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NCJ Number: 201618 Find in a Library
Title: Canadian Peacekeepers Ready for the Challenge: The Need for Sound Selection Procedures
Author(s): Edward Drodge Ph.D.; Yolande Roy-Cyr Ph.D.
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 3
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English; French
Country: Canada
Annotation: The article discusses the results of a study examining the impact of United Nations peacekeeping missions on civilian police peacekeepers.
Abstract: The civilian police (CIVPOL) peacekeepers of the United Nations have become symbols of stable democratic order for many nations emerging from the tragedy of war. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has become an important contributor to the peacekeeping missions. These missions, however, pose considerable operational challenges for participating police organizations, and more significantly, for police personnel who are susceptible to the psychological and physical trauma associated with living and working in a hostile environment. Concerns have been raised about the personal and organizational costs of serving on a peacekeeping mission. This study was undertaken to obtain a clearer picture of the number of peacekeepers experiencing readjustment difficulties, the types of problems experienced, and a general perspective of how well or poorly the program was meeting the needs of members volunteering for such missions. In June 2002, a survey was sent to nearly 1,000 RCMP personnel who had participated in U.N.-sponsored CIVPOL and other peacekeeping missions since the first deployment of RCMP members in 1989. Five hundred and eighty members (60.2 percent) responded to the survey. The findings reveal a generally positive report about the RCMP peacekeeping program. More than three-quarters (78.3 percent) reported they had incurred the same amount of sick leave since the mission as before going on the mission, with 52.2 percent taking between one and three days of sick leave per year prior to the mission. A majority of the respondents (96.6 percent) reported no or only minor injuries during the mission, and 94.2 percent sustained no or only minor illness. More than 80 percent of the respondents reported moderate to no stress during the mission, and 64.7 percent indicated they felt no stress or only mild stress 6 months after the mission. Alcohol consumption increased during the mission for nearly half the respondents (46.8 percent), while slightly more than half reported that alcohol consumption decreased after the mission. Findings indicate that peacekeepers that sustained a serious injury or contracted a serious illness during the mission were more likely to have a more negative post-mission outcome. In addition, it was found that peacekeepers with the most post-mission problems tended to be individuals who underestimated their personal, work, and marital stress prior to going on a mission. These findings confirm that the screening process for peacekeepers is generally effective and that RCMP personnel can expect to have a challenging experience, but one that is within the normal range of expectancies with regard to work stress, work conditions, and disruptions to daily life. However, the survey was not able to fully capture the personal suffering experienced by some peacekeepers, and researchers are examining ways to improve the selection and screening process to make it harder to send vulnerable members on peacekeeping missions.
Main Term(s): Canada; Police
Index Term(s): Foreign police/community relations; International police activities; Royal Canadian Mounted Police; United Nations (UN)
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=201618

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