Peace operations

Canada has deployed police officers to peace missions around the world since 1989. Almost 4,000 Canadian police officers have been to over 33 countries, including Sudan, Kosovo, West Bank, Haiti and Afghanistan. They help rebuild or strengthen police services in countries experiencing conflict or upheaval. Through police participation in these missions, Canada commits to building a more secure world.

Serving on a mission is a unique opportunity for police officers to contribute to public safety in unstable countries. It also allows them to improve their leadership, and problem-solving and intercultural skills. This benefits their police services and the communities they serve at home.

How it works

Requests for Canadian police come from organizations such as the United Nations or from specific countries. The decision to deploy Canadian police is made via the Canadian Police Arrangement (CPA), a partnership between Global Affairs Canada, Public Safety Canada and the RCMP. The goal of the CPA is to support the Government of Canada's commitments to build a more secure world through Canadian police participation in international peacekeeping and peace support operations, which are critical to longer-term security system reform and conflict-prevention efforts.

The RCMP manages the deployment of Canadian police, including:

  • planning and evaluating missions
  • selecting and training personnel
  • providing support throughout the deployment

Canadian police personnel deployed abroad come from a wide range of police services, not only the RCMP. These police officers have many roles depending on the mission, including:

  • training, mentoring and monitoring
  • supporting free and fair elections
  • investigating human rights violations
  • responding to humanitarian crises

Canadian police can also work on specialized teams that focus on areas of:

  • community policing
  • management development
  • serious and organized crime

Generation Equality

Canadian police contributing to women, peace and security initiatives overseas

Conflict affects men, women, boys and girls differently. It exposes them to different risks, and they have different needs.

This is why Canadian police officers work in Women, Peace and Security–related roles around the world.

The meaning of Generation Equality

This year's theme for International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers is Women in Peacekeeping: A Key to Peace. We recognize the importance of women's equal participation in conflict resolution and building peace.

Canadian police in Mali

Women, Peace and Security: A gender perspective

Canadian police in Haiti (Photo credit: Leonora Baumann, MINUJUSTH)

UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution 1325 on women, peace and security acknowledged that armed conflict has a disproportionate impact on women and girls.

It called for the adoption of a gender perspective to consider the special needs of women and girls during:

  • conflict
  • repatriation and resettlement
  • rehabilitation
  • reintegration
  • post-conflict reconstruction

Applying this perspective in Canada

Canada's National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security is our government's response. We're committed to advancing the Women, Peace and Security agenda.

Supporting gender equality and empowering women and girls contributes to a more peaceful world. By deploying more female police officers, we can provide services that the local female population needs.

Canadian police in Ukraine

Canadian police are supporting this agenda around the world

Canadian police in Iraq

All Canadian police officers deployed around the world play a critical role in implementing the Women, Peace and Security agenda. They help to develop professional local law enforcement that respects and protects women and girls.

Our actions include:

  • Incorporating gender perspectives in program decisions
  • Training female police officers in foreign countries
  • Targeting international deployment opportunities and senior positions that support this important work

Canadian Women, Peace and Security milestones

Our Canadian police have achieved Women, Peace and Security milestones over the years.

  • In Iraq, Canadian police officers ran female-only police officer courses
    • Women graduated as instructors
    • They went on to train other Iraqi female police officers on a variety of topics and tactical defensive techniques
  • The first qualified female armoured truck driver for the European Union Coordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support was a Canadian police officer
  • Canada took the lead of a sexual and gender-based violence team that investigates and prevents these types of crimes in Haiti
  • Since the enactment of new legislation that combats domestic violence, the Canadian Police Mission in Ukraine has trained over 330 police officers in this new legislation, the investigation, and the prevention of domestic violence. And this number continues to grow.

Canadian police in the Palestinian Territories

Find out more about how Canada contributes

Date modified: