GPC Provisional Guidance Note on HCT Protection Strategy

The Principals of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) reaffirmed in their statement on the Centrality of Protection in Humanitarian Action that the “protection of all persons affected and at-risk must inform humanitarian decision-making and response, including engagement with States and non-state parties to conflict. It must be central to our preparedness efforts, as part of immediate and life-saving activities, and throughout the duration of humanitarian response and beyond.” Protection priorities need to be captured in the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) yet a Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) can go one step further and develop a comprehensive protection strategy that can inform and build on the HRP. Such a strategy can provide the HCT with the focus and framework necessary to address the most urgent and serious protection risks as well as to prevent and stop the recurrence of violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law (hereinafter collectively referred to as “violations”). 

The aim of this guidance is to assist Humanitarian Coordinators (HCs) and HCTs to develop a comprehensive and humanitarian system-wide protection strategy in a manner that is light and enhances the effectiveness and performance of country-level humanitarian responses. This guidance is deliberately flexible so that HCs and HCTs can design a process for strategy development that is conducive to the operational context as well as to the capacities and coordination mechanisms that are in place at country level.