The mission of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) in the United Nations Secretariat is to plan, prepare, manage and direct United Nations peacekeeping operations so that they can effectively fulfil their mandates under the overall authority of the Security Council and General Assembly, and under the command vested in the Secretary-General. DPKO is a member of UN Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict. DPKO provides political and executive direction to UN Peacekeeping operations around the world and maintains contact with the Security Council, troop and financial contributors, and parties to the conflict in the implementation of Security Council mandates. Within the purview of mandates of the respective missions, with due reference to relevant Security Council resolutions, DPKO works to prevent and respond to conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV).
Towards implementing its specific mandates on Women, Peace and Security (WPS), DPKO works to address all forms of sexual and gender-based violence against women, including sexual exploitation and abuse by civilian and uniformed peacekeeping personnel.
As each functional unit of peacekeeping has direct responsibility for supporting prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence, specific activities are mission and mandate specific. The women, peace and security architecture in the Missions represented through the presence of gender affairs units, senior gender advisers, senior women protection advisers, gender specialists and advisors in uniform and the gender focal persons across the different functions and components of a peacekeeping mission have improved partnerships with variety of actors, including women’s groups, host government, regional bodies and other United Nations entities to strengthen achieving results on promotion of gender equality and addressing sexual and gender-based violence against women. Specific focus areas for addressing SGBV include identifying and implementing targeted actions in planning and implementing of protection of civilian strategies and community violence reduction programmes that identify particular risks and threats faced by women, contributing to strengthening institutional response mechanisms/referral pathways for SGBV survivors, providing targeted trainings and context specific guidance to address SGBV risks faced by women and girls , investing in analysis that identify structural issues which perpetuate SGBV and fuel conflicts and contribute to establishing gender responsive national security and justice mechanisms, including legal frameworks to address SGBV.
In missions with a CRSV mandate, Women’s Protection Advisers, engage in a dialogue with parties to the conflict to elicit formal commitments from their leaders on preventing and addressing CRSV in accordance with their international obligations.
In Sierra Leone, Liberia, Burundi and Haiti, DPKO gender units/advisors contribute to national consultative processes on reform and adoption of legislation on violence against women generally, or on issues such as rape or domestic violence. Such units/advisers provide support to national authorities, including ministries of gender equality or justice, and law reform commissions.Hide
Peace Operations regularly support national legal, judicial and correctional institutions in gender-sensitive reform processes, including legal and policy reform. Peacekeeping missions, in partnership with the UNCT and the women civil View More
Peace Operations regularly support national legal, judicial and correctional institutions in gender-sensitive reform processes, including legal and policy reform. Peacekeeping missions, in partnership with the UNCT and the women civil society actors have been supporting gender responsive legislative development, including addressing SGBV and VAW. Particular missions to mention – Haiti (MINUJUSTH), CAR (MINUSCA), DRC(MONUSCO), Mali(MINUSMA) and Sudan (with UNAMID)Hide
Several DPKO missions have supported, or implemented training activities for mission personnel and other stakeholders on gender-based violence against women, as in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone and Timor-Leste.Hide
DPKO gender units/advisers collaborate and partner with different units within a peacekeeping mission to combat violence against women, in particular those dealing with human rights, conduct and discipline, children, or HIV/AIDS, as is the case in Burundi. DPKO gender units in peacekeeping missions increasingly participate in country-based United Nations inter-agency initiatives and mechanisms to address gender-based violence against women, for example in Haiti, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Sudan and Burundi.Hide
In West Africa, DPKO Gender Advisers from missions in Cote d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone and Liberia (ONUCI, UNIOSIL and UNMIL) have attended a regional meeting to share best practices and lessons learnt for addressing SGBV.Hide
DPKO works to ensure that adequate policies are in place to prevent and respond to gender-based violence against women in armed conflict, and to protect women against sexual abuse and exploitation.Hide
UNAIDS, together with UN Peacekeepers, distributed inflatable solar-powered lights to women and families, in Haiti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia and South Sudan, and raised the issue of sexual and gender-based violence against women and HIV. http://www.unaids.org/en/resources/presscentre/pressreleaseandstatementarchive/2012/november/20121127prshinealight/Hide
UNAIDS and DPKO collaborate in implementing the SRC 1983, including in the Democratic Republic of Congo. AIDS programmes are helping address sexual and gender-based violence, sensitise perpetrators, and promote integration of human rights standards in national legal and policy frameworks. http://www.unaids.org/en/resources/presscentre/featurestories/2012/september/20120926hivandsecurity/Hide
The Joint Human Rights Office of MONUSCO (Democratic Republic of Congo - DRC) issued special reports on sexual violence notably in the DRC. It is also implementing a program to increase access to justice for victims and witnesses, including through technical and financial assistance to local non-governmental organizations to enable them to provide free legal advice to victims of sexual violence, as well as support to prosecutors and judicial investigators.Hide