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Introduction to Security for Humanitarian Workers

Introduction to Security for Humanitarian Workers

Humanitarian field workers from the United Nations, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and the many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) involved in conflict and post-conflict areas around the world are facing serious security threats. Those who have traditionally worked in high-risk areas such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have developed strategies for remaining in the field under these threats.

Today, other relief and development agencies that have been accustomed to working in peaceful and safe environments are also working in increasingly insecure areas. Even those involved in activities like education and cultural exchange programs may now find themselves at heightened risk of random urban crime, being caught in the crossfire of armed conflict, or even the direct target of terrorism.

This unit will provide you with a basis for better understanding the risks of field work, and for undertaking this distance learning course. In articular, this unit highlights:

  • The current security context for humanitarian field workers.
  • Recent trends in humanitarian staff security.
  • Some of the ways that humanitarian organizations are responding to security risks in the field.
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