Deploying police personnel trained in child protection has become an increasingly crucial element for UN peacekeeping missions. Mandated by the Security Council resolutions, they aim to protect children from the effects of conflict. Security Council resolutions 1261 (1999), 1379 (2001), 1460 (2003), 1612 (2005), 2143 (2014) and 2225 (2015) specifically call for the training of UN peacekeeping personnel on child protection. The mandates of UN peacekeeping missions have evolved to include the protection of children and all missions currently have a child protection mandate.
Accordingly, the training of UN peacekeeping personnel on child protection is recognized as a key priority for the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) in its child protection policy and DPKO and the Department of Field Support (DFS) have been mandated by the UN Security Council and the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C34) to develop specialized training materials on child protection for peacekeeping personnel, including UN Military and UN Police.
In addition, two Security Council resolutions passed in 2014 call for Member States to deliver child protection training to UN Military and UN Police. Resolution 2143 on Children and Armed Conflict recommends that: “UN peacekeeping troop and police-contributing countries undertake targeted and operational trainings for the preparation of UN mission personnel including troop and police contingents on their contribution in preventing violations against children so as to give all mission personnel the ability to effectively recognize, report and respond to violations and abuses committed against children and to successfully support child protection activities for better implementation of their respective mandates.”
Resolution 2185 on policing in peacekeeping reiterates “the importance of providing United Nations Police Components with specialized pre-deployment and in-mission training on mission-specific child protection and on appropriate comprehensive child-sensitive prevention and protection responses, as well as monitoring and reporting on violations and abuses committed against children.” It encourages “police-contributing countries to provide all police personnel with adequate training to carry out their responsibilities in relation to sexual and gender-based violence and child protection, and further encourages relevant United Nations entities to make available appropriate guidance and training modules, including in particular the United Nations pre-deployment scenario-based training on prevention of sexual and gender-based violence and on children and armed conflict.”
The materials are divided into modules to ensure flexibility in training delivery:
• Introduction to Child Protection for UN Police
• Module 1: Children in Peacekeeping Contexts
• Module 2: Framework for Child Protection
• Module 3: Safeguarding Children
• Module 4: Coordination with Other Actors in the Child Protection System
• Module 5: Monitoring and Reporting
• Module 6: Prevention and Diversion Measures
• Module 7: Arrest and Detention
• Module 8: Interviewing a Child
• Module 9: Conclusion - Dos and Don’ts for UN Police