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United Nations Peacekeeping Forces and Human Rights Violations: The role of Military Discipline

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date14/06/2010
JournalHarvard International Law Journal
Journal numbern/a
Volume51
Number of pages13
Pages69-81
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

That breaches of military discipline occur during some peacekeeping operations can hardly be doubted. Some of these breaches likely infringe the human rights of the people those operations are intended to aid. Determining attribution as between the United Nations and individual states poses
an almost insurmountable obstacle to those who claim that their human rights have been infringed by members of a peacekeeping force. Whether the claim is brought before a national court or to a human rights body, the litigation is likely to be protracted, complex and extremely costly. Current decisions show this to be the case. Whether alleged breaches of human rights are attributed solely to the United Nations or the duty to obey U.N. Security Council resolutions replaces state obligations to comply with their human rights obligations, the result is the same. This article considers the role of military discipline in preventing breaches of human rights during peacekeeping operations.