Dates and venue : October 26 to 30, 2020 in Barcelona.

Investigating Misconduct & Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in United Nations Field Operations Training Course

The highest standards of ethics and conduct have always been expected from United Nations International Civil Servants and Military & Police officers serving with the United Nations. These standards are integral components of the core values of the Organization and have always been the subject of internal disciplinary processes, historically handled by Directors of Mission Support as part of Human Resources Management practices. Traditional methods of dealing with misconduct underwent a major transformation from 2005 following public disclosures of serious allegations of sexual harassment and abuse of civilian beneficiaries in the Democratic Republic of Congo and other UN field missions. The recurrent allegations required the United Nations to radically alter its management of misconduct allegations that seriously questioned the values of the Organization, soiling its reputation, and negatively affecting its peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations.

This reassessment led to the establishment of the Conduct and Discipline Unit (CDU) within the Department of Field Support at the UN HQ, and the creation of Conduct & Discipline Teams (CDTs) within peacekeeping missions to address all forms of misconduct, including sexual exploitation and abuse, and sexual harassment through a 3-pronged strategy: (1) prevention of misconduct, (2) enforcement of UN standards; and (3) remedial action. This strategy is implemented through extensive training, awareness-raising campaigns in host countries, clear standards of conduct, investigations and disciplinary measures, and assistance to victims.

The responsible entities within the UN to investigate misconduct are the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), Special Investigation Units (SIUs), Military Force Marshall Provosts, and Police Contingent Investigators. The investigation reports of these units will inform internal administrative reviews by means of Boards of Inquiry (BOI), and Conduct & Discipline Teams (CDTs), which coordinate UN commitments to a zero-tolerance policy of all types of misconduct. Where appropriate, matters may be referred to appropriate national law enforcement authorities for civil or criminal prosecutions.

UN Investigators play a key role in ensuring compliance with the highest standards of conduct demanded of UN officials, and specifically in cases of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA). It is of utmost importance that Investigators be properly trained, in order to ensure highest standards of internal reports, on which UN disciplinary processes, and where appropriate, external criminal procedures will depend.


This training course aims to familiarize participants with the structures in place to deal with misconduct, its prevention strategies, and the required disciplinary processes, including internal discipline and referral for criminal accountability as appropriate. Participants will also become familiar with sophisticated investigation techniques in key and all-important areas such as theft and financial fraud, or sexual offences against children and adults.

The overall objectives of the course are therefore to:

Provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of state-of-the-art Investigation Techniques, and specially in key areas of SEA, theft & corporate fraud; and major incidents including armed attacks on peacekeepers;

Receive extensive materials and practical guidance and insights from highly experienced current and former criminal investigators, legal experts, and administrative officers;

Serve as a model for other organizations working in similar environments in dealing with misconduct in the field, to prevent and address incidents of abuse, and safeguard institutional reputation.


For whom is this course?

The course is designed to benefit candidates wishing to enhance their UN environment investigation skills, and is aimed at current and potential investigators in United Nations Missions, UN Agencies Funds and Programmes, International entities and NGOs, UN Conduct & Discipline and Ethics officials, officers in Ministries of Foreign Affairs dealing with UN portfolios, military and police officers contemplating peacekeeping and observation missions as part of their pre-deployment training, research institutes and other international organisations and donors supporting field missions.

Organized by

The Barcelona International Peace Center (BIPC) jointly with 2gedar-PeaceOps and Development Network.

More info

Investigators 20 – Full course description, registration and fees

Investigators20 – Application Form

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