Systematic violence and mass atrocities against civilians increasingly occur in armed conflicts. Millions of individuals have lost their lives, while tens of millions more have been displaced from their homes. In war-torn societies, civilians – in particular women and children – have suffered from gross violations of human rights and political, psychological and economic repression that have become part of deliberate conflict strategies. In 1999, the UN Peacekeeping Operation in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) was mandated “to afford protection to civilians under imminent threat of physical violence.” Today, the majority of the nearly 100,000 uniformed UN peacekeepers deployed worldwide operate under such a mandate.
The goal of the course Protection of Civilians in Peace Operations is to advance a better understanding of the conceptual framework for the protection of civilians in peace operations.
At the end of the course, participants will be able to:
- Define protection of civilians in the context of UN peace operations;
- Identify the legal instruments that discipline the protection of civilians in UN peace operations;
- Illustrate UN institutional framework for protection of civilians in peace operations;
- Analyze challenges related to planning and implementation of protection activities;
- Assess specific issues linked to prevention and response to conflict-related sexual violence.
The course is composed of five modules that will be covered over five weeks:
- Module 1: Overview of the protection of civilians
- Module 2: International legal dimension of the protection of civilians
- Module 3: Protection of civilians in the context of UN peacekeeping operations
- Module 4: Ensuring the protection of civilians
- Module 5: Prevention and response to conflict-related sexual violence
In order to create collective knowledge and to facilitate interaction and experience sharing among participants, working groups and discussion forums are organized. In particular, working groups are the core learning activity. In each module, participants are requested to work in groups on a specific assignment that refers to a real-life situation. The situations are immersive and participants are requested to act according to a specific role assigned to them by the facilitator.
- Have a sound understanding of the structure and functioning of a peace operation;
- Have a university degree in a relevant area with proven interest in protection of civilians (BA or equivalent) or the equivalent working experience in a relevant field (2 to 4 years);
- Have good command of English language (reading and writing);
- Be computer literate.