Unarmed Civilian Protection (UCP) is the practice of civilians protecting civilians in situations of violent conflict, imminent violence, and post-crisis situations. It involves expatriate civilians protecting national civilians, national civilians protecting each other, and even national civilians protecting expatriate civilians. The practice of UCP is nonviolent and nonpartisan. Protection is provided on invitation from local actors. It supports local actors as they work to address the roots and consequences of violent conflict. This practice is grounded in international law, in the principle of civilian immunity in war, and in the protection afforded by international conventions. This course aims to make a contribution to the common objectives of protecting civilians and keeping peace. More specifically, this course provides an introduction to the foundations of UCP, its principles, methods and required skills, as well as offers an overview of UCP in practice.
COURSE LEARNING OBJECTIVES:
At the end of this course, participants will be able to:
- Recall the key principles and sources of guidance of UCP
- Illustrate UCP methods and required skills
- Summarize key steps to go through in preparation for entering a community
- Outline key actions to undertake while living in and exiting a community
The course is intended for leadership and staff of aid organizations working in conflict situations who are interested in strengthening their capacities to protect the people they serve, as well as their own staff. The course is also aimed at individuals and groups of people who are interested to take part in UCP activities in the field. The course also addresses a broader audience of civilian, military and police personnel working in conflict and post-conflict environments (as part of UN or non-UN operations) interested in gaining an appreciation of UCP principles, sources of guidance, methods and required skills.
UCP employs four main methods: Proactive engagement, monitoring, relationship building, and capacity development. These methods are used to prevent violence and reduce the impact of violence; to increase the safety and security of civilians threatened by violence; and to strengthen local peace infrastructures.
The allocation of time in a typical module is detailed in the chart below.
Hours per Module
Discussion Forum (Topic related, technical support…)
Reading Course guides & documentation
Total per Module
Journal reflection/On-line text writing
6 modules x 30 hours
Post Course Assessments
Total Course Hours
Introduction to unarmed civilian protection (UCP)
Unarmed Civilian Protection skills: To allow you to reflect on the purpose of protection, keeping peace, nonviolence, and the people UCP works with. [brief essays*] History, context and use of UCP skills: to allow you to reflect on the history and potential use of UCP. [quiz*, discussion forum]
UCP: Objectives, principles and sources of guidance
UCP principles and foundations skills: To allow you to use the principles and foundations in planning responses to brief case studies and begin to work in groups. [brief essays* and working groups/discussion forum] Encouragement and deterrence, and being nonpartisan skills: To allow you to reflect on the differences between encouragement and deterrence, and to reflect on the advantages and challenges to being nonpartisan. [quiz*]
UCP: Key methods
UCP methods and skills applied skills: To deepen your understanding of UCP methods and skills by applying them to specific scenarios. [case study*,quiz*, discussion forum, role play]
UCP in practice (1): Preparation and entrance into the community
UCP: Preparation for entering a community: understand UCP application of needs and conflict analysis and how to use UCP in different contexts and with different populations. To deepen your understanding of how to undertake UCP conflict analysis, , and the characteristics of an unarmed peacekeeper. [quiz*, group activity] Protection of vulnerable groupsskills: to understand how to use UCP methods to protect vulnerable groups by analyzing a scenario for vulnerabilities and planning responses. [brief paper* and discussion forum]
UCP in practice (2): Living in and exiting the community
Using UCP in the field skills/learning objective: To develop a comprehensive understanding of the practicalities of UCP operations in the field, and how to exit from an intervention. [scenario analysis*, working group, discussion forum]
*= graded activities
The five modules outlined above will be offered on-line through UNITAR. In addition to these 5 modules, students enrolled in the course for four college credits from Merrimack College, must complete Module 0 before Module 1 begins.
Introduction to the United Nations
History and Mission of UN: To develop an understanding of how and why the UN was formed and how the UN works to reduce conflict in the world. [quiz*] Governance and Critiques: To develop an understanding of how the UN works today through its various agencies and to evaluate the UN’s effectiveness by reflecting on critiques (positive and negative) of the UN. [quiz*, brief essay]
This online course will be conducted in English. Students who wish to enroll for this online course must be proficient in English (writing and speaking), as well as basic computer literacy.
The four-credit course is comprised of six modules (0-5). Learn more about the curriculum. Tuition is $335 per credit for a total cost of $1,340.00.
Register for this UCP course here.
Course will only run if there is a minimum of 25 students enrolled. If the minimum is not met, that section will be cancelled and students will have the opportunity to move their enrollment to the next course offering in the schedule.
|Start Date||Enrollment Deadline|
|Session One||March 20||March 15|
|Session Two||May 22||May 17|
|Withdrawal Refund policy for UNITAR Course - March 20|
|March 23rd by 4:30pm||Full refund|
|March 31st by 4:30pm||50% refund|
|After March 31st||No refund|
|Withdrawal Refund policy for UNITAR Course - May 22|
|May 25th by 4:30pm||Full refund|
|June 2nd by 4:30pm||50% refund|
|After June 2nd||No refund|
United Nations Institute for Training and Research
Peacekeeping Training Programme
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
The Merrimack College Office of Professional Studies at firstname.lastname@example.org.