Training organized for the Immediate Response Team in MINUSTAH
In August 2016, the United Nations Stabilization Mission In Haiti (MINUSTAH) hosted a five-day training of the “First Immediate Response Team (IRT) Foundation Course”. The training was organized through the initiative of the Department of Field Support (DFS) and delivered in coordination with the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), Office of Human Resources Management (OHRM), and the Conduct and Discipline Unit (CDU/ DFS).
The objective of the training was to equip MINUSTAH’s appointed IRT members with knowledge and practical capacity to immediately deploy to respond to allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse. It was also aimed at reinforcing IRT capacity on collection and preserving of material evidence, interview of victims and alleged perpetrators, specific technics and procedures of DNA sample collection.
Members of the IRT were drawn from MINUSTAH multi-disciplinary resources, including military, civilian and police personnel who are involved in providing direct support to investigative capacities of the Mission.
OIOS played a fundamental role in delivering the training. The trainer transmitted to the participants the OIOS institutional knowledge on matters associated with investigations of sexual exploitation and abuse. The training delivered multi-dimensional aspects of practical and theoretical cases drawn from actual case scenarios on interviewing techniques, assessment and handling of crime scenes including search, collection and preservation of material evidence. The training further furnished the participants with knowledge on the applicable international standards for chain of custody and transmission of evidence.
The presentation of adequate evidence and admissible standards of proof as legally required in disciplinary matters was addressed by OHRM, with concrete examples of some precedent cases.
The Conduct and Discipline Unit updated all participants on the latest initiatives by the Secretary-General for protection from sexual exploitation and abuse. Applicable legal norms adopted within the United Nations for each category of personnel were also discussed.
Both trainers and participants enjoyed the nature of the training and methods provided with much enthusiasm. At the end of the five-day course, participants were completed and successfully passed an exam. The IRT Foundation Course raised MINUSTAH’s capacity in implementing one of the Secretary-General’s key measures to address sexual exploitation and abuse.
As the first recipients of the IRT Foundation Course, MINUSTAH looks forward to putting the knowledge acquired into practice, when needed. Lessons learned will be transmitted for the use of other colleagues in other missions to allow for a global dissemination of this essential information.