Chapter 6 – Monitoring and Reporting
To take steps to ensure our peacekeepers report incidents of grave violations against children in situations of armed conflict, including the recruitment and use of children, to United Nations Child Protection Advisors or through the appropriate channels established in peacekeeping operations, and to include such monitoring and accountability measures within our national mission mandate and peacekeeping training.
Why is this principle important?
In order to address the six grave violations against children – including the recruitment and use of child soldiers – the UN and other actors require accurate and timely information.Endnote 63 Accordingly, the UN Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) was established in 2005 by UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 1612 in order to “collect and provide timely, objective, accurate and reliable information on the recruitment and use of child soldiers in violation of applicable international law and on other violations and abuses committed against children affected by armed conflict.”Endnote 64 The MRM is formally activated by the UN Secretary-General in situations of armed conflict where a party to a conflict has been identified as having committed grave violations against children, including in countries where UN peacekeeping operations take place.Endnote 65 Ultimately, the information gathered through the MRM is used not only in UN reporting, but also to inform the response, provide services to children, and engage with parties to a conflict in a manner that fosters accountability and compliance with international laws, standards, and norms. Peacekeepers play an important role in this monitoring and reporting process. Because they serve as a peacekeeping operation’s eyes and ears on the ground, they are often best-positioned to provide an early alert to trained MRM actors of suspected violations. Member States should therefore ensure their military, police, and civilian personnel can identify the six grave violations, and understand their specific roles and responsibilities within the MRM, in accordance with the UN MRM Field Manual.Endnote 66 When peacekeepers conduct effective, systematic, and timely monitoring and reporting, they provide valuable data that can be used to inform mission-level decision-making on actions to prevent the further recruitment and use of child soldiers, support investigations, inform sanctions, and hold perpetrators to account for their actions.Endnote 67
How can this principle be implemented?
Identify the supporting role of peacekeepers within the UN MRM in relevant national policies, doctrine, and directives: Member States should provide formal institutional guidance on the need to support the MRM – as well as on the role of peacekeepers in observing, monitoring, and reporting violations against children – in national policies, doctrine, and directives.Endnote 68 Such guidance should cover a number of themes, including:
- Purpose of the MRM: Peacekeepers should understand the purpose of the MRM, which is to provide for the systematic gathering of accurate, timely, objective, and reliable information on any of the six grave violations committed against children in situations of armed conflict.Endnote 69
- The six grave violations: Peacekeepers should understand and be able to identify the six grave violations against children. For more detail on these violations, and other child rights violations, see Appendix D of this implementation guidance.
- Duty and requirement to report: In accordance with UN mechanisms and procedures, all violations should be monitored and reported, whether they are committed by armed forces, armed groups, UN officials, international forces, or any other actor.
- Elements of reporting: Whenever possible, reports of violations should include information on the following:
- The violation(s);
- The victim(s) and the perpetrator(s);
- Time, location, and duration of the incident; and,
- Suspected cause or motivation.
- Consistency and confidentiality of reporting: Information should be reported in a consistent and confidential manner, so that data can be more easily consolidated and analyzed. Great care should be taken for the safety and confidentiality of those who report violations.
- Reporting pathways: Alerts should be passed to the mission’s Child Protection Advisors (CPAs), through military or police Child Protection Focal Points (CPFPs), when available.Endnote 70 Alerts should also be passed through the mission chain of command.
Provide pre-deployment training to peacekeepers on their roles and responsibilities within the MRM, consistent with UN guidelines: Member States should provide specific training on the MRM before peacekeepers deploy to UN peacekeeping operations. This training should be developed in accordance with the standards outlined in the UN Specialised Training Materials (STMs) on Child Protection, MRM Guidelines, MRM Field Guide, and MRM Training Toolkit.Endnote 71
Advocate for the development of a standardized reporting template or checklist that Member States can provide to their peacekeepers to facilitate reporting duties within the MRM: At the tactical and operational levels, specific procedures for reporting should be put in place so that all peacekeepers know what, when, and how to report in a specific mission. National reporting procedures should be aligned with UN standard procedures for the MRM in order to ensure consistency of reporting and to facilitate comprehensive analysis.
Explore opportunities for relevant information sharing with other regional organizations, in support of the MRM: Member States should explore opportunities to leverage relevant information gathering efforts of other regional organizations to support the MRM. For instance, the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (SRSG/CAAC) has developed a children and armed conflict (CAAC) guidance document with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Examples and resources
MRM on Grave Violations Against Children in Situations of Armed Conflict: The Office of the SRSG/CAAC, the UN Department of Peace Operations (DPO), and the UN International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) have developed a website with a suite of helpful resources on the MRM. The website includes links to the MRM Guidelines, MRM Field Manual, and MRM Training Toolkit.Endnote 72
“Getting It Done and Doing It Right: A Global Study on the United Nations-led Monitoring & Reporting Mechanism on Children and Armed Conflict”: This study by Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict provides a comprehensive review of the MRM.Endnote 73
Reporting Flow Chart – Force Commander’s Directive on Child Protection for MINUSCA (2018): This Directive, established in accordance with the mission mandate, articulates how the child protection mandate will be mainstreamed throughout the Force component, and specifically includes a reporting flowchart for peacekeepers.
To implement this principle, Member States should undertake the following:
- Identify the supporting role of peacekeepers within the UN Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) in relevant national policies, doctrine, and directives. National guidance on the MRM should cover the following key themes, including, but not limited to:
- Purpose of the MRM;
- The six grave violations;
- Duty and requirement of peacekeepers to report;
- Elements of reporting;
- Need for consistency and confidentiality of reporting; and,
- Reporting pathways.
- Provide pre-deployment training to peacekeepers on their roles and responsibilities within the MRM, consistent with UN guidelines.
- Advocate for the development of a standardized reporting template or checklist that Member States can provide to their peacekeepers to facilitate reporting duties within the MRM.
- Explore opportunities for relevant information sharing with other regional organizations, in support of the MRM.
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