Since the Security Council first established protection of civilians (POC) as an explicit mandate in 1999, peacekeeping has evolved significantly, growing both in size and complexity. During this period, POC has continuously gained in prominence and today ranks as the priority mandate in a number of peacekeeping operations. While POC has sometimes become the yardstick against which the success of mission is measured, it is arguably also the most challenging mandate to implement.
The Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support have developed a suite of training packages to prepare peacekeepers for their deployment in missions. Amongst these packages are separate Specialized Training Materials on POC, Child Protection and Conflict-Related Sexual Violence. The in-depth examination of these core protection tasks in UN peacekeeping is necessary to train personnel, and in particular those personnel with specialist protection functions, on effective mandate implementation in the field.
Nevertheless, experience has also shown that these protection tasks, despite their distinct nature, generate significant overlap. This is particularly true at the tactical level, where the assessment of protection threats, as well as the planning for and response to a complex protection crisis, is likely to simultaneously involve elements from the POC, Child Protection and Conflict-Related Sexual Violence realms. In order to reflect these realities, and prepare peacekeepers for the multi-dimensional realities on the ground, this training package aims to demonstrate the complex linkages between protection tasks, and provide training guidance on how to prevent, deter and respond to interrelated threats.
The aim of these training materials is to provide troop-contributing countries with a comprehensive training package that combines aspects of POC, Child Protection and Conflict-Related Sexual Violence for military peacekeepers at the tactical level in UN peacekeeping operations. This programme combines elements of each of the three subject matter areas into an overall approach to tactical level protection issues. It includes a protection threat assessment process to inform planning and several small exercises as well as a larger scenario-based exercise, which can be run at the end of a course to strengthen participants’ understanding how POC, Child Protection and Conflict-Related Sexual Violence considerations affect military planning processes at the tactical level.
The training package is primarily designed for pre-deployment training but can also be used for in-mission training. ITS will also mainstream relevant aspects of the CPOC package into existing functional Specialized Training Materials.
The priority target audience of this CPOC package are military decision makers at the tactical level. While the Conceptual and Legal Frameworks presented herein lend themselves to a wider audience, Module 3 on the Operational Framework in particular was developed with Battalion Commanders, as leaders of the smallest military unit capable of limited independent operations, and their staff in mind.
To maximize the relevance of this training package to the target audience, Module 3 on the Operational Framework focuses on how protection considerations should be integrated into the generic military decision making and planning processes at the tactical level. Existing UN guidance as well as complementary external guidance is therefore presented only to the extent that they are relevant for tactical level considerations.
The material was developed with input from Member States and the maps used for the exercise were provided by the Government of the Kingdom of Sweden. We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of all who contributed to the development of the Comprehensive Protection of Civilians training materials.