Volume 83, Number 5

November 2008

Providing Effective Remedies to Victims of Abuse by Peacekeeping Personnel

Catherine E. Sweetser

This Note argues for a compensation mechanism in cases where United Nations peacekeepers have violated the rights of those whom they should be protecting, focusing in particular on cases of sexual abuse. In light of the current absence of clear mechanisms for accountability, the United Nations must take action to compensate victims in order to preserve its organizational immunity and its discretion in waiving the immunity of peacekeepers. This Note examines the current legal regime and current responses by the United Nations, reviews the pressing need for greater victim compensation, and evaluates theories of employer liability and state responsibility as they apply in the peacekeeping context. It concludes that current international law supports a compensation mechanism that is normatively (if not legally) required.