“Peacekeeping operations are an important instrument of international crisis prevention and conflict management. They help to prevent violence, safeguard ceasefires and generate lasting peace,” says Almut Wieland-Karimi, Executive Director of ZIF , the German Centre for International Peace Operations. ZIF currently has around 160 civilian experts deployed on missions for the Federal Foreign Office. Over and above this, Germany provides military personnel and police officers to take part in operations run by the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and other regional as well as international bodies.
International peacekeeping operations present their civilian and military personnel with major challenges. Working amid crises and humanitarian emergencies, they can find themselves facing danger and extremity. How do they react in particular situations? How can they protect themselves, and how can they support others?
Hostile Environment Awareness Training, or HEAT, teaches active safety measures for women and men, preparing personnel deployed on peacekeeping operations for the potential dangers of working in the field. Participants have the opportunity to explore how they respond to various dangerous situations, to analyse their reactions and to test the limits of their own resilience under pressure. They learn how to provide appropriate emotional support to survivors of sexual violence as well as gaining expertise on safety for women in the mission context.