Police have played a significant role in United Nations (UN) and international peace support operations since the early 1960s. Over time, the number of police has substantially increased and mandates have evolved from simple monitoring activities to direct support for implementation of the rule of law assistance in post-conflict stabilization, peacebuilding, and security sector reform. Since 1989, over 4,000 Canadian police officers have participated in over 66 operations. Police have become a prominent aspect of Canada’s support for UN peace operations throughout the last 10 years.
As of November 2017, there were 65 Canadian police officers deployed to multilateral and bilateral policing missions in Haiti, West Bank, Ukraine, Iraq and Colombia. A Senior Police Advisor is also deployed to the Permanent Mission of Canada to the UN.
How Canada and its police support UN missions and initiatives
In Haiti, Canada is deploying up to 25 police officers, mostly to the UN Mission for Justice Support in Haiti, in order to support the rule of law, human rights, and the continued professionalization of the Haitian National Police.
Up to 10 police officers are also being deployed to Colombia to contribute to UN efforts to support the peace process and to help strengthen Colombian police capacity in the post-conflict environment.
In addition, Canadian police have been at the forefront of a UN initiative since 2014 to provide training to female UN police peacekeeping candidates. Canada has trained nearly 1,000 police candidates, mostly women, from nine countries: Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Niger, Cameroon, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Colombia, and Senegal.
Canada is also providing over $1M to the UN Police Division to develop and deliver training to up to 200 women in order to address the unique challenges and opportunities policewomen face as candidates for leadership positions in UN peace operations.
Who deploys Canadian police to these missions and initiatives?
Roughly 35 percent of police are deployed from the RCMP and 65 percent from 31 provincial, regional, and municipal police partners. These deployments are jointly authorized by the Ministers of Public Safety, Foreign Affairs, and International Development, and are delivered through the Canadian Police Arrangement—a partnership between the RCMP, Global Affairs Canada, and Public Safety Canada.
Canadian police deployments through the Canadian Police Arrangement are strategically complemented by policing projects funded through Global Affairs Canada’s Peace and Stabilization Operations Program.
- Canada bolsters peacekeeping and civilian protection measures
- Backgrounder: Canadian contributions to United Nations peace support operations
- Backgrounder: The Elsie Initiative on Women in Peace Operations
- Backgrounder: Women, peace and security
- Backgrounder: Vancouver Principles on Peacekeeping and the Prevention of the Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers