14 Children’s Legal Rights Journal [Vol. 38: 1 2018]
including military, civilian and police personnel, and underscoring
that sexual exploitation and abuse, among other crimes and forms
of serious misconduct, by any such personnel is unacceptable. . .
(emphasis added) 61
At the same time, Resolution 2272 declared the UN absolved of final responsibility for
ensuring criminal accountability of the TCC`s international peacekeepers who perpetrated
SEA while contributing to a UN peacekeeping mission:
Recalling the primary responsibility of troop-contributing countries to
investigate allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by their personnel and
of troop- and police-contributing countries to hold accountable, including
through prosecution, where appropriate, their personnel for acts of sexual
exploitation and abuse, taking into account due process62
Given, in part, the application of various immunities63 and the complex system of attribution of
responsibility relating to UN peacekeeping operations, 64 it is perhaps not surprising that not more
progress has been made in preventing SEA of children and others by international peacekeepers,
or in accountability of SEA peacekeeper perpetrators. Added to the potential obstacles to
accountability is the general reluctance of States to prosecute members of their national forces for
SEA that was perpetrated in the country of UN peacekeeping operation deployment. This
inexcusable state of affairs was acknowledged by the current UN Secretary-General, António
Guterres, in his statement on December 12, 2016:
The United Nations system has not yet done enough to prevent and respond
to the appalling crimes of sexual violence and exploitation committed under
the UN flag against those we are supposed to protect. I will work closely with
Member States on structural, legal and operational measures to make the zero-
tolerance policy for which Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has fought so
hard a reality. We must ensure transparency and accountability and offer
protection and effective remedies to the victims. 65
61 Security Council Report, supra note 57.
63 These immunities include, for instance: ( i) UN Convention immunity for the UN and for its subsidiary organs as
distinct legal entities and for its Officials and Experts on a UN mission (which immunity can only be waived by the
UN Secretary-General) as well as (ii) host country immunity for the military and allied personnel deployed by the
troop contributing countries (which can be waived only by the TCC). These immunities thus can be waived only by
the holder of the immunity.
64 Ray Murphy, An Assessment of UN Efforts to Address Sexual Misconduct by Peacekeeping Personnel, 13 INT’L
PEACEKEEPING, 531, 533 (2006); Dieter Fleck, supra note 39, at 614–16. See also U.N. Secretary-General, Criminal
Accountability of United Nations Officials and Experts on Mission, ¶ 58, U.N. Doc. A/63/260 (Aug. 11, 2008).
65 AIDS-Free World, Statement: Secretary-General-designate António Guterres speaks out on sexual exploitation and
abuse, CODE BLUE (last visited Feb. 1, 2018), http://www.codebluecampaign.com/latest-news.