Displaying items by tag: Protection

A political or military solution to stop the carnage in Syria seems as remote as ever. The war seems only to bring even worse depths of human suffering and diplomatic impotence. Syrian civilians are in a state, not just of terror, but of horror – hostages in a geopolitical, ideological and sectarian catastrophe. On the face of it, getting humanitarian assistance to the millions affected should be easier to deal with than the political and military mess. In the space of two years, a major relief operation within Syria has indeed come to life despite the extreme circumstances. But these…
Young people subject to immigration control in Europe face a range of possible outcomes as they make the transition to ‘adulthood’ at the age of 18. The majority of those institutionalised as unaccompanied minors are denied refugee status or humanitarian protection but are afforded time-limited welfare support and care under provisions of discretionary leave - temporarily tolerated on the cusp of, but not admitted as members of, the national community. Others seek to avoid entering into any relationship with the state and live undocumented.  Irrespective of their points of entry, for most young people, turning 18 marks a significant repositioning…
Drawing from preliminary fieldwork undertaken between February and March 2013, this working paper presents provisional findings regarding refugees’ livelihoods and interactions with the private sector and markets in Kampala, Nakivale and Kyangwali refugee settlements in Uganda. The paper sketches out the diversity of livelihoods strategies employed by the refugees, and reveals their different patterns of engagement with local and national markets. In particular, the paper shows that refugees’ economic activities at all three sites are deeply nested in the multiple layers of the host economies. These initial observations, furthermore, illustrate the vital role played by personal and community social networks…
Ten years of conflict in Darfur between the Sudanese government and an array of rebel groups and militias have caused a humanitarian emergency. In the early stages of the conflict, between 2004 and 2009, some two dozen agencies provided ‘cross-line’ humanitarian assistance in territory controlled by rebel movements. Although urgent humanitarian needs persist in these areas, by 2011 all cross-line aid had stopped. This article explores the issues around humanitarian access to rebel and contested areas in Darfur, and analyses the reasons why such assistance has come to an end, leaving hundreds of thousands of people in desperate need. The…
Many organisations operating in or near conflict zones have chosen – for valid reasons – to focus on securing operational access to populations in need, but at the implicit or explicit cost of not addressing protection issues. In October 2011, with the support of the Human Security Division of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the Geneva Academy published the results of a two-year study into ways to enhance compliance by armed non-state actors with international norms, especially those protecting civilians.[1] The study found that greater engagement is needed with armed non-state actors on the targets of their attacks;…
In today's armed conflicts, civilians bear the brunt of hostilities. Often caught up in the midst of active fighting, civilians have increasingly also become the direct targets of violence. Humanitarian agencies strive to improve the protection afforded to civilians, but how can they better monitor and evaluate protection programming to ensure that they best serve those in need? This event, co-hosted by the Humanitarian Policy Group and the International Committee of the Red Cross aims to understand the challenges of monitoring protecting work, and promote discussion on ways forward. In response to the need to better evaluate and monitor protection…
Almost two years after South Sudan’s independence, peace in Jonglei State remains elusive, despite attempts by the government, the international community, the Church and other national institutions to address the protracted violence there. This is not surprising given that these efforts have been disjointed, driven by multiple and conflicting agendas, lacking in strategic vision and seldom reflective of local perspectives. Grievances have been driven by a range of factors, including the perceived failure of the government to protect civilians and provide security and justice in an equitable manner; forced disarmament processes; perceptions of inequity in development and the distribution of…
Dialogue between military and civilian actors is problematic in Somalia, and no more so than in the southern port city of Kismayo, what was the Islamist group al-Shabaab’s last remaining garrison. Considered the most complex urban space in the country, Kismayo is an important trade centre less than 200km from the Kenyan border, and the ultimate prize for the warring sub-clans in the region. After the fall of Siad Barre in 1991, the city was dominated by a succession of some of Somalia’s most feared warlords, and most recently by al-Shabaab. The liberation of Kismayo, the fulcrum of al-Shabaab’s economic…
With an annual budget of $650 billion and over two million military and civilian personnel, the US Department of Defense is the largest institution in the world. Since September 2001, its primary focus has been the ‘global war on terror’, a war of avowedly unlimited scope and duration. Its critical components include counter-insurgency and stabilisation operations, which have increasingly involved the US military in relief and development activities. NGOs have struggled to develop a unified response to the growing scope and pace of US military involvement in areas normally reserved for civilian leadership and action. Although regular dialogue has been…
This is a welcome report; it highlights successes, but also failings and weaknesses. It asks whether Kosovo refugees obtained appropriate protection and assistance, and whether UNHCR met its own standards. It looks at five areas in particular, namely context, including background, preparedness and initial responses; management; assistance and coordination; protection; and relations with the military. This short review touches only a few. Kosovo was not unique, even though no one disputes that the exodus was unusually large and swift – some 500,000 refugees fled within two weeks, rising to a high probably in the region of 850,000. No one disputes, either, that UNHCR was constrained by circumstance. But that aside, all the errors…

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