2.2 General protection assessment checklist

The following assessment checklist is designed for staff use to make sure they have covered all the relevant protection issues. It is not intended that these questions should be asked directly to the individuals or communities with whom we work. The checklist is not exhaustive and there may be other questions that need to be added in a specific context or project. Protection-related questions for each sector are available at Annex 31.5 Draft Minimum Standards for Protection. For guidance in conducting a participatory assessment, refer to Annex 31.6 The UNHCR tool for participatory assessment in operations.


  • What is the demographic makeup of population? (Male/female ratio, % children/% elderly, main ethnic and religious groups)
  • Are there any vulnerable groups? How many unaccompanied children, unaccompanied women, single female-headed households, elderly, sick and people with disabilities?
  • How many refugees or IDPs are there in the programming area? What numbers are living in camps and what numbers are living in the community?
  • Is there any forcible return of refugees or IDPs to where they will be subject to persecution?
  • What are the main threats to safety and security? Document any cases of arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, physical attacks, rapes, other forms of SGBV, maiming or killing.
  • Are people being coerced into activities against their will? Document any cases of forced relocation and armed recruitment.
  • What are the vulnerabilities to protection abuses? Document patterns of abuse, which groups are most vulnerable, and times and places where the violations take place.
  • Are people being denied access to basic subsistence?
  • Are any civilians being used as a shield for military objects or being targeted by military action?
  • Does everyone have identification documentation that is recognised by authorities and provides them equal access to services?
  • What existing coping mechanisms does the community currently use to protect themselves from abuse and violations?
  • Is the state able and/or willing (specify which) to provide protection to civilians?
  • What international and regional legal instruments has the country signed and ratified?
  • Does the national legislation integrate international and regional instruments?
  • What community laws and customs govern behaviour?
  • How are women’s and children’s rights reflected in national law and to what extent are these laws respected?
  • Who are the key national actors that have responsibility for the protection of communities in the project area?
  • Which UN agency is the coordinating body for protection in the country?
  • What protection programmes are being implemented by other agencies?
  • Does the community have access to their rights and responsibilities in a language they understand?
  • Is the Code of Conduct available to the community so that they are aware of the professional standards that NGO staff is expected to maintain?

Source: Annex 31.5 Draft Minimum Standards for Protection