Locally and around the world, new strategies to protect human rights and promote peaceful conflict transformation are in action.
Nonviolent peacekeepers have developed skills needed to build relationships that can support conflict resolution and protect human rights defenders, both in Canada and abroad.
International Day of Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping
The Metta Center for Nonviolence is leading a campaign to establish an official annual day of recognition for Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping beginning in 2022.
The date April 17 was selected as the ideal date to commemorate the success of the Nonviolent Peaceforce. On that date, in a South Sudan mission, a United Nations refugee camp was attacked by armed militias. Two peacekeepers, because they were unarmed and trained in UCP techniques and skills, were able to protect the lives of over nine women and children in addition to their own lives. These peacekeepers have reported that if they were armed on that day, they have no doubt that they would have been killed. The Metta Centre for Nonviolence has more info...
Selkirk College - Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping - Program Overview
UCP involves the use of trained peace professionals who use the principles of nonviolence to provide direct physical protection to civilians in a variety of contexts. Some of the strategies used include protective accompaniment, creation of safe spaces, proactive presencing, interpositioning, monitoring and reporting, and relationship building.
Since 2017, Selkirk College has offered UCP training in collaboration with Nonviolent Peaceforce, a major global organization that employs UCP strategies in several areas, including the Philippines, South Sudan, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Iraq.
In 2019, Selkirk's UCP course was offered concurrently in Nelson and in Burundi (Central Africa).
Parfaite Ntahuba, Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping Grad
A project coordinator in Burundi, Parfaite Ntahuba shares her narrative report on bringing unarmed civilian peacekeeping to her community of Bujumbura, Burundi. There, she works with the Quaker Peace Network. Read this for a deeper understanding...
At this time, due to the COVID outbreak, it is not known when this course will be offered next. Those potentially interested in future trainings are invited to contact Mir Centre for Peace Chair and Peace and Justice Studies Instructor Jennie Barron.
The program will be delivered in English, making proficiency in English a requirement. One year of post-secondary studies, or a minimum age of 21 years is recommended.
What will I do once I graduate?
This citation in UCP will enable you to apply for volunteer and paid positions with organizations that specifically hire unarmed civilian peacekeeping personnel.
Additionally, this course is helpful for anyone seeking employment in international humanitarian work, as it prepares students with the skills of cultural awareness, communication and violence de-escalation.
Join the Mir Centre for Peace on Facebook to stay connected and learn more about Mir events and programming.
Check out the UCP Database for an interactive map and more on UCP around the world.