The Cluster system was established in 2005 as part of the humanitarian reform process with the aim of strengthening system-wide preparedness and technical capacity to respond to humanitarian emergencies.

The GPC coordinates the development of policy, standards and operational tools relating to protection in humanitarian action, including practical guidance on how to establish and manage protection coordination mechanisms.

The GPC’s work is guided by its 2020-2024 Strategic Framework which is structured around four key actions:

  1. Support field protection clusters to fulfil their core functions and build capacity of protection actors so humanitarians in all sectors ensure that the rights of affected persons and the obligations of duty bearers under international law are understood, respected, protected and fulfilled without discrimination. We develop capacity for community-based protection and solutions.
  2. Advocate with and on behalf of affected persons to amplify their voices and support Clusters and Humanitarian Country Teams (HCTs) so critical protection issues are acted upon in relevant regional and global fora.
  3. Promote the Centrality of Protection, including through mainstreaming and integrating protection, and support other humanitarians to do the same including in the humanitarian, development, peace and security nexus.
  4. Influence protection standards and policy development that uphold international human rights law (IHRL) and international humanitarian law (IHL) in complex emergencies.


The GPC Coordinator,William Chemaly on the launch of the 2020-2024 GPC Strategic Framework:


Support to field protection mechanisms is directly provided or channelled through the GPC Operations Cell. It provides the Global Cluster Coordinator with the capacity to follow critical inter-agency processes, contributes to policy and standard setting on protection issues and the prioritization of global support activities to field operations. The Operations Cell is also critical to the implementation and monitoring of the GPC Work-Plan, influencing planning as well as spearheading catalytic activities such as the GPC’s Community of Practice. It also engages with donors and mobilizes resources.

The GPC is committed to continuously improving the protection response. Delivery of protection-related trainings and learning programmes is thus an essential work-stream.

For sound operational planning and programming in humanitarian operations, effective information and data management at the global and field levels is essential. A dedicated Information Management Officer at global level therefore ensures effective communication, reporting, engagement and coordination between the GPC Coordinator, the AoR Coordinators and partners.

The Global Protection Cluster also makes strategic use of deployments of experienced professionals to establish field protection clusters in new emergencies or to support already existing clusters improve their response capacity. A Senior Roving ProCap, deployed by the Protection Stand-by Capacity project, provides direct and strategic support for protection preparedness, protection in crises and protection in transition, including establishment, leadership and co-ordination of protection clusters.

NORCAP has deployed a CashCap to the GPC Operations Cell under its capacity building scheme for cash-based Interventions experts. The CashCap supports the roll-out of cash and protection tools developed under the 2014-2015 ECHO-funded Enhanced Response Capacity (ERC) grant managed by UNHCR, gathers best practices and lessons learned on protection and cash and helps field protection clusters in selected countries to increase the use of existing guidance and tools throughout the humanitarian program cycle.

For more information on the GPC’s work please contact us or visit our website.


The Global Protection Cluster (GPC)’s Task Team on Law and Policy conducted a mapping exercise to capture up-to-date information on countries with IDP laws and policies. Read More

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Find the necessary tools on the coordination of a field protection cluster. Read More