Abuse by United Nations Peacekeepers is a problem, there are over 2,000 reported cases of abuse, however, only 53 peacekeepers have been jailed for their actions. The U.N. mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo has consistently had many allegations concerning sexual abuse, and other forms of abuse. This abuse by peacekeepers creates many different forms of social and economic problems. Many women raped by U.N. peacekeepers become pregnant, this in turn can devastate a family due to them not being able to feed the child due to their financial situation, and a social problem due to the family being a single mother from a foreigner. Unfortunate women raped by United Nations peacekeepers also may be rejected by their family, ostracized by their village, and possibly help spread STD’s. Although there are only 2,000 reported cases of abuse, there is a high chance there are many more due to citizens being afraid to accuse a United Nations Peacekeeper of foul play, a recent estimate shows that 60,000 cases is a high possibility.
China contributes the second most financially to all United Nations Peacekeeping missions, it is important, not just for China, to ensure that all U.N. Peacekeepers are there to help citizens of the country, and will not use their power to take advantage of the people they are there to help. China is the 12th highest contributor of peacekeeping forces with 2,634 active personnel, these personnel are mostly contingent troop placements. China has also trained 8,000 soldiers from the People’s Liberation Army of China specialization for U.N. Peacekeeping missions. The Chinese government has been pressuring the United Nations for a downsizing of the amount of UN peacekeeping forces dedicated to the protection of human rights and to the defense against sexual abuse. The Chinese government believes that the use of peacekeeping forces to protect against sexual abuse and human rights is outside the scope of U.N. Peacekeeping missions.
In order to help stop any new allegations against the United Nations from peacekeeping forces, it is recommended that the U.N. peacekeeping force emphasizes the need to stop conflict, and de-prioritize peacekeeping forces that garrison a country for humanitarian reasons and forces that police a country. Any country that has an active conflict/war should receive priority for peacekeeping forces. While it may not stop all accusations of sexual misconduct, having fewer personnel in the area will greatly reduce the chance of a new allegation. The Chinese government also recognizes that national sovereignty is a very important principle that must be upheld, even for countries voluntarily lending use of their military personnel. The right to prosecute any person accused of abusing their powers on a peacekeeping force should remain with the country from where they came. China also recognizes that the need to find justice for those that have been accused. It is recommended that, if the mother country does not set a trial, then the United Nations International Court of Justice will set a date for a UN sanctioned court date.
- Spencer Peters