Armed force:
The armed forces of a state.
Armed group:
Groups distinct from the armed forces of a state.
Child protection:
Refers to preventing and responding to violence, exploitation, and abuse against children. This includes, but is not limited to, the following: the recruitment and use of child soldiers; commercial sexual exploitation of children; child trafficking; child labour; and, harmful traditional practices, such as female genital mutilation and child marriage. Child protection activities typically focus on youths who are uniquely vulnerable to these harms – such as those living in situations of armed conflict.Endnote 161 The aim of these activities is not only to protect children, but also to promote their rights.Endnote 162
Child protection actor:
Individuals and groups formally engaged in child protection activities. This may include a number of military, police, and civilian actors from government institutions, non-governmental organizations, as well as private and civil society groups. Depending on the context, child protection actors may include those engaged in health, education, social welfare, and security sectors.Endnote 163
Child Protection Advisor:
Civilian specialists deployed in UN peacekeeping operations to provide guidance, advice, and support on child protection issues.Endnote 164 Child Protection Advisors help UN peacekeeping operations fulfil their child protection mandate, including by serving as the lead advisor on child protection for the mission.Endnote 165
Child Protection Focal Point:
Military and police at the force, sector, battalion, and company level who coordinate and work closely with Child Protection Advisors to ensure sustained attention to child protection issues, in order to facilitate information sharing on violations.Endnote 166
Child soldier (or a child associated with an armed force or armed group):
This term is used as a shorthand and is interpreted broadly in accordance with the definition found in the Paris Principles (2007). A child soldier (or a child associated with an armed force or armed group) “refers to any person below 18 years of age who is or who has been recruited or used by an armed force or armed group in any capacity, including but not limited to children, boys and girls, used as fighters, cooks, porters, messengers, spies or for sexual purposes. It does not only refer to a child who is taking or has taken a direct part in hostilities.”Endnote 167
Conflict-related sexual violence:
Incidents or patterns of sexual violence perpetrated against women, men, girls, or boys that is directly or indirectly linked to a conflict. This link with conflict may be evident in the profile of the perpetrator (who may be affiliated with an armed force or armed group), the profile of the victim (who is frequently a member of a persecuted political, ethnic, or religious minority), the climate of impunity, cross-border consequences, and/or violations of the terms of a ceasefire agreement.Endnote 168
Member States:
All States that are Members of the UN.
The UN defines misconduct as the failure to comply with obligations under the UN Charter, the Staff Regulations and Staff Rules, or other relevant administrative issuances or policy documents developed for specific categories of personnel. Misconduct can also result from failure to observe the standards of conduct expected of an international civil servant.Endnote 169
Sexual- and gender-based violence:
Sexual- and gender-based violence is defined by the UN as “any act that is perpetrated against a person’s will and is based on gender norms and unequal power relationships. It encompasses threats of violence and coercion. It can be physical, emotional, psychological, or sexual in nature, and can take the form of a denial of resources or access to services. It inflicts harm on women, girls, men, and boys.”Endnote 170 Sexual- and gender-based violence can be understood as an umbrella term for a broad spectrum of harmful acts that may be committed against any person. It includes, but is not limited to, occurrences of conflict-related sexual violence as well as sexual exploitation and abuse, such as: rape; forced pregnancy; forced sterilization; forced abortion; forced prostitution; sex trafficking; sexual enslavement; forced circumcision; castration; and, forced nudity.Endnote 171
Sexual exploitation and abuse:
As defined by the UN, sexual exploitation is “any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. This includes acts such as transactional sex, solicitation of transactional sex, and exploitative relationships.”Endnote 172 Sexual abuse is identified by the UN as “the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. All sexual activity with a child (under 18 years of age) is considered as sexual abuse.”Endnote 173 In this context, sexual exploitation and abuse is a specific form of sexual- and gender-based violence. It is the term used when such acts are committed by UN, coalition, allied, and humanitarian personnel against affected populations. The UN has a “zero-tolerance policy” with regards to acts of sexual exploitation and abuse, which is outlined in the 2003 UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin on Special Measures for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse.Endnote 174 This bulletin reiterates that sexual exploitation and abuse violates universally recognized international laws and that these actions are prohibited in order to further protect the most vulnerable populations, particularly women and children.
This term is used to encompass all personnel engaged in UN peacekeeping operations, be they military, police, or civilian.
Peacekeeping is a technique designed to preserve the peace, however fragile, where fighting has been halted, and to assist in implementing agreements achieved by the peacemakers. Over the years, peacekeeping has evolved from a primarily military model of observing cease-fires and the separation of forces after inter-state wars, to incorporate a complex model of many elements – military, police, and civilian – working together to help lay the foundations for sustainable peace.Endnote 175

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