Global Protection Cluster

Protection Mainstreaming
The Issue

Mainstreaming protection ensures that the protective impact of aid programming is maximized. Through the incorporation of protection principles into aid delivery, humanitarian actors can ensure that their activities target the most vulnerable, enhance safety, dignity, and promote and protect the human rights of the beneficiaries without contributing to or perpetuating discrimination, abuse, violence, neglect and exploitation.

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The Approach

Protection mainstreaming is the process of incorporating protection principles and promoting meaningful access, safety and dignity in humanitarian aid. The following elements must be taken into account in all humanitarian activities.

Prioritize safety & dignity, and avoid causing harm

Prevent and minimize as much as possible any unintended negative effects of your intervention which can increase people’s vulnerability to both physical and psychosocial risks.

Meaningful Access

Arrange for people’s access to assistance and services – in proportion to need and without any barriers. Pay special attention to individuals and groups who may be particularly vulnerable or have difficulty accessing assistance and services.


Set-up appropriate mechanisms through which affected populations can measure the adequacy of interventions, and address concerns and complaints.

Participation and Empowerment

Support the development of self-protection capacities and assist people to claim their rights, including – not exclusively – the rights to shelter, food, water and sanitation, health, and education.


Featured Video

To watch the video with subtitles in ArabicFrench, and Spanish, please click on the respective links.

For more information

Julien Marneffe

Head of Learning and Capacity Building
Global Protection Cluster

Marie-Emilie Dozin

Head of Advocacy and Communication
Global Protection Cluster