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
The average workload per week is estimated at 10 hours.
This e-learning course is based on the synergy of theory and practice. The conceptual foundations of protection of civilians are explained through illustrated narratives and interactive lessons. Taking advantage of the opportunities of technology-enhanced learning, the learning materials are presented through various media, such as text, graphs, images and video material, which contribute to better retention and enhance the learning process.
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.
Facilitators guide participants through this process, delivering and conveying information, clarifying doubts and supporting participants through different activities.
The course is open exclusively to United Nations Volunteers, holding a valid contract. Please note that a verfication will be carried out by UNVs Programme prior to the beginning of the course. Only those participants for whom possession of a valid contract is confirmed will be enrolled in the course.
No reimboursement will be possible for participants who enroll without a valid UNV contract.
- Minimum hardware and software requirements:
- Platform: Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT, ME, XP or superior; MacOS 9 or MacOS X.
- Hardware: 64 MB of RAM, 1 GB of free disk space.
- Adobe Acrobat Reader (download for free at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html).
- Adobe Flash Player (download for free at http:/get.adobe.com/flashplayer)
- Microsoft Office (Windows or Apple version) or Open Office (download for free at http://www.openoffice.org )
- Modem: 56 K
The course Introduction to Peace Operations has been awarded the 2012 international Open ECBCheck Standards.