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UN Police

United Nations Police have an important role in promoting peace and security.

Every day, about 13,000 UN police officers from 90 countries reinforce and re-establish security by patrolling communities, advising domestic police services, increasing compliance with international human rights standards and restoring and promoting public safety and the rule of law.

A female UN Police officer in MINUSMA

UN Photo/Marco Dormino

A female UN police officer in MINUSMA is talking to the population and children in Gao, Mali.

The UN has been deploying police officers for service in peace operations since the 1960s. Traditionally, the mandate of police components in peace operations was limited to monitoring, observing and reporting. From the early 1990s, advisory, mentoring and training functions were integrated alongside monitoring activities. This was to allow peacekeeping operations to act as a corrective mechanism with domestic police and other law enforcement agencies.

The need for police to help implement Security Council mandates has increased enormously. The number of UN police officers authorized for deployment in peacekeeping operations and special political missions increased from 5,840 in 1995 to over 15,000 in 2017.

What the UN Police do

The mission of United Nations Police is to enhance international peace and security by supporting Member States in conflict, post-conflict and other crisis situations to realize effective, efficient, representative, responsive and accountable police services that serve and protect the population.

To that end, United Nations Police build and support, or, where mandated, act as a substitute or partial substitute for, host-State police capacity to prevent and detect crime, protect life and property and maintain public order and safety in adherence to the rule of law and international human rights law.

United Nations Police pursue community-oriented and intelligence-led policing approaches to contribute to the protection of civilians and human rights; address, among other things, sexual and gender-based violence, conflict-related sexual violence and serious and organized crime; and conduct investigations, special operations and electoral security. They are composed of formed police units (currently 66 per cent), individual police officers (currently 34 per cent), which include specialized teams, contracted seconded police and civilian experts (S/2016/952).

Global contribution for global peace & security


All police personnel working under the Blue Beret are active members of their home police services seconded to work with the United Nations.

129 countries have seconded female and male police officers to serve the United Nations Police since 1990. They bring different policing cultures and experience to the job, but are united in the United Nations Police Strategic Guidance Framework for International Police Peacekeeping (SGF), the policy foundation for UN policing, which was completed in 2016.


Police Deployment Statistics

Standing Police Capacity

The United Nations Police Standing Police Capacity (SPC) assists in the fulfilment of the strategic mission of the UN Police by providing rapidly deployable, effective, and coherent policing expertise to UN peace operations during the start-up, reinforcement and transition phases, post conflict and other crisis situations.

UN Police is part of the "Global Focal Point" arrangement, which allows the delivery of UN policing expertise in collaboration with other UN entities for effective conflict prevention, transition and sustainability after a UN peace mission is closed.

Infographic of the Standing Police Capacity

The infographic below highlights key activities and areas of expertise of the Standing Police Capacity. Click on the image to see the full infographic.

 

Getting involved

The United Nations Police Division seeks highly qualified female and male police officers from United Nations Member States for service in UN peace missions around the world. Find out how the recruitment procedures work and how to get involved.

Gender initiatives

Gender sensitive policing increases the operational effectiveness of UN policing. National police services benefit greatly and are more responsive to the whole population when experiences and perspectives of women and men are incorporated in the design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of police legislation, policies and programmes. The United Nations police is committed to advancing the women, peace and security agenda. .

Police Women in Peace Operations

Over 1,200 female police officers are serving with UN police.
Click on the image to see the full infographic.

In particular, it raises awareness, advocates for more female officers in peace operations and encourages the recruitment of women in domestic police services at all ranks. In 2009, the United Nations launched the Global Effort to increase the number of female police officers deployed with the United Nations, which contributed to an increase in the total number of female officers deployed from about 900 (seven percent of 12,000 police) in 2009 to 1,230 officers (ten percent of 12,300) in 2017.

Femael recruitment poster

United Nations Police is committed to recruiting more female police officers.