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Prostituting Peace: The Impact of Sending State's Legal Regimes on U.N. Peacekeeper Behavior and Suggestions to Protect the Populations Peacekeepers Guard


Alexandra R. Harrington


McGill University - Faculty of Law

November 11, 2008

Florida State University Journal of Transnational Law and Policy, Forthcoming

Abstract:     
Prostitution has many meanings. It's most obvious meaning is in the context of selling sexual relations for monetary or other gain. However, it is not only in this way that people can be prostituted and, certainly, it is possible to prostitute things other than people. Many nations and societies have outlawed the act of prostitution in its transactional sense. Prostitution of commonly held human values has also been theoretically outlawed within the international community, with torture, genocide, and discrimination against women and girls being only a few areas of international legal focus. In order to stop the prostitution of peoples and the peace by forces of violence and oppression, the United Nations (UN) created peacekeeping operations to assist the local populations affected by such conflicts and to implement political measures which are intended to restore calm. However, in the process of its peacekeeping missions, the UN has itself given rise to the prostitution of the idea of peace it seeks to foster. This prostituting of peace has happened for over a decade and has, until recently, gone largely unnoticed or accepted by the international community generally and legal scholars in particular. And yet, despite public outcry from the UN and the public generally and reform proposals commissioned by the UN itself, this prostitution of peace continues to happen unabated by law. To date, the focus of law in regards to this problem has been to emphasize that the UN cannot itself try peacekeepers for sexual or other misconduct and to commend the UN for remanding errant peacekeepers to their sending states, which exercise jurisdiction over them. What has gone unexamined are the legal and socio-legal structures of sending states whose peacekeepers commit sexual and other crimes abroad while deployed to a UN peacekeeping mission. This article aims to serve as an in-depth study of the penal and, to the extent available to the public, military laws of sending states which have had allegations of sexual and other misconduct made against their peacekeepers, as well as the socio-legal structures of these states which inform law and society in regards to sexual and other crimes. The goal of this article is to demonstrate that there is indeed a link between the laws and socio-legal structure of these sending states and the illegal and immoral acts committed by their peacekeepers. The caveat to the study conducted by this article is that it discusses sending states with reported and publicly divulged allegations made against their peacekeepers. It is certainly within the realm of possibility that there are other sending states affected by the phenomenon of errant peacekeepers yet who, due to reluctant victims and the UN's method of reporting allegations, have not been made public.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 107

JEL Classification: K33

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Date posted: November 13, 2008 ; Last revised: November 18, 2008

Suggested Citation

Harrington, Alexandra R., Prostituting Peace: The Impact of Sending State's Legal Regimes on U.N. Peacekeeper Behavior and Suggestions to Protect the Populations Peacekeepers Guard (November 11, 2008). Florida State University Journal of Transnational Law and Policy, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1299991

Contact Information

Alexandra R. Harrington (Contact Author)
McGill University - Faculty of Law ( email )
3644 Peel Street
Montreal H3A 1W9, Quebec
Canada
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