3.3.2 Witnessing and monitoring abuses

Depending on the situation, CARE might choose to take a more direct approach to protection concerns by sing witnessing and monitoring to advocate for better protection of people caught up in conflict and crisis. Witnessing is the act of monitoring and reporting information on violations of human rights that one observes or encounters in one’s work. Human rights violations impact negatively both on the people we serve, and on our relief and development programmes. It is important that these violations are addressed.

CARE can engage in both overt and covert witnessing, depending on the prevailing circumstances in a particular situation. Witnessing is said to be covert where the information gathered is passed on-usually confidentially-to outside organisations, such as human rights monitoring and reporting organisations. It is said to be overt where the information collected is shared with the perpetrators themselves or with the authorities responsible for protecting people from abuses. Given the organisation’s operational nature and the sensitivities often associated with reporting on rights abuses, CARE generally will favour either overt witnessing as part of low-profile advocacy or covert witnessing that does not sacrifice our anonymity. The appropriate course of action will depend very much on the circumstances of any given case and a sound risk analysis.

For more detailed information please see:

Annex 31.10     Draft CARE Witnessing Guidelines
Annex 31.11     Humanitarian protection: Recommendations towards good practice for non-mandated organizations
Annex 31.12    Proactive presence: Field strategies for civilian protection