Open Research Seminar

Vol. 29.

Peacekeeper Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, and Recent Developments and Cooperation between UN-AU Frameworks

The UN has been struggling to ensure individual accountability for sexual exploitation and abuse committed in peace operations. There have been numerous legal difficulties with the legal frameworks, policies and systems in place to respond adequately to such abuse. Since the 1990s, the issue has become more apparent, not least due to media and NGO reports. With the widely reported incidents of SEA in the Central African Republic several years ago, reforms have been made within the UN in order to mitigate SEA incidents. Particular focus to date has been placed on the UN when addressing these issues. Less considered are the parallel regulatory frameworks operative in the context of peacekeeping done beyond the remit of the United Nations. Therefore, we will exam emerging policies and frameworks for addressing SEA in the context of AU peace operations. We will ask: What is new in the UN's dealings with SEA issues? How different is the AU's approach from the UN's approach? How or whether they cooperate with each other in addressing SEA accountability? This seminar aims to discuss these questions and set the goal of the project on UN-AU cooperation in addressing SEA in peace operations, focusing on accountability.