Protection risks faced by communities across the globe continue to shock, unlike anything we reported before — jumping 36% in only one year, leaving 150 million people in need of protection in 2022. The past several months have highlighted the crushing range of constraints that are limiting such quality of access across our operations.
Most protection cluster operations estimate that protection services can reach and be reached on average by 25 to 50% of those in need. Operations in Yemen, Ethiopia, Sudan and Mozambique offer even lower estimates.
This means that across operations, half to three-quarters of people are left to fend for themselves – invisible to the outside world and without the most basic protection and support.
In the second quarter of this year, we report that sexual and gender-based violence, attacks on civilians, and attacks on education and health were again reported as predominant protection risks across our operations; highlighting the need to align our protection of civilians and access agenda.
In this report, we bring into focus contexts where protection work is being challenged at its foundation due to constraints to access, and how certain protection risks and trends are being exacerbated by these access constraints.
We also highlight some of the ways we can collectively strengthen access for protection looking at leverage points across policy and practice dimensions.
- A more comprehensive conceptualization of access, with protection at its core.
- Strengthened engagement and negotiation with armed groups around access for protection.
- Investing in community self-protection and community-based protection networks and action.
- Shift power and invest in local leadership on access for protection.
- Ensuring humanitarian systems and diplomatic support all geared towards a shared aim of access for protection.
- Establishing a global monitoring and reporting system to track quality of access in crisis contexts and support greater transparency and accountability.
- Advancing advocacy in support of access for protection.
- When some access is possible, get better at layering in protection elements.