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ICRC Professional Standards for Protection 2013 (English)

ICRC Professional Standards for Protection 2013 (English)

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Published by: InterAction on May 08, 2013
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Standards, guidelines, and explanatory notes

The document presents a series of standards and guidelines, each accompanied by
explanatory notes.

The standards constitute what are considered by the community of practitioners as
minimum requirements for all humanitarian and human rights actors planning or
carrying out protection activities in armed confict and other situations of violence. As
explained above, these standards defne the minimum baseline that all humanitarian
and human rights actors doing protection work must maintain.

It is likely that, in specifc areas, some actors will be able to establish internal standards
at a higher level than those to be found here, owing to the expertise and capacities
they possess and their approach to protection work. Clearly, the higher standard (as
set by a given organization) should take precedence.

The guidelines, on the other hand, are intended as useful and, in some cases, essential
reference criteria. However, their application is likely to require more fexibility than
that of standards, as they cannot be applied at all times by all actors. Some guidelines
could even be adopted as standards by some organizations, but the same guidelines
would be unrealistic, unfeasible or irrelevant to others, depending on the nature of
their work, the approaches they adopt and the activities they undertake.

The explanatory notes aim to capture the main elements that sustain and justify each
standard or guideline. They outline the main challenges the standards and guidelines
are designed to tackle, the limitations and constraints, as well as the dilemmas they
might pose to protection actors. They also cover some practical considerations as to
their application. Despite having benefted from an extensive consultative process,
these explanatory notes do not claim to be exhaustive, but aim rather to be illustrative.
Nor do they constitute an operational manual on the application of the standards
and guidelines, or on conducting protection activities. It is the responsibility of each
protection actor to determine how to incorporate these standards and guidelines
into its own practices.

Throughout the text,

the standards are fagged by the symbol

and the guidelines by the symbol

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