‘Even peacekeepers expect something in return’: a qualitative analysis of sexual interactions between UN peacekeepers and female Haitians

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@article{fb94cbd497eb4e99894323128ae9e95a,
title = "{\textquoteleft}Even peacekeepers expect something in return{\textquoteright}: a qualitative analysis of sexual interactions between UN peacekeepers and female Haitians",
abstract = "The UN maintains a zero-tolerance policy on sexual interactions between peacekeepers and beneficiaries of assistance. Our research describes the lived experience of engaging in sexual relationships with UN peacekeepers from the perspectives of Haitian women/girls who conceived children with peacekeepers during Mission des Nations Unies pour la Stabilisation en Haiti (MINUSTAH). Eighteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with Haitian women raising children fathered by MINUSTAH peacekeepers. Transcripts were analyzed according to empirical phenomenology. Adverse socio-economic conditions were key contextual factors. Three themes related to the nature of the sexual interactions emerged: sexual violence, transactional sex, and long-term transactional relationships imbedded in perceptions of love. Most sexual interactions were transactional and nuanced since the peacekeeper assumed the role of romantic and material provider. Sexual consent was conceptualized as the ability to weigh the benefits and consequences of engaging sexually with peacekeepers. Sexual violence was identified among minors and in instances of sexual abuse. This study provides empirical evidence to support a nuanced understanding of sexual relationships between women/girls and peacekeepers. In addition to holding peacekeepers accountable, a harm reduction approach that aims to raise awareness for peacekeeping codes of conduct and provide comprehensive reproductive and sexual education should be considered. ",
keywords = "Haiti, peacekeeping, transactional sex, sexual abuse and exploitation, United Nations",
author = "Luissa Vahedi and Susan Bartels and Sabine Lee",
year = "2019",
month = dec
day = "30",
doi = "10.1080/17441692.2019.1706758",
language = "English",
pages = "1--14",
journal = "Global Public Health",
issn = "1744-1692",
publisher = "Routledge",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - ‘Even peacekeepers expect something in return’

T2 - a qualitative analysis of sexual interactions between UN peacekeepers and female Haitians

AU - Vahedi, Luissa

AU - Bartels, Susan

AU - Lee, Sabine

PY - 2019/12/30

Y1 - 2019/12/30

N2 - The UN maintains a zero-tolerance policy on sexual interactions between peacekeepers and beneficiaries of assistance. Our research describes the lived experience of engaging in sexual relationships with UN peacekeepers from the perspectives of Haitian women/girls who conceived children with peacekeepers during Mission des Nations Unies pour la Stabilisation en Haiti (MINUSTAH). Eighteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with Haitian women raising children fathered by MINUSTAH peacekeepers. Transcripts were analyzed according to empirical phenomenology. Adverse socio-economic conditions were key contextual factors. Three themes related to the nature of the sexual interactions emerged: sexual violence, transactional sex, and long-term transactional relationships imbedded in perceptions of love. Most sexual interactions were transactional and nuanced since the peacekeeper assumed the role of romantic and material provider. Sexual consent was conceptualized as the ability to weigh the benefits and consequences of engaging sexually with peacekeepers. Sexual violence was identified among minors and in instances of sexual abuse. This study provides empirical evidence to support a nuanced understanding of sexual relationships between women/girls and peacekeepers. In addition to holding peacekeepers accountable, a harm reduction approach that aims to raise awareness for peacekeeping codes of conduct and provide comprehensive reproductive and sexual education should be considered.

AB - The UN maintains a zero-tolerance policy on sexual interactions between peacekeepers and beneficiaries of assistance. Our research describes the lived experience of engaging in sexual relationships with UN peacekeepers from the perspectives of Haitian women/girls who conceived children with peacekeepers during Mission des Nations Unies pour la Stabilisation en Haiti (MINUSTAH). Eighteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with Haitian women raising children fathered by MINUSTAH peacekeepers. Transcripts were analyzed according to empirical phenomenology. Adverse socio-economic conditions were key contextual factors. Three themes related to the nature of the sexual interactions emerged: sexual violence, transactional sex, and long-term transactional relationships imbedded in perceptions of love. Most sexual interactions were transactional and nuanced since the peacekeeper assumed the role of romantic and material provider. Sexual consent was conceptualized as the ability to weigh the benefits and consequences of engaging sexually with peacekeepers. Sexual violence was identified among minors and in instances of sexual abuse. This study provides empirical evidence to support a nuanced understanding of sexual relationships between women/girls and peacekeepers. In addition to holding peacekeepers accountable, a harm reduction approach that aims to raise awareness for peacekeeping codes of conduct and provide comprehensive reproductive and sexual education should be considered.

KW - Haiti

KW - peacekeeping

KW - transactional sex

KW - sexual abuse and exploitation

KW - United Nations

U2 - 10.1080/17441692.2019.1706758

DO - 10.1080/17441692.2019.1706758

M3 - Article

SP - 1

EP - 14

JO - Global Public Health

JF - Global Public Health

SN - 1744-1692

ER -