Who are child protection advisers?
Although everybody in a peacekeeping operation, including our military and the police, plays a role in protecting children. We also have special advisers who in those countries in which conflict impacts children most severely, help the mission channel their resources towards children.
- The head of the peacekeeping operation works to ensure that child protection concerns are a priority in the peace process.
- Peacekeeping military is crucial in providing protection and signalling violations against children to the child protection staff, helping to identify and release children from armed groups.
- UN Police works jointly with national police to ensure the rights of children in contact with the law.
- Judicial Affairs Officers ensure that children's rights are secured in national legislation.
Child Protection Advisers are specialist staff sent to missions to help them fulfil the child protection mandate. Their work includes:
- Placing the concerns of children onto the peace and political agenda.
- Ensuring that child protection becomes an integral part of the mission's engagement. This is done through mainstreaming and advising the mission leadership.
- Training newly-deployed peacekeepers on child protection, which complements the training on child protection every peacekeeper must receive prior to his or her deployment.
- Advocating: the child protection adviser acts as an advocate, facilitator, and an adviser to the mission leadership on pertinent child protection issues.
- Monitoring and reporting the most serious violations against children.
- Liaising with UNICEF and other child protection actors for follow-up and response to individual cases.
Child protection advisers play a key role in establishing dialogue with perpetrators to end the gravest violations against children. This dialogue has led to the signing of action plans by military and armed groups and the release of thousands of child soldiers.
Where do child protection advisers operate today?
We have Child protection advisers working in the following Peacekeeping operations:
- UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)
- African Union/UN Hybrid operation in Darfur(UNAMID)
- UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo(MONUSCO)
- UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH)
- United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI)
- United Nations Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA)
- Peacekeeping Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA)
Since 2001, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) has deployed child protection advisers in Sierra Leone, Burundi, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Haiti and the Sudan.