Protection of Civilians
Protection broadly encompasses activities aimed at obtaining full respect for the rights of all individuals in accordance with international law, including international humanitarian, human rights, and refugee law. During protracted armed conflict, civilians, particularly women, have increasingly become the victims of violence and insecurity. In 1999, the Security Council first requested a dedicated report by the UN Secretary-General on PoC, followed by the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1265 (1999), which recognized the need for protection against specific threats targeted at civilians in armed conflict and outlined operational obligations to highlight ways to protect civilian populations experiencing armed conflict.
The NGOWG WPS focuses specifically on women’s protection in armed conflict, requesting the Security Council to recognize the broad range of ways women are affected by conflict and to harness international law to mandate needed protection in peacekeeping missions. The Council is also requested to focus on how to concretely implement existing norms related to the protection of civilians, including through the resources available in the Protection of Civilians Aide Memoire (S/PRST/2010/25), to ensure women’s protection. The NGOWG WPS advocates for the deployment of Women’s Protection Advisers as well as the provision of a number of services to female survivors of conflict, including psychosocial services for survivors of sexual violence.