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UN Police

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

Every day UN policemen and women reinforce and re-establish security by patrolling communities, advising domestic police services, ensuring compliance with international human rights standards and restoring and promoting public safety and the rule of law.

UN Police officers standing in file with UN shields and blue helmets.

Martine Perret / UNPhoto

A Pakistani police unit in Timor-Leste participates in tactical exercises.

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 into the 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 has risen from 5,840 in 1995 to over 17,500 in 2010.

What the police do

UN police are called upon to:

  • provide expert assistance
  • conduct operational assessments
  • train and develop host-state policing capacity
  • develop and review technical guidance
  • assist domestic police services with strategic planning and provide technical support

Find our more about UN Police work and look at our stories from the field.

Getting involved

The United Nations Police Division seeks highly qualified police officers from United Nations Member States for service in UN peace missions around the world.

Find out how to get involved.

A top priority for UN Police is to increase the number of female police officers in peacekeeping operations and encourage the recruitment of women in domestic police services. In 2010 10% of UN Police were female. Our goal is to increase this to 20% by 2014.

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UN Police Adviser introduces the work of the Police Division