Trafficking in Human Beings and International Peacekeeping

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


International peacekeeping operations and other types of military missions often operate in areas of armed conflict and are deployed for long periods of time.
One of the issues that have emerged is that peacekeepers, including military, police and civilian components, are involved in sexual abuses and crimes that occur in the areas where they are operating. They include sexual exploitation and abuses, prostitution and other types of crimes that are usually covered by national criminal law.
The United Nations (UN) has tried to address the issue, since 2005, with the Prince Zeid Report, following a series of allegations by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) which received complaints and witnesses by local victims.
A UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations Policy Paper (March 2004) addressed the issues related to peacekeeping and THB. It identified two main issues related to the role of peacekeeping and THB. One is the possible support of peace operations in dealing with anti-trafficking activities, and the second is the involvement of peace operations personnel in activities related to THB. The Secretary-General’s Bulletin (SGB) on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse explicitly recognizes that the procurement of sexual services from nationals in a vulnerable context by a UN staff member (in a position of disproportionate power) constitutes an act of sexual exploitation, even where prostitution is not a crime.
The present chapter looks at the initiatives taken by the UN and other international organisations (i.e. NATO). In the first part it looks at the role of PKO and other military missions in combating THB and in the second part it takes into consideration the problems related to the involvement of peacekeeping personnel in dealing with THB and the legal issues raised by their specific legal status, for an effective prosecution of those individuals who are involved in sexual abuses and exploitation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Human Trafficking
EditorsRyszard Piotrowicz, Conny Rijken, Baerbel Heide Uhl
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)978-1138892064, 1138892068
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2017

Publication series

NameRoutledge International Handbooks
PublisherTaylor & Frances/Routledge


  • Human Trafficking
  • International Law
  • Peacekeeping
  • United Nations
  • NATO


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