2020-2021 Royal Canadian Mounted Police departmental progress report for 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 2017-2022 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 Plus), as the articulation of the government-wide approach to “gender mainstreaming.” GBA Plus 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 Plus within the RCMP. In addition, each RCMP business line and division is responsible for ensuring that GBA Plus is integrated across their work.
The RCMP also has a GBA Plus 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 Plus 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 Plus 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.
RCMP and the International Police Peacekeeping and Peace Operations Program
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.
Priorities: 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.
Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: target achieved or surpassed/Internal efficiency & capacity
- Five related activities were completed as of March 31, 2021.
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
1.1.1 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.
1.1.2 Percentage 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.
All five related activities were completed as of March 31, 2021.
Results and Progress:
No Needs Assessment Mission (NAM) Templates or Reconnaissance Mission (Recces) were conducted during 2020-2021 due to COVID. Processes in place to ensure future NAMs and RECCEs include WPS principles and gender perspectives.
1.2 Target: Implementation of strategic initiatives for diversity and inclusion across the RCMP.
Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: on track/Internal efficiency & capacity
- 2/2 related activities were completed as of March of 2021.
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 Plus 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
Enhancing gender equality and diversity continues to be a key RCMP priority. Recent initiatives related to gender include the appointment of a GBA Plus expert to the RCMP senior executive committee and the establishment of a GBA Plus network to enhance the GBA Plus capabilities and application of gender mainstreaming across the organization.
The RCMP’s National Council for Diversity and Inclusion is firmly established and will continue to operate on an ongoing basis.
Results and Progress:
Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA Plus) is integrated across the RCMP as a tool to examine, prevent and address systemic discrimination and barriers in policies, programs and operations by challenging assumptions and examining potential bias. A GBA Plus expert has been appointed to the RCMP senior executive committee, to ensure GBA Plus is integrated throughout decision-making. In addition, a GBA Plus network has been established to deepen GBA Plus competencies and use across the organization. The network works to identify and bridge gaps in employee knowledge, tools and resources.
The RCMP has also launched its Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, which takes a firm stance against racism and discrimination within the organization and the communities it serves. The Strategy integrates perspectives shared by employees from employment equity groups; Black, Indigenous and employees of colour; and members of the LGBTQ2S+ community, as well as key recommendations from various reports on RCMP culture and broader federal strategies. It identifies concrete actions that target cultural transformation to enhance equity and trust in Canada’s national police service, such as developing training products, renewing recruitment and promotional practices, and setting clear accountability measures for the organization and leaders. By committing to modernization and broader diversity and inclusion, the RCMP hopes to achieve better outcomes for all employees, our organization and the communities we serve.
Priorities: 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 Plus training as defined by operational requirements.
Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Activity achieved or surpassed/Internal efficiency & capacity
- 2/2 related activities were completed as of March 31, 2019
The online Status of Women Canada GBA Plus 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 Plus training
2.1.2 Identify additional resources and/or training on WPS and GBA Plus 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 Plus training and other training within 3 months of employment
Priorities: 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.
Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: on track (80% completed) /Internal efficiency & capacity
- 4/5 related activities were completed.
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 sexual exploitation and abuse (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 Plus 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 exists 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
In FY 2020-21, there were 5 International Police Support Operations Training (IPSOT) sessions with a total of 50 candidates trained. 42 Canadian Police deployed to peace operations/missions in FY 2020-21 and out of the 42 deployed officers, 14 were female. These numbers were lower than past years due to the global pandemic, however, 100% of deployees received pre-deployment training on WPS-related issues. Two of the deployed officers had primary duties related to gender issues and two others have contributed to activities or participated in committees related to gender issues, but not as a primary role.
In FY 2020-21, the CPA program deployed two Gender Advisors to Ukraine to provide guidance on gender and protection issues. Further, the deployment of Gender Advisors ensures that proper engagements are ongoing towards the support of gender-sensitive programming which supports WPS initiatives.
Results and Progress:
To enhance the ability of our police officers to deliver gender-sensitive programming, WPS is a key subject for all of our Pre-Deployment training sessions for deploying officers. This session includes topics on gender roles, gender mainstreaming, international instruments, the WPS Agenda, and RCMP targets related to international deployments. All (100%) deploying police officers undergo International Peace Support Operations Training (IPSOT). The relevant section for this indicator is the WPS Resolution 1325 Implementation Session that forms part of the academic portion of IPSOT.
In FY 2020-21, there were 5 IPSOT sessions with a total of 50 candidates trained. Women, Peace and Security (WPS/SGBV) session was delivered to all (100%) officers deployed during FY 2020-21.
In FY 2020-21, Canadian police officers made significant contributions to gender-responsive policies and products. As part of their duties, Gender Advisors provide guidance on gender and protection issues, and engage with unified action partners, non-governmental organizations and civil society stakeholders.
All IPO personnel – both within headquarters and deployed - are required to take Women and Gender Affairs Canada’s on-line Gender Based Analysis Plus (GBA Plus) training to learn to analyze diversity implications of government policy and procedures to ensure they are fair for everyone.
Canadian police officers made significant contributions to influence policies and Canadian positions, including the development of gender-responsive policies/products. Examples are:
- The Canadian Police Mission in Ukraine (CPMU) – with objectives of providing strategic advice for the development of effective, sustainable, and accountable police services - included a gender advisor who provided training and policy advice to police agencies in the Ukraine.
Activity 3.1.3 – examining the development of an engagement mechanism -- is addressed through the staffing and the actions of Gender Advisors. By being the primary interface with partners, government and non-governmental organizations and civil society stakeholders, the Gender Advisor position is in itself a mechanism that ensures that proper engagements are on-going towards the support of gender-sensitive programming. Gender Advisors provide: subject matter expertise for gender and protection training across organizations; input into future operational planning; and engagement and liaison using strategic communications so that our story, notably from a gender perspective, can reach a wider audience. This mechanism will be further enhanced by implementing more standardized practices of engagement with both civil society stakeholders and government and by increasing the engagement with organizations/ ministries involved in or affected by gender-related issues.
Key on-going engagement activities performed by Gender Advisors (and other police officers with gender related responsibilities):
- In Ukraine, the CPMU Gender Advisor: participated in monthly roundtable meetings with NATO partners as well as local ministerial representatives to advise on CPMU activities as they relate to advancing 1325 objectives; and, assisted in the organization and participated in the annual conference of the Ukrainian Association of Women in Law Enforcement (UAWLE). At this conference, the Gender Advisor presented on the importance of psychological health for first responders.
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.
Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Target achieved or surpassed/OBJ 2
- 2/2 activities were completed as of March 31, 2020.
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 police officers of its zero-tolerance policy prior to and during pre-deployment training in Canada, requiring police officers to sign a letter prior to deployment committing to abide by this policy while deployed and establishing an obligation to report any incidents of SEA of which they become aware.
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 operations
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.
Priorities: 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.
Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/OBJ 5
- 2/2 activities were completed.
The RCMP recognizes that the participation of Canadian women police officers is paramount to the success of international police peace operations/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
The RCMP committed to the implementation of the following two (2) activities related to this priority:
- Target the deployment of 20% Canadian women police officers in peace operations/missions under IPO
- Pursue senior and/or influential positions within the UN, other multilateral bodies, and missions for Canadian women police officers
All activities were completed and are on-going in nature:
- In support of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, which seeks to gain greater participation from women in all peace and security efforts, the RCMP seeks to meet and/or exceed the UN targets for deploying Canadian women police in peace operations. For 2020, that target is 22%. In FY 2020-2021 33.3% (14 out of 42) Canadian police officers deployed to an international peace operation/mission were women.
Results and Progress:
In 2020-21, 14 of 42 police officers deployed have been women, equating to 33.3%. Furthermore, IPO continues to recognize the importance of Canadian women police officers holding senior, strategic positions within peace operations missions. We had women in the West Bank, Ukraine, Mali, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and at Canada’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York.
Note: Over the year, 2 out of the 6 missions that had a Contingent Commander for the Canadian police contingent had women occupying this role. Additionally, the CPA has deployed a high ranking female officer as a Senior Police Advisor (SPA) the Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York (PRMNY), The SPA to PRMNY serves as Canada’s chief police representative to the UN. The SPA is the primary point of contact for the CPA working group on all Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) police peacekeeping and peace operations, as well as any other related issues.
Further, the CPA also deployed a high-ranking female police officer as the Officer in Charge (OIC) of training to the Canadian Police Mission in Ukraine (CPMU). This officer also serves as the Deputy Contingent Commander.
Additionally, the IPO had a Gender Advisor in Iraq until mid-September 2020, since then, no Canadian police officers have deployed to Iraq. The Canadian Police Mission in Ukraine has a gender advisor position. In addition, a Canadian police officer with the European Union Assistance Mission in Ukraine made significant contributions to gender and LGBTQ2S+ mainstreaming training and policies, although they were not formally assigned to the gender advisor position.
COVID-19 has understandably impacted the Program. In March 2020, Canada made the difficult decision to repatriate many of its police officers from overseas peace operations missions. This was due to many factors, primarily that operations and training were suspended or cancelled by the host countries and / or agencies. Given this reality, some of the important work being delivered has lost some traction. On a positive note, many members continued various aspects of their activities via teleworking and continued to contribute to mission mandates. By Autumn of 2020 most personnel who had been working remotely had returned to their missions.
4.2 Target: Continued collaboration with UN, police-contributing countries and other partners to foster the participation of women in peace operations/missions
Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: on track/OBJ 5
- 1/1 activities completed.
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
As part of the Elsie Initiative, Canada is working with the Zambia Police Service (ZPS) to establish bilateral technical assistance and training initiatives to increase the deployment of women. The RCMP is partnering with the Zambia Police Service and, in the last fiscal year, Canada determined priorities and developed an action plan. The RCMP representatives regularly participated in the Canada-Zambia Working Group, contributing to the technical assistance and training package. The RCMP also reviewed the first draft Memorandum of Understanding between Global Affairs and the ZPS, and three draft ZPS policies and provided feedback and suggestions.
Results and Progress:
Elsie Initiative: As part of advancing the law enforcement portion of the Elsie Initiative, RCMP representatives regularly participated in the Canada-Zambia Working Group. Further to this, in November 2020 a series of virtual workshops took place to generate recommendations for a technical assistance and training (TAT) package to outline support to the ZPS in meeting their peacekeeping goals while tackling the barriers faced by women and increase their meaningful deployments to peace operations. Each session examined an area of interest for the Zambia Police Services (ZPS) – for example, deployment policy - to flesh out ideas and relevant activities to support the program design.
One of the main recommendations at the institutional level was to develop policy frameworks that address selection/recruitment, information dissemination, criteria, standards, code of conduct, professionalization networks, harassment, and complaints mechanism.
RCMP reviewed three draft policies (Deployment Policy, Training Policy and Gender Policy) and provided timely feedback and suggestions for improvements to ZPS. Some of these suggestions included:
- RCMP also reviewed and provided comments to the first draft of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Global Affairs and the ZPS.
For this section, challenges are defined as obstacles the program has faced over the course of the reporting period. Examples include; COVID 19 restrictions, barriers to deployment, changes in mission mandates etc.
Refers to challenges faced by International Specialized Services at NHQ. Examples include: barriers to deployment, insufficient candidate pools, logistical challenges, budget etc.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a reduction in the number of candidates applying to deploy, and reluctance of some RCMP divisions and partner police agencies to release their members from their substantive duties due to a prioritization of domestic policing requirements.
The Physical Abilities Requirement Evaluation (PARE) testing facilities across much of Canada remained closed due to COVID-19 during this time period which necessitated testing candidates during the IPSOT in Ottawa with a private facility.
Refers to external factors which presented challenges to regular program operations. Examples include; COVID-19 restrictions, challenges with partners, changes in CPA partnerships, operational barriers etc.
In instances where the CPA was able to deploy officers, there were significant logistical challenges such as; third party medical providers shutting down some services which impacted the CPA’s ability to get medical examinations conducted; RCMP not having an allotment of vaccines; police officers were not being prioritized for early vaccination in most provinces; the UN temporarily suspending deployments into certain missions; commercial international travel services were significantly reduced; and some police partner agencies and RCMP divisions were unable to release their members for redeployment to missions due to front-line policing pressures created by the pandemic. In spite of all these challenges, deployed personnel exhibited tremendous resiliency and innovation in the face of challenges presented by the pandemic.
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