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Global Protection Cluster

Protection of Civilians
The Approach

All parties to armed conflicts are responsible for ensuring that the civilian population is protected. Guaranteeing compliance with and promoting accountability for violations of international humanitarian and human rights law; ensuring protection through UN peacekeeping and other missions; providing humanitarian access; and delivering protection specifically to those who are most vulnerable, such as women and children during armed conflicts are essential elements of effective protection of civilians.

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Houda Chalchoul

Senior Legal Officer
Role of the Protection Cluster

Interaction with UN Peacekeeping Mission

Protection Clusters can contribute to the development of the peacekeeping mission’s protection strategy and facilitate coordination with mission’s counterparts, specially human rights, protection of civilians, child protection and women protection units.

Protection Clusters can seek to influence the nature of the protection mandates that are assigned to peacekeeping missions by the Security Council. The GPC and field protection clusters participate in inter-agency coordination mechanisms facilitated by OCHA and regularly update the UN Security Council Informal Expert Group on key protection issues in countries considered by the Council.

Civil-military coordination

Humanitarians have also long recognized that humanitarian action alone cannot protect civilians from the effects of armed conflict. Military actors may be able to enhance the physical protection of civilian population. They may also be able to contribute to a security environment conducive to the provision of humanitarian assistance. The modality and degree of interaction between humanitarian and military actors differ according to the operational contact