Displaying items by tag: Protection

On 29 October 2008, a vehicle loaded with explosives forced its way into the UN compound in Hargeisa, the capital of the breakaway republic of Somaliland. The detonation killed two employees of the UN Development Programme (UNDP). Across town, further bombs targeted the presidential palace and Ethiopia’s diplomatic representation. Another two bombs exploded in the semi-autonomous Puntland region. The attacks occurred as leaders from Kenya, Uganda, Djibouti and Ethiopia met in Nairobi to discuss the Somali issue. Islamist groups with links to Al-Qaeda are believed to have been responsible. The events made headlines around the world. Images of broken windows,…
NGOs in Darfur have adapted operations reasonably effectively in response to insecurity, to allow aid delivery to continue. They have been less effective at predicting and proactively responding to emerging threats. This article reviews how NGOs have responded to the main hazards in Darfur (carjackings, compound raids and kidnapping), through the lens of the classic ‘security triangle’ (acceptance, protection and deterrence). It also discusses security-related interactions with other actors, and the implications of these various changes in security management.   Protection strategies Carjacking Although white four-wheel-drive vehicles (4WDs) are synonymous with humanitarian NGOs in many countries, in Darfur the threat…
Safety with Dignity: Integrating community-based protection into humanitarian programming, by Kate Berry and Sherryl Reddy 22 April 2010 10:30- 12:00 GMT presentation and discussion 12:00 – 13:00 GMT – sandwich lunch and networking Network Paper 68 explores the concept and practice of community-based protection and identifies means for increasing and strengthening it. This paper draws on ActionAid's publication ‘Safety with Dignity: A Field Manual for Integrating Community-based Protection across Humanitarian Programmes’, which aims to provide practical guidance for field staff working in humanitarian and development settings on how to integrate community-based protection across sectors and contexts. In this event, the…
In recent years, the humanitarian and development sectors have seen a significant increase in international attention, engagement and activity falling under the banner of ‘protection’. International humanitarian actors have embraced the concept and discourse of protection in various forms — through mainstreaming, integration and stand-alone protection projects and programmes. But has this growth in protection resources and response capacity enhanced the safety, security and dignity of populations at risk? Have these efforts actually achieved effective protection for people in crisis — or have they simply progressed the agendas of international actors? Network Paper 68 explores the concept and practice of…
Over the past decade, ‘protection’ has grown from a specialised function to a key piece of jargon in humanitarian circles: from a side issue to a core component of humanitarian action. As it has grown, so has the need for scrutiny. The articles in this special issue of Humanitarian Exchange attest to the drive to improve our collective humanitarian protection practice, and the equal push to develop a critical perspective on the emergence of humanitarian protection as an industry of its own.  Humanitarian protection aims to ensure that humanitarian action does not place people at greater risk (e.g. the well-worn…
First we lost our lives, then we lost our dignity – it seemed like international humanitarian agencies had their own agendas – they did not give attention to our own capacities to cope with the crisis. Local NGO volunteer, Gaza, 2009  In recent years, international engagement and activity in the field of humanitarian protection has significantly increased. But has this led to enhanced safety, security and dignity for populations at risk? Or have we somehow lost sight of the core subject, goal and agent of protection – namely crisis-affected communities themselves? Protection practice must reflect the right, capacity and desire…
The Burmese refugee camps on the Thai–Burma border are characterised as a protracted refugee situation.[1] The nine camps spread across four provinces have been in existence since the mid-1980s, and have a collective population of approximately 135,000 people.[2] The ethnic conflict precipitating much of the forced migration continues unabated in Burma, with at least 3,000 people fleeing to Thailand in 2009.[3] Until 1998, there was no formal protection programming in the camps. UNHCR was barred from entering them, and NGOs were prohibited from implementing programmes focusing on refugee rights. Camp residents faced (and still face) an array of threats from…
Even in the face of extreme poverty, conflict and crisis, civilians often play a critical role in responding to threats to their safety and dignity and violations of their fundamental rights. The focus on legal duty-bearers in the academic discourse on protection does not go far enough to acknowledge the part that non-formal actors, including affected communities themselves, play in protection. This is particularly true in contexts where effective government presence is lacking or non-existent. This article pulls together knowledge from Church World Service (CWS) programmes implemented in East Africa and Afghanistan to illustrate how community-based empowerment approaches can reduce…
Many agencies still find it difficult to effectively integrate protection into humanitarian sector programmes. Although protection is a cross-cutting issue in the Sphere handbook and agency staff are trained in the application of Sphere standards, protection issues are frequently not systematically identified and addressed in humanitarian response. Recognising this gap, World Vision Australia undertook a six-month research exercise to code existing standards and indicators relating to protection, leading to the development and publication of Minimum Agency Standards for Incorporating Protection into Humanitarian Response.[1] This tool is intended to help operational agencies to incorporate protection into their humanitarian programming and advocacy.…
Humanitarian protection is widely regarded as encompassing respect for the fundamental rights of people, for their safety, dignity and integrity as human beings.[1] Protection actors are encouraged to work directly with affected individuals and populations, and to strengthen the capacity of communities to protect themselves.[2] But to what extent do agencies and populations at risk share similar definitions, ideas and priorities regarding protection? In 2008 and 2009, Oxfam Timor-Leste, Caritas Australia (Timor-Leste), CARE Timor-Leste and World Vision Kenya conducted 34 focus group discussions in three locations in Timor-Leste and three locations in Kenya. The discussions were one component of baseline…

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