24 Children’s Legal Rights Journal [Vol. 38: 1 2018]
Ndulo suggests that, through a UN Security Council Resolution, the UN call upon States
to enact domestic legislation that would provide for their national courts to have jurisdiction to
hear cases concerning SEA crimes that were perpetrated by their international peacekeeper
nationals beyond the borders of the particular home nation-state in question (prosecution of crimes
committed extraterritorially by the State’s own nationals).111 Canada, for instance, already allows
for prosecution in its domestic courts of its non-military and military nationals who commit sex
offences against children and others outside of Canada.112
To date there appears to be an absence, beyond the investigation stage, of child victim
participation in the prosecution of the small number of peacekeeper SEA cases that have been
tried. Those cases invariably involved prosecution in the troop contributing country. This situation
is certainly not consistent with respect for the child’s right under Article 12 of the Convention on
the Rights of the Child to be heard in judicial or quasi-judicial processes in matters that directly
and significantly involve the child’s rights and interests. Unless challenged, this very limited child
participation (and then only at the investigation stage) in the accountability mechanisms employed
in peacekeeper SEA cases will continue.
Let us consider next then the peacekeeper SEA child victim’s potential participation in ( i)
investigation of international peacekeeper SEA of children, (ii) international law accountability
measures against individual peacekeeper SEA perpetrators, and (iii) international legal
mechanisms allowing for complaints against troop contributing countries that fail to hold
peacekeeper SEA perpetrators (who are their nationals) accountable, and/or fail to take proactive
reasonable, feasible and effective measures to help prevent such SEA of children and others by
their international peacekeeper nationals while the latter are on a UN mission.
6. INTERNATIONAL LEGAL MECHANISMS FOR CHILD PARTICIPATION IN
HOLDING PEACEKEEPER PERPETRATORS OF SEA ACCOUNTABLE
6. 1 The Investigation Stage
Investigating allegations of international peacekeeper SEA in the country of deployment,
in unstable armed conflict or post-conflict situations, is a major challenge. Yet, the practical
obstacles need to be met to achieve accountability of those who commit SEA while participating
in UN peacekeeping operations. There must be timely victim interviews, and, where possible,
collection and preservation of evidence, including DNA evidence, properly and ethically obtained
by qualified medical personnel. A 2015 UN special measures initiative established
multidisciplinary immediate response teams to carry out such investigations.113 Foremost, child-sensitive procedures, respecting the child’s needs and best interests, are required at all stages in
It is suggested here that children who have suffered SEA by an international peacekeeper
in the context of armed conflict or in the unstable post-conflict situation should consistently be
111 Ndulo, supra note 107, at 159–60.
112 Laura Barnett, International Dimensions of Domestic Criminal Law: Extraterritoriality and Extradition,
PARLIAMENT OF CAN., LAW & GOV’T DIVISION, 7, 3 (Oct. 14, 2008),
113 Fact Sheet, supra note 82; see also U.N. Dep’t of Peacekeeping Operations, Military Aide Memoire –
Commanders’ guide on measures to combat Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in United Nations military, U.N. Doc.
PG/G/SEA (Aug. 1, 2017).