VOICE out loud issue 28: addressing protection needs in humanitarian action

Publication language
Date published
16 Nov 2018
humanitarian action, NGOs, Protection, human rights & security

In this edition of the VOICE out loud, NGOs reflect on different aspects of protection in their operations. Our members have illustrated this through their work in different crises.

While NGOs do not bear the primary responsibility for protection, by virtue of their presence in communities they can contribute to it. Through the protracted nature of violent conflict, like in Syria and its repercussions in neighbouring countries, Solidarités and Humanity and Inclusion look at protection in an urban context and for specific vulnerable groups like women with disabilities. Malteser examines what it can mean in the context of the suffering of the recently displaced Rohingya from Myanmar, and Oxfam for communities in less visible crises like the Democratic Republic of Congo. Church of Sweden and GVC tell us how their programming has changed to include this in the simmering highly politicised context of humanitarian response to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Against a backdrop of insufficient funding, the severity, proximity and length of many of these conflicts and crises has driven some changes in how humanitarians work. Many of our members reflect on how this work brings humanitarians closer to development work or human rights and on how to ensure respect for principled humanitarian aid in this context.

We also hear from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) which has protection as a core the mandate. Mr. Walter Füllemann, who represents the ICRC in Brussels, reflects on how protection work is changing and what in the EU and international context can support or hinder this. As usual, in the VOICE at work feature, readers get an update on the latest news from the network.