HPG - Advocating for the Better Protection of Civilians: From Stagnation to Action

According to the United Nations, there are more active armed conflicts today than at any time since the end of the Second World War. The complexity and scale of violence and abuse that civilians in these conflicts face require all relevant actors to use their influence to persuade conflict parties to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law to spare civilians from the effects of war. International humanitarian actors have a key role to play as part of the wider collective of protection advocates. But are they playing their part and, more crucially, are they having any impact? If not, why not, and what needs to be done to turn that around?

Working closely over three years with a range of international and national humanitarian and non-humanitarian organisations and leaders, this multi-year programme of research and public affairs work focused on key issues including the role of senior UN leaders in protection advocacy; collaborative and complementary advocacy between humanitarian and other actors; influencing western states’ practice in regard to their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law; and the advocacy role of the Global Protection Cluster.