IASC Policy on Protection in Humanitarian Action, 2016

Published Date

This policy defines the centrality of protection in humanitarian action, as per the December 2013 statement of the IASC Principals, as well as the process for its implementation at country level. In doing so, it seeks to reinforce complementary roles, mandates, and expertise of all relevant actors. Specifically, this policy emphasizes an IASC commitment to prioritize protection and contribute to collective protection outcomes, including through the development of an HCT protection strategy to address the most critical and urgent risks and violations. It also underlines the need to implement this commitment in all aspects of humanitarian action and across the Humanitarian Programme Cycle (HPC). As such, the collective IASC roles and responsibilities in placing protection at the center of humanitarian action are explained, with due consideration for mandates and expertise and in line with humanitarian principles.

This policy is intended to support and build on the IASC’s Policy on the Protection of Internally Displaced Persons (1999). It also seeks to complement other initiatives in support of protection, particularly the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Up Front Initiative (HRUF). Humanitarian actors must also strictly adhere to the IASC commitments related to Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA): this means working proactively to prevent and protect affected persons from any abuse by humanitarian actors themselves.