The Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) is an independent, international NGO that works with armed actors and civilians in conflict to develop and implement solutions to prevent, mitigate, and respond to civilian harm. CIVIC began working on UN peacekeeping operations in 2013. Our program’s goal is to strengthen the protection of civilians (POC) through UN peacekeeping operations.
To reach this goal, CIVIC undertakes in-depth research and constructive advocacy:
- in the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mali, and South Sudan;
- at UN Headquarters in New York; and
- in UN Member State capitals.
CIVIC’s peacekeeping work is based on the theory that UN peacekeeping reform should be civilian-focused and must occur at the local-, national-, and international-level in order to be sustained. At the local-level, CIVIC documents the perspectives of communities under threat, local authorities, armed actors, humanitarians, and the peacekeeping personnel carrying out daily activities to protect, often in remote locations. At the national-level, CIVIC engages with a peacekeeping operation’s leadership, national civil society organizations, UN agencies, NGOs, embassies, and host-state governments to strengthen tools and capacities, such as early warning threat assessments and standard operating procedures. Through this work, we seek to capture good practices and lessons learned and share them with these key stakeholders.
CIVIC translates what it learns into recommendations for political action and reforms that policy and decision-makers, including UN peacekeeping personnel, UN Secretariat officials, and UN Member States, can take forward. For example, at the international-level, we have a track record of influencing the negotiations of peacekeeping mandates and budgets as well as UN peacekeeping policies and practices, strategic reviews of missions, and broader peacekeeping reform initiatives that have been introduced by the Secretary-General and Member States. Our primary vehicles for awareness-raising and influencing include reports and policy briefs, public and private advocacy, and meetings, events, and workshops.
CIVIC’s Peacekeeping Program seeks to strengthen the ability of peacekeeping operations to protect civilians by contributing to six objectives:
- The protection of civilians remains a priority for UN peacekeeping missions.
- Mission planning and decision-making is linked to assessments of threats to civilians.
- Peacekeeping performance is strengthened by ensuring that mandates are matched with adequate means and resources.
- Accountability systems for underperformance are improved.
- Missions have the capabilities to operationalize civilian harm mitigation in peacekeeping operations.
- Communities at risk of violence are safely and effectively engaged in mission planning and activities to protect civilians.