Purpose This paper aims to analyze the lived experience of seeking justice and reparations related to conceiving a peacekeeper-fathered child. Design/methodology/approach Based on 18 semi-structured qualitative interviews conducted across Haiti in 2017, the authors mapped the experiences of Haitian mothers of peacekeeper-fathered children onto the ecological framework, proposing prevention/response strategies at the micro, meso and macro levels. Findings The findings mainly focus on reporting and access to support. Reporting was sometimes discouraged by the peacekeeper fathers due to the fear of being reprimanded. Among women who did report, some were told that nothing could be done, as the peacekeeper returned to his home country. Disclosure fatigue was common among participants who formally reported their pregnancies/peacekeeper-fathered children, particularly when promises of employment or child support failed to materialize. Overall, there was widespread distrust and disillusionment with the UN’s reporting and support system. Originality/value To improve the UN’s sexual abuse and exploitation prevention/response system at the micro level, the authors propose addressing personal knowledge/attitudes/beliefs through scenario-based and contextually relevant peacekeeper training and addressing the sexual/reproductive health needs of women and girls in proximity to peacekeeping bases. At the meso level, the UN should improve trust in reporting. Efforts to do so should include mandatory third-party deoxyribonucleic acid testing and banking, streamlined reporting mechanisms and removing the practice of automatically repatriating implicated peacekeepers. At the macro level, the authors recommend investments to improve educational and economic opportunities for women and girls, as well as revamping policies that contribute to impunity and absolve peacekeepers and troop-contributing countries of their responsibilities to provide child support.
Luissa Vahedi, Sabine Lee, Susan A. Bartels
Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research