Protecting civilians is a key task of UN peacekeepers serving around the world. Their contribution to advancing peace is being recognized on the International Day of UN Peacekeepers . Globally, some 88,000 peacekeepers are currently serving under the UN flag in peacekeeping missions. Protecting civilians in times of conflict, for example in Mali (pictured), is a key part of their mandate.
It is not just military and police personnel who work to protect civilians in UN peacekeeping missions. Some 14,000 civilian staff also work under the blue flag. There are currently over 600 human rights staff deployed in nine missions. In South Sudan (pictured) UN staff are mandated to monitor and investigate human rights abuses.