Trafficking of Women
Author: Olivera Simic
Originally Published at Peace and Conflict Monitor on: 11/16/2004
Category: Special Report
Accountability of UN civilian police
involved in Trafficking of Women in
Bosnia and Herzegovina
punishment does not meet the crime and, in return, it does not give deterrent to
other people who may be tempted to get involved in trafficking.
(Anonymous, UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research
Institute (UNICRI), A Conference Report: Trafficking, Slavery and Peacekeeping,
ARTICLE AVAILABLE IN PDF Here
The main focus of this article is the accountability and immunity of
United Nations Civilian Police monitors (hereinafter CivPol) involved in
trafficking of women for the purpose of sexual exploitation. The emphasis is on
Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter BiH), but the issues and problems it raises
have been seen in other peacekeeping missions as well. One of the key issues
will lie on criminal responsibility of CivPol and the level of their
accountability for alleged crimes. This issue is looked at in relation to the
failure and lack of political will for prosecutions of those responsible for
these crimes. While on missions, CivPol enjoy immunity from criminal
prosecutions. Without a waiver of immunity from the U.N. Secretary-General
(hereinafter SG), they cannot face charges in front of domestic courts for
crimes they have been committed. The act of waiving immunity has not happened in
BiH although some CivPol officers have been removed and repatriated for
exceeding their authority under the United Nations Mission in BiH (hereinafter
UNMIBH) mandate. [i]
The United Nations (hereinafter U.N.) has failed to address allegations of
involvement in trafficking activities committed by CivPol and, in some cases, to
investigate those allegations thoroughly.
The present study explores the consequences of exercizing absolute immunity in BiH and failing to
waive immunity in cases where there existed all legal basis for doing so.
Finally, I would like to stress the fact that due to lack of law enforcement and
political will of sending states to prosecute their own nationals for crimes
commited while on peackeeping missions, immunity very often led to complete
[i] M. S., Six IPTF monitors de-authorized: Exceeded
their mandate over nightbar raids, Glas Srpski, Banja Luka, 30 November,
2000, at. 5.
Bio: Olivera Simic holds an LL.M. in International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex, United Kingdom. Ms. Simic has been working as an Assistant Project Officer Child Protection at the UNICEF office in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As a lawyer, her previous and current work is related to the elimination of gender-based violence and trafficking in humans. In 2001, Ms. Simic was a Legal Fellow with the Network East-West Women and a Legal Intern with Human Rights Watch in Washington D.C. Currently she is at the University for Peace in Costa Rica.