Working Together For Protection | Politics

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Humanitarians are just one of the groups responsible for helping people stay safe in an emergency. Understanding who is responsible for what when it comes to protecting people in crisis is essential if humanitarian organisations are to play their part effectively. This leaflet is about some of the bodies which have responsibilities or legal mandates for helping to keep people safe from harm. Together with a colourful poster, it is intended to provide clarity and aid dialogue about the respective roles of those concerned.
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     N   A     T      I   O   N   A   L    &      L  O   C  A   L    C   I   V I  L    S  O C I E  T  Y :   F  I R S  T    P  R  O  T   E   C   T  I   O   N    R   E    S    P     O    N    D    E    R    S     CIVIL SOCIETYSTATEORGANISED ARMED GROUPSINTERNATIONALHumanitarian organisationsLNGOsNNGOsAdministrationDevelopment organisationsHuman rights organisationsJusticeHuman rights organisationsHumanitarian & development actorsPolicePeacekeeping missionsArmed forces I      N    T    E     R   N     A     T       I         O      N      A      L            B       O       D       I                 E        S        :             C   O   M  P   L   E    M   E    N  T     A   R  Y    R   O    L   E  S       S      T     A     T     E         A        U         T        H        O       R               I         T                 I         E        S              :           P        R                              I       M       A       R         Y         P      R      O        T      E     C       T     O    R     S A  R   M  E   D     A  C   T   O  R  S  :    P  H Y  S I C A L   P  R  O  T  E  C   T   I  O   N     R  O    L    E    S WORKING TOGETHER FOR PROTECTION Development organisations  have a role in tackling the longer-term causes of violence and abuse. Individuals, families, communities:  most people take action to protect themselves and their families. Human rights organisations  monitor, report on and raise awareness of rights. Humanitarian organisations  must take steps to reduce risk for people affected by crisis; they may offer specific support to vulnerable groups or advocate on their behalf (humanitarian protection). Organised armed groups  are responsible for ensuring that their fighters do not harm civilians, and for enabling people in need to receive assistance and protection.Local and national  state authorities  have primary responsibility for protecting people from harm, even if international bodies are present.People may turn to civil  society organisations  for help; other organisations should coordinate with them. ICRC  advocates with all sides in a conflict to uphold international rules on protecting civilians and others not involved in fighting. Peacekeeping missions  can use diplomatic channels to advocate for protection and may have a mandate to protect civilians through the threat or use of force. For other materials in this series, see: www.globalprotectioncluster.org  or www.oxfam.org.uk/protection N   A  T   I   O  N   A  L  L  O  C   A  L      N  A   T   I  O   N  A   L   L  O  C  A   L This document was developed by Oxfam for the Global Protection Cluster and financed by the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO). The views expressed herein should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of the European Union, and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.Designed by Soapbox, www.soapbox.co.uk © Global Protection Cluster March 2016  WORKING TOGETHER FOR PROTECTION  The most immediate protective action is taken by people at risk themselves, their families and communities – whether it’s a woman in Syria fleeing a war zone with her children, a man in DRC accompanying his wife to the fields to discourage potential attackers, or a disabled person stuck on the frontline in Georgia who hides in the forest at night to escape violence. This leaflet is about some of the bodies which have responsibilities or legal mandates for helping to keep people safe from harm. They can be most effective when they work together and are accountable to the people affected.People at risk may seek support from local civil society organisations that they trust. Others should respect that choice, by working or coordinating action with people’s civil society representatives. INDIVIDUALS, FAMILIES, COMMUNITIESLOCAL CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS  State authorities have primary responsibility for protecting people from harm, even if international bodies are present; this often falls to local representatives. The state must ensure that its agents (army, police, etc.) do not harm civilians, but protect them from harm – including by ensuring that those in need can receive protection or assistance from others if the government cannot provide it.Organised armed groups too are responsible for ensuring that their fighters do not deliberately or unintentionally harm civilians, and for enabling people in need to receive assistance and protection from others.Where state authorities do not protect people effectively, for whatever reason, others, including humanitarians, may play a part. Humanitarians can never replace the state, but they can advocate for or support the state to fulfil its responsibilities. STATE AUTHORITIESORGANISED ARMED GROUPS
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