Criminalising Peacekeepers - Modernising National Approaches to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

by Melanie O'Brien
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Melanie O'Brien Criminalising Peacekeepers - Modernising National Approaches to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse
Melanie O'Brien - Criminalising Peacekeepers - Modernising National Approaches to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

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This book examines Australia’s and the United States’ ability to prosecute their peacekeepers for sexual exploitation and abuse. The United Nations has too long been plagued by sexual exploitation and abuse in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. Discussion within United Nations’ reporting and academic scholarship focuses on policy; however, a significant concern outlined here is that peacekeepers are committing sexual offences with impunity, despite exclusive criminal jurisdiction over peacekeepers being granted to their sending states. In this original study O’Brien provides an in-depth, feminist analysis of US and Australian sexual offending law and jurisdiction over their military and military-civilian peacekeepers.  Based on timely critical analysis, this book demonstrates the limitations states face in ensuring accountability for sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers – a factor which directly contributes to ongoing commission of and impunity for such offences. Calling for a rights-based, transnational law response to these crimes, this engaging and thought-provoking work will appeal to international practitioners, governments, UN policy-makers, and scholars of international, military and criminal law.


Melanie O'Brien

Further information

Illustrations Note:
2 schwarz-weiße Abbildungen, Bibliographie
“Dr. O’Brien’s book presents an excellent examination of the problem of sexual offenses being committed by international peacekeepers, and provides insightful suggestions for addressing the criminal justice aspects of that problem.  Because the international organizations seem incapable of effectively stemming the problem, she suggests that the nation states providing the peacekeepers take a more aggressive approach to the problem. To that end, she addresses in detail the civil and military jurisdiction of both Australia and the United States, and in particular the various criminal and military laws that would permit those countries to investigate and prosecute alleged sexual offenses by their citizens, when serving in another country as peacekeepers.” (David A. Schlueter, Hardy Professor of Law & Director of Advocacy Programs St. Mary’s University School of Law, USA)

“This valuable book offers a bracing perspective on the vexed issue of accountability of UN peacekeepers for sexual exportation and abuse. It pinpoints the weaknesses of the current system and argues persuasively for transnational regulation, with women’s human rights at its centre.” (Professor Hilary Charlesworth, Melbourne Laureate Professor at Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne, and Distinguished Professor at the Australian National University, Australia)

“Combining deft analysis of international and domestic jurisprudence with a sound understanding of peacekeeping practices in the field and the challenges confronting the global community, this important book sheds new light on the problem of responding to sexual exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeepers. It offers careful and balanced analysis as well as a set of practical steps that could be taken to prevent abuse by holding perpetrators accountable. This book will be welcomed and must be read by both general readers and those that have grappled – thus far unsuccessfully – with this issue for years.” (Professor Alex Bellamy, Director of the Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect and Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at The University of Queensland, Australia; Non-Resident Senior Adviser at the International Peace Institute, New York, USA, and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia)

Breaks new ground in demanding legal consequences for peacekeepers committing sexual offences

Argues for the ability for states to prevent and punish criminal conduct by their peacekeepers
Draws on aspects of international law (including transitional justice), international relations, criminal law and peace and conflict studies
Media Type:
Buch gebunden
Springer International Publishing
Biography Artist:

Melanie O'Brien is a Research Fellow in the TC Beirne School of Law and researcher in the Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, The University of Queensland, Australia. She has worked for Anti-Slavery Australia and the Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court.

Number of Pages:

Master Data

Product Type:
Hardback book
Release date:
22 December 2017
Package Dimensions:
0.21 x 0.15 x 0.02 m; 0.4 kg
Manufacturer Part Number:
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