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International Peace Operations

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Program Overview

Since 1989, Canada has deployed police officers to international peace missions around the world. They assist in rebuilding and strengthening police services in countries that have experienced conflict or upheaval.

By building the capacity of foreign police to maintain law and order, Canadian police, in cooperation with international partners, help create a safer and more stable environment.

This in turn paves the way for long-term development and can also prevent illicit activities from spilling across borders into other countries, including Canada.

How It Works

Requests for Canadian police participation in international peace operations come from organizations such as the United Nations (UN) or from specific countries.

The decision to deploy Canadian police is made within the framework of the Canadian Police Arrangement (CPA), a partnership between the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, Public Safety Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

The CPA is designed to help Canada respond to foreign requests for police participation in international missions without affecting policing at home.

The RCMP manages the deployment of Canadian police, including planning and evaluating missions, selecting and training personnel from across the country as well as providing support throughout deployment.

Canadian police who serve abroad come from municipal, provincial and regional police forces as well as the RCMP, and represent a variety of backgrounds.

They play a range of roles within each mission, from training and mentoring their police counterparts and providing humanitarian assistance to ensuring security for elections and investigating human rights violations.

Serving on a mission is a unique opportunity for police officers to contribute to public safety in unstable countries. Mission experience also enables our police officers to improve their leadership, problem-solving and intercultural skills, which ultimately benefits participating police services and the communities they serve.

Quick Facts

  • Canadian police have been involved in international peace operations since 1989.
  • To date, more than 3,800 Canadian police have served on close to 66 peace operations in 33 countries around the world.
  • 2015 marks 20 years of participation in peace operations by municipal, regional and provincial police agencies.
  • Today, nearly 100 Canadian police officers are serving on peace operations, namely in Cambodia, Haiti, the Ukraine and the West Bank. This includes three officers in specialized posts: one with Canada's Permanent Mission to the UN in New York, a second directly with the UN in New York, and the third with the UN's Standing Police Capacity in Brindisi, Italy.

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