The Peacekeepers and the Women

A film by Karin Jurschick

Germany | 2003 | 80 minutes | Color | DVD | German/Russian/Romanian/Serbo-Croatian | Subtitled | Order No. 05852


Winner of the Arte-Documentary Award for Best German Documentary, this chilling investigation examines the booming sex-trafficking industry in Bosnia and Kosovo, and boldly explores the disturbing role of the UN peacekeeping forces and the local military in perpetuating this tragic situation.

In 1995, the UN set up a free trade zone in Bosnia, hoping to bring peace to the troubled region. Instead it lured the thriving business of human trade—where women from villages in Moldova, the Ukraine and Romania are sold by the hundreds into prostitution. In a shocking indictment, the film reveals that affluent peacekeeping forces have been some of the burgeoning industry’s most solvent customers, allowing the sex trade to get a foothold in the region and paving the way for its expansion. Jurschick confronts UN officials and aid workers, goes on a raid with international police, and reveals the tragic stories of the trafficked women themselves to unravel the many layers of this complicated crime scene.


"In 'The Peacekeepers and the Women’, political criticism becomes movie-wise palpable."

Arte Documentary Award Jury

“Shines much needed light on the dark side of nation-building and peacekeeping. Few films expose the ugly and complicated underpinnings of forced prostitution as unflinchingly as The Peacekeepers and the Women…recommended viewing on a sorely under-reported topic.”

Educational Media Reviews Online

“A bold thought-provoking examination of an important issue.”

Thom Terwilliger Ed.D. National Defense University

“A chilling insight into human trafficking…”

Sheffield Int’l Documentary Festival

“An urgent call to demand accountability at all levels to prosecute those responsible and end human rights abuses against women.”

Taiana Bien-Aime Executive Director, Equality Now

“Allows students to discover for themselves the double-bind that women face around sex work and trafficking, and to reconsider their ideas about personal choice and ethics.”

Molly Dragiewicz Women & Cultural Studies, George Mason University


  • Arte-Documentary Award for Best German Documentary
  • Adolf Grimme Award (Highest Television Award in Germany)
  • Award of the Moldovan Women's League
  • Sheffield International Documentary Festival
  • Nyon Visions Du Réel
  • Prag One World Festival
  • München Dokfilmfest
  • European Documentary Film Festival


Karin Jurschick

Karin Jurschick was born in Essen and studied Theater, Film and Television at the University of Cologne. Co-founder of the international women’s film festival Feminale in Cologne, she also worked for five years as an editor for the culture department of the Stadtrevue Cologne monthly magazine. Also active as a writer for radio and television, her award-winning films include: IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN NICE AFTER THAT (2000), THE PEACEKEEPERS AND THE WOMEN (2003), AFTER THE MURDER OF THEO VAN GOGH (2005), NOT ANYMORE (2006), an episode of "24 Hours Berlin" (2008), CERTIFICATE IN GERMAN (2009), THE CLOUD, CHERNOBYL AND ITS CONSEQUENCES (2011), and ON THE RAIL OF EVIL (2012). (8/14)


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