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.
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 is one of the members in the UN ACTION and contributed to supporting the ongoing initiative to implement a Scoping Study on the Causes and Consequences of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) from a Gender View More
DPKO is one of the members in the UN ACTION and contributed to supporting the ongoing initiative to implement a Scoping Study on the Causes and Consequences of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) from a Gender Perspective
Available resources on SEA :
UNMAS, housed in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions, is the coordinator for mine action and chairs the United Nations Inter-Agency Coordination Group on Mine Action (IACG-MA). The IACG-MA develops and revises policies and strategies, sets priorities among UN actors and shares information related to mine action. The IACG-MA applies a needs driven and people centred approach to mine action, taking into consideration the differing roles and vulnerabilities of girls, women, boys and men. Mine action also supports all tiers of the DPKO Concept of Operations for Protection of Civilians.
Justice and Corrections Service(JCS): DPKO rule of law work, through the Global Focal Point (GFP) for the Police, Justice and Corrections Areas in the Rule of Law in Post-conflict and other Crisis Situations continues to benefit from UN Women expertise as well as strengthened coordination with the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict. The GFP arrangement ensures that partners at HQ systematically include a women, peace and security/gender perspective into all key aspects of GFP work, including assessments, planning, programming, advocacy, annual work plans, budgets, projects, missions, and deployments. As an example, in the context of Liberia, GFP partners teamed up to implement a joint rule of law programme that focused on strengthening gender responsiveness of justice, security and legislative actors, including in regard to violence against women.
DPKO gender units/advisers work to ensure that women’s non-governmental organizations are included in common efforts to combat violence against women, including trafficking, as is the case in Kosovo. Gender advisers encourage increased collaboration between the police, national victim-support organizations and the judicial system, as is the case in Sierra Leone.Hide
Gender Unit: A new DPKO and DFS gender policy- Gender Responsive United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (2018.01) - developed and endorsed in February 2018. The new policy incorporates a targeted focus on ensuring accountability to SGBV View More
Gender Unit: A new DPKO and DFS gender policy- Gender Responsive United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (2018.01) - developed and endorsed in February 2018. The new policy incorporates a targeted focus on ensuring accountability to SGBV prevention and response across the UN Peacekeeping functions
UNMAS: IACG-MA is currently undertaking a review and update to the United Nations Gender Guidelines for Mine Action Programmes (2010) to ensure that the different needs of girls, women, boys and men are incorporated into the full project management cycle of mine action programming.
SSR: In Mali, MINUSMA has supported the inclusion of gender in strategies developed by the SSR National Committee, as well as the implementation of the 2015 peace agreement, which includes a 30% female quota in security institutions. 2. In Somalia, UNSOM has promoted increased recruitment of women to the security sector. It has also provided advocacy and technical guidance for the Security Pact signed between the government and the international community in May 2017, which contains a specific milestone stating that all security sector institutions must adopt and implement a gender strategy.
JCS: Recognising the relevance of women representation as An important element that enables women’s access to justice and response, in coordination with OMA and PD, JCS has drafted a gender parity strategy for its uniformed corrections personnel which lays out clear measures and timelines for the achievement and sustainable maintenance of at least 30% female uniformed corrections officers deployed to UN peace operations.
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).
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
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
In Sudan, the Human Rights Section of UNAMID organized workshops addressing sexual gender-based violence in West Darfur; it has developed and install billboards related to sexual gender-based violence around South Darfur; it has produced leaflets on the mandate, role and services of the Family and Child Protection Units; and it has trained State actors on human rights and criminal investigation procedures.Hide