As already indicated, the MRM operates at three principal levels, and structures have been established at each level to gather, verify, review and act on information. Therefore, the MRM infrastructure consists of CTFMRs, at country level; the UN Task Force on CAAC and the MRM Technical Reference Group, at UN Headquarters-level (New York); and the SCWG-CAAC, at Security Council level.
The CTFMR is the organizational structure for the implementation of the MRM at the country level. It is distinct from the humanitarian clusters operating in the country, but must work closely with and keep the cluscers informed of its work.
Composition, leadership and structure
- The CTFMR shall be composed of all relevant UN entities, represented at the most senior level in-country. These may include, at a minimum and as relevant to the country context: representatives of the peacekeeping, political or peace-building mission, UNICEF, OCHA, UNHCR, OHCHR, UNDP, UNFPA, UNIFEM, ILO and UNDP.
- The CTFMR will be co-chaired by the highest UN authority in the country, whether it is the SRSG or Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator, and the UNICEF representative. Designation of an additional co-chair may also be considered in contexts where specific UN entities play a lead role in the MRM process.
- Invitations to become a member of the MRM Task Force may also be extended by the co-chairs of the MRM Task Force to other members of the human rights and child protection community operating in-country, as appropriate. Such entities must be neutral, impartial and independent from all parties to the conflict. This may include NGOs and independent national bodies such as a Human Rights Commission or Ombudsman. The composition of the MRM Task Force may be reviewed and amended by its co-chairs on a yearly basis, to ensure the most appropriate representation.
The CTFMR shall:
- Collect and provide timely, objective, accurate and reliable information pertaining to grave violations committed against children in armed conflict.
- Produce regular and timely reports on the situation of children affected by armed conflict.
- Engage parties to conflict in dialogue, including for preparation and implementation of Action Plans against child recruitment and use, grave sexual violence, killing and/or maiming of children, and attacks on schools and hospitals18.
- Monitor the implementation of the aforementioned Action Plans, as well as other commitments by armed parties to put an end to violations committed against children in armed conflicts.
- Serve as a forum for information analysis, and to discuss, follow up and trigger appropriate responses by the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) and others to Security Council resolutions on CAAC and applicable recommendations of the Secretary-General and SCWG-CAAC, in accordance with each member's respective mandate.
- Provide feedback to all involved in the MRM, including monitors, local communities and civil society organizations, to help create greater ownership of the mechanism by all parties involved.
Consultation with national governments
The CTFMR co-chairs shall ensure that adequate consultation with relevant government institutions to discuss issues of concern identified by the CTFMR and to seek collaboration in preventing and responding to grave violations and to seek accountability for perpetrators.
Leverage of CAAC issues at regional level
CTFMRs should consider the best ways in which to leverage CAAC issues with partners at the regional level.
Given the increasingly important regional and cross-border dimensions for child protection, the engagement of regional level actors is also necessary. This includes regional and sub-regional Member State arrangements in the context of their peacemaking and peace-keeping engagements, as well as regional offices of UN agencies, NGO representations and regional diplomatic representations.
- UN Task Force on CAAC
The Task Force on CAAC has been convened by the SRSG-CAAC since 2001 as the principal UN policy forum for the CAAC agenda. It brings together relevant United Nations entities and has focused in particular on monitoring and reporting and the preparation of the Report of the Secretary-General on CAAC. The Task Force consists of UNICEF, DPKO, DPA, the Office of Legal Affairs, OHCHR, OCHA, UNIFEM, the Department of Disarmament Affairs, the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa, the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women, UNHCR, UNDP, ILO and UNFPA.
- MRM Technical Reference Group (MRM TRG)19
The MRM TRG serves as a forum for consultation on the development and dissemination of working tools and guidance materials for the implementation of the MRM. It is the technical reference hub for the CTFMRs. The MRM TRG is co-chaired by the OSRSG-CAAC and UNICEF, and comprises the following members: DPKO, DPA, ILO, OCHA, OHCHR, UNDP, UNHCR, UNFPA and other members as identified by the MRM TRG, including international NGOs.20
UN Security Council level
The SCWG-CAAC was established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 161222 and consists of all members of the Security Council. Meetings are convened at expert level (although all meetings are chaired at the level of Ambassador). The Chairman of the SCWG-CAAC is designated by members of the Security Council. All decisions are taken by consensus, proceeding in a constructive manner and placing emphasis on dialogue and cooperation.
The SCWG meets formally every two months, on average, in order to:
- Review the reports of the MRM;
- Review progress in the development and implementation of Action Plans to address grave violations against children;
- Make recommendations to the Security Council on possible measures to promote the protection of children affected by armed conflict, including through recommendations on appropriate mandates for peacekeeping and political missions and recommendations with respect to parties to the conflict; and
- Address requests, as appropriate, to other bodies within the United Nations system for action to support implementation of Security Council resolutions on CAAC.
To facilitate its work, the SCWG has developed a 'toolkit' of options for possible actions that the Working Group may undertake.23 The range of possible options foreseen is broad, and includes:
- Recommendations for additional technical assistance to the country concerned to strengthen its national capacities to protect children.
- Recommendations to donors for greater funding for child protection.
- Possibility to forward to the existing Security Council Sanctions Committees relevant information on CAAC.
- Possibility to forward to relevant justice mechanisms, such as the International Criminal Court, information on CAAC in order to contribute to ending impunity of violators.
The SCWG issues formal Conclusions and Recommendations in response to and on the basis of the Annual Country Reports of the Secretary-General under Security Council Resolutions 1612, 1882 and 1998. These recommendations are a matter of public record and are issued under a specific Security Council document symbology that is unique to documents generated in the MRM process, e.g., AC/2005/722. This technical characteristic is key to ensuring that all stakeholders have 'access' to the results of consultations of the SCWG. It also facilitates access to all of the documents related to a specific country file, especially after several years of engagement by the Working Group on a particular country.
A critical added value for child protection actors of the establishment of the Working Group is that the forum provides a means to seize the attention of the Security Council itself on an 'as-needs' basis through the regular reporting schedule or alert reports. CTFMRs should consider the best ways in which to leverage the full repertoire of SCWG responses.
17 Refer to the generic Terms of Reference for CTFMR, Annex V [PDF].
18 Note that for the purposes of these guidelines, the abbreviated term "attacks on schools and hospitals," will be used to denote the full term used in SCR 1998, "recurrent attacks or threats of attack against protected persons in relation to schools and /or hospitals."
19 The MRM TRG replaces the MRM Steering Committee, which was established in 2005 following the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1612.
20 Refer to the MRM TRG Terms of Reference, attached as Annex XV [PDF].
21 Refer to the SCWG-CAAC Terms of Reference, attached as Annex XIV [PDF].
22 Reference Security Council Resolution 1612 (OP 8) [PDF].
23 Refer to the SCWG Toolkit, attached as Annex VI [PDF].