Welcome to the United Nations

STANDARDS OF CONDUCT

  • UN Photo/Leonora Baumann
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.

Our personnel should:

  • Respect local laws, customs and practices
  • Treat host country inhabitants with respect, courtesy and consideration
  • Act with impartiality, integrity and tact.

Unfortunately, there are cases 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 Conduct and Discipline in UN Field Missions website. 

"As we serve the world's people and work for peace and the advancement of humanity, the United Nations must be a source of inspiration and a beacon of hope for all. Together, let us solemnly pledge that we will not tolerate anyone committing or condoning a crime, and in particular, crimes of sexual exploitation and abuse. Let us make zero tolerance a reality"

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres

Addressing misconduct

The UN has a three-pronged strategy to address all form of misconduct including sexual exploitation and abuse: pre­vention of misconduct,  enforcement of UN standards of conduct and remedial action.

This strategy is put into action through:

  • Training: Conduct and discipline issues are an essential component of pre-deployment and in-mission training, mandatory for all civilian, military and police peacekeeping personnel. .
  • Awareness-raising campaigns among personnel and host communities and community-based complaint networks.
  • Clear standards of conduct, such as ‘The Ten Rules: Code of Personal Conduct’ and the “No Excuse” cards
  • Investigations and disciplinary measures: The UN (OIOS and/or Mission) investigates civilian and police personnel, and military experts on mission, as well as military personnel not investigated by their Member State. Members of military contingents deployed in UN operations remain under the exclusive jurisdiction of their national government. Investigations and subsequent disciplinary action rest with the troop-contributing country, in accordance with the revised model memorandum of understanding (MOU), endorsed by the General Assembly in 2007.
  • Assistance to victims of sexual exploitation and abuse committed by UN personnel, including through the work of the Victims’ Rights Advocates.

Sexual exploitation and abuse

The UN has a zero tolerance policy with respect to sexual exploitation and abuse.

This includes any sexual activity with minors or any actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions; any actual or attempted abuse of position of vulnerability, differential power or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. This includes acts of transactional sex, solicitation of transactional sex, and exploitative relationships. In addition, military and police personnel have non-fraternization policies making relations with beneficiaries of assistance a breach of the standards of conduct. 

    See how allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse involving UN Personnel are managed in this infographic:

    Statistics

    Record-keeping and data tracking of allegations of misconduct and subsequent actions started in 2006. In July 2008, the UN Secretariat launched the Misconduct Tracking System (MTS), a global database and confidential tracking system for all allegations of misconduct involving peacekeeping personnel. Allegations of misconduct received since 2015 are recorded in a searchable live public database with email notification system.

    This fact sheet provides an overview of progress on addressing sexual exploitation and abuse, and the Conduct in the Field website provides more detailed information on all these issues.

    Video

    Find out how the UN prevents and responds to sexual exploitation and abuse by its personnel.

    What you need to know about sexual exploitation and abuse at the UN

    The United Nations is mobilizing to tackle sexual exploitation and abuse in its ranks and ensure that the rights and dignity of the victims are front and centre.

    In March 2016, the Secretary-General created the Trust Fund in Support of Victims of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, to fill critical gaps in victim assistance and support services.

    As part of efforts to respond to sexual exploitation and abuse, UN Peacekeeping has been strengthening awareness and outreach to personnel and affected communities.

    Haiti: Helping to Prevent & Respond to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

    Legal frameworks for Troop and/or Police Contributing Country

    To improve transparency and accountability in the handling of cases of misconduct the Department of Peace Operations has requested that each Troop and Police Contributing Country (T/PCC) provide the legal framework applicable to its contingent and/or officers when deployed to a UN Mission.