As this article in the Guardian shows, the sexual exploitation and abuse of women and children by peacekeepers is still happening: French minister calls on soldiers who sexually abused children to come clean.
A decade after I helped write the Prince Zeid Report that kick-started a UN-wide reform package to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeepers, the abuse of vulnerable people in war-torn countries continues. As this latest tragedy in Central African Republic shows, this is not just a “UN problem” or a “third world problem” (most troops operating under the UN flag are from developing countries). Sexual exploitation and abuse of women and children by peacekeepers needs to be tackled head-on by all militaries – from rich or poor countries alike.
I am currently helping the UN to develop an e-learning course for peacekeepers on prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse. I think this can be a great tool to help make it crystal-clear to all peacekeepers who serve under the UN flag that sexual exploitation and abuse of the local population is prohibited, and that managers and commanders have to take an active role in preventing such abuses.