First reported in the early 1990s, sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) perpetrated by UN peacekeepers against host community members is now recognized as an endemic issue.
Reports of SEA have tarnished the reputations of peace support operations in Haiti, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, East Timor, Mozambique, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Somalia. Peacekeeper-perpetrated SEA includes sexual assault, trafficking, forced prostitution, child pornography, abduction, transactional sex, and exploitative sexual interactions. More consensual relations between adult host community members and peacekeeping personnel have also been well described. The consequences of SEA-related misconduct are wide and far reaching. In instances where children are conceived as a result, the children and their mothers often face stigmatization and discrimination, as well as economic and social hardships.