Protection

In situations of armed conflict, civil unrest and natural disaster, men, women, boys and girls are vulnerable to threats of violence, coercion and deprivation. Humanitarian protection involves preventing or mitigating these risks and their effects in accordance with obligations and entitlements under international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law. 

InterAction members enhance protection through targeted efforts to reduce people’s vulnerability, mitigate threats and increase their capacity to cope with or combat threats and risks. InterAction members also work to ensure that the policies and approaches to crises by the U.S. government, UN agencies and multi-lateral bodies appropriately address protection concerns and support efforts to overcome them.

Among its major initiatives, InterAction is leading a multi-year global initiative to develop and promote Results-Based Protection. Achieving and demonstrating significant impact of protection programming on the lives of affected people is something humanitarian actors have struggled with for some time. Through the Results-Based Protection initiative, InterAction is facilitating a collaborative effort to build up a body of good practice for protection analysis which lends itself to results-oriented program design and measurable outcomes.

InterAction convenes a Protection Working Group as well as two sub-groups focused on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and prevention and response to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA). These groups, chaired by InterAction members, develop resources for members and other humanitarian actors to strengthen protection programming. They also undertake advocacy to highlight protection concerns and the policies and action needed by governments, parties to conflict and others.

The Protection Working Group meets quarterly and provides a platform for InterAction members to learn from each other on practice issues such as Protection Mainstreaming, and engage with protection counterparts in the U.S. Government. A highly effective working group, the GBV Working Group at InterAction advocates on GBV concerns in current crises and facilitates practitioners to learn about best practice and challenges in GBV programming. The SEA Working Group works to increase capacity for preventing and addressing SEA issues at an organizational level. InterAction requires all members to comply with SEA standards and the working group has developed several trainings and resources to assist organizations in the prevention of and response to SEA.

InterAction additionally seeks to ensure that members’ experience and expertise is taken into account by the humanitarian community as a whole by engaging in strategic policy activities. InterAction has recently begun to support members through awareness raising and analysis of complex matters related to UN integration arrangements and protection of civilians mandates and roles under UN peacekeeping missions. This workstream is also supported through InterAction's active participation in the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Task Team on Principled Humanitarian Action and the Global Protection Cluster (GPC). Through the former, InterAction is helping to explore the impact of UN integration arrangements on humanitarian activities and formulate recommendations for consideration by the IASC Principals to support principled humanitarian action. By engaging in the GPC, InterAction is helping coordinate responses to humanitarian crises and sets standards and policies regarding protection in humanitarian response.

For more information, contact Kelsey Hampton, Program Associate.