The Role of Women in Peacekeeping and Peacemaking: Devising Solutions to the Demand Side of Trafficking
William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 437-465, 2006
31 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2008 Last revised: 27 Apr 2010
Date Written: June 25, 2008
This article argues that women's equal participation in all levels of peacemaking and peacekeeping, as required by U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325, is vital to the elimination of trafficking in women and children. This article: describes and analyzes U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325 [which addresses the unequal and detrimental effects of armed conflict on women and children and seeks to foster women's participation in all levels of decision-making in peace processes]; presents the unique, disparate impact that armed conflict has on women and children and discusses the role that militaries have in perpetuating trafficking during times of conflict; demonstrates how trafficking thrives in the post-conflict period because of peacekeepers' complicity in the practice and a lack of specific protections for trafficked victims; establishes that women's absence from peace processes perpetuates trafficking because immunity for trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and girls during conflict is often included in peace accords and post-conflict laws; and discusses how the growing militarization and the war on terror have aided the perpetuation of trafficking outside of typical armed conflict scenarios.
The article concludes: that the Special Rapporteur on Trafficking should investigate and make recommendations regarding the role peacekeeping forces have in creating a demand for trafficked victims, and that implementation of the mandate of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325 must also be considered when investigating the causes of and solutions to trafficking; that peacekeeping personnel must be held to strict codes of conduct that protect the physical security and ensure the freedom of movement of women and children during and after conflict; that member states must provide effective mechanisms to guarantee the physical security of women and children during the transitional period following any armed conflict (including specific guarantees of prosecution for violations of sex exploitation and trafficking); that post-conflict reconstruction governments must adopt and implement standards to eliminate the trafficking of women and children; that all U.N. peacekeeping operations should include a gender unit within the military operation for monitoring compliance with established, strict codes of conduct; and that peacekeeping commanders should be required to report to the Special Rapporteur on Trafficking any violations by peacekeepers as part of standard U.N. peacekeeping mission reporting.
Keywords: trafficking of women, trafficking of children, U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325, sex exploitation, Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, United Nations, human rights, peacekeeping
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