IASC Protection Priority: Global Protection Cluster
The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Working Group agreed in October 2013 that the proposed work under the IASC Protection Priority would be carried forward by the Global Protection Cluster (GPC), with interested IASC Working Group members.
The report of the Secretary-General’s Internal Review Panel on United Nations Action in Sri Lanka revealed numerous systemic weaknesses in current humanitarian practice to ensure protection in accordance with international human rights and international humanitarian law. The “Rights Up Front: A Plan of Action to strengthen the UN’s role in protecting people in crises” (UN Plan of Action) was developed as a key strategic response to address these gaps.
In May 2013, OHCHR and UNHCR developed and submitted to the IASC Principals a background paper entitled “The Protection of Human Rights in Humanitarian Crises”. Taking into account the proposed actions in light of UN Plan of Action and following a series of consultations, the IASC endorsed Protection as a key priority and endorsed a series of steps proposed by the Global Protection Cluster.
The selection of Protection in Humanitarian Crises as a priority for IASC will help promote:
- A clear vision of protection in humanitarian policy and practice.
- An approach in humanitarian crises by UN, NGO and other partners that enhances protection in accordance with human rights and international humanitarian law and equitable services and assistance for all persons affected by crises.
- Strategic and operational interaction on protection between humanitarian actors and other relevant stakeholders.
- Enhanced collective advocacy on protection, including by IASC Principals.
Global Protection Cluster (GPC) partners and IASC members contributed to the development of the IASC Principals’ Statement on the Centrality of Protection in Humanitarian Action. In addition, the GPC, in consultation with the IASC Working Group, will:
- Carry out an independent whole-of-system review of protection in humanitarian crises;
- Develop and implement an appropriate and comprehensive policy framework on protection, including with a view to preventing and responding to violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law; and
- Promote awareness among IASC Task Teams and subsidiary bodies of relevant elements of the UN Plan of Action and take the necessary steps, with the support of the GPC, to implement those elements that relate to them.
- GPC Seminar on “Protection in Humanitarian Crises: Recommendations to the SG Working Group on the follow-up to the Sri Lanka IRP Report,” 15 March 2013
- “The Protection of Human Rights in Humanitarian Crises”, A Joint Background Paper by OHCHR and UNHCR, IASC Principals, 8 May 2013”.
- Ad Hoc IASC Working Group Meeting, Protection of Human Rights in Humanitarian Crises, 18 July 2013 ”.
- “Strengthening System-wide Policy and Practice on Protection in Humanitarian Crises”, IASC Standing Committee, 85th Working Group Meeting, 28-29 October 2013 ”.
- Rights Up Front.
- Summary of “Rights Up Front”.
- Secretary-General speech, “Renewing our commitment to the peoples and purposes of the United Nations,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN Headquarters, 22 November 2013,
- The Deputy Secretary-General, Informal remarks at briefing of the General Assembly on Rights up Front, 17 December 2013,
- Priority: Protection in Humanitarian Crises, Inter-Agency Standing Committee, 9 December 2013 ”.
- The Centrality of Protection in Humanitarian Action, Statement by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Principals, Endorsed by the IASC Principals on 17 December 2013 ”.
- Terms of Reference, GPC Task Team to Implement IASC Protection Priority Tasks, 23 January 2014 ”.
Under the leadership of the GPC Cluster Coordinator, the GPC Task Team on the Protection Priority is co-chaired by OHCHR and InterAction. The Terms of Reference for this Task Team can be found here.”
Participants in the GPC Task Team include: Danish Refugee Council, InterAction, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), International Organization for Migration (IOM), International Rescue Committee (IRC), Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Oxfam, Office of the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) For more information about or to participate in the GPC Task Team, please contact the GPC Task Team co-chairs, copying GPC Support Cell (see "Contact" box).