Children’s Participation in Holding International Peacekeepers Accountable 33
contingents, rather than being isolated instances of war crimes as in CAR though, of course, SEA
of civilians is not condoned by the troop contributing States.
Insofar as UN personnel who are covered by the Convention on the Privileges and
Immunities of the United Nations151 are concerned, the UN has an obligation to waive immunity,
per Article 19 of its agreement with the ICC where justice demands:
Rules concerning United Nations privileges and immunities
If the Court seeks to exercise its jurisdiction over a person who is alleged to be
criminally responsible for a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court … the
United Nations undertakes… to take all necessary measures to allow the Court
to exercise its jurisdiction, in particular by waiving any such privileges and
immunities in accordance with the Convention on the Privileges and
Immunities of the United Nations and the relevant rules of international law.152
Whether such a waiver by the UN would occur in practice in cases in which the ICC seeks to
prosecute UN peacekeepers normally covered by the ‘Convention on the Privileges and
Immunities of the United Nations’153 (UN- designated Experts and Officials on mission) is a
pressing empirical question that remains unanswered.
Were the ICC to address such international peacekeeper sex-related international crimes;
children would potentially have the opportunity to participate as victim witnesses, or as child
victim participants, the latter with party status. Further, the ICC Prosecutor is required, under
certain Articles of the Rome Statute to consider the interests of victims of Rome Statute-defined
crimes in the initiation and conduct of a prosecution.154 Article 53( 1)(c) of the Rome Statute allows
the ICC Prosecutor to decline to do an investigation of a case, for instance, where such would put
the victims at grave risk and there is no possibility for the ICC to arrange for adequate protection:
Taking into account the gravity of the crime and the interests of victims, there
are nonetheless substantial reasons to believe that an investigation would not
serve the interests of justice.155
Article 54( 1)(b) of the Rome Statute requires the ICC Prosecutor, in considering the interests of a
victim, to factor in the age of the victim.156 This provision also requires the ICC Prosecutor in
fulfilling his or her prosecutorial duties to pay special attention to the needs and best interests of
child victims of sexual violence and gendered sexual violence:
The Prosecutor shall:
151 33 U.N. T.S. 261, supra note 9, at IV-VI.
152 Negotiated Relationship Agreement between the International Criminal Court and the United Nations, ICC, art. 19
(2004) [hereinafter Negotiated Relationship Agreement].
153 33 U.N. T.S. 261, supra note 9, at IV-VI.
154 See generally, U.N. Doc. A/CONF.183/9, Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (July 17, 1998).
155 Id. at art. 53( 1)(c).
156 Id. at art. 54( 1)(b).