Project Factsheet
Tools for » Strengthening the capacities of MONUSCO to implement the MARA Provisional Guidance Note, through the deployment of Women Protection Adviser (WPA)
Project ID:00081403Description:UNA027 OHCHR WPA in MONUSCO
UN Action Agst Sexual Violence
Start Date *: 6 Jun 2012
UN Action Against Sexual Viole
End Date*: 31 Oct 2015
Country: United Nations Project Status: Operationally Closed
  Participating Organization:   UNDPO - UN Dept of Peace Operations

In line with paragraph 12 of resolution 1888 and paragraph 10 of resolution 1960, the Terms of Reference for Women Protection Advisors (WPAs) were jointly prepared by the Department of Political Affairs, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Office of the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, in consultation with members of UN Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict. The implementation of the conflict-related sexual violence mandate requires a three-pronged approach. Therefore, a WPA shall be located in the office of the D/SRSG and should work-in close collaboration with designated WPAs located within Human Rights and Gender Components. The roles of the respective WPAs shall be complementary and serve to strengthen the response of human rights, gender and other relevant components to conflict related sexual violence, in line with relevant Security Council's resolutions. The role of the WPAs, must be also seen in conjunction with the new functions that Security Council's resolutions 1960 requires of peace mission, in particular the establishment of Monitor, Analysis and Reporting Arrangements (MARA).

According to the Terms of Reference, the WPA within the D/SRSG office (WPA OSRSG) shall coordinate among all relevant UN actors in order to strengthen the monitoring and reporting, prevention and response to conflict-related sexual violence against women, men and children. The WPA D/SRSG shall provide support as appropriate to the UN actors for the implementation of the Security Council mandate on conflict-related sexual violence. Specifically, the role of the WPA D/SRSG will focus on the implementation of the MARA; coordination of actors involved in dialogue with parties to conflict for commitments; and contributing to the integration of conflict-related sexual violence considerations in UN policies, planning, operations and training.

The WPA (Human Rights) shall, inter alia, lead the monitoring and reporting function of the MARA Working Group, coordinate the preparation of reports, undertake analysis of information to contribute to the understanding of the patterns and trends of sexual violence, and plan and coordinate multidisciplinary investigation teams.

The WPA (Gender) shall, inter alia, lead in mainstreaming, training, capacity building and response aspects. This includes working with Civilian, Police and Military components of missions to integrate sexual violence concerns in policy, activities, standard operating procedures, etc. WPA (Gender) shall also ensure adequate training to all mission components on conflict-related sexual violence, and contribute to the development and implementation of protection plans and comprehensive strategies.

Following to the finalization of the MARA Provisional Guidance Note and the WPAs Terms of Reference, UN Action decided to support the accelerated implementation of MARA in four priority countries: the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); Central African Republic (CAR): Cote d'lvoire; and South Sudan. Accordingly, the missions were requested to hold internal consultations regarding internal arrangements for the implementation of MARA and WPA and indicate the support required.

MONUSCO, after internal consultations led by the Office of the DSRSG-Rule of Law, and involving the Joint Human Rights Office, the Gender Unit and the Sexual Violence Unit, decided that, a senior Protection Advisor recruited in the Office of the DSRSG (secured through extra-budgetary funding from the Government of Canada) would be identified as the WPA/DSRSG, and based in Kinshasa. For the Gender Unit, a Gender Affairs Officer under recruitment and to be based in Bukavu, in conflict-affected South Kivu province would be tasked as the WPA for the Gender Unit.

For the Joint Human Rights Office (MONUSCO's Human Rights Division) while a focal point on MARA reporting has been identified, and the JHRO's offices conduct monitoring and follow-up on conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV), it was decided that extra-budgetary funding be sought as a matter of urgency, to support the deployment of a Women Protection Adviser at P4 level, to strengthen the reporting and analysis on CRSV, and coordinate the working group on MARA. Due to the advance planning/budgeting cycle for peace missions (including MONUSCO) the Mission's Results-Based Budget (RBB) request for the current year (1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012) was submitted in September 2010. The Mission's Results-Based budget for the 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013 cycle was also submitted in September 2011, prior to receiving final guidance on the MARA implementation modalities and identification of WPAs. The WPA post will be included in the JHRO's RBB request for the cycle beginning in July 2013. This request to the UN Action Multi-Donor Trust Fund for a WPA in the UNJHRO will provide bridge coverage to enable immediate implementation of MARA requirements in DRC, pending its absorption into regular budget resources.

The incidence of sexual violence in the DRC is extremely high, ranging from CRSV perpetrated by the DRC Army in the context of military operations in eastern DRC, by units of the DRC Police deployed to stabilize areas with receding conflict, CRSV committed by myriad Congolese and foreign armed groups, and sexual violence against migrants including on DRC's borders with Angola. The Joint Human Rights Office (JHRO) presently has a Reporting and investigations Unit at its headquarters in Kinshasa, which receives, consolidates, and reports on information pertaining to all human rights violations which are monitored by the JHRO's 19 field offices (the JHRO has an office and/or sub-offices in all of the DRC's 11 provinces). However, the Reporting and Investigations Unit does not have dedicated staff capacity in the area of monitoring and reporting on Sexual Violence.

Principal WPA Responsibilities within UNJHRO: The WPA/Human Rights would have two main areas of responsibility: (a) strengthening monitoring, reporting, and analysis on conflict-related sexual violence, (b) coordinating the working group and forum on MARA within the UN system in DRC. A WPA tasked with this function will have as monitoring, reporting, and analytical tasks, to: (i) provide normative guidance on standards to JHRO field offices in monitoring and investigating CRSV which falls within the purview of UN Security Council Resolution 1960 (initial guidance will preferably be provided as a priority task after the WPA's deployment and reviewed/updated progressively), (ii) advise, assist field teams, and follow-up on investigations into sexual violence and (iii) consolidate information and inputs on CRSV submitted by JHRO's 19 field offices and other JHRO investigations.

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