013, drawn up as a result of an expert mission to examine the continuing problem of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation on UN operations, was leaked and publicized by AIDS Free World, a Montreal based NGO following the issue. The Report emphasizes the continued failings of the UN and deploying states to address sexual abuse effectively and to address impunity.

During the seminar Roisin Burke will address some of the issues of concern bought up by this report and why there is a continued lack of accountability for peacekeepers.

Roisin is an Irish Research Council postdoctoral research fellow based at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland Galway. She is currently a CIGJ visitor. More information on Roisin and her work is available on her RegNet profile.

The RegNet Meeting Room is Room 3.14, Level 3 of the Coombs Extension Building. 

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet