The Protection of Civilians in UN Peacekeeping

By Benjamin de Carvalho (NUPI) and Ole Jacob Sending (NUPI)

Abstract

The Protection of Civilians (PoC) is now the central concern of most UN peacekeeping missions. Based on an overview of the evolution of PoC in UN peacekeeping, this collection offers a comparisons and in-depth studies of protection mandates in UN peacekeeping missions in Africa focusing on the challenges that emerge from this interface between the policy and practice of protection. Our main aim with this volume is to show how various understandings are implemented. Showcasing this heterogeneity of understandings and practices is central to any future effort at refining the policy tools available to those seeking to implement a protection mandate. Challenges remain, both at the conceptual level and in the practical implementation of PoC, including the practical challenge of implementing a concern rather than a clear policy on the one hand, and the conceptual challenge of how to best conceive of protection. Based on reviews of how PoC has been implemented in UN peacekeeping, the book seeks to show that however PoC is defined at headquarters level, successful implementation must rest on an understanding of the limits and challenges encountered in mission, on the ground.

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