#PK70 : 7 things you didn't know about the rule of law component in peacekeeping operations
The rule of law is at the center of the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH) mandate. The UN Department for Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) simultaneously support peace and security institutions through the deployment of UN Police (UNPOL) officers, and also justice and corrections specialists. At 70th anniversary of Peacekeeping, here are 7 things you didn't know about the UN role to enforce the rule of law.
The rule of law is the juridical and political framework through which all people and institutions, as well as the State itself, are kept accountable. It is critical to enforce the rule of law to ensure sustainable peace. To achieve this, it's essential to promote the institutional reform of police, judiciary and penitentiary systems.
#1 The rule of law in prisons
Overcrowded prisons and prolonged pretrial detentions are common problems in politically unstable or conflict affected countries. As part of UN Peacekeeping’s efforts to support the establishment of the rule of law, UN corrections and human rights officers regularly conduct prison visits to help address these problems. Here, a UN corrections officer speaks to a detainee at Haiti’s National Penitentiary in Port-au-Prince, where overcrowding and lengthy pretrial detention remain problematic.
#2 From Blue Helmets to Blue Berets
In July 1960, the UN Security Council established the United Nations Operations in the Congo (UNOC). It was the first UN peacekeeping mission with a significant military force and it was also the first to deploy UN Police. Here, standing guard on a street in Leopoldville, presently Kinshasa, is a member a police company from Ghana serving with the force in 1960.
#3 Supporting the development of a national police
To build sustainable, institutional capacity in post-conflict environments, UN Police are helping redesign police structures while vetting and training future police leaders and imparting specialized skills. The UN is also engaged in reforming judicial and correction systems.
#4 Ensuring internal security
UN Peacekeeping helps conflict-torn countries to reform their defense, border management and other security sector institutions that help to promote the true administration of justice, the firmest pillar of good governance.
#5 Individual police officers and formed police units
By engaging with local police, village officials and local populations, long-range patrols help UN Police visit remote villages and build a more complete picture of the application of the rule of law. Here, a Formed Police Unit (FPU) from China conducts a long-range patrol in the closing days of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).
#6 Respecting human rights in prison settings
Corrections facilities in countries undergoing or recovering from armed conflict are often in dire conditions where human rights abuses may occur. UN corrections officers partner with UN human rights monitors to ensure that the basic needs of the detained are met and that human rights are respected. Here, a UN human rights officers visits a prison in Sevare, Mali.
#7 Penitentiary agents supportting inmates rights
Corrections officers from the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) assist prisoners on health, legal and human rights issues and advise and assist national prison officers. Here, a UNAMID Corrections Officer is pictured at the Juvenile Correction Home in El Fasher, North Darfur, along with UN personnel and national correction officers.