Protection of Civilians: Delivering on the Mandate through Civil-Military Coordination


  • Justin MacDermott
  • Måns Hanssen

Publish date: 2010-10-18

Report number: FOI-R--3035--SE

Pages: 94

Written in: English


  • peacekeeping
  • protection of civilians
  • protection
  • responsibility to protect
  • civil-militarycoordination
  • United Nations
  • peace support operations


Over the last decade the majority of victions in armed conflicts have been civilians. As a result, increasing attention has been given to the issue of protecting civilians and the United Nations now generally includes protection of civilians (PoC) in its peacekeeping mandates. Noting the lack of clear methods and guidelines on how to implement PoC in practice this report investigates how civil-military coordination at the operational and tactical levels can be used to strengthen PoC. It does so in three parts. In Part I, the conceptual aspects of PoC, related principles and concepts as well as their evolution are explored. Part II is based on a series of case studies including MONUC, UNMIL, UNOCI, UNMIS and UNAMID. This part explores PoC as it is has been manifested in the respective mandates and how UN peacekeeping missions have engaged in civil-military coordination to deliver on the PoC mandate. From the case studies, the report seeks to extract lessons, which can be of relevance for a wider audience of peacekeeping actors. These recommendations are centred on enhancing the following aspects in relation to PoC: operational guidance; planning; coordination; operational delivery; training and capacities as well as monitoring and reporting. Part III closes with overall conclusions drawn from the report.