1.1 Definition of protection

‘All activities aimed at ensuring full respect for the rights of the individual in accordance with the letter and the spirit of the relevant bodies of law, i.e. human rights law, international humanitarian law and refugee law.' (Annex 31.1 Protection: An ALNAP guide for humanitarian agencies, p. 33).

This means CARE’s programmes and staff must work to respect and uphold the lives and dignity of people by incorporating protection principles into relief programming and taking protective actions wherever possible. A protection approach can also work through empowerment: working directly with people to support, identify and develop ways in which they can protect themselves and realise their rights to safety, assistance and life with dignity.

Protection draws on a rights-based approach. That means it is founded on international legal instruments. This does not mean you need to be a lawyer to do protection work, but a basic understanding of some of the relevant legal instruments will help in designing programmes and projects for an emergency response.