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
UNMAS: Victim assistance for survivors of mines/ ERW is one of the key pillars of mine action,
JCS: In Liberia, Global Focal Point partners have worked to ensure that justice and security services for women and girls, including for Sexual
and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) survivors are more accessible
and appropriate, for instance through specialized SGBV Units in
the Ministry of Justice, leading to increased convictions and new
DDR: DDR/CVR teams have provided technical support to national authorities towards the implementation of the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) programme, while considering the specific needs and vulnerabilities of female combatants and women engaged in community based projects. In accordance with the Integrated DDR Standards (IDDRS), special measures have been adopted aiming at creating a safe environment for women. For instance, separate facilities have been constructed within cantonment sites in Mali in order to prevent violence against female combatants. With regards to community-based interventions, peacekeeping missions have increased women participation by establishing gender quotas for the implementation of Community Violence Reduction (CVR). This approach contributes to empowering and mobilizing women at the local level, thus assisting in creating a protective environment. In Haiti, specific CVR projects have been developed focusing on addressing Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV).
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
Gender units invest in targeted SGBV prevention activities that include prevention against VAW across the Missions through targeted capacity strengthening training, implementing gender analysis to identify enablers of SGBV; invest in View More
Gender units invest in targeted SGBV prevention activities that include prevention against VAW across the Missions through targeted capacity strengthening training, implementing gender analysis to identify enablers of SGBV; invest in community based early warning mechanisms and inclusion of specific SGBV indicators and reporting benchmarks across all functions to identify timely identification of SGBV risks; and establish partnerships with women civil society organisations to collectively develop strategies for an enabling environment that prevents and mitigates SGBV
In March 2017 DPKO produces a range of communication materials in line with the new gender policy have been developed to provide coherence and consistent advocacy on SGBV prevention.
DDR/CVR teams across 5 peacekeeping missions (MONUSCO, MINUSCA, MINUSMA, UNAMID and MINUJUSTH ) missions have designed and implemented a series of Community Violence Reduction (CVR) projects, aimed at preventing and reducing violence at the community level in both ongoing and post-conflict scenarios. While interventions target a wide set of actors (e.g. members of armed groups, youth at-risk and community members), these initiates particularly improve security conditions for vulnerable groups, including women and children. Moreover, by ensuring their participation, CVR projects serve to mobilize and empower women within their communities and, as a result, contribute to the constitution of a protective environment.
Gender-specific mine action programming: UNMAS makes every effort to ensure that its mine action programming is tailored according to specific cultures and gender of the beneficiaries. In some settings, this means women conducting single-gender risk education sessions (e.g. in Iraq in 2017).
Recruitment of women in mine action programming: Research in Colombia and Lebanon indicates that women employed in mine action (which is traditionally male -dominated) increase their voice and influence in their communities: http://www.gmap.ch/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/final-report-ARS-2016.pdf
In Haiti, the eight regional offices of the Human Rights Section of MINUSTAH conducted several sensitizations activities on international human rights instruments for the protection and promotion of the rights of women, the Haitian legal procedures for the prosecution of sexual crimes and the protection of women’s rights in the event of natural disasters.Hide
The United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) liaised with other United Nations entities (OHCHR, UNFPA and UNIFEM) on issues relating to women’s rights, including violence against women. The Mission also participated in various forums such as the sexual and gender-based violence-Network, chaired by OHCHR, Security Council Resolution 1325 Peace Support Working Group, chaired by UNFPA and the Embassy of Norway, as well as in information sharing and strategy discussions on ways to support national mechanisms to address violence against women and girls.Hide