Royal Canadian Mounted Police implementation of Canada’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security
Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Women, Peace and Security
Through the renewed Canada’s National Action Plan (the Action Plan) on Women, Peace and Security (WPS), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) re-affirms and strengthens its commitment to advance gender equality and the participation, empowerment and protection of women and girls in the pursuit of peace in fragile and conflict-affected situations.
The Action Plan recognizes Canada’s role in ensuring that its policies, programs, and initiatives abroad positively impact the diverse groups of women and girls living in these insecure environments. Similarly, the RCMP’s contribution to the Action Plan 2017-22 acknowledges that the security of women and girls is closely linked to broader international security, and as such, women and girls must be considered and empowered in the establishment of global peace and security.
Canada’s International Police Peacekeeping and Peace Operations Program
On behalf of the Canadian Policing Arrangement, a partnership between the RCMP, Public Safety Canada and Global Affairs Canada, the RCMP manages the International Police Peacekeeping and Peace Operations (IPP) Program. In particular, the RCMP is responsible for recruiting, screening, selecting, training, and deploying Canadian law enforcement officials to international peace operations, and bilateral and other missions. This includes mission/deployment planning, assessment and reporting. Additionally, the RCMP is responsible for providing duty of care support to Canadian law enforcement personnel while in mission, and during their reintegration at home.
To date, the Program has supported the deployment of over 4,000 Canadian police officers to various peace operation missions led by the United Nations, European Union, and other multilateral organizations, as well as to diverse countries on a bilateral basis to support police development and other security sector reform efforts. Presently, Canadian officers are deployed to missions in Mali, Haiti, Iraq, Ukraine, and the West Bank, with more deployments on the horizon. Further, a senior RCMP police officer is deployed to the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations (UN) to work with the UN bodies, member states and other partners to represent the Canadian police community and to advance and advise on all matters related to Canada’s police participation in UN peace operations, including the implementation of the WPS agenda.
The strength of the Program is due, in large part, to the strong representation of municipal, regional and provincial police services among the number of Canadian police officers deployed abroad. The Canadian Police Arrangement (CPA) partners with approximately 28 Canadian police agencies across the country.Footnote 1
Through the IPP Program, Canadian police have directly supported WPS principles while serving on international peace operations/missions, including the prevention and/or response to sexual and gender-based violence, and the advancement of gender equality. Key accomplishments during the first Action Plan include:
- the integration of WPS principles into pre-deployment training for all Canadian police officers deployed to international peace operations/missions;
- the update of IPP Program selection process to actively recruit and select women police officers for service in international operations/missions;
- the deployment of Canadian instructors to UN All-Female Pre-Selection Assistance and Assessment Team training projects in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Rwanda and other locations, to increase the pass rates of women police officers interested in participating in UN missions; and
- the development and implementation of policies to prevent, investigate and address sexual exploitation and abuse allegations against deployed Canadian police officers.
Commitment to Gender Equality and Inclusion within the RCMP
Promoting gender equality and increasing diversity at all levels remains a key priority for the RCMP. The RCMP’s initiatives are set against the backdrop of the Government of Canada’s commitment to the implementation of Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+), as the articulation of the government-wide approach to “gender mainstreaming.” GBA+ is used to ensure that policies, programs and other initiatives are developed in consideration of gender and other diversity factors.
The Action, Innovation and Modernization (AIM) unit leads the implementation of GBA+ within the RCMP. In addition, each RCMP business line and division is responsible for ensuring that GBA+ is integrated across their work.
The RCMP also has a GBA+ Champion. The Champion is a member of the RCMP's Senior Executive Committee and helps to ensure buy-in across the organization, and provides leadership to ensure that GBA+ considerations are integrated within decision-making processes at all levels of the organization.
The RCMP currently has five Employment Equity National Advisory Committees:
- RCMP Aboriginal Employee Council
- National Advisory Committee for Visible Minorities
- National Women's Advisory Committee
- National Advisory Committee for Persons with Disabilities
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans/Two-Spirited National Advisory Committee
These committees provide important recommendations through their respective senior Champions, on ways to address employment equity issues and advocate on behalf of employees at the national level and within the RCMP’s Divisions. In 2019-20, the National Council for Diversity and Inclusion (NCDI) was significantly engaged in the development of the strategy. In October 2019, council members worked with the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Unit to develop a directional statement to serve as the foundation for a logic model defining key organizational outcomes. The strategy also considered elements from important reviews of the RCMP’s culture -- such as the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission (CRCC) and the Fraser reviews of harassment in the RCMP -- to help orient future work to identify concrete initiatives and goals. Finally, the RCMP reviewed its employment equity gaps to understand what areas of the organization to examine for improvements.
Priority Areas for Action on Women, Peace and Security in the Renewed National Action Plan
Under the renewed Action Plan, the RCMP remains committed to enhancing the participation, empowerment and protection of women and girls in fragile and conflict-affected states by taking a more gender-sensitive approach. Specifically, the RCMP will focus on four key priority areas for action: (1) strengthened governance and accountability at home and abroad; (2) enhanced capability to undertake WPS and GBA+ analysis in the design and planning of gender-sensitive programming; (3) enhanced gender-sensitive elements within police peace operations programming in fragile and conflict-affected states, including preventing and responding to sexual exploitation and abuse; and (4) continued focus on deploying more women police officers in international peace operations/missions, especially in senior and/or influential positions.
The RCMP undertakes key activities under each priority area, as outlined below. Throughout the implementation of the Action Plan, these activities will be updated and adjusted, as required.
The RCMP is committed to continued dialogue with the various partners and stakeholders on WPS-related matters to further inform and support activities under Action Plan 2017-2022. It intends to contribute to various interdepartmental meetings and discussions with civil society, including the Action Plan Advisory Group and the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program (PSOPs) Advisory Board, to support the development and integration of gender-sensitive programming, and the sharing of lessons and practices.
In addition, the RCMP and its CPA partners will engage more within the UN, other multilateral bodies, and through bilateral missions to provide leadership or influence WPS-related policies, programs and initiatives. This could include providing mentorship, sharing lessons learned and best practices, as well as supporting other actors in carrying out gender-sensitive programming.
Gender, diversity and inclusion, and their pursuit within the WPS agenda, are important. Peace support operations have become increasingly complex, and sustainable progress cannot be achieved by any player acting alone. It is recognized that a comprehensive multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder approach is needed to collectively achieve more inclusive, equitable and stable societies, where women and girls have a permanent and meaningful seat at the table.
The RCMP’s complete list of commitments, with targets, baselines, activities, and indicators to measure progress in implementation can be found below.
Context: The Canadian Police Arrangement (CPA), a partnership between the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Global Affairs Canada, and Public Safety Canada, seeks to advance Canadian foreign policy, and international security and development priorities and objectives. In particular, this includes supporting Canada’s commitments to re-engage with the United Nations and other international partners, and to build a more secure world by providing Canada’s valuable policing capabilities and expertise through the deployment of Canadian police officers and civilian experts abroad.
The RCMP is responsible for managing the CPA deployment mechanism – the International Police Peacekeeping and Peace Operations (IPP) Program. This Program’s key activities include the recruitment, screening, selection, preparation, training, deployment, support and reintegration of Canadian law enforcement personnel deployed under the CPA, as well as deployment planning, assessment, and reporting. The RCMP also provides duty of care support to Canadian law enforcement personnel while in mission, and during their reintegration home.
The IPP Program supports and advances a broad array of Women, Peace and Security (WPS)-related efforts, such as: increasing the number of Canadian women deployed on peacekeeping mission; training women police in foreign countries interested in serving on UN missions; raising awareness of and investigating sexual and gender-based violence; and contributing to gender-related policy initiatives at the UN and other multilateral fora.
Civil society also plays an important role to play in the renewed Action Plan. The CPA and IPP Program will continue to engage with civil society through various mechanisms throughout the plans implementation.
Strengthen Governance and Accountability
1.1 Target: 100% of reporting and assessment tools (e.g. needs assessment missions, concepts of operations, reconnaissance missions, and monthly reports) include WPS principles and gender perspectives.
Baseline: In the fiscal year 2016/17, there is awareness of WPS within the RCMP, including within the IPP Program. Concrete actions have been taken to entrench these considerations within the Program, including the addition of a session on WPS principles in pre-deployment training for Canadian police and updates to the recruitment and selection processes to encourage women officers to apply to deploy to a peace operation/mission.
1.1.1 Support the new RCMP WPS Champion in leading and promoting the principles of WPS and the implementation of the Action Plan in the international program, in collaboration with the RCMP Gender and Diversity Champion and other Government Champions
1.1.2 Integrate the WPS principles, as well as gender perspectives into assessment, reporting tools and other program processes by the end of fiscal year 2018/19
1.1.3 Conduct a survey of RCMP and other Canadian women police to determine opportunities for and barriers to women’s participation in peace operations/missions by the end of fiscal year 2017/18
1.1.4 Develop an action plan to reduce and/or eliminate barriers identified by the survey by the end of fiscal year 2018/19
1.1.5 Undertake a gender stocktaking exercise of the IPP Program by the end of fiscal year 2018/19 to inform the development of a plan by the end of fiscal year 2019/20 to further integrate WPS principles within the IPP Program
1.2 Target: Implementation of strategic initiatives for diversity and inclusion across the RCMP.
1.1.1 Number and nature of WPS-related activities and initiatives supported by the RCMP WPS Champion, including completion of gender stock-taking exercise, review of training and development of an integration plan.
1.1.2Percentage of IPP Program assessment and reporting tools (needs assessment missions, concepts of operations, reconnaissance missions, monthly reports) in which WPS principles and gender perspectives are integrated.
Baseline: Enhancing gender equality and diversity at all levels is a key RCMP priority. Recent initiatives related to gender and respect include the establishment of an RCMP Gender and Diversity Champion and efforts to raise the knowledge and implementation of GBA+ within the RCMP. Additional activities to be identified by the end of FY 2018/19.
1.2.1 Renew the RCMP’s National Diversity and Employment Equity Plan by the end of FY 2017/18
1.2.2 Create a new RCMP Diversity Council that will set strategic direction for diversity and inclusion within the RCMP by the end of FY 2018/19
1.2.1 Status of the RCMP’s renewed National Diversity and Employment Equity Plan
1.2.2 Status of the new RCMP Diversity Council
Enhance capability to undertake WPS and gender analysis in the design and planning of gender-sensitive programming
2.1 Target: Within three months, 100% of IPP Program personnel have taken required GBA+ training as defined by operational requirements.
Baseline: The online Status of Women Canada GBA+ training is a mandatory requirement for IPP Program management and IPP Program personnel are also encouraged to complete it. While there is general awareness of the WPS agenda within the Program, there are few resources on how WPS principles and gender considerations are to be applied when designing and planning programming.
2.1.1 Require all incoming IPP personnel by the end of fiscal year 2017/18 to complete the Status of Women Canada online GBA+ training
2.1.2 Identify additional resources and/or training on WPS and GBA+ for IPP program personnel to support further gender analysis in the context of fragile and conflict-affected states by the end of fiscal year 2018/19
2.1.1 Percentage of International Policing Program personnel that have completed GBA+ training and other training within 3 months of employment
Enhance gender-sensitive elements within police peace operations, including preventing and responding to sexual exploitation and abuse by UN Peacekeepers
3.1 Target: Enhanced ability of Canadian police officers deployed to peace operations to deliver/facilitate gender-sensitive programming in fragile and conflict-affected states.
Baseline: The RCMP provides pre-deployment training to all Canadian police officers deployed to a peace operation/mission in order to deliver/facilitate gender sensitive programming in fragile and conflict-affected states. Pre-deployment training modules for Canadian police to be deployed include content on WPS, codes of conduct, preventing and responding to SEA, and cultural awareness. Within the IPP Program, further work is ongoing to determine how to enhance this training. The ability of Canadian police officers deployed to undertake gender-sensitive programming could also be enhanced by providing greater technical support during deployment and by greater engagement with organizations/ministries involved in or affected by gender-related issues.
3.1.1 Continue to provide pre-deployment training to Canadian police to be deployed to peace operations/missions on WPS-related issues, including on SEA.
3.1.2 Target deployments where one of the primary functions is related to gender issues
3.1.3 Develop a mechanism to provide technical support and expertise on gender-based issues and gender-sensitive programming to Canadian police deployed to a peace operation/mission by the end of fiscal year 2018/19
3.1.4 Review pre-deployment training on WPS and GBA+ to enhance the knowledge and abilities of Canadian police to undertake gender-sensitive programming in mission/deployment abroad by the end of FY 2019/20
3.1.5 Develop a mechanism to engage relevant civil and/or government organizations in fragile and conflict affected countries to support the delivery of gender-sensitive programming by the end of FY 2019/2020
3.1.1 Number and percentage of Canadian police deployed to peace operations/ missions that receive pre-deployment training on WPS-related issues.
3.1.2 Number and nature of IPP deployments where one of the primary functions is related to gender issues
3.1.3 Extent to which a mechanism exist to provide technical support and expertise on gender-sensitive programming to Canadian police deployed to a peace operation/mission
3.1.4 Extent to which a mechanism exists to engage civil and/or government organizations
3.2 Target: Continued work with CPA partners to implement UN zero-tolerance policies on SEA in peace operations/missions resulting in zero cases of sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers.
Baseline: The RCMP, and its CPA partners, strongly supports the UN’s zero tolerance policy on SEA and takes all allegations of SEA or other misconduct within peace operations seriously. The RCMP also has a zero-tolerance policy on SEA by Canadian police officers in mission, and is actively engaged in preventing and responding to allegations. RCMP measures to prevent SEA include informing Canadian officers of its zero-tolerance policy prior to and during pre-deployment training in Canada, requiring officers to sign a letter prior to deployment agreeing to abide by the policy while deployed, establishing an obligation to report, and providing training on conduct, discipline SEA and other related matters.
3.2.1 Contribute to the development and implementation of Canada’s Strategy and Action Plan to address Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in UN peace operation
3.2.2 Report cases of sexual exploitation or abuse in peace operations/missions, allegedly perpetrated by Canadian police, based on the UN definition of sexual exploitation and abuse.
3.2.1 Number of reported cases of sexual exploitation or abuse in peace operations/missions, allegedly perpetrated by Canadian police. Note, this is based on the UN definition of sexual exploitation and abuse, not that of the Criminal Code of Canada.
Continue to focus on deploying women police officers in international peace operations/missions
4.1 Target: 20% of deployments are composed of women to peace operations/missions under the IPP Program, including in senior and/or influential positions.
Baseline: The RCMP recognizes that the participation of Canadian women police is paramount to the success of international police peace operations and missions. The IPP Program aims to meet or exceed the UN target of having 20% women in police missions. A survey to determine the opportunities and barriers related to women’s participation is under development. The results of this survey will inform the development of an action plan to identify and address barriers impeding the active and meaningful participation of women in international police peace operations.
4.1.1 Target the deployment of 20% Canadian women police in peace operations/missions under the IPP Program.
4.1.2 Pursue senior and/or influential positions within the UN, other multilateral bodies and missions for Canadian women police officers.
4.1.1 Percentage of Canadian women police deployed to an peace operation/mission under the IPP Program.
4.1.2 Number and nature of senior and/or influential positions held by a Canadian women police officer.
4.2 Target: Continued collaboration with UN, police-contributing countries and other partners to foster the participation of women in peace operations/missions.
Baseline: Through various mechanisms, the IPP program supports the UN and other partners in increasing the number of women police deployed to international operations/missions. For instance, since 2014, Canada has deployed Canadian police instructors to the UN’s All-Female Pre-Selection Assistance and Assessment (SAAT) training projects in Benin, Guinea, Niger, Togo, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, and Cameroon, as well as to a similar training project for men and women in Colombia. These projects are aimed at helping increase the number of women police officers from these countries who are selected to serve on UN peacekeeping missions by preparing candidates to meet UN testing requirements. Additional activities to be determined by the end of FY 2018/19.
4.2.1 Continue to actively support the UN’s efforts to recruit, select and deploy more women police officers for peace operations/missions, including through the deployment of Canadian instructors to All-Female Pre-Selection Assistance and Assessment Teams (SAATs), curriculum development, and other initiatives.
4.2.1 Number and nature of initiatives to train and/or support women from foreign countries to participate in international peace operations/missions.
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