Who Really Protects Civilians?

Citation:

Bonwick, Andrew. 2006. "Who Really Protects Civilians?" Development in Practice 16 (3): 270-277.

Author: Andrew Bonwick

Abstract:

Current debate tends to suggest that the protection of civilians is something 'done to' the passive recipients of international largesse. Whether in terms of macro-level interventions of the UN Security Council or micro-level attempts to reduce the negative side effects of relief action, those in need of protection are rarely seen as key players in their own futures. Although this type of external intervention can be valuable, it fails to take complete account of how people manage to survive the effects of conflicts. This concept of protection seriously under-estimates the resourcefulness of people who have no choice, and using it to define protection results in missed opportunities to help communities as they are being forced to adapt to their new realities. Effective humanitarian action will thus not only focus on the actions of those with a responsibility to protect, but will also support and strengthen the rational decisions that people themselves take to try to ensure their own safety in conflict.

Keywords: civilians, protection, intervention

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Humanitarian Assistance, Security, Human Security, Sexual Violence

Year: 2006

© 2017 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.