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The Dissonance between the United Nations Zero-Tolerance Policy and the Criminalisation of Sexual Offences on the International Level

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As a growing number of stories unravelled the involvement of United Nations peacekeepers in human trafficking and sexual exploitation cases, the United Nations adopted in 2003 and implemented a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual encounters between peacekeepers and local women. This article argues that this policy is flawed for a number of reasons. First, it does not apply to all United Nations-related personnel and thereby fails to target those who are mostly engaged in such activities. Second, it only provides for disciplinary measures, a flaw only partially remedied by the draft convention on the criminal accountability of United Nations officials and experts on mission. Third, it does not take into account the jurisprudence of international criminal tribunals on sexual offences, for it negates the possibility of consent.

Affiliations: 1: Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law of the University of the West of England


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