Journal Article

The Forgotten Agenda: Human Rights Protection and Promotion in Cold War Peacekeeping

Katarina Månsson

in Journal of Conflict and Security Law

Volume 10, issue 3, pages 379-403
Published in print January 2005 | ISSN: 1467-7954
Published online September 2005 | e-ISSN: 1467-7962 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jcsl/kri015
The Forgotten Agenda: Human Rights Protection and Promotion in Cold War
          Peacekeeping

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It is generally alleged that international peacekeeping assumed a role in human rights protection and promotion only at the end of the Cold War with the deployment of multidimensional peace operations. A closer examination of the functions and mandates of early peacekeeping missions, however, reveals that human rights protection was indeed an integral part of UN operations deployed during the Cold War. Although the political climate at the time precluded an overt acclamation of human rights provisions in peacekeeping mandates, this article suggests that the five main operations deployed during this period performed at least three human rights-related functions: the protection of civilians, delivery of humanitarian assistance and the maintenance of law and order. In exploring these functions, several similarities between early and late peacekeeping comes to the fore which challenges the concept of ‘traditional’ peacekeeping. It is thus contended that military peacekeepers have always upheld an inherent human rights role which needs to be further understood and enhanced if peacekeeping in general is to improve and regain legitimacy.

Journal Article.  12292 words. 

Subjects: Military and Defence Law ; Public International Law ; Police and Security Services ; Terrorism and National Security Law ; Use of Force, War, Peace and Neutrality

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