Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Lutz Presents Peacekeepers with Report on Sexual Abuse

May 27, 2010

Institute Professor Catherine Lutz recently recommended steps to address the systematic patterns of sexual exploitation and abuse that have emerged around UN peacekeeping missions. In a May keynote address to a UN conference for its Conduct and Discipline Unit personnel from around the world, Lutz pointed to the need for a heightened cultural awareness and greater enforcement – on and off duty – among other steps to help reduce peacekeepers’ misconduct in the communities they are sent to protect.

Lutz produced a report on the problem in 2009, together with Institute Associate Professor Keith Brown and University Vice President of International Affairs Matthew Gutmann, following field research with the Conduct and Discipline Units in Haiti, Lebanon, Kosovo, and New York.

Abuses occur "much more often than they are identified and punished," the report said. "This culture of impunity, or belief in a culture of impunity, was most pronounced in Kosovo, less so in Haiti, and least in Lebanon."