© UNICEF/NYHQ2004-0654/Kate Brooks
Mohammad Amin, 18, a former child soldier, looks at the countryside from atop the crumbling roof of a barracks in the village of Bagram on the Shomali Plain in the Central Region province of Parwan, Afghanistan. An AK 47 rifle is slung over his shoulder. Mohammed, who is in the process of being demobilized, served as a runner in an armed group for two years.

A systematic mechanism for monitoring grave violations against children, committed by armed forces and armed groups is a relatively new development in the work of protection and human rights organisations. Whilst conceptually this has been discussed and well developed, the training of field staff who actually carry out the work is an area that has been under resourced. This package attempts to fill this gap and provide standardised materials for training of field staff and coordinators.

The training will in particular respond to and address the actions outlined in UN Security Council Resolutions 1612, 1882 and 1998 [PDFs]. The aim of the training is to provide staff from human rights and humanitarian agencies with the knowledge and skills required to monitor, report and respond to grave violations against children.

Who is the training for?

The training is aimed at a wide range of field staff including UN agency, UN mission, international, national and local NGOs. It is envisaged that these will be primarily protection or human rights personnel but the training may also be relevant for other programme staff working in situations where violations are being committed against children.

Material can also be used for providing orientation on grave violations against children and the UNSC Resolutions, to governments, programme staff in humanitarian organisations and civil society.

Who can provide the training?

To ensure that there is a standardised mechanism and that high levels of confidence can be placed on information, across not only organisations within the country but also internationally, the following standard should be maintained.

  • Training for MRM specific aspects MUST be carried out by UN staff, directly training field staff from UN Missions, UN agencies or NGOs. This training manual is not a Training of Trainers programme qualifying participants to become trainers.
  • Broader aspects of training could be provided by other organisations; for example that of international legislative foundations and basic child rights
  • Additional training on the soft skills could be carried out by an appropriate NGO (e.g. interview skills, communicating with children)

Use of the training toolkit

The materials contained in the toolkit provide basic guidance but will need to be adapted for country specific needs and it is assumed that a trainer with child rights or child protection experience will lead on the training, with other specialists involved as appropriate and ideally include individuals with specific expertise on working on the issue of sexual violence.

Sample agendas are given for Orientation, MRM Staff and Coordinator training courses. The material for the suggested agendas is contained within the MRM Training Toolkit.

The module descriptions are all contained in the Facilitator Notes. The material required for each module is contained in the MRM Training Toolkit that can be found on CAACnet.

To ensure the integrity of the training we are providing for MRM staff, it is requested that the training materials are not distributed beyond those persons providing MRM training.

Structure of the training

Some of the material can be used or adapted for use in orientating others to UNSC Resolutions and the issue of grave violations against children.

Governments: it is important that whilst governments are not involved directly in monitoring and reporting aspects of MRM, that the appropriate ministries or departments are aware of UNSC Resolutions and the MRM; and that the CTFMR has a working relationship with the relevant officials to ensure a response for children.

Programme staff: whilst protection or human rights staff within an organisation may be involved directly in MRM it is also important that other staff is aware of grave violations against children and know how to report and respond if they come into contact with victims/survivors or witnesses, or if they themselves witness a violation being committed.

Civic Society: it is also important that the wider humanitarian community and NGOs are aware of the UNSC Resolutions and how to report and respond to grave violations against children.

Children: as discussed in Child Participation it is also important that children receive appropriate information about their rights and protection of children in conflict.

MRM Staff Training
4-Day Training: it is strongly recommended that field staff participate in a minimum 3-day training (ideally 4-day) to ensure they fully understand the mechanism, their role in it and specifically are able to carry out monitoring and verification to the standards required to ensure high credibility of information reported, analysis of grave violations against children and to trigger appropriate responses.

Follow-up days: it is further recommended that staff participate in a follow-up day after one month and a second follow-up day after three months. Ideally MRM staff should thereafter have refresher days at periodic intervals (every 3 - 6 months).

MRM Coordinators
2 Day Training: for staff who have the responsibility for coordinating the MRM at the technical level, it is suggested that 2 days is the minimum required for appropriate training in the elements necessary to conduct this role.

Note: a pre-requisite for the coordinator training is either the MRM Staff Training or the staff member has previous experience in MRM.

Task-Force Members (CTFMR)
It is essential that all members of the CTFMR have a sound understanding of MRM including the Resolutions, the processes for reporting and responsibility of CTFMR members. On the Contents Page modules highlight are considered the most appropriate aspects to be covered.

Structure of the modules

It is recognised that staff in different contexts will have different needs and so the Toolkit is provided as a modular approach and relevant elements can be selected, utilised and adapted for the specific context and the audience for the training.

As a guide to use of the different modules, the contents page indicates the level of use for each module. As can be seen, some modules are geared for more than one type of course whilst others are specific to either MRM staff or coordinator training.

A scenario in a fictitious country has been developed that is used in modules throughout the training. This scenario and accompanying map can be found below. Alternatively, exercises can be based upon the country in which you work but it is recognised that this is at times difficult and can be more sensitive to use a neutral context.

Access to materials

All the materials can be found in the MRM Training Materials Toolkit on the CD-ROM.

Within the Toolkit there is a separate folder for each module. The module folders contain three sub-folders (note: not all modules contain all three folders but is determined by the content as outlined in the module description).

  • "Training Materials" contains all the resources required for the specific module. Trainers should be aware that for Power Point presentations additional information is provided in the Power Point "Notes" section.
  • "Documents for Participants" contains additional material, which can be referred to and be provided to participants for future reference.
  • "Lessons Learned" contains lessons from different countries on aspects covered within that module.
Other Documents
The Sargasso Country Situation and Map [PDF] are utilised in a number of the modules.

More information on Children and Armed Conflict [PDF] at the end of this manual should be provided to participants; this includes web links to relevant sites, which contain more information and background reading (note as this contains web-links it is suggested that this be supplied to participants electronically).

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