Protecting civilians from violence

A threat-based approach to protection of civilians in UN peace operations

​The Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) and the Norwegian Defence International Centre (NODEFIC) have made a joint publication: "Protecting Civilians from Violence: A Threat-Based Approach to Protection of Civilians in UN Peace Operations".

This publication supplements UN guidance with new insights on how force may be used most effectively against different types of threats. It can help UN military commanders, planners and protection practitioners at all levels of the UN system to enhance their understanding of how the military component of a UN peace operation can use its capabilities more effectively to protect civilians in different situations.

The publication builds on insights derived from eight generic scenarios developed at FFI, ranging from the least violent situations (mob violence) to the most violent (genocide). In sum, they seek to capture the full range of potential physical threats to civilians. Each scenario describes a fundamentally different type of physical threat to civilians, which will require different types of military responses if protection of civilians is to be achieved.

Each chapter of the document uses the scenarios to provide insights in four core phases of UN peace operations: threat analysis, military planning, tactical responses and monitoring & evaluation.

The findings are included in UN courses at NODEFIC, including Joint Mission Analysis Centre (JMAC), Joint Operations Centre (JOC) and Field Crisis Management courses (UNFCM). The concept will also inform other parts of the ongoing reform efforts of UN peace operations.

Published 06 October 2016 08:40.. Last updated 10 January 2018 13:16.