Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Arrangements on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence
- Depending on the mission structure and mandate, various actors may be involved in a specific coordination mechanism for conflict-related sexual violence, which may involve the Office of the Gender Advisor and sections working on Human Rights, Rule of Law, Child Protection, HIV/AIDs, as well as the military and police components. Since the adoption of SCRs 1888, and with the appointment of the SRSG on Sexual Violence in Conflict, DPKO is putting in place a more standardized structure to coordinate mission activities in addressing sexual violence, including the deployment of women protection advisors, as requested and reiterated in SCRs 1888, 1960, and 2106.
- In December 2010, SCR 1960 outlined specific steps for the prevention of and protection from sexual violence in conflict, including the establishment of standardized monitoring, analysis and reporting arrangements (MARA).
- The purpose of the MARA is to provide systematic, timely, reliable, and objective information on conflict-related sexual violence to the Security Council that will help reduce the risk of sexual violence and improve assistance to survivors. It will also serve to collect:
- Information on patterns and trends of sexual violence in situations of conflict, post-conflict and other situations of concern to the UN Secretary-General;
- Detailed information on parties to conflict credibly suspected of committing or being responsible for rape and other forms of conflict-related sexual violence – for the purpose of listing in the UN Secretary-General’s report to the Security Council.
- At the country level, the information and data collected for the MARA will be submitted from the network of field-based organizations and networks (UN agencies, local and international NGOs and civil society organizations and service providers, such as health and psychosocial service organizations) to the UN leadership in country, through existing data collection systems which work in any given country, such as the protection cluster, the gender-based violence area of responsibility/working group/subcluster and gender theme groups. At the country-level, a variety of sources will inform the MARA, including information gathered from UN Country Team (UNCT) actors, local and international NGOs, civil society organizations, and other health and psychosocial service organizations.
- A provisional guidance note on the implementation of SCR 1960 was published in June 2011, outlining the implementation process of the monitoring and reporting mechanism:
- The intention of the MARA is to use the information gathered to enhance prevention and response to conflict-related sexual violence, while promoting adherence to safe and ethical practices. The information is also intended to inform the development of comprehensive strategies to address conflict-related sexual violence, including programmatic responses for survivors at the country-level and to serve as a basis for Security Council action at the international level.
- One of the outputs of the MARA at the global level will be the contribution of information to the Annual Report of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict. This report raises concerns about documented incidents, patterns or trends of CRSV, describes actions taken and makes recommendations to address this issue. An Annex to the report presents a list of parties to conflict that are credibly suspected of committing or being responsible for acts of rape and other forms of sexual violence in situations of armed conflict. The Security Council may impose sanctions and other targeted measures, and to engage in structured dialogue with parties to conflict to secure protection commitments to end the use of sexual violence as a tactic of warfare.
- As articulated in the Provisional Guidance Note – Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1960 (2010) on Women, Peace and Security (Conflict-Related Sexual Violence), at country level, the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) or the Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator (RC/HC) (where there are no peacekeeping or political missions), is meant to be responsible for timely implementation of SCR 1960, with Women Protection Advisors (WPAs) being placed within missions to implement this process. WPAs are meant to support the implementation of all the Security Council resolutions on sexual violence in conflict, and are being gradually included among the staff of peacekeeping missions. When they are in place, WPAs are responsible for convening and leading a Working Group on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence which is intended to be a technical level, UN-led and UN-comprised body expected to review information, monitor and verify incidents of sexual violence, analyze data, trends and patterns, prepare reports, and build capacity to strengthen MARA.
- According to the Provisional Guidance Note, the SRSG or RC/HC in consultation with the UN Country Team will determine which UN entities will constitute the Working Group, based on expertise and capacity in: GBV programming; monitoring, verification and reporting of human rights violations; gender analysis; and other security/protection expertise.
- Another body, the Joint Consultation Forum on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence, has been proposed to engage a larger number of entities for consultation purposes, including relevant national institutions and NGOs. This forum is intended to build on existing arrangements for consultation and coordination on GBV in humanitarian settings and to provide additional protection of neutrality, safety, and security by acting as a buffer between actors with direct survivor contact and the information included on survivor incidents in reports that are made to the Security Council (Source: UN Action, “Guidance Note on the Intersection Between the MARA and the GBV IMS”, forthcoming).
- The paramount concern in the implementation of the MARA should be strict adherence with established ethical and safety criteria, such as security, confidentiality, anonymity, informed consent, safety and protection from retribution, and protection of the data. By late 2013, these working groups and consultation forums had not been formally established in any country or mission context, but the Secretary-General had begun to list parties credibly suspected of committing patterns of sexual violence, based on information received from the field. Examples of such lists can be found in the annexes of the 2012 report and the 2013 report, available in all UN official languages.
- Due to the highly sensitive nature of sharing information on conflict-related sexual violence, and the existing of inter-agency networks already collecting information on sexual violence, such as the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) on Children and Armed Conflict, which collects information on sexual violence against boys and girls, and the Gender-Based Violence Information Management System, an inter-agency, commonly endorsed mechanism for the effective and safe storage, analysis, and sharing of reported GBV incident data in humanitarian contexts, it is important to ensure coordination and complementarity of efforts to avoid duplicating, re-interviewing victims, or endangering the confidentiality of such information.
UN Action, “Guidance Note on the Intersections Between MARA and GBV IMS” (forthcoming).
OSRSG-CAAC, UNICEF, DPKO (2010), “MRM Field Manual: Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism on Grave Violations against Children in Situations of Armed Conflict”, available here.