Children’s Participation in Holding International Peacekeepers Accountable 29
a message of impunity. The latter would no doubt serve to contribute to the perpetuation of SEA
by international peacekeepers more generally.
Where the facts relating to the CRC-OP3 complaint129 began prior to France’s ratification
of CRC-OP3 but persisted after France’s ratification of CRC-OP3 in January 2016, the cases of
peacekeeper child SEA may potentially be considered to involve a “continuing violation” of the
particular child victims’ CRC rights.130 The CRC-OP3 allows for admissibility of a complaint
where the facts relating to the human rights violation originated before CRC-OP3 entered into
force for a particular State Party to the Optional Protocol but continued after entry into force for
that State Party.131 On that basis then the complaint(s) - regarding any alleged SEA by certain
Sangaris peacekeeping troops in CAR that occurred prior to France’s ratification of CRC-OP3 and
the failure of France to hold them accountable also after the CRC-OP3 entered into force for France
- may still be admissible complaints under CRC-OP3.132 The CRC rights violated by international
peacekeeper SEA where there is no accountability in substantiated cases include, but are not
limited to: ( i) the children’s right to protection against sexual exploitation and abuse133; (ii) their
right to a remedy including prosecution of peacekeeper SEA perpetrators134; and (iii) reparations
from the State involved.135 The right to a remedy for children sexually victimized by international
peacekeepers is, on the view here, also part of the child’s right to non-discrimination in the
protection rights guaranteed under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 2.136 The
right to a remedy, furthermore, is well established also in international law more generally.137
129 For instance, France’s failure to prevent SEA of children in CAR by particular Sangaris peacekeepers prior to
France’s ratification of CRC-OP3, and its failure to hold those particular SEA perpetrators accountable after its
ratification of CRC-OP3 would be a ‘continuing violation’ of the CRC. Allegations regarding Sangaris peacekeeper
SEA of children in CAR dates back to December 2013, which is prior to the entry into force of CRC-OP3. Deschamps,
supra note 6, at ii.
130 For a discussion of the concept of a ‘continuing violation’ by the State of an international obligation, see generally
Joost Pawelyn, The Concept of a ‘Continuing Violation’ of an International Obligation: Selected Problems, 66
BRITISH YEARBOOK OF INT’L L. 415 (Jan. 1, 1996); see also Case of the Moiwana Community v. Suriname,
Preliminary Objections, Merits, Reparations and Costs, Judgment, Inter-Am. Ct. H.R. (ser. C) No. 124, 102 (June 15,
2005) (in which the Court applied the concept of ‘continuing violation’); see also G.A. Res. 66/138, supra note 4, at
art. 7( 7).
131 See id.
132 See id. Note that in January 2017, a review panel of French judges sitting in France decided to close, without
charges, the cases against several Sangaris peacekeepers accused of SEA of children in CAR pending further evidence.
The final decision whether the case was to be further investigated was yet to be made by the Prosecutor at that time.
See Benoit Morenne, No Charges in Sexual Abuse Case Involving French Peacekeepers, N.Y. TIMES (Jan. 6. 2017)
republic.html (stating that a 2014 United Nations investigation report about allegations of sexual and physical violence
was leaked, thus making them a continuing violation).
133 CRC, supra note 5, at art. 34.
134 G.A. Res. 66/138, supra note 4, at Preamble (“Recognizing that the best interests of the child should be a primary
consideration to be respected in pursuing remedies for violations of the rights of the child…” The Committee on the
Rights of the Child under CRC-OP3 can recommend to the State any certain remedies it considers appropriate for
violation of the child’s CRC rights including proper investigation and prosecution by the State of human rights
violations such as SEA by UN military and allied civilian peacekeepers and reparations to the child victim).
136 CRC, supra note 5, at art. 2.
137 G.A. Res. 60/147, supra note 4.