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Briefing Paper: A Missing Mandate - Casualty Recording in UN Peace Operations, June 2020

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by Hana Salama


This Briefing Paper examines how UN peace operations are using casualty data to enhance the implementation of key elements of their mandates, including the protection of civilians (PoC), the promotion and protection of human rights, and conflict prevention, thereby contributing to achieving UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16.1: ‘Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related deaths rates everywhere’.
It argues that, in the absence of data from state institutions, UN peace operations can be a good alternative source of data in conflicts where they operate for measuring SDG 16 Indicator 16.1.2: ‘Conflict-related deaths per 100,000 population, by sex, age and cause’. The paper assesses the current casualtyrecording efforts of three of the largest UN missions operating in highly volatile contexts: the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), and the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). The aim is to obtain a fuller understanding of these missions’ functions—and the gaps in aligning their data collection efforts with the fulfilment of elements of their mandate and the recording of data relevant to SDG Indicator 16.1.2.

Read the report on the Small Arms Survey website.