The protection of civilians (PoC) became a central concern in the international community in the late 1990s, accompanying an upsurge in humanitarian action and peacekeeping. While considerable efforts have been made by the UN and the humanitarian community to integrate PoC in policies, it is less evident how the principle is operationalized and institutionalized in practices on the ground.
This project aims to ascertain the role and impact of contemporary policies and practices of PoC by exploring the research question: What is the role and impact of contemporary policies and practices of PoC?
We will answer this question by:
(1) Examining how the principle of PoC is operationalized on the ground by humanitarian, security, and other actors;
(2) Situating these practices through field-based analyses of the security situation of intended beneficiaries, including displaced persons and vulnerable groups (women, children and indigenous peoples);
(3) Ascertaining how the implementation of PoC programs affects and is experienced by these groups and the wider host communities; and
(4) Drawing lessons for how the efficiency and legitimacy of the studied PoC efforts might be improved in light of organizational, political and ethical preconditions.
Senior researcher at PRIO and the Director of the Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies