Oxfam’s overall aim for the Rights in Crisis (RiC) campaign is that ‘all women and men in humanitarian crises will be assured both the protection and the assistance they require, regardless of who they are or how they are affected, in a manner consistent with their human rights’. Years of experience at the country level has shown that, in the contexts in which Oxfam works, United Nations peacekeeping forces are key to improving the protection of civilians. Oxfam is closely following the United Nations ‘New Horizon’ process – which is currently assessing the major policy and strategy dilemmas that face UN peacekeeping today – to ensure that it results in a shared vision of protection of civilians as the main purpose of UN peacekeeping and establishes the effective approaches and capacities required to implement this vision on the ground. ‘Engaging with communities: The next challenge for peacekeeping’ looks at how peacekeepers can engage with communities to better protect civilians; it identifies best practices, as well as some clear gaps in existing practice. It is being launched to coincide with a debate on the protection of civilians in the UN Security Council to be held on 22nd November. Oxfam sees this as an opportunity for the UNSC to give a clearer direction to peacekeepers to engage with communities and to address some the challenges indicated in the report.
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