Reaffirming the importance of integrated protection of civilians
Forty-one serving military officers from five continents gathered in New Delhi to participate in a Regional Workshop on Integrated Protection of Civilians (PoC) held in December 2016. The workshop was convened by the Centre for United Nations Peacekeeping (CUNPK) of the Indian Army together with the support of the ICRC.
Increasingly, peace missions are being deployed to the front lines of armed conflict around the world with a mandate to protect civilians. The workshop was facilitated by a pool of legal experts and senior military advisors – some of whom have headed peacekeeping missions – and it examined the challenges involved in the protection of civilians in today's operational theatres. It highlighted the significance of not only pre-deployment trainings for officers but also reaffirmed the importance of coordination among various international agencies in mission areas.
The discussions addressed the central theme of PoC from a strategic and operational perspective, focusing on conflict-related sexual violence and children in conflict. This platform provided an opportunity to connect the vast research available and the practical experiences of officers in order to develop and inform prevention strategies in the field.