UN peacekeepers are sent to the most war-ravaged countries on Earth, ostensibly to help them transition to peace.
But some stand accused of committing crimes against the very people they are supposed to protect.
According to a recent investigation by the Associated Press (AP), between 2004 and 2016, the United Nations received almost 2,000 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse against its peacekeepers.
The UN says it has a zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, but survivors, activists, lawyers and human rights organisations say such crimes have been allowed to continue with impunity.
Through conversations with UN peacekeepers and officials, gender experts, academics, researchers and activists, as well as through an investigation of UN data, in this four-part series, we try to navigate these competing accounts to answer the question: How did some peacekeepers become predators?
In part one, we examine the history of accusations against the UN.
When, at the end of World War II, the UN conceived of peacekeepers it made them immune from prosecution by the host state for any alleged crimes committed while on mission. This was considered necessary to stop others sabotaging their efforts to assist in post-conflict environments.
Instead, they would be held accountable by their own government or judicial system.
Decades later, however, it became apparent that some peacekeepers were abusing this privileged position.Read More...
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