2014-2015 Progress Report - Canada’s Action Plan for the Implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security
Table of Contents
- Executive Summary
- Mid-Term Review and New Report Format
- 2014-2015 Activities
- Detailed Reporting: Updated Actions and Indicators
- Annex :Project Data
- AGE Report
- Advisory Group of Experts Report on UN Peacebuilding Architecture
- Aga Khan
- Foundation Canada
- AMS SAAT
- All-Female Pre-Assessment for Mission Service Selection Assistance and Assessment Team (UN)
- UN Special Committee on Peace Operations
- Canada’s National Action Plan for the Implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security
- Canadian Armed Forces
- Country Bilateral Development Strategy (DFATD)
- Child, early and forced marriage
- Chief of Defence Staff (CAF)
- Canadian Forces Aptitude Test
- Canada Fund for Local Initiatives
- Committee on World Food Security
- Citizenship and Immigration Canada
- International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala
- Centre for Research on North America
- Cooperative orthotic and prosthetic enterprise
- Center for Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture and their Families (Honduras)
- Civil society organization
- Développement et Paix (NGO)
- Development Assistance Committee (OECD)
- Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration
- Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (renamed Global Affairs Canada in November 2015)
- United Nations Department of Field Support
- Directorate of Military Training and Cooperation (DND)
- Department of National Defence
- United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- Disaster Risk Reduction
- Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia
- United Nations Economic and Social Council
- Employment Systems Review (CAF)
- Elimination of Violence against Women (Law)
- Food and Agriculture Organization (UN)
- Female genital mutilation
- Fiscal year
- Gender-based analysis PLUS
- Gender equality
- Global Network of Women Peacebuilders
- Global Peace and Security Fund
- High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations
- Haitian National Police
- United Nations Human Rights Council
- International Association of Chiefs of Police
- Inter-Agency Standing Committee
- International Committee of the Red Cross
- Implementation Follow-up Commission of the Doha peace agreement
- International Organization for Migration
- International Policing Development
- International Partners Forum for Human Rights
- Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
- Justice Rapid Response
- Justice Rapid Response/UN Women - Sexual and Gender Based Violence roster
- United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti
- Military Training and Cooperation Program (DND/CAF)
- National Action Plan
- North Atlantic Treaty Organization
- Non-governmental organization
- Organization of American States
- United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- Official development assistance
- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
- OECD DAC
- OECD Development Assistance Committee
- United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
- Officer in charge
- Office of Police Ombudsman
- Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
- Police-contributing country
- Post Initiatives Fund
- Protection of civilians
- Permanent Mission of Canada to the UN (New York)
- Peace Support Training Centre (DND/CAF)
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police
- All-Female Pre-Selection Assistance and Assessment Team (UN)
- Save the Children Canada
- Sexual exploitation and abuse
- Sexual and gender-based violence
- Representative of the Secretary-General
- Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force (DFATD)
- Troop-contributing country
- United Nations General Assembly
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
- United Nations Children’s Fund
- United Nations Security Council
- United Nations Security Council Resolution
- United Nations Staff Officer Course
- Unexploded ordnance
- Violence against women
- World Food Programme (UN)
- Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
- Women in International Security
- Women, Peace and Security
- Women, Peace and Security Network-Canada
This fourth annual report on the Government of Canada’s implementation of UN Security Council resolutions on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) covers the period April 2014 to March 2015 and indicates another active period on the WPS agenda both internationally and within the government. Internationally, the period saw the convening of the Global Study on the Implementation of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, extreme abuse of women and girls in Nigeria by Boko Haram—including the attack at the Chibok girls’ school in April 2014. This was a harbinger of similar violence and abuse by terrorist groups in other regions such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Iraq and Syria, including the attacks at Sinjar in August 2014. The period also saw the conduct of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London in June 2014.
The Government of Canada played an active role in response to international developments and activities to promote the role and well-being of women and girls. Canada’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York (PRNMY) took on the role of co-chair of a new Group of Friends of the Global Study on WPS, in addition to its continuing role as chair of the Group of Friends of WPS. Canada contributed to the work of the Global Study as well as to the parallel High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (HIPPO) and the Advisory Group of Experts on Review of UN Peacebuilding Architecture urging in all interventions close cooperation among the studies including on WPS issues.
In February 2015, Canada’s Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva hosted the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Ms. Zainab Hawa Bangura, at a high-level event to discuss the international response to sexual violence by ISIL. The government contributed to the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence, held in in London, with a ministerial delegation that included Canadian diplomatic and police officials as well as two Afghan women activists, all related to Canadian actions in promoting the empowerment of women in Afghanistan. The government dispersed approximately $206 million in WPS-related humanitarian assistance programming, including in response to sexual violence by ISIL in Iraq and Syria. The government also significantly increased the percentage of women police and military personnel deployed on operations.
During the reporting period, the RCMP continued to include WPS in pre-deployment training for police deploying to peace operations. This was done both through an in-class WPS session and mandatory on-line training for all officers being deployed on UN peace operations, in addition to in-country induction training. The RCMP also undertook a study of foreign police training and committed to consultations with Canadian civil society experts to further improve WPS-related training for deploying officers. Canadian police officers contributed to a UN project designed to recruit more women into UN peace operations that has seen dramatic positive results. Canadian police continue to participate in this project.
The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) External Review on Sexual Misconduct and Harassment (the Deschamps report) was completed and reported in March 2015. Based upon the work of the CAF Strategic Response Team on Sexual Misconduct, in August 2015, the CAF instituted a comprehensive program to implement all of the recommendations of the Deschamps report under the name Operation Honour, and in October 2015 committed to developing a gender-based approach to military operations.
As reported in the last annual report covering the period April 2013 to March 2014, the government completed a mid-term review of Canada’s National Action Plan (C-NAP) on WPS, which included an independent evaluation. The current reporting period saw the beginning of the implementation of the review’s recommendations, including the conduct of formal and regular consultations between the government and Canadian civil society on WPS issues and C-NAP implementation, as well as a streamlining of the annual report to make it more accessible and meaningful to readers, which is reflected in this document.
During the last quarter of the reporting period, the government looked ahead to the UN Security Council High-Level Review of Resolution 1325 (2000), which was scheduled for October 2015 to mark the 15th anniversary of the Resolution. It was noted that the anticipated federal election would likely constrain the government’s ability to fully participate in the review itself, or to make associated commitments related to future WPS activities. The government sought, therefore, to ensure that it could demonstrate its continuing commitment to the role of women in international peace and security in the anniversary year, notwithstanding the election.
The government remains fully committed to the implementation of the international WPS agenda through the promotion of gender equality, the empowerment of women and girls in the lives of their communities and countries, the enhancement of respect for their human rights, and the prevention of sexual violence in conflict. At time of writing, the government is undertaking an International Assistance Review which has strong gender equality and women’s empowerment elements at its core including in the context of international peace and security. The Department of National Defence has launched the Chief of Defence’s Directive on taking a gender-based approach to military operations and is conducting a review of Defence policy with also includes women’ peace and security. The government is also preparing plans to reinforce Canada’s engagement with the UN on peacekeeping, conflict prevention and peacebuilding, including women peace and security. Finally, on international Women’s Day, March 8, 2016, Ministers announced that Canada’s national Action plan on WPS will be renewed. The government is encouraging all women, peace and security stakeholders to engage with the two review processes to assist the government to develop a renewed National Action Plan.
During the period of this report (April 2014 to March 2015), the government continued to address issues relevant to the WPS agenda, reflecting Canada’s commitment to uphold UNSCR 1325 (2000). WPS touches upon a wide range of themes and activities, as indicated in its four pillars of Prevention, Protection, Participation, and Relief and Recovery. Canada uses UNSCR 1325 and related resolutions as tools to influence policy and practice, both within the government and for our international interventions. This broad view reflects a commitment to the full range of UNSCRs that address WPS.Footnote 1
Mid-Term Review and New Report Format
The structure of the report differs from that used in previous years. The changes are in response to the results of the mid-term review undertaken in 2013-2014 and the consultations with Canadian civil society for which we are indebted to the Women, Peace and Security Network – Canada for their invaluable input. The new format is designed to streamline the actions and indicators and relate the narrative more closely to them. An additional section, the annex, has been prepared and it lists all activities and projects, cross referencing them to financial data, the four pillars of the WPS agenda, and the new actions and indicators. The changes have added to the volume of the report, but readers will be familiar with the essence of the narrative and the actions and indicators report and may find the additional data provided in the annex to be useful.
The new report is structured as follows:
- The narrative report and detailed reporting under new actions and indicators.
- Annex: Data table spreadsheet of all WPS-related activities.
During the reporting period, the government continued to use a range of tools and approaches to address WPS issues, both within government departments and agencies and internationally.
Recruitment and Retention of Women into the CAF
One of the key domestic elements for implementing C-NAP is the government’s work to recruit and retain female military and police personnel and foster an environment that promotes their participation in peace support operations. The most important development of 2014-2015 was the Chief of Defence Staff’s (CDS) ordering, in April 2014, of an independent external review to examine the issue of sexual harassment in the CAF following a number of media reports on the matter and the subsequent internal review. Madame Marie Deschamps, a former Supreme Court of Canada Justice, began the review in June 2014 and completed it in March 2015. Madame Deschamps determined that inappropriate sexual conduct is a serious problem in the CAF and made a number of recommendations to address it.
On February 25, 2015, prior to the completion of the review, the CDS directed the creation of the CAF Strategic Response Team on Sexual Misconduct. The Strategic Response Team will develop and lead the measures and actions required to address the problem of inappropriate sexual behaviour. An update on the status of their action plan will be provided next year.
Current Department of National Defence (DND)/CAF activities focused on attracting female recruits include:
- women’s national influencer events to bring together Canadian women from various fields to engage and educate them about the career opportunities with the CAF;
- national advertising campaigns to present the contribution of women within the institution and to show the CAF’s ability to provide an environment focused on work and family/life balance; and
- outreach events such as providing guest speakers at career events and leadership forums across the country and setting up recruitment booths at International Women’s Day events.
The National Champion for Women in Defence is a senior female flag officer, Rear Admiral Jennifer Bennett, who is a member of institutional executive-level boards, committees and councils, and represents the interests of the military and civilian women on the Defence Team. RAdm Bennett has actively championed and represented the CAF both internally and externally through appearances at conferences and events and at meetings with associations and special interest groups.
In 2014-2015, the Defence Engagement Program provided $8,145 in grant funding for the annual graduate student workshop co-organized by Women in International Security (WIIS)-Canada and Queen’s University, held in Ottawa in May 2014. This was the second consecutive year in which the program provided funding for the annual WIIS-Canada workshop, which is a key networking event for Canada’s young scholars in the fields of defence and security.
A team of three Canadian female CAF members and one defence scientist, as well as the Ambassador of Canada to Mexico, represented Canada at a conference in Mexico City on “Women in the Armed Forces of North America.” The conference was hosted by the Centre for Research on North America (CISAN) of Mexico’s National Autonomous University, in partnership with the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies. Seminars focused on national experiences, achievements and challenges in the integration of women into the armed forces, responsibilities and experiences of women, and institutional programs to promote gender equality and perspectives.
The problem of retention of female CAF personnel is being addressed in a range of ways. Research continues to include efforts focused on attrition and retention of women in the CAF. Research is also underway to compare attrition/retention patterns of men and women by occupation group and career phase, including during basic training.
In support of the CAF Retention Strategy, the CAF Retention Survey and CAF Exit Survey continue to be administered to gather data on the turnover of CAF personnel. For instance, the physical fitness requirements for military service have been a key factor in loss rates for both men and women during basic training, but even more so for women. While remedial training has been in place for some time, additional measures being trialled at the CAF Leadership and Recruit School show promise in substantially improving women’s success rates in meeting physical fitness standards and thereby their success rates in basic training.
Other research activities related to female members include:
- Attrition Patterns of Women in the Regular Force: To examine whether there are notable differences in career patterns and causes of release (voluntary and overall) for women as compared to men in the Regular Force at key years of service points in their careers.
- Gender and Deployment Experience: To determine to what extent, and how, all phases of the deployment experience of women differ from those of men; identify the resulting impact on quality of life; and make recommendations to enhance women’s deployment experiences.
- Integration of Women into Combat Arms: To respond to external research and media inquiries related to the Canadian experience with the integration of women into combat arms and to provide information on current status.
- Work-Life Balance and Resilience of Single Military Parents: To examine work-life balance in single-parent military families.
- The Canadian Forces Aptitude Test (CFAT): To measure cognitive ability, including the use of three subscales: verbal skills, spatial ability and problem solving. This is a key selection instrument administered to all prospective recruits. Gender-based analysis is conducted in order to ensure that the CFAT is equally fair for men and women (as well as other designated groups) and that no adverse impact is introduced as a result of the use of this tool in personnel selection.
- A review and analysis of evidence-based research was conducted regarding the impacts of culture and leadership on gender integration and operational effectiveness in previously all-male/male-dominated organizations. The report highlights the important role of senior leaders in supporting, monitoring and championing gender-based initiatives. Several knowledge gaps were identified, along with recommendations for research to better understand the influences of culture and leadership on the performance, cohesion and effectiveness of gender-diverse teams in previously all-male/male-dominated domains.
- CAF Surveys: The CAF continued to carry out surveys in order to gauge the experiences of its members, including along gender lines. These included:
- CAF Diversity Climate Survey assesses regular force members’ perceptions of employment equity and diversity in the CAF workplace. While the results indicated that the majority of CAF members have not experienced on-the-job discrimination in the past two years prior to the survey, more CAF women than men reported experiencing on-the-job discrimination. Findings will be used to inform the next iteration of the CAF Employment Equity Plan.
- CAF Employment Systems Review (ESR) Survey identifies and seeks to remove systemic barriers affecting the four designated groups (women, Aboriginal people, members of visible minorities, and persons with disabilities). The results demonstrated that male CAF members had more positive perceptions of the diversity climate in the CAF than did female members. CAF personnel agree that women should be accepted in the CAF; however, they believe that there are still problems with women’s integration. In addition, a greater proportion of female members believed that women ask for release because they do not feel integrated, as compared to male members. ESR results were used to inform the next CAF Employment Equity Plan.
- CAF Workplace Harassment Survey assesses the effectiveness of the CAF harassment prevention policy and measures the incidence of harassment. While the results for the regular force indicated that the overall incidence of harassment was relatively low, subsequent analyses indicate that the incidence of harassment, especially sexual harassment, is higher for women than for men.
- CAF Exit Survey is administered to all regular force personnel who voluntarily leave the CAF. The purpose of this survey is to understand CAF members’ satisfaction or dissatisfaction with various aspects of work and the organization, and ultimately to inform what influences CAF members to leave voluntarily prior to retirement. In October 2013, the Exit Survey was updated to add questions related to harassment and discrimination. This will enable assessment of the degree to which departing members experience harassment and discrimination, as well as comparison of responses between men and women.
- CAF Exit Survey and CAF Retention Survey - Gender Comparisons assesses CAF members’ satisfaction or dissatisfaction with various aspects of work and the organization, and ultimately informs what influences CAF members to leave voluntarily prior to retirement. The CAF Retention Survey assesses a range of work and organizational variables related to retention and attrition. Responses to all variables on both of these surveys are compared by gender to highlight notable differences and concerns.
RCMP International Policing Development (IPD) Program
The RCMP’s IPD program has similarly taken measures to attract and retain women from RCMP and partner Canadian police services for international missions. In 2014-2015, all job bulletins included these references to specifically encourage the participation of female candidates. IPD has implemented a policy of selecting female candidates when an equally qualified man and woman are competing for a position. In addition, IPD continues to promote female participation in missions through media campaigns; participation in various events relating to women, peace, and security; and WPS-related events at missions.
In 2014-2015, IPD conducted a literature review on whether barriers exist for women to participate in police peacekeeping operations. The results of the literature review will be used to inform further research on potential barriers that impact women’s interest in and ability to participate in peace operations as it applies to female Canadian police officers. Looking forward, IPD will launch a nation-wide survey of female police offers to better understand what, if any, barriers and challenges exist that limit the access of female participation in international peace operations. Work on this survey will occur over 2015-2016 and 2016-2017.
Training and International Outreach
Both the RCMP/IPD and DND/CAF continued their efforts to improve the training of both Canadian personnel and the personnel of other police- and troop-contributing countries (PCCs and TCCs).
Over FY 2014-2015, all Canadian police deploying to a UN peace operation completed four online training modules, the following two of which respond directly to Indicator 2-1 of C-NAP:
- The “Effective Mandate Implementation” module addresses the elements candidates need to know to effectively implement a mission’s mandate. The module covers international law relevant to peacekeeping operations; international human rights law; human rights protection in peacekeeping operations; the role of peacekeeping operations in the area of WPS; the role of peacekeeping operations in the area of protection of children; and working with mission partners.
- The “Standards, Values and Core Business” module addresses what is expected of members in mission in the following areas: conduct and discipline; sexual exploitation and abuse; the consequences of misconduct; HIV/AIDS and peacekeeping operations; respect for diversity; and core business of police in peace operations.
In 2015, where applicable, IPD began requiring police officers to take an online training course related to the implementation of UNSCR 1325 offered through the Peace Operations Training Institute.
The two to three-week pre-deployment training session for police includes a variety of WPS sessions. Over 2014-2015, all police officers deployed to peace operations received an in-class session on ethics and code of conduct, and a minimum one-day cultural-awareness session with gender-related content. Since the adoption of C-NAP, IPD also includes mission-specific sessions on the differential impact of conflict on women and girls.
Last year, IPD identified that a best practice for mission-specific training sessions was to use Canadian police officers with relevant experience. As such, a Canadian police officer with recent mission experience in Haiti, who had also received and provided UN training on sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), provided mission-specific training to contingents deploying to Haiti. Topics covered in this training included:
- sex versus gender;
- statistics and data with respect to Haiti and females in the Haitian National Police (HNP);
- the Haitian penal code;
- the UNSCRs on WPS;
- SGBV and human trafficking within the Haitian context;
- information about the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and its Gender Unit;
- UN definitions of sexual exploitation and abuse;
- causes and factors that enable sexual violence in Haiti; and
- associated obstacles.
For the deployment of three Canadian investigators to Cambodia, a former Canadian forensic scientist with the RCMP and founder of Ratanak International – an NGO dedicated to alleviating suffering in Cambodia including ending child abuse and human trafficking – provided invaluable expertise, contacts, and knowledge that explicitly addressed in a meaningful way the differential impact of conflict on women and girls in that country.
Other training initiatives for RCMP/IPD headquarters staff and deployed police officers included:
- Three RCMP/IPD representatives attended the European Security and Defence College accredited “Gender in Operations” course.
- Two additional police officers were trained in December 2014 for the roster of Justice Rapid Response - UN Women Special Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (JRR-SGBV). Canadian police officers on this roster can be called upon by the international community for rapid deployment to assist in investigating human rights or international criminal violations, including gender-based violence offences.
- A female RCMP member attended the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations Training of Trainers for Protection of Civilians course. Future plans for this member include assisting with training delivery both at the national level as well as being part of the UN’s mobile training team.
- IPD continued to hold licences for online courses through the UN’s Peace Operations Training Institute, which include gender-focused courses.
Over 2014-2015, IPD conducted a comparative analysis between Canada, Norway and Sweden related to best practices for pre-deployment peace operations training for police, including WPS training. This resulted in recommendations to improve WPS training that are currently under review. Looking forward, the RCMP is considering incorporating a one-day workshop exclusively devoted to WPS, drawing from experts in civil society, as a mandatory part of all pre-deployment training. The RCMP is also considering inviting foreign instructors to conduct training exercises.
“This past year I had the privilege of giving training to women for the pre-SAAT training and helping them to achieve their goal of participating and being candidates for missions. I found that all women have the same ambition, the same worries, the same thinking. Those women that I had the privilege to meet are mothers like me, their families have a huge importance when they think about doing a mission, and they want to be well prepared. Those women helped me to find strength in me, to trust myself more, to see that we all have the capacities to make things happen. I'm proud to be a woman, proud to be a police officer and so proud to have been able to meet so many women from Africa and around the world. Now, I'm sharing …that strength and showing [to others] that everything is possible”
In 2014-2015, Canada participated in the UN’s all-female pre-selection assistance and assessment team (SAAT) training project, aimed at helping more female police officers serve on UN peacekeeping missions. The UN’s SAAT travels to PCCs to evaluate police applicants for UN missions in terms of language, shooting and driving skills, understanding the UN context, and articulating what competencies, skills and abilities their background can bring to peace operations. In 2013, as part of its efforts to recruit more women for missions, the UN launched all-female SAAT assessments. After experiencing initially low pass rates during SAAT testing, the UN approached Canada to provide instructors to help implement a two-week pre-SAAT training course for female applicants that would allow candidates to familiarize themselves with the SAAT requirements and hone the skills required for mission.
In the fall of 2014, after receiving UN SAAT training themselves, seven Canadian police officers travelled to Rwanda, Burkina Faso and Cameroon to provide this training along with instructors from the UN’s Police Division. Following these deployments, IPD evaluated Canada’s involvement in pre-assessment for mission service SAAT training and determined that the project had contributed to increasing the female pass rates for the three countries from 37 percent to 71 percent for deployments to unarmed UN missions and from 30 percent to 45 percent for deployment to armed UN missions. As of January 2015, 111 of the 244 female candidates who passed AMS SAAT testing were in the process of being deployed to UN peacekeeping operations. IPD’s involvement in this successful project was extended by the Canadian Police Arrangement; a subsequent deployment to Benin began in March 2015 and overlapped the FY 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 reporting periods. Canadian instructors continued to serve as strong leaders, experts and role models for the candidates being trained in Benin.
“The response from the women in Benin was outstanding – they really enjoyed the time we spent providing training to them. They really worked hard on the skills we showed them and it was taken very seriously. They were struggling to do what they needed to do, but the motivation was really high and they were working after hours to get it done. … This will definitely have a very serious Canadian footprint.”
International outreach was also a key RCMP/IPD activity in 2014-2015. For example, in June 2014, a police officer from Toronto Police Service, who had served on the European Union Police Mission Afghanistan mission as a mentor/adviser on rule of law/human rights and gender, joined the Canadian ministerial delegation to the U.K. Global Summit on Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict. She participated in a panel, sharing her first-hand experience in Afghanistan and providing recommendations to integrate responses to sexual violence in security sector and justice sector reform initiatives. An RCMP official who covers WPS also attended the Summit as this is an issue extremely relevant to the work of Canadian police in fragile and conflict-affected states. The official was able to share knowledge and experience, while also learning from the diverse representatives and bringing back greater awareness and resources to the RCMP.
“The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict was a ground-breaking opportunity for experts in the field to examine how effective the implementation and application of UN Security Council Resolutions, international accords and already existing legislation have been in areas of conflict. My ability to share my experiences in Afghanistan of working directly with those tasked with developing a sustainable rule of law brought to the forefront the need for focused initiatives to use the tools already in place. It is imperative for the international community to focus its efforts on mobilizing its resources, setting outcomes with some form of measurement, and getting tangible results. It is clear from our panel discussion that it is a time for action.”
Recognizing the importance of women’s active and meaningful participation in peace operations and driving change from within the security system, Canada’s Permanent Mission to the UN held two police-related events in 2014-2015. In May 2014, a female Canadian police officer spoke about her experience serving in MINUSTAH at a round-table event to discuss the participation of female police officers in UN peace operations. Similarly, in March 2015, the mission held another panel session entitled “Women Police: Enhancing Operational Effectiveness in UN Peacekeeping Operations”. During that session, Canadian female officers from Ontario Provincial Police and RCMP shared their experiences in South Sudan and Haiti respectively and discussed the positive impact of female UN police officers on peacekeeping effectiveness. The session prompted an animated discussion and was well received by the audience.
In December 2014, three RCMP representatives, together with other government representatives and representatives of several civil society organizations (CSO), attended a conference entitled “National Action Plan Academy: Security through Inclusive Leadership” in Washington, D.C. The conference, which was co-hosted by the Georgetown University Institute for Women, Peace and Security and the Institute for Inclusive Security, included delegations from eight countries that are currently implementing or have recently adopted a NAP on WPS. Together, the RCMP representatives shared expertise related to the operationalization of WPS concepts in missions, training, recruitment, selection, high-level planning, NAP implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and performance measurement. During the conference, IPD invited representatives from the Women, Peace and Security Network-Canada (WPSN-C) to observe and comment on relevant WPS pre-deployment training for police deploying to the MINUSTAH, which will occur in 2015-2016. IPD has also given these representatives access to the above-mentioned online training modules covering WPS.
The CAF has also continued its education and training activities to raise awareness about women’s vulnerability in conflict situations through extensive pre-deployment training for CAF personnel. This past year (2014-2015) saw the development of new seminars and training modules for the junior and senior officer professional development programs that will be delivered in the 2015-2016 academic year. Additionally, the Canadian Forces College has recently introduced gender mainstreaming and the integration of gender perspectives through seminars in the Joint Command and Staff Program.
Over the reporting period, the CAF trained a small number of personnel to act as gender personnel on operations through completion of gender courses at the European Security and Defence College and the Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations, as well through the completion of online courses offered by NATO.
Gender perspectives are also reflected in the training DND/CAF provides to international partners. The Directorate of Military Training and Cooperation (DMTC) provides training to member countries of the Military Training and Cooperation Program (MTCP). The United Nations Staff Officer Course (UNSOC) and the Caribbean Junior Command and Staff Course incorporate gender approaches in their curricula. For example, the Peace Support Operations course delivered by the Peace Support Training Center (PSTC), which is offered up to three times per year in various MTCP-supported training venues around the world, includes sections addressing women in peacebuilding and the protection of civilians. Pre-deployment training is offered to international partners through the MTCP, and includes the same gender-related elements as those provided to CAF personnel.
Other nations still wrestling with the integration of women in the military—particularly women-in-combat issues—often call upon the CAF as a resource on gender-integration issues. During the 2014-2015 period, Canada contributed to NATO discussions on gender mainstreaming and best practices for integration of gender-based considerations in NATO-led operations. The CAF is represented at the NATO Committee on Gender Perspectives, which is focused on the effective implementation of UNSCR 1325 and related resolutions.
DND submits annual reports on the department’s gender-related activities into the work that NATO compiles on behalf of all NATO members. Further, DND contributes to the development of the NATO Education and Training Plan for Gender in Military Operations, which was released in 2014, and is striving to ensure that NATO takes a practical approach to enhancing the role of women in operations.
In a similar vein, DND is contributing to the development of NATO’s guidelines to military commanders on conflict-related SGBV. Its goal is to ensure that these guidelines are aligned with NATO policy and are consistent with the policies and practices of the UN and other international organizations. DND strives to ensure that the guidelines offer practical guidance to commanders, as well as troops in the field, and that effective training will be developed.
One of the biggest challenges facing both the UN and IPD is that of increasing female police officer deployments to peace operations. As of March 2015, women accounted for 26 percent of Canadian police deployed through IPD, surpassing the IPD and UN goal of 20 percent. On average, over 2014-2015, women accounted for approximately 21 percent of all personnel deployed through IPD, demonstrating a significant increase over previous years.
During the reporting period, approximately 22 percent of CAF personnel deployed on international operations were female, some holding key leadership and command positions. As with police deployments, this number represents an average since deployments occur independently of the reporting period.
In 2014-2015, the RCMP managed the deployment of police officers to peace operations in Haiti and the West Bank, as well as senior police advisors to UN Standing Police Capacity in Brindisi, Italy, the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York City, and Canada’s Permanent Mission to the UN.
“…[it is] Always a challenge to confront gender stereotypes and get to take my equal place at work. Even other women from some countries don’t understand why I don’t want to just stay in the office. I insist on going on the road like the men. I am the only woman in my unit to do so. I know it’s important for the PNH [Police Nationale d’Haiti] to see a woman doing police work, as it is to be an example for the female PNH.”
In January 2015, using funding from DFATD’s Global Peace and Security Fund (GPSF), RCMP and DFATD cooperated to deploy three Canadian criminal investigators to assist the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). These three investigators had participated in the JRR “Investigating Cases of SGBV in International Crimes” course and were on the JRR deployment roster. Canadian officers have taken a primary role in investigating SGBV offences as well as in mentoring other officers and staff within the Office of the Co-Investigating Judges responsible for the investigation of these crimes.
Canadian police deployed to MINUSTAH have worked in WPS-related capacities within the following units: Gen der, HNP Development, Police Training, Operations, IDP Camps and IDP Camps (Gender) and the Commissariat. Police officers work in positions as advisors, monitors, investigators, trainers, community policing instructors, field coaches and counsellors.
“During my tour on MINUSTAH, I initiated a personal project to start a First Aid Training Program for the Police Nationale d’Haiti (PNH). Working with other volunteers, including Canadian police officers, we put in place a program that taught basic life-saving skills and the instructional techniques necessary for PNH to successfully teach the training to others. One of key goals was inclusiveness, and we specifically requested that the PNH assign female police officers as students and potential instructors. This was a significant opportunity for female PNH officers, who are normally assigned to traditional support roles, to be role-models and leaders on an equal footing with their male counterparts. I also ensured that emergency childbirth was covered because of the high infant mortality rate, and the number of otherwise healthy women who die as a result of complications associated with childbirth. The success of our volunteer project led to the GoC funding the First Aid Instructor Training in Haiti project that included Basic Emergency Management and that retained a strong gender equality element.”
Two Canadian police officers deployed to MINUSTAH worked within a Norway-led SGBV project during 2014-2015. The Norwegian police specifically chose to work with the Canadian police due to our similar work ethic, legal system, level of cultural understanding and background in SGBV, as well as the bilingualism and adaptability of Canadian police. The goal of this involvement is to train 1,000 HNP officers to properly handle SGBV cases. The program is divided into three phases:
1) train the trainer (completed in 2011);
2) train HNP members from across Haiti (over 1,000 HNP were trained before this fiscal year, surpassing the goal, and more have been trained this year); and
3) provide ongoing logistical support for the creation of proper facilities in HNP police stations where victims of domestic violence or sexual assault can be received. HNP continue to receive training through SGBV courses and seminars, and employed this training at proper facilities across the country. Phase 2 of the project began in October 2014. It contains a range of activities that will continue between 2014 and 2016.
In addition to ensuring a higher proportion of women deployed, IPD recognizes the importance of ensuring that women secure senior, strategic positions in international peace operations. To this end:
- A female RCMP officer held the position of Senior Police Advisor to PRMNY.
- In the EU Police and Rule of Law Mission for the Occupied Palestinian Territory in the West Bank, until October 2014, a senior female RCMP officer held the position of Senior Police Advisor and Team Leader overseeing the Mission Implementation Plan for the institutional development of the Palestinian Civil Police.
- A senior female police officer from Montréal Police Service held the position of team leader of MINUSTAH Community Policing Unit in Haiti.
- A senior RCMP officer was deployed to the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations to work on transnational organized crime.
In addition to funding the deployment of police to the ECCC, DFATD/Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force (START) also supported JRR with a $2 million project to strengthen accountability for SGBV crimes and other serious human rights violations perpetrated in ISIL-affected areas in Iraq and Syria. This was addressed through the training and deployment of experienced JRR investigators and SGBV advisors, and the training and mentoring of local authorities by JRR to build capacity to respond to SGBV and strengthen local referral mechanisms. Canada also deployed an expert to a joint Canada-U.K. SGBV scoping mission to Iraq in 2014-2015. The objective of the mission was to contribute to the protection of the human rights of women and girls in Iraq through advocacy, programming and technical support by identifying suitable programming options that both the U.K. and Canada could fund in support of addressing SGBV in Iraq. The scoping mission resulted in a joint report and programming matrix. Additionally, a series of SGBV projects, which were recommended as a result of the scoping mission, were approved and are now operational.
« Je travaille présentement au sein de l’équipe du VSGB, composée de 8 UNPOL et je fais partie d’un projet financé par la Norvège visant entre autre à implanter une unité d’enquête des crimes sexuels au sein de la PNH, à spécialiser les enquêtes des crimes sexuels à travers le pays, et à améliorer le programme de prévention et de sensibilisation en regards aux crimes sexuels commis sur les personnes vulnérables (femmes, enfants, personnes handicapées et vieillards). Jusqu’à maintenant, nous avons organisé un séminaire international sur les violences sexuelles basées sur le genre qui s’est terminé le 10 juin, impliquant plusieurs conférenciers internationaux et plus de 130 participants provenant de tout le pays. Dix PNH sont présentement en formation à Québec, Canada, pour améliorer leurs techniques d’enquêtes et devenir instructeur pour diffuser leur savoir dans les prochains mois aux autres policiers haïtiens. »
Canadian programming in support of WPS-related work spans a range from small, targeted contributions to support local grass-roots initiatives to multi-million dollar contributions to humanitarian assistance and large-scale development assistance projects. Funding mechanisms include the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), the GPSF (administered by START), and development activities and humanitarian assistance.
Over the course of the reporting period, the Government of Canada funded WPS-related projects and contributions totalling approximately $285 million. A gender-based approach is used in all such programming.
The C-NAP mid-term review and other expert commentary highlight the challenges in attributing projects in whole or in part as WPS-related activities. A strict geographic designation is not practical. For example, one can have a country-wide project benefiting women and girls in a local area that is experiencing conflict and that therefore would be WPS-attributed, but that is also active in other parts of the country that are at peace, and would not be WPS-attributed. Also, a project that benefits a population as a whole in a conflict-affected context could be attributed in part to WPS depending on the degree to which the project benefits women and girls—often a complex determination. It is therefore left to individual country program officers to undertake the attribution exercise for their respective reporting requirements.
In order to address the issue of WPS attribution, at least in part, an analysis of GPSF programming with respect to WPS attribution was undertaken this year, the results of which are reported below.
Global Peace and Security Fund
In FY 2014-2015, a total of 58 projects were ongoing, in progress, completed or closed for a total of $90 million (up from $60 million in FY 2013-2014).
All GPSF projects undergo a gender equality assessment with the following scale:
- GE 00: No gender equality outcomes
- GE 01: Limited gender integration
- GE 02: Gender integrated initiative
- GE 03: Gender-equality specific initiative
Of 58 GPSF projects in 2014-2015, nine were at GE-02 and ten were at GE-03, representing 33 percent of all projects and 31 percent of all funding disbursed ($28 million).
An analysis of the qualifying projects has been completed by START, revealing the following:
- Of the 19 projects, 12 (63 percent) conducted activities related to increasing the active and meaningful participation of women, including indigenous and local women, in peace operations and peace processes, in the management of conflict and post-conflict situations, and in decision making in all of these areas. For example, to help ease the suffering of those injured from unexploded ordnance in Laos, the Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise (COPE) works in partnership with the Center for Medical Rehabilitation, to increase access to quality prosthetic and orthotic services. COPE recognizes that women and men have different needs and has taken steps to listen to women’s concerns and adjust its programming accordingly.
- Of the 19 projects, nine (47 percent) conducted activities aimed at increasing the effectiveness of peace operations, including the protection and promotion of the rights and safety of women and girls. For example, Canadian funding of Women in the Afghan National Army and the Air Forces was used to address and strengthen human rights of women by offering conditions of work that are just and favourable by giving women access to new resources and benefits such as training on elimination of violence against women, literacy, workplace violence, confidence and self-defence.
- Of the 19 projects, 13 (68 percent) conducted activities intended to improve the capacity of Canadian personnel to help prevent violence and to contribute to protecting the human rights of women and girls in the context of peace operations, fragile states, conflict-affected situations and in humanitarian crises or relief and recovery operations. For example, Canada deployed a START officer and a Canadian expert with JRR to increase the number of available experts to investigate SGBV crimes, which are largely committed against women and girls. This project will increase the availability of criminal justice and related experts to investigate serious allegations of human rights violations, including those of women and girls.
- Of the 19 projects, one (5 percent) conducted activities concerned with promoting and supporting relief and recovery efforts in fragile and conflict-affected states in a manner that takes into account the differential experiences of women and men, boys and girls. For example, Canada provides legal counselling, psychosocial support, advocacy and awareness raising on SGBV in both refugee camps and host communities for victims of violence in ISIL-affected areas of Syria and Iraq. The project aims to enhance the protection of Syrian female refugees and IDPs in the region of Kurdistan against SGBV, and to increase awareness of women refugees and IDPs on the issues of sexual violence, including how survivors are reintegrated back into communities.
Canada Fund for Local Initiatives
During the reporting period, the CFLI disbursed approximately $3 million in WPS-related projects through 102 out of 598 projects, representing 17 percent of total funding. Not all CFLI programming is carried out with a WPS focus in mind, but much of it is informed by a sensitivity to the WPS agenda. Gender is a cross-cutting theme and projects developed and implemented by local women’s groups are encouraged. Moreover, project-approval documents include a section on gender considerations and outcomes. End-of-year reports included reporting on gender equality and on results obtained, including the number and nature of projects directed by women’s organizations or directly benefiting women.
Examples of CFLI projects include:
- In 2014-2015, a $25,000 CFLI project allowed 20 women and girls who suffered sexual violence to receive successful reconstructive surgery, supporting health care and vocational training in Burkina Faso. Over 1,000 people in the municipality of Grand Samba were also sensitized to the harmful effects of child, early and forced marriage (CEFM) through an awareness campaign.
- In Haiti, CFLI supported the work of the Réseau Nord de Défense des Droits Humains, in order to fight violence against women and girls and to promote a culture of human rights in two communities in Haiti’s Nord department, Cap-Haitien and Limbé. A total of 60 women were trained to promote the reduction of violence against women in their communities, document and refer cases to the appropriate authorities, and inform survivors and women in general of their human rights. A departmental forum was also organized to allow women from 17 communities in the Nord department and local and departmental authorities to exchange information, discuss training opportunities, and be sensitized to violence against women.
- CFLI financed a short-term project of the Center for Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture and their Families (CPTRT) in Honduras aimed at empowering women through better organization and awareness regarding their rights, especially the prevention of sexual violence. Project activities included the design of two training modules: in one, 40 police officers were trained to better attend to female victims of violence and raise awareness among the general population on the causes and effects of SGBV against women; in the other, 54 women were trained to raise awareness in their communities of the need to increase the prevention of SGBV.
- CFLI supported the recruitment and training of mentors in gender equity, advocacy and human rights through a $35,000 project in Nigeria. Peer mentors drawn from previous cohorts of the Adolescent Girls Leadership Program transitioned into advocates of girls’ education and life skills by participating in a set of capacity-building events.
- The Eve Organization for Women Development launched a project to engage men on the implementation of the South Sudan UNSCR 1325 NAP. The purpose of the project was to create awareness among men about UNSCR 1325; to create a safe platform where men can engage and discuss a series of issues affecting women in their communities; to encourage men to recognize and take responsibility for their patterns of harmful behaviour; and to challenge cultural and institutional systems of domination and control.
- In Kismayo, Somalia, CFLI funded a project by Iimaan Relief and Development Organization aimed at supporting political reconciliation by increasing the civic engagement and contributions of women and minority groups in democratic transition and governance. Through this project, women were similarly placed into strategic positions, such as mobilization of participants. project also provided training on human-rights protection, and participants discussed the need to end harmful cultural practices that violate human rights, such as female genital mutilation (FGM).
- CFLI supported the Action Centre for the Promotion of a Better Adolescence to carry out a $20,000 project in the eastern part of the city of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The goals of the project were to conduct a survey on the level of knowledge and attitudes of young girls, unmarried mothers, and other women on SGBV and early marriages; and to educate 2,500 girls, 500 teenage mothers and 1,000 other women about sexual violence and CEFM. The survey identified the problem of sexual violence and early marriage as a basis for the development of awareness messaging. Community-level leaders were equipped to speak to this issue and prepared to work to increase awareness of young girls and women in their neighbourhoods.
Development and Humanitarian Assistance
Gender has long been a cross-cutting theme in Canadian development funding and humanitarian assistance. This continues to be the case in the amalgamated DFATD. In the context of fragile and conflict-affected states, many projects come under the rubric of WPS. Such funding comes through bilateral and multilateral development programming and the provision of humanitarian assistance. During the reporting period, the government disbursed $73 million in WPS-related development assistance and $181 million in humanitarian assistance that contained a gender-sensitive element.
In 2013, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) undertook a four-year commitment to consolidate, expand and heighten its focus on preventing and reducing sexual violence in armed conflicts, particularly for women and girls who face increased vulnerability in situations of conflict and displacement. Through this initiative, the ICRC is also working with states, weapon bearers, and religious and traditional leaders to promote awareness regarding the prevalence of sexual violence and of each actor’s role in protecting vulnerable women and girls. In 2014, Canada was the largest donor to this effort, contributing $5 million to support activities in the Central African Republic, DRC, Mali, Somalia and South Sudan. The 2015 appeal, to which Canada contributed $3 million, expanded the initiative to other countries, including Lebanon and Afghanistan. The ICRC is developing metrics and indicators to track results across programs, and is also completing an assessment of lessons learned from the ICRC’s sexual violence prevention and response activities in the DRC.
An example of long-term bilateral support is that of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG). CICIG aims to strengthen the justice sector in applying new capacities to investigate and prosecute organized crime in Guatemala, including gender-based crimes. As such, CICIG plays a critical role in the country’s efforts to address corruption and criminal activity, and to improve its governance. Since 2008, Canada’s support to CICIG has contributed to the Commission’s capacity to take a more rigorous look at gender roles in criminal organizations thus contributing in particular to helping protect the human rights of women. In 2014-2015, with Canada’s support, a gender-equality working group was convened bringing together women and men from different investigative teams within the Commission to undertake gender-based analysis of investigation methodologies and specific criminal cases. The working group is currently examining the connection between organized crime in Guatemala and violence against women, as well as trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation. Thanks to Canada’s capacity-building support, CICIG has also achieved important results in dismantling criminal organizations involved in the trafficking of children through illegal adoption networks.
CICIG is also assessing the power relationships between perpetrators and victims of crime, and between female and male members of criminal structures. CICIG’s service protocol now demands that gender-sensitivity be applied in the interview process, whether it is a victim or a suspect. Under the new protocol, women are to be interviewed by women in order to ensure that gender-specific circumstances are recognized and addressed. CICIG is now able to discern the different roles played by women and men within criminal structures. Understanding the roots of discrimination against women and gender bias is important to developing more effective criminal investigation models that can be applied by Guatemalan justice and security officials.
Canada funded the NGO Développement et Paix (D&P) to work toward protecting women’s and girls’ human rights, advocating for the active and meaningful participation and representation of women and local women’s groups in peace and security activities, including peace processes, and strengthening efforts to prevent violence, including sexual violence in countries such as Haiti, Afghanistan, Colombia and DRC. The project included the following elements:
- In Haiti, the Loi sur la paternité was finally published in the official government gazette on May 28, 2014 after a long campaign by women’s organizations—including two partners funded through the D&P project. Originally approved in 2012, the law, which grants illegitimate and legitimate children equality in rights and forces fathers to recognize children conceived outside of marriage, remained inapplicable before its official publication. Furthermore, a partner reported a positive new trend: an increasing number of men approaching the partner to request mediation services between them and their spouses instead of resorting to the traditional tactics of violence. This trend showed shifting values, and that violence against women is becoming less acceptable in society at large.
- In Afghanistan, D&P programming places special attention on empowering women to make their own decisions, identify their own needs, take steps toward self-reliance and sustainability through starting their own businesses, manage their own affairs, and find solutions to issues that are culturally appropriate and community driven.
- In Colombia, more and more partners of D&P are working on ensuring that women are trained, participate and take part more actively in decision making and, more recently, in the socio-economic development of their communities.
- In the DRC, community radio programming in Katanga is contributing to an increased enrollment in primary schools, particularly among girls. Moreover, these broadcasts discuss the consequences of CEFM, contributing to a reduction of the practice. Finally, programs relating to finance helped with the creation of three credit unions for women in the city of Likasi.
Advocacy is important in a fragile/conflict-affected state context like that of Afghanistan where there is a plethora of priorities requiring constant attention and investment. Canada has been a leader in keeping women and girls’ rights and empowerment front and centre with the Afghan government through both policy dialogue and its development projects. Canada has been able to advocate more strongly by building a network of like-minded stakeholders with multiple voices communicating the same message on the importance of gender equality and women and girls’ rights, which has added more weight and pressure to the promotion of these critical issues. As well, gender equality and the realization of women’s and girls’ rights cannot be achieved without engaging allies in traditional structures (for example, religious and community leaders). Such engagement is equally important in policy dialogue and in project implementation. Active engagement of gender equality specialists within DFATD also plays a key role in ensuring that WPS issues are integrated into programming funded by Canada.
While advocacy is sometimes public, it often goes on behind the scenes. In either case, it is a key element in communicating Canada’s commitment to advancing its WPS agenda and promoting the international WPS agenda. Over 2014-2015, Canada continued its efforts both through bilateral missions and in multilateral forums. Examples from our missions in Africa include the following:
- Two new opportunities presented themselves during the reporting period with the naming of the first resident Canadian Ambassador to South Sudan and the naming of the first Canadian Ambassador to Somalia (resident in Kenya) in over 20 years. Each of these developments provided Canada with openings for advocacy on WPS issues. At the High-Level Partnership Forum in Copenhagen (November 2014) emphasis was placed on the inclusion of Somali women in the peace- and state-building process and Canada called for their increased participation in the political, economic and public spheres. Meanwhile, Canada’s new Ambassador to South Sudan, frequently raised WPS-related issues with his interlocutors, making statements, and interventions on issues of gender and sexual violence, and recruitment of child soldiers and called for the inclusion of women in peace mediation and reconciliation processes.
- In Sudan, the Embassy of Canada raised and advocated on WPS matters at the political level in the context of international meetings, as well as at the bilateral working level. This included, for instance, statements, demarches and interventions calling for investigation of mass rapes in Darfur. Canada also worked with like-minded partners to bring issues into the spotlight. For example, Canada co-chairs (with the EU) the International Partners’ Forum on Human Rights, which has provided space for guests to discuss SGBV issues such as National Intelligence and Security Service raids on Darfur women’s university dorms. Canada also co-hosted an International Women’s Day event with UN Women and AU, and collaborated frequently with Sudan’s Afhad University for Women, a leader in women’s rights advocacy. The Embassy was even able to engage the Department of Religious Affairs to collaborate on presenting an exhibition on CEFM called Too Young to Wed.
On the multilateral front, 2014-2015 presented excellent opportunities for Canada to advocate for the WPS agenda, especially given the three UN review processes that were carried out largely during the reporting period: the HIPPO, the Advisory Group of Experts Report on UN Peacebuilding Architecture (AGE Report), and the High-Level Review and Global Study of UNSCR 1325 (Global Study). Canada’s input to all three processes reflected its ongoing commitment to the WPS agenda and an insistence on the meaningful engagement of women and the accounting for the different needs and experiences of women, men, girls and boys in conflict situations.
Recognizing that broad participation and buy-in helps to amplify the impact of such policy reviews, Canada played a central role supporting the Global Study by joining forces with a cross-regional group, which included Chile, Ireland, Japan and Namibia, to co-fund a Friends Group. The purpose of the Friends Group is to help determine how best to ensure the implementation of UN resolutions.
Canada’s chairing of the Friends of WPS continued to be an essential tool for the advancement of the WPS agenda. Through the Friends of WPS, Canada shares relevant information on events, reports and advocacy points; meets on a regular basis (approximately once every one to two months) to hear briefings from the UN, member states, and CSOs; and coordinates messaging for Security Council debates and high level policy reviews. Meetings of the Friends of WPS have provided a vital forum for UN-based discussions on WPS, allowing for a frank exchange of views and development of timely and practical solutions. Through the Friends of WPS, side events, and other engagements, PRMNY has also remained in continuous contact with members of civil society who are working on WPS.
During this reporting period, Canada was active in tackling the issue of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) committed by UN peacekeepers and staff, hosting a meeting of the Friends of WPS on the topic, coordinating with like-minded states on a forward-looking strategy, engaging UN investigative bodies, feeding recommendations to the HIPPO and Global Study panels and to the Panel to investigate SEA in CAR, and calling for the Secretariat and Member States to take urgent action. Moreover, Canada continued to take a lead role in combatting sexual violence in conflict, with Canada’s Permanent Mission to the UN meeting regularly with the office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Sexual Violence in Conflict Zainab Bangura to discuss strategic approaches, organizing a ministerial-level meeting with SRSG Bangura, and supporting the work of a number of civil society groups working on the matter, such as JRR.
Within the humanitarian context, Canada’s efforts included: advocating elements of the WPS agenda in national statements to the UN (including the Security Council, UNGA and ECOSOC); making gains in the negotiation of humanitarian resolutions; and promoting the adoption of significant new pledges with other states to combat sexual and gender based violence in natural disasters and situations of armed conflict in preparation for the 32nd International Red Cross and Red Crescent Conference (December 2015). Examples include:
- Canada’s national statements to UN bodies advocated for the specific protection needs of women and girls to be taken into consideration and for the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence in humanitarian emergencies such as those unfolding in Syria, Iraq, northeastern Nigeria and South Sudan.
- Strong language on the WPS themes of prevention, protection, and participation were a priority in negotiation instructions for the humanitarian resolutions passed by UNGA and ECOSOC in 2014-2015. For example, Canada was able to introduce a reference calling for the full implementation of the Gender Marker in the UNGA resolution on coordinating humanitarian assistance. Canada also introduced a call for the “full participation” of women in decision-making processes in the UNGA and the ECOSOC humanitarian resolutions. Both texts were strengthened from a gender perspective this year and will be among the negotiating team’s priorities for next year.
- Canada’s statements to the annual Executive Committee meetings of UNHCR in Geneva (fall 2014) highlighted the risk to children, including girls, in situations of conflict resulting in forced displacement, and noted the importance of education in reducing the long term vulnerability to children. Canada also highlighted the need for UNHCR to adapt the Framework for the Protection of Children, Education Strategy and SGBV strategy at the field level. Canada further emphasized these themes at UNHCR Standing Committee in June 2014 and March 2015.
- Canada continued to advocate for improvements to the international humanitarian response system that would better serve the needs and incorporate the participation of women and girls. Canada strongly supported UN OCHA in the advancement of gender mainstreaming in humanitarian policy and programming. Canada remained an active proponent of gender analysis and for full implementation of the gender marker to heighten awareness, generate comprehensive data, and ultimately to take targeted actions to advance gender equality and to ensure that all segments of affected populations have equal access to protection and assistance. Similarly, through the OCHA Donor Support Group and in its 2015 bilateral meetings with OCHA, Canada communicated that the organization must maintain its commitment to gender equality in its policy formulation as well as in its internal operations. Canada specifically stressed to OCHA our expectation that the upcoming World Humanitarian Summit (to be held in May 2016) should comprehensively reflect gender considerations, and will look to continue our engagement in the lead-up to the summit over the coming year.
- Canada similarly requested that humanitarian partners, including UN agencies (e.g. UNHCR) involved in humanitarian response, consider the gender dimensions and the specific needs and capabilities of women and girls in their response efforts, both as beneficiaries and as decision makers.
- In the lead up to the 32nd International Red Cross and Red Crescent Conference (held in December 2015), Canada, in collaboration with the Canadian Red Cross, led an initiative to promote pledges on sexual violence in conflicts and following natural disasters to be made by governments and national societies in attendance. In addition to making its own pledge, Canada’s focus in this initiative was to ensure that countries from all regions of the world pledge support for addressing SGBV. Such pledges appear to offer the best potential for meaningful and sustained action, as pledges include a requirement by both governments and national Red Cross/Red Crescent societies to report on progress at the mid-way point as well as prior to the next conference.
- At the United Nation’s Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) negotiations, Canada was an important and vocal supporter for the collection and dissemination of disaggregated disaster risk data, including by sex, age and disability. Having disaggregated data will refine our understanding of risk and enable a better, more tailored response. Further, Canada actively advocated that a women and a gender-sensitive perspective should be included at all stages of DRR policy and programming design through to implementation, underscoring women's leadership roles. To this end, Canada supported Sendai’s call for the participation of stakeholders in all stages of DRR efforts, including the participation of women and their organizations.
Canada also made numerous interventions in UNSC Open Debates, the UN Special Committee on Peace Operations (C-34), the UN Human Rights Council, and other UN-related venues to promote its positions. In a less traditional forum, Canada participated actively in the development of the World Food Programme’s (WFP) new Gender Policy (2015-2020), including through participation in an external reference group and active contributions during informal consultations. Contributions included advocating for more robust analysis of the impacts of conflict on gender, for a strong accountability framework, and for updated gender-related indicators within the organization’s broader strategic plan.
Our UN missions also work outside of formal venues. For instance, Canada’s was among a core group of women ambassadors in Geneva that organized a high-level panel at the 2014 Power of Empowered Women event, on the theme of “Women’s Empowerment and Economic Development.” This event highlighted the role of women as drivers of economic development. Several women who spoke were from fragile and conflict-affected states and emphasized the impact on peace and development of the economic aspect of equality between men and women. Another example of this was Canada’s support to the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom’s HRC side event on the role and engagement of Syrian civil society in peacebuilding processes across Syria. This event sought to better inform the international community of ways to empower Syrian civil society, especially women, as an essential step to containing violence and working to establish and consolidate democratic structures. This enabled several Syrian women to share their experiences, explain how they can contribute to the peace process in Syria and describe what support they require from the international community.
Canada also worked in forums other than the UN. For instance, Canada’s mission to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) was active and supportive of the organization’s efforts on WPS, in particular by continuing to support a proposal for an OSCE-wide Action Plan on WPS. Through institutional support to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC), Canada is supporting the DAC network on gender equality to make policy recommendations to address gender equality in developing countries, and to integrate gender equality across the post-2015 framework.
DND/CAF remains an active proponent of the role of women in international peace and security within international organizations, such as NATO. The CAF is represented at the NATO Committee on Gender Perspectives, which is focused on the effective implementation of UNSCR 1325 and related resolutions. As of September 2014, the CAF has a senior policy officer charged with collaborating with actors across the department and the CAF who are involved in the wide range of WPS activities. RAdm Bennett, in her capacity as the Canadian Representative to NATO’s National Reserve Force Committee, is an active proponent of the importance of the integration of women in the militaries of NATO members and partners, and made a presentation to committee members on WPS to highlight UNSCR 1325, NATO’s Action Plan on WPS and Canada’s experience/lessons learned in the integration of women into combat and in the integration of gender considerations into operations.
With each year, Canadian government officials further refine their understanding of how best to implement and promote WPS. This learning occurs both through structured reflection and ad hoc experience. When it comes to the latter case, some of the lessons listed below might not seem particularly new, but such learning happens on the personal as well as the institutional level and the reinforcement of earlier lessons learned is vital to ensure the consolidation of learning.
- An important lesson was learned as a result of the 2014-2015 reporting. As noted earlier, some C-NAP actions and indicators were reformulated as part of a mid-term update of the Plan. This included Action 1 and Indicator 1.1:
Action 1: Ensure that all organizations receiving Government of Canada funds for humanitarian assistance have organizational codes of conduct relating to sexual exploitation and abuse consistent with the core principles of the IASC Plan of Action on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in Humanitarian Crises.
Indicator 1-1: Number and percentage of organizations receiving Government of Canada funding for humanitarian assistance that have organizational codes of conduct relating to sexual exploitation and abuse consistent with the core principles of the IASC Plan of Action on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in Humanitarian Crises.
As part of the reformulation, the Action and Indicator were broadened from only organizations that provide humanitarian assistance to include organizations receiving Government of Canada funds for any WPS-related project. This revealed a gap in Canadian practices in that organizations receiving CFLI or GPSF funds had not been required to have such codes of conduct. In some contexts, funds are disbursed to local and often informal organizations that have neither the capacity nor the resources to create organizational codes of conduct relating to sexual exploitation and abuse. Such organizations often operate in difficult circumstances and have little administrative capacity, making it even more difficult to institute formal codes of conduct. In such situations, missions are careful to vet individual organizations during the application process and closely monitor their progress during the project cycle. In order to address this gap, DFATD is considering the possibility of drawing up a simple code of conduct reflecting the core principles of the IASC Plan of Action and including it as a standard part of grants and contributions agreements in cases where recipient organizations do not have a pre-existing code of conduct. This will not only relieve recipients of the administrative burden of drawing up their own codes, but will also provide a consistent standard to which these small organizations may be held.
- It has become clear that only political will and pressure at the highest level can ensure that women and women’s groups are meaningfully included in peace negotiations and the implementation of agreements. While those leading mediating efforts on the international stage claim to recognize the importance of women’s participation, both from a rights’ perspective and for the legitimacy and sustainability of any agreement, they are generally too preoccupied with the challenge of bringing all the warring parties to the table in the short term and systematically fail to make the necessary efforts to ensure proper women’s participation.
- Showcasing women’s leadership and empowerment is an effective way to inspire and foster women’s initiatives, but we need to better highlight what can be done at the grassroots, community level in order to promote empowering action at all levels of society and not only at higher institutional levels. In so doing, we raise the profile of possible players in mediation efforts.
- Even though governments in fragile and conflict-affected states may be committed in principle to the WPS agenda, they face challenges that make it difficult to turn their commitment into action. Continued advocacy on these issues and the provision of funding to promote the rights of women and girls remains essential, although our efforts are most effective when they support ongoing local initiatives and local ownership.
- Working in a holistic way across both the development and foreign affairs sections of missions abroad helps to deliver an integrated approach to issues, whereby advocacy, small short-term projects, and longer-term development programming complement one another. This approach also aids in broadening networks of contacts for Canadian personnel serving abroad.
- While significant progress has been achieved, DND and the CAF recognize that ensuring that gender considerations are mainstreamed into all aspects of the preparation and conduct of peace support operations is an on-going commitment. To that end, representatives from various organizations within DND/CAF participate in the Interdepartmental Committee for GBA+ (gender-based analysis plus) and personnel in key organizations are being encouraged to take both the online GBA+ training and the online NATO courses on gender in operations.
- The CAF has designated a dedicated senior policy officer to coordinate the activities across all aspects of the file, including establishing an informal network for information sharing, reaching out to new areas of the department, spreading the message that gender in operations is more than just employment equity issues, and promoting the capture of lessons learned on gender in operations.
- As exemplified by the Too Young to Wed exhibit in Sudan, working with religious leaders strengthens the message (i.e. that traditional practices like CEFM and FGM are unacceptable) and targets both men and women in a conservative environment where Islam continues to have a moral authority. Interestingly, this experience pointed to one of the few spaces where there is space for collaboration with the government. Similar lessons have been learned, for instance, in Afghanistan allies in traditional structures (for example, religious and community leaders), who have been identified and engaged in policy dialogue and project implementation.
- By incorporating rights-based elements into other programs—and ensuring that men, particularly young men, are engaged—Canada can mainstream gender issues and reach a larger audience.
- In Guatemala, CICIG is now able to discern the different roles played by women and men within criminal structures. Understanding the roots of discrimination against women and gender bias is important to developing more effective criminal investigation models that can be applied by Guatemalan justice and security officials.
- It is important to seek broad participation in the promotion of WPS. This applies to states, civil society, sectors of government and individuals. First, the engagement of a wide number of states representing different regions remains essential to the vitality of the WPS agenda. WPS is a global concern grounded in democracy and human rights, which cannot be perceived as being driven by western states alone. Second, while states play a deciding role on WPS at the UN, it is essential to actively seek the perspective and expertise of CSOs. Third, participation in WPS deliberations must go beyond traditional segments of the policy community, such as women and development and human rights practitioners. WPS is not simply a women’s issue. As pioneered by the UN’s “He for She” campaign, it is therefore important to seek the active participation and investment of men in WPS. More can also be done to engage the military sector on WPS, including of high-ranking officers who set the tone for their forces.
- Greater transparency and accountability on the implementation of WPS commitments needs to be backed by stronger data and methodology. DFATD will work to address this issue in the future.
- We must recognize imbalances in the implementation of different WPS pillars. In practice, it has been difficult to gain as much traction on the Prevention, Participation, and Relief and Recovery pillars as has been achieved on the Protection pillar. Generally speaking, protection speaks to clearly identifiable and justifiably shocking crimes such as sexual violence in conflict, which garner more media attention. Moreover, there is a high-level champion for the Protection pillar in the SRSG for sexual violence in conflict. However, it is important to recognize that the pillars are intrinsically linked to one another. To the extent that such linkages can be highlighted, it will be easier to get a more comprehensive—and ultimately more effective—response to WPS challenges.
- Officials, in consultation with civil society, will draft a successor to C-NAP.
- Given its location at the heart of major peace efforts, the Permanent Mission of Canada to the Office of the United Nations plans to continue to make women’s participation in peace processes a pillar of its plans to implement UNSCR 1325.
- The Permanent Mission of Canada to the Office of the United Nations will continue to participate actively in organizing the annual Power of Empowered Women event.
Action 1: Ensure that all organizations receiving Government of Canada funding for WPS-related programming have organizational codes of conduct relating to sexual exploitation and abuse.
DFATD’s pre-screening of humanitarian NGO partners includes a question on whether the organization has a code of conduct that is consistent with the core principles of the IASC Plan of Action and Core Principles of Codes of Conduct on Protection from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation in Humanitarian Crises. Grant agreements with NGO partners also include a clause stating that the NGO must have a code of conduct that is consistent with these core principles.
Indicator 1-1: Number and percentage of organizations receiving Government of Canada funding for that have organizational codes of conduct relating to sexual exploitation and abuse.
The Embassy of Canada to Afghanistan: Number: 4
Indicator 2-1: Do departments/agencies offer (or offer access to) pre-deployment or general training courses, including courses taken while deployed on mission, for peace operations, fragile states or conflict-affected situations that reflect the content of the UNSCRs that address WPS? (For example, do they examine the differential impact of armed conflict on women and girls and address key issues such as codes of conduct, cultural awareness, HIV/AIDS, trafficking in persons, SGBV, and Canadian and international law applicable to the protection and promotion of women’s and girls’ human rights?)
Canadian police officers deploying to a UN peace operation were also required to complete four online Canadian Police Knowledge Network training modules. Two of these modules (Effective Mandate Implementation; and Standards, Values and Core Business) respond directly to Indicator 2-1. These modules include the following topics: International Law for Peacekeeping Operations; International Human Rights Law; Human Rights Protection in Peacekeeping Operations; Women, Peace and Security: The Role of Peacekeeping Operations; Protection of Children: The Role of Peacekeeping Operations; Working with Mission Partners; Conduct and Discipline Sexual Exploitation and Abuse; The Consequences of Misconduct; HIV/AIDS and Peacekeeping Operations; Respect for Diversity; and Core Business of Police in Peace Operations. Once deployed to a multilateral peace operation, Canadian police attend mission-specific induction training provided by the multilateral organization, which generally covers these issues. For example, within MINUSTAH, the UN led a 10 day in-mission training that addressed the key issues of Indicator 2-1.
Indicator 2-2: Number and percentage of Government of Canada personnel deployed to peace operations, fragile states or conflict-affected situations who receive pre-deployment training or training while deployed on mission that examines the differential impact of armed conflict on women and girls and addresses key issues such as: codes of conduct; cultural awareness; HIV/AIDS; trafficking in persons; protection; and/or Canadian and international law applicable to the protection and promotion of women’s and girls’ human rights.
DFATD: The Embassy of Canada to Afghanistan: Number: 3 employees deployed in 2014-2015
RCMP: Number: 92 personnel received pre-deployment training held for police deploying through IPD.*
The required two- to three-week pre-deployment training course and/or mandatory online training modules for police deploying to peace operations addressed the relevant issues in the indicator. The content of these sessions is described fully in Indicators 2-1 and 2-3.
*Note: This does not include short-term training deployments to the UN SAAT training project. Pre-deployment training was not provided to the RCMP member deploying to UN DPKO due to the nature of the deployment (i.e. it was a deployment to UN Headquarters and not to a specific mission).
Indicator 2-3: Extent to which relevant region- or mission-specific pre-deployment or field training modules for Government of Canada personnel on protection issues address in a meaningful way the differential impact of the conflict on women and girls.
DND: Percentage: 100%
Indicator 3-1: Extent to which programming delivered under the Military Training and Cooperation Programme (MTCP), Anti-Crime Capacity-Building Program (ACCBP), Counter-Terrorism Capacity-Building Program (CTCBP), and the Global Peace and Security Fund (GPSF) and similar Government of Canada international programs in the justice and security sector operationalizes an analysis of the differential impact of conflict on women and girls.
GPSF: This fund has a focus on security and justice issues, and this is reflected in many of the projects supported in 2014-2015. A large contribution was made to the Afghan National Army Trust Fund, for instance, in part to help increase the participation of women in security services, a key means of addressing the differential impact of conflict. A similar contribution was made in support of the Afghan National Police to, among other things, improve conditions for female police officers and address SGBV.
***Beginning in FY 2014-2015, MTCP began systematically reporting on female participation in MTCP-sponsored activities conducted in Canada and in various locations around the world. In 2014-2015, a total of 80 female participants took part in MTCP-sponsored training—a significant increase over previous years.
Action 4: Continue to engage in policy dialogue with multilateral partners—including through the UN and its various bodies, funds and programs; the World Bank and other international financial institutions; the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; NATO; the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe; the International Organization for Migration; the Organization of American States; the Commonwealth; and La Francophonie—to encourage the strengthening of their capacities to plan for, implement and report on issues of Women, Peace, and Security in peace operations, fragile states, and conflict-affected situations.
Canada’s mission to the OSCE supported the OSCE’s efforts on WPS, in particular, a proposal for an OSCE-wide Action Plan on WPS. Through institutional support to the OECD DAC, Canada is supporting the DAC network on gender equality to make policy recommendations to address gender equality in developing countries, and to integrate it across the post-2015 framework.
Ending CEFM is a Canadian foreign policy and development priority that we are addressing through multilateral, advocacy and programming efforts. In FY 2014-2015, Canada built on the initiatives of previous years to advance the issue at the United Nations, the Francophonie and the Commonwealth.
A team of three Canadian women in the CAF and one defence scientist, as well as the Ambassador of Canada to Mexico, represented Canada at a conference in Mexico City on “Women in the Armed Forces of North America.”
Action 5: Continue to work with partners, including in Canada’s role as Chair of the Working Group of the UN Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (“C-34”), the Group of Friends of WPS and the Group of Friends on Children and Armed Conflict, as well as through relationships with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the African Union, the League of Arab States and others, to fully implement zero-tolerance policies on sexual exploitation and abuse in peace operations and to promote the implementation of international human rights, crime prevention and criminal justice standards relevant to protecting the rights of women and girls.
On March 8, 2015, International Women’s Day, Canada’s Foreign Minister released a joint statement with the Director of the United Nations Population Fund. Published in the Journal de Montréal, the statement spoke out against the pervasive sexual violence being waged against women and girls in the Iraq conflict, as well by groups such as Boko Haram, and affirmed Canada’s and the UN’s commitment to the protection and empowerment of women and girls around the world.
Canada advocates for more effective implementation of the UN’s zero-tolerance approach to SEA, including in its submissions to the High Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations and to the Global Study on the implementation of UNSCR 1325, in the deliberations of the UN Fifth Committee and at meetings of the Group of Friends on Women, Peace And Security. Throughout the reporting period, Canada engaged the Conduct and Discipline Unit at the UN Department of Field Support (DFS) to explore what role Canada and like-minded member states could play to better address SEA and ensure proper follow up and investigation by national authorities into cases of SEA committed by their troops.
The Embassy of Canada to Afghanistan consistently advocated in favour of these policies in regular meetings of the UN and NATO bodies operating in Afghanistan, as well as in bilateral discussions with the Afghan government.
The Senior Police Advisor at the Canadian Mission is also the current International Vice-President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. One element of this role is to promote gender and WPS issues.
Action 6: Advocate for improved accountability mechanisms on the part of the UN and reporting by member states on progress made to implement resolutions on WPS (SCRs 1325, 1820, 1888 and 1889).
On December 18, 2014, Canada’s then Minister of Foreign Affairs held a brief meeting with UN SRSG Zainab Bangura in New York to discuss the issue of accountability for sexual violence in conflict.
Action 7: Advocate for WPS issues to be included in the mandates of all UN missions for peace operations, and throughout the work of the UN Peacebuilding Commission, while encouraging the creation and work of appropriately resourced and influential specialist teams on WPS issues within new peacekeeping operations.
Additionally, in discussions surrounding the debate over the renewal of the UNAMA mandate, the Embassy of Canada to Afghanistan advocated for maintaining an important focus on WPS and on the issue of women’s rights in general.
Action 8: Promote evidence-based research and analysis, and engage in policy dialogue and development on the WPS agenda, including discussions with Canadian, international and local CSOs.
During its mid-term review assessment of the C-NAP, Institute for Inclusive Security made several recommendations to improve the C-NAP’s impact, including one to “consult regularly and predictably with civil society”. Recognizing the value of regular consultations with civil society on WPS, a commitment was made to hold future meetings in the summer and fall of 2015, which has been kept.
A sample of the ongoing internal research is as follows:
Action 9: Advocate internationally for the strengthening of crime prevention, in particular with regard to women and girls, in a manner consistent with international standards and norms on crime prevention, including the UN Guidelines on Crime Prevention and the prevention components of existing conventions and other relevant standards and norms.
Action 10: Do Departments/Agencies encourage the active and meaningful participation of women in decision making and in deployments for peace operations, including by identifying and addressing barriers to full participation?
As an example of encouragement in the field, the Embassy of Canada to Afghanistan engages regularly with a wide range of Afghan women activists and officials in order to ensure that their concerns are being incorporated into decision making, both by arranging for them to be included in the relevant decision-making meetings whenever possible and by raising their concerns in their absence.
In 2014-2015, IPD conducted a literature review to determine whether barriers exist that prevent/hinder women’s participation in police peacekeeping operations. The results of the literature review will be used to inform further research on potential barriers that impact women’s interest in or ability to participate in peace operations as it applies to female Canadian police officers. Looking forward, IPD will launch a nation-wide survey of female police officers to better understand what, if any, barriers and challenges exist that limit access to female participation in international peace operations.
In an effort to both recognize the accomplishments of female police officers and encourage other women to participate in international deployments, IPD promoted female participation through communications and media campaigns and by participating in events related to WPS at missions.
Canadian police also worked with the UN and various countries to help them increase the number of female police deployed to peace operations (see Action 13).
Indicator 10-1: Do departments/agencies have strategic-level national and international security policy directives or guiding documents that address: a) the participation of women in decision making and/or b) the deployment of women to peace operations, to fragile states and to conflict-affected states?
Indicator 10-3: Number and percentage of female Canadian Forces personnel, police officers and civilian Government of Canada personnel deployed to peace operations.
***Number (expressed in person years)
Indicator 10-4: Do departmental/agency policies identify and address barriers to women’s participation in peace operations and deployment to fragile and conflict-affected states in their voluntary selection processes?
IPD’s Communications section regularly publishes stories from the field written by female Canadian police peacekeepers or those with a focus on gender via the RCMP’s website and social media in an effort to increase awareness and promote participation.
Looking forward, IPD will launch a nation-wide survey of female police officers to better understand what, if any, barriers and challenges exist that limit access to female participation in international peace operations.
Indicator 10-5: Number and percentage of women in executive-level roles in Government of Canada departments and agencies involved in peace operations, fragile states and conflict-affected situations.
Action 11: Identify Canadian specialists and trainers from various backgrounds with expertise in WPS issues, and assist where practicable their professional development, placement on international deployment rosters or nomination for relevant multilateral assignments. These specialists can also be a source of policy and program advice for Government of Canada departments and agencies.
Indicator 12-1: Do Government of Canada departmental international security policy frameworks integrate the participation and representation of women and girls?
Indicator 12-2: Number of and funding disbursed for Government of Canada-funded projects in or for peace operations, fragile states, and conflict-affected situations that:
Number of projects relating to international humanitarian assistance: 44
Details of relevant humanitarian assistance programming can be found in Appendix. The majority of funding was disbursed in the form of food and non-food aid in complex emergencies and $7.4 million has been disbursed to projects designed to strengthen the humanitarian system.
Number of projects relating to social development: 2
The DFATD Partnerships for Development Innovation Branch supported two WPS-related projects in 2014-2015.
Action 13: Encourage troop- and police-contributing countries to foster the participation of women in peace operations and in training relevant to peace operations.
DMTC is responsible for the MTCP, which offers training to member countries that raises and addresses gender concerns. MTCP’s peace support operations course, for example, incorporates a gender perspective and discusses women in peacebuilding and the protection of civilians. As part of its ongoing commitment to promoting increased awareness of gender, peace and security issues, MTCP actively encourages the participation of women from national security forces in its training activities. MTCP further promotes the integration of gender perspectives in capacity building and staff officer development training, in accordance with UNSCR 1325 and related resolutions.
As of January 2015, the project had contributed to an increase in pass rates from 37 percent to 71 percent for deployments to unarmed UN missions and an increase in pass rates from 30 percent to 45 percent for deployment to armed UN missions. As of January 2015, 111 out of a total of 244 candidates who passed AMS SAAT testing were in the process of being deployed to UN peacekeeping operations.
***Note: The deployment to Benin overlapped the FY 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 reporting periods. As such, results from this deployment are not captured in the data reported.
Indicator 13-1: Number of Canadian interventions in the UNSC, General Assembly, Special Committee on Peacekeeping, or other relevant international forums that explicitly encourage troop- and police-contributing countries to address the participation of women in peace operations and in training for peace operations.
Action 14: Actively encourage UN and other multilateral efforts to involve women, including Indigenous women, in peace agreements and mediation processes, and ensure that such agreements take into account the differential experiences of women and girls, women’s and girls’ human rights and the rights of the child.
In the context of HRC resolutions on human rights country situations, Canada works to ensure the inclusion of strong language related to the need to protect women’s rights, to take measures to protect the most vulnerable, to promote women’s full participation in peace and mediation processes, to exclude sexual violence from amnesty provisions and to address all forms of VAW. Additionally, Canada led the resolution on VAW at the HRC that addressed violence against women as a barrier to women’s political and economic empowerment.
At the HRC, Canada cosponsored a side event to mark the 20th anniversary of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its causes and consequences. This event allowed for a public discussion with the Special Rapporteur to reflect on the gains, gaps and challenges in addressing violence against women over the last two decades and to examine opportunities to accelerate efforts toward the elimination of violence against women. Canada was also a member of a core group of countries that contributed to organizing the HRC panel discussions for the Annual Day of Discussion on women’s human rights and the panel discussion on CEFM.
Action 15: Support UN human resources reform processes, particularly with regard to recruitment, to increase the number of women in decision-making positions relating to peace and security, and where appropriate, identify strong Canadian candidates for such positions.
Indicator 16-1: Extent to which Canadian diplomatic offices and deployed Canadian Forces or police personnel include information on observed or credibly reported serious violations of women’s and girls’ human rights in their periodic reporting to competent mission authorities on peace operations.
Two country-specific instances are Sudan and Afghanistan. In Sudan, there have been many reports of sexual violence in Darfur, including credible allegations of mass rape of civilians by government forces and government-affiliated militia. Information on these allegations was provided to DFATD by the Embassy of Canada to Sudan. The Embassy in Kabul generated over 150 political reports during 2014-2015, of which approximately 20 percent were primarily focused on issues related to the rights of women and girls, while significantly more addressed these issues as part of broader discussions. For example, extensive reporting was provided on the mob killing of the Afghan woman Farkhunda that happened in March 2015, with in depth analysis of the impact of the case at the political, legal and social level.
Indicator 16-2: Number of reported cases of sexual exploitation or abuse in peace operations, fragile states and conflict-affected situations, allegedly perpetrated by Canadian military personnel, police or civilian government officials, and the percentage that are: a) referred to a competent Canadian authority, b) addressed in a timely, appropriate and transparent manner.
Indicator 17-3: Do Government of Canada departments/agencies provide direction or equivalent policy guidance for Canadian personnel on international operational deployments that address the importance of protecting and promoting women’s and girls’ human rights in a meaningful way and that incorporate an analysis of the differential impact of conflict on women and girls?
Women’s and girls’ rights are also an integrating factor across all other sectors of focus in the CBDS, namely health, education, and linking relief and recovery to development, all of which have programming initiatives that integrate the needs and capacities of women and girls. The Education Strategy, in particular, outlines the importance of protecting girls’ human rights, with commitments for Canada to continue to play a leading role in enabling the Afghan government to improve access to safe, quality and basic education for girls. This includes addressing barriers to girls going to school, such ensuring boundary/security walls and separate latrines for girls and boys, as well as reducing distances between homes and school in programming where possible.
In addition, the RCMP embraces a zero-tolerance approach to infringements on the rights of women and girls, which is reinforced during the pre-deployment training for deployments to peace operations. During pre-deployment training, it is impressed upon police officers that they ensure that WPS issues, including human rights of women and girls, are promoted and that any abuses or signs of abuse are brought forward to appropriate authorities and chains of command. If they do not have the legal authority to act, they are advised to identify the key players in their mission who do, and to whom they could report such behaviours.
Indicator 19-1: Do Government of Canada departments/agencies provide direction or equivalent policy guidance for Canadian personnel on international operational deployments on measures to prevent sexual violence?
In addition, the RCMP embraces a zero-tolerance approach to infringements on the rights of women and girls, including sexual violence. Canadian police officers deployed to peace operations are not only bound by duty to report such infringements to mission authorities, but are morally accountable to do so as well. Thus, Canadian police officers are expected to respond appropriately and within the limits of their authority on the international scene.
The RCMP and its police partners involved in international peace operations are committed to upholding the highest standards of police conduct in missions. Canadian police in peace operations are subject to the code of conduct of their police service and that of the host organization. The RCMP forbids sexual relations with the local population of the site to which they are deployed, due to the difference in real or perceived power and authority. All deployed personnel are informed of this policy prior to and during pre-deployment training in Canada, and each individual must sign a letter agreeing to refrain from sexual relations with the local population of the site to which they are deployed. Canadian police officers deployed to international peace operations must also obtain attestation letters from their commanding officers stating that the candidate has not been charged or convicted of, and is not currently under investigation for, any criminal or disciplinary offence. The letter also certifies that he or she is not aware of any allegation against the candidate of committing or being involved in, by act or omission, any acts that may amount to violations of international human rights law or international humanitarian law. If the police peace operation is being conducted through the UN, a second attestation letter—specific to the United Nations—is also required.
Indicator 21-1: Do Government of Canada departmental planning frameworks for fragile states and conflict-affected situations integrate the needs and capacities of women and girls?
Action 22: Engage UN Member States and agencies in improving the comprehensiveness of their approach to the substantive equality of men and women and to the human rights of women and girls, with respect to the UN’s support to or participation in justice and security system reform.
Action 23: Continue to intervene actively with the International Criminal Court and other international courts and tribunals to promote the implementation of the relevant objectives of the SCRs on WPS in their activities, including in mechanisms such as truth and reconciliation commissions.
Action 24: Advocate, as appropriate, for the mandates of new international accountability and judiciary mechanisms such as international courts, special tribunals and other transitional justice mechanisms, to integrate the SCRs on WPS and women’s and girls’ human rights.
*India is not a post conflict country or a country in conflict thus its activities are excluded.
Action 25: Advocate for UN agencies’ consideration of the differential impact of violent conflict and natural disasters on women and girls, and their human rights, in all aspects of ongoing efforts to strengthen international humanitarian response capacity, including anti-human trafficking efforts.
DFATD also continues to be engaged in the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-based Violence in Emergencies, a process following through on the 2013 Keep Her Safe initiative by the U.K. based on Canada’s endorsement of the communiqué, which is now led by the United States, to develop a roadmap for action.
During 2014 and 2015, the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), a multi-stakeholder policy coordination body housed at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome, developed a framework for action for food security and nutrition in protracted crises. Canada actively participated in the development and negotiation of the document and was one of the strongest voices in the room regarding the need to mainstream gender throughout. Canada made several contributions to reflect the impact of conflict on women, men, girls and boys while avoiding casting women as “vulnerable populations.”
Canada actively participates in OCHA monthly donor meetings and has consistently raised that gender equality considerations should be part of OCHA’s coordinating role in working with partners on the ground.
At the UN’s Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction negotiations, Canada supported the creation of a framework that promoted an inclusive and comprehensive approach to the design and implementation of DRR interventions, with a view to crafting effective solutions to humanitarian and development challenges. In negotiating Sendai, Canada was an important and vocal supporter for the collection and dissemination of disaggregated disaster risk data, including by sex, age and disability. Having disaggregated data will refine our understanding of risk and enable a better, more tailored response. Further, Canada actively advocated that a women and a gender-sensitive perspective should be included at all stages of DRR policy and programming design through to implementation, underscoring women's leadership role. To this end, Canada supported Sendai’s call for the participation of stakeholders in all stages of DRR efforts, including the participation of women and their organizations.
Action 26: Continue to employ a variety of remedies to promote accountability and justice in situations where a perpetrator of a war crime or a crime against humanity (including genocide) is in Canada or wants to come to Canada, including extradition, prosecution in Canada under the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act, surrender to an international court or tribunal, revocation of citizenship obtained by fraud, denial of visas, and where applicable under Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, denial of access to the refugee determination system, and removal from Canada.
Nothing to report.
Action 27: Continue efforts to prevent, investigate and prosecute cases involving Canadian citizens or permanent residents in the sexual exploitation or abuse of children that occur in fragile states and conflict-affected situations, including child sex tourism and trafficking in persons.
In addition, although the CFLI does not focus specifically on Canadian citizens or permanent residents, the program did support one project in 2014-2015 that dealt with the prevention of child sex tourism ($26,000).
With regard to the prevention of human trafficking, the CFLI funded 10 projects with an approximate value of $243,000.
Action 28: Advocate internationally for equal access by female ex-combatants, and by women and girls associated with armed forces or groups, to appropriate benefits and resources from disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programs.
Through its advocacy on Children and Armed Conflict, WPS, and the human rights of women and children, including in the UN-based the Group of Friends of Children and Armed Conflict and the Group of Friends of Women, Peace and Security and the UN Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C-34), Canada includes reference to the importance of addressing WPS issues in post-conflict recovery, including DDR.
- Footnote 1
As of spring 2016, the list includes UNSCRs 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), 1960 (2010), 2106 (2013), 2122 (2013), and 2242 (2015).
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