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Training UN peacekeepers in child safeguarding
The Ministry of National Defence in Uruguay has launched a groundbreaking training guide on safeguarding children from exploitation and abuse in the context of UN peacekeeping missions.
The guide, a world-first, was developed in partnership with Keeping Children Safe, UNICEF Uruguay, the British Embassy in Montevideo, and the British Ministry of Defence. It is based on research by the University of Reading and Keeping Children Safe as part of an ongoing collaboration to establish a Child Safeguarding in Peacekeeping Centre of Excellence in Uruguay.
In 2020, Uruguay became the first country in the world to formalise its commitment towards child safeguarding with the signing of a policy for personnel deployed to UN peacekeeping missions. Watch Alex Dressler, Head of Capacity Building at KCS, deliver a TV Interview (0:36 secs) at the launch of the policy in February 2020.
“By putting child safeguarding at the heart of military planning, Uruguay is leading international efforts to prevent human rights violations in the context of UN peacekeeping missions. We hope that other Troop Contributing Countries will follow this lead and do all they can to protect children from exploitation and abuse.”
KCS Chief Executive
“Uruguay is the first country in the world to have a child safeguarding policy for peacekeeping missions. Presenting this guide, this protocol, and being the first country in the world in doing so, speaks volumes of a commitment. The Uruguayan Armed Forces are committed to Human Rights and to peace. It is a commitment that is assumed at the national level but because of the responsibilities that we have and our participation in the United Nations system, it is also an international commitment.
We are willing to collaborate with other contingents and other countries so that this is action guide is the standard to be followed by all of us who intend to collaborate with the protection of the rights of those who need it most, those who are most vulnerable in the places of the world where it is most needed.
The presentation of the protocol is the end of one stage and the beginning of another. The beginning of a process of instruction, training, and the dissemination of guides that protect children and adolescents against any violation of human rights and against all kinds of abuse and at the same time, of sharing these protective practices of people’s integrity, their dignity and their rights to all those who carry out missions around the presence of the United Nations and the contingent.
We know that these practices do not come for their own sake. We know that there were problems in this system and some serious ones. As we had situations that we censor or repudiate at the level of the actions of different contingents and at a global level, is that Uruguay, which has a long tradition of participation in Peace Missions, has put the task on its shoulder with a UK NGO, with the United Nations, with Unicef and with the British Embassy to work on the dissemination of these practices.”
Javier García Minister of Defence
Ministry of National Defence Uruguay
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