Conduct and discipline
The UN expects that all peacekeeping personnel adhere to the highest standards of behaviour and conduct themselves in a professional and disciplined manner at all times.
UN Photo/Logan Abassi
UN Police Officer salutes.
- respect local laws, customs and practices
- treat host country inhabitants with respect, courtesy and consideration
- act with impartiality, integrity and tact.
Unfortunately, there are allegations of misconduct involving peacekeeping personnel. In response, the UN and Member States ensure that all credible allegations are investigated and that appropriate action is taken when allegations are substantiated.
You can view up to date statistics on the UN Conduct and Discipline Unit website.
“The United Nations, and I personally, are profoundly committed to a zero- tolerance policy against sexual exploitation or abuse by our own personnel. This means zero complacency. When we receive credible allegations, we ensure that they are looked into fully. It means zero impunity.”
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Sexual exploitation and abuse
The UN has a zero tolerance policy with respect to sexual exploitation and abuse.
UN rules forbid sexual relations with prostitutes and with any persons under 18, and strongly discourage relations with beneficiaries of assistance.
This strategy is put into action through:
- Training: Conduct and discipline issues are an essential component of pre-deployment and in-mission induction training, mandatory for all civilian, military and police peacekeeping personnel. .
- Awareness-raising campaigns in the host country.
- clear standards of conduct, such as ‘The Ten Rules: Code of Personal Conduct’ for Blue Helmets introduced in 1998.
- investigations and disciplinary measures: The UN investigates its own staff. When allegations of misconduct involving military and police personnel are substantiated, the UN may repatriate the individuals concerned and ban them from future peacekeeping operations. The disciplinary sanctions and any other judicial actions remain the responsibility of the national jurisdiction of the individual involved.
- assistance to victims of sexual exploitation and abuse committed by UN personnel.
- See how allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse involving UN Personnel are managed in this infographic:
Record-keeping and data tracking of allegations of misconduct and subsequent actions started in 2006. In July 2008, the Department of Field Support launched the Misconduct Tracking System (MTS), a global database and confidential tracking system for all allegations of misconduct involving peacekeeping personnel.
The Conduct and Discipline Unit website provides more detailed information on all these issues.
- 26 July 2016: Interview with Jane Holl Lute, Special Coordinator on improving the United Nations response to sexual exploitation and abuse
- 22 July 2016: UN launches e-learning training to tackle sexual exploitation and abuse
- 13 May 2016: ‘We have an agenda before us’ – UN officials reiterate need for measures against sexual abuse
- 5 April 2016: UN to enforce ‘zero tolerance’ policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, senior official tells Member States
- 1 April 2016: UN peacekeeping chief condemns sexual exploitation; says victims' needs are 'top priority'
- 2015 Factsheet on tackling sexual exploitation and abuse
- Secretary -General’s Bulletin on special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse
- Report of the Secretary-General 'Special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse (16 February 2016)
- Security Council Resolution 2272 on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (11 March 2016)
- ‘We must not allow protectors to become predators’ – Head of UN field Support (4 March 2016)
- Update on allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse (17 May 2016)
- Highlights of the Secretary-General's proposals and initiatives to combat sexual exploitation and abuse