In view of concerns about violence against refugee women, the next MINURCAT report should include information about: efforts to ensure that women take part in initiatives to ensure their safety; increased resources for services for survivors; ending impunity for rape and other violence against women and girls inside and outside refugee camps; and concrete steps to provide better security, including regular patrols inside and outside the camps and a more strenuous vetting process for recruitment of national and international security forces.
The upcoming report on UNOCI should address how current challenges with disarmament programs are impacting women and girls. In the upcoming mandate renewal for UNOCI, action by the Security Council could include:
- Prioritizing women’s participation in post-conflict recovery, in peace talks and in disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programs as well as other UN-led stabilization processes.
- The monitoring and investigation of human rights violations to end impunity, including for sexual violence, and mechanisms for accountability; and judicial reform align domestic laws with international human rights and humanitarian law.
- Resources must be made available to ensure basic quality medical care for survivors, and for training of police, judges, and prosecutors to change the attitudes and practices that prevent women from seeking help.
- Concrete means to better implement UNOCI’s mandate to address gender-based violence, and in particular sexual violence.
The situation in Guinea remains insecure. The UN Commission of Inquiry’s recent report on the September 28th acts of violence should be made public, and the results acted upon to ensure full reparations for victims, including restitution, compensation and rehabilitation. In addition, the Council should support women’s inclusion in the ongoing power sharing talks, and ensure their rights are addressed in any agreements reached.
The upcoming report on UNMIN should include analysis and recommendations on protection issues around women and girls, and women’s rights and needs in the implementation of the comprehensive peace agreement. In the upcoming mandate renewal for UNMIN, action by the Security Council could include:
- Ensuring women and girls associated with demobilized soldiers or who may be combatants themselves have equal participation in demobilization and rehabilitation programs.
- Ensuring that the release of disqualified combatants from the cantonments, which include girls, is done in a timely manner that conforms to the UN’s guidelines for demobilisation, disarmament and reintegration of child soldiers.
- UNMIN should ensure that the government takes all appropriate measures as per national and international law to end impunity, including for crimes against women and girls.
- Strengthening the vetting of peacekeepers to ensure that human rights violators are barred from UN peacekeeping missions.
The AMISOM report is due in the Council in January, and planning is underway for a UN mission in Somalia. In light of the grave humanitarian situation in Somalia, the Security Council’s discussion on such a mandate should:
- Take immediate steps to protect civilians, particularly women, such as disarmament and small arms embargo enforcement.
- Provide necessary measures to ensure the rights of women and women’s rights defenders.
- Provide well-resourced and politically-supported gender advice in the mission to meet the needs of women in Somalia, and to engage with civil society members in the country, including supporting women’s inclusion in all levels of decision making.
- Ensure that all peacekeeping troops deployed to the region are trained regarding specific mandates on women, peace and security, and on protection.
Recent reporting has been uneven, including the lack of reference to women in the benchmarks and indicators of progress for the period 2009-2011 in Annex I of the current SG’s report on UNMIS. The forthcoming reports on UNMIS and UNAMID should provide concrete examples of if/how women were meaningfully included in the civil society consultation process in Darfur, and in peace agreement dialogues; articulate how women are participating in government, including the structures that constitute the CPA, and the barriers and obstacles to progress in this respect; provide concrete progress benchmarks to demonstrate an increase in the capacity of security forces to respond to gender-based violence; and a regular system of information collection, analysis, and sharing to ensure public reporting on the current situation in Darfur, including humanitarian needs and civilian protection. This information could be gender disaggregated.
The Security Council and Member States should follow up on the recommendations in Security Council resolutions 1888 and 1889 on Women Peace and Security, particularly the recommendation in 1888 (OP 4) to appoint a Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG). We encourage the Security Council to ensure the SRSG and her/his office has the expertise, credibility, and authority to effectively discharge the mandate, which requires a holistic approach that includes prevention, protection, women’s participation, and access to services for survivors of sexual violence.