CRSV: During the reporting period, the Departments of Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support (DPKO-DFS) rolled-out the Integrated Training Materials on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence (ITM-CRSV) for newly deployed Military, Police and Civilian Focal Points who are responsible for CRSV mainstreaming and mandate implementation. These Integrated Training Materials (ITM) will strengthen the response of peacekeepers to CRSV, with particular emphasis on the protection of women and girls, within the frameworks of Women, Peace, and Security, Human Rights, Rule of Law, Protection of Civilians, and Child Protection.
The Departments of Peacekeeping and Field Supports (DPKO/DFS), the Department of Political Affairs, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights(OHCHR) and the Office of my Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict (OSRSG-SVC) have developed the first Policy on the Prevention and Response to CRSV by UN Peace Operations with an aim to ensure that the forthcoming policy is a useful reference in support of the effective delivery by complex UN peace operations of their CRSV mandate.
DPKO-DFS is leading the drafting, through consultation with UN peace operations, Member States, key departments and divisions of the UN Secretariat, UN Agencies, and other relevant partners, the Handbook on the Prevention and Response to CRSV by UN Peace Operations which will be co-signed by DPKO-DSF, DPA, OHCHR and OSRSG-SVC. The handbook aims, inter alia, at translating the forthcoming DPKO-DFS Policy on Prevention and Response to CRSV into day-to-day operations and activities; assisting Senior Mission Leadership, Women’s Protection Advisers and civilian, police and military components in UN peace operations in leveraging resources within and outside the mission; better utilizing the unique, comparative advantage of respective mission components and other partners in enhancing prevention and response to CRSV; and strengthen the synergy and complementarity with the implementation of the other key mandates and strategic priorities of respective missions.
Senior Women’s Protection Advisers implemented a significant number of CRSV capacity-building activities with key partners, including national security forces as well as parties to the conflict. The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Mali(MINUSMA) engagement with the Coordination des Mouvements de l’Azawad (CMA) culminated in the signing of a Unilateral Communique on preventing and combatting CRSV supported by a plan of action drafted by CRSV focal points. In South Sudan, although little to no progress was achieved by both parties to the conflict to implement the commitments made to address CRSV in 2014, following the outbreak of the conflict in July 2016, the Joint Technical Working Group, the joint UN- government mechanism set up in 2015 to oversee the implementation of the Joint Communique, resumed its activities after the 2016 outbreak of violence and with the support of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), is currently assisting the Government with the validation of the final implementation plan of the Joint Communique. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, MONUSCO supported the Government to prosecute two emblematic cases of conflict-related sexual violence in 2017. Firstly, a colonel of the FARDC was convicted for the war crimes of rape and pillage affecting 150 civilians in Musenyi, South Kivu; secondly, a Member of Parliament in South Kivu was convicted for his role in the abduction and rape of 39 children in Kavumu as a crime against humanity.
The Department of Peacekeeping Operations is also developing the capability to include Female Engagement Teams in community patrols, so peacekeepers can better interact with all of the local population to target our assistance to help protect the community from conflict- related sexual violence.
Justice and Corrections Support:
- In the Central African Republic (CAR), MINUSCA supports the Special Criminal Court, a national court composed of both national and international magistrates, to investigate and prosecute atrocity crimes. The operationalization of the Court reached a new milestone this year with the appointment of nine of the 11 international and national magistrates, including the international Special Prosecutor and the Deputy Prosecutor. A witness protection strategy has also been adopted. In a further effort to reduce the threat of spoilers and armed groups, MINUSCA is supporting the investigation and prosecution of serious crimes, including SGBV, by other national courts. As a result, to date, 73 high profile individuals from various armed groups are being prosecuted for crimes including war crimes, rebellion and conspiracy, 61 of whom have been detained and are awaiting trial.
- In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), MONUSCO established Prosecution Support Cells to support military justice authorities to investigate and prosecute members of the Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC) and armed groups for serious crimes committed against civilians, including crimes of sexual violence. This initiative, which has included joint projects with UNDP, the European Union and other partners, has resulted in the conviction of 832 perpetrators, including 22 command level officers, in the eastern DRC where courts scarcely function or exist.
- In Darfur, with UNAMID assistance, the Office of the Special Prosecutor has tripled its capacity to 16 prosecutors, resulting in increased prosecutions and convictions of serious crimes committed by members of armed groups, including crimes of sexual violence.