Paths to Justice

What is the Problem?

In recent years, States and international organisations – including the United Nations – have been increasingly using peacekeeping operations (PKO’s) personnel and private military and security companies (PMSC’s) to provide support for a wide range of military, security and political purposes.

Since the exposure of the conduct of Dyncorp in Bosnia and Herzegovina however, there have been continued reports of PKO personnel and employees of some of these PMSC’s perpetrating serious crimes including human trafficking, sexual exploitation and abuse, and rape.

The existing texts dealing with accountability for these actors, such as the Montreux Document, the International Code of Conduct and the UN Zero Tolerance Policy, seek to create a set of standards, but since these instruments are not legally binding, they remain quite ineffective.

The result is a culture of impunity.

There is an urgent need to tackle this status quo, since perpetrators of sexual exploitation and abuse now enjoy almost complete immunity and escape justice. Engagement in criminal behaviour and the impunity that follows by these actors also threatens long-term post-conflict recovery and stability, including through the reinforcement of culturally, politically and socially entrenched forms of gender inequality. Most of all, this culture of impunity must be addressed to demand accountability from those who claim to work in the name of peace and security of our international community.

What is WILPF doing about it?

WILPF has started its ‘Paths to Justice‘ project to address these issues and demand accountability from our international community.

The Project started with two international legal conferences, where the different complexities, legal issues and obstacles were researched and discussed. These discussions formed the foundation of our future work, outlining the basic legal structures and providing key recommendations.

Please find the Outcome Document of the International Conferences here.

Working from this Outcome Document, the project continues in monitoring and advocacy efforts at International Human Rights Mechanisms, developing materials to raise awareness and connecting our partners in the field.

Paths to Justice Infographic

Please see our Paths to Justice Infographic below, or download the Infographic PDF here, to better understand the myriad of problems facing our peacekeeping accountability system and what you can do to help change things.

Infographic of the 'Paths to Justice Project'

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