Blue on Blue – Investigating Sexual Abuse of Peacekeepers

Helmet and Flack Jackets of MONUC Peacekeepers, UN Photo by Marie Frechon; Accessed via Flickr
April 26, 2022

It is often assumed the main threats to uniformed peacekeepers come from outside of peacekeeping missions.  Little research has looked at the sexual abuse experienced by blue-helmeted peacekeepers from their own colleagues. Now the International Peace Institute (IPI) has launched a study into the sexual abuse of peacekeepers by those with whom they work along side.

The survey found that 28% of female peacekeepers, and 2% male, had experienced sexual abuse from colleagues in their own missions and other agencies they work with. A large share of the incidents of abuse were perpetrated by higher-ranking men within the mission. The main factor enabling this abuse was the internal organisational cultures of the police and military forces of contributing countries.  

The report sets out four recommendations that need to be taken up by the UN and the contributing countries:

- Transform the organisational cultures that enable sexual abuse of peacekeepers, supported by evaluation of whether they create a safe and secure, and respectful workplace.

- Mandate robust training to prevent sexual abuse of peacekeepers.

- Require Troop and Police Contributing Countries (T/PCC’s) to address sexual abuses of peacekeepers within their contingents by including this in their memoranda of understanding.

- Create a robust confidential, and victim-centric reporting and investigation infrastructure, which is outside of the peacekeeping mission and T/PCC’s chain of command.

SecurityWomen welcomes this much needed research. It is important to set an international standard of safety and security for serving peacekeepers that will encourage more women to take up careers in these roles.

The full “Blue on Blue” report is available at: Blue on Blue: Investigating Sexual Abuse of Peacekeepers | International Peace Institute (

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