The primary mission of the United Nations (UN) is to maintain international security and peace. The organization realizes its mission by preventing conflict, assisting parties involved in a dispute to attain peace, and create settings that promote peaceful coexistence (Karim & Beardsley, 2016). Significantly, the UN focuses on strengthening the human rights of every person, especially the less privileged society members. In this regard, the allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse against UN peacemakers undermine its central theme because it violates the workers’ rights. In most war-prone environments, there is a considerable power differential between local populations and peacemakers. As a result, the local people may exploit unequal supremacy dynamics to commit rapes and other sexual harassment crimes against UN peacemakers. Such actions create dissatisfaction and loss of self-esteem among peacemakers because they feel betrayed by the people they volunteered to help. As a result, some peacemakers withdraw from the charitable work and peacemaking, thus undermining UN efforts. As human rights activists and international organizations suggest, it is immoral to expose UN peacemakers to sexual threats. It is essential to provide UN employees with enough security rather than assuming that local communities protect them.
Nevertheless, it is also true that UN peacemakers take advantage of the war victims or less fortunate members and exploit them sexually. According to Karim and Beardsley (2016), a girl in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) narrated how hard it was to get food assistance from the UN because its peacemakers often favored females who would later spend a night with them. Consequently, local communities seek to avenge the exploitation of their young girls. Sadly, some innocent UN peacemakers suffer from sexual exploitation and abuse, although they are committed to their humanitarian acts. Inevitably, it is irrational to expect full commitment of the volunteers or workers who feel insecure. Anxiety prevents peacemakers from achieving the set service standards, lessening the effectiveness of UN operations. Therefore, collaborative programs would also assist the local communities in envisioning UN peacemakers’ dedication, thus developing rational value judgments, which nurture a lively public conversation that safeguards both peacemakers and the victims’ welfare.
Karim, S., & Beardsley, K. (2016). Explaining sexual exploitation and abuse in peacekeeping missions: The role of female peacekeepers and gender equality in contributing countries. Journal of Peace Research, 53(1), 100-115. Web.