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Protective Action - Incorporating Civilian Protection into Humanitarian Response


About this resource

Resource type:Research, reports and studies
Keywords:Conflict, violence & peace, Development & humanitarian aid, Protection, human rights & security
Agency:ODI - Overseas Development Institute
Author(s):O’Callaghan, S. and Pantuliano, S.
Date published:December 2007

This HPG Policy Brief is drawn from an HPG research project which explores the recent prominence of protection and analyses the role of non-specialist humanitarian
agencies in this field.

Key Messages:

Humanitarian agencies have a responsibility to understand the nature of the risks affected people face, and to consider the positive and negative impacts of their work on these risks.
• Agencies should incorporate civilian risk, as well as need, into their analysis and response. At a minimum, agencies should adopt a core commitment to protection which includes: an organisational policy on protection; assessments and analysis that incorporate protection; a commitment that assistance programmes consider impact on civilian risk; measures to see that processes are in place to respond to abuses witnessed during work; and training and support for staff in protection.
• Agencies should consider investing in central capacity in order to guide the development and implementation of organisational protection policies. Further investment is required so that agencies can develop the skills and tools they need to undertake assessments of civilian risk.
• The Protection Cluster should activate its droit de regard over other spheres of action through the development and agreement of methods to mainstream protection into assistance.
• Donors should consider providing additional support to non-specialist protection agencies in developing institutional protection policies, capacity and training, as well as supporting the
inclusion of protection activities in relief programmes.

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