Staff safety and security

There is increasing attention being given to an organization's legal and moral duty of care. In aid work, the safety and security of employees and those working on behalf of an organization often acts as a primary constraint on operations, meaning its skillful management is essential for effective access. Security management involves Context Analysis and Risk Assessment followed by the establishment of security procedures, contingency plans and strategies. Humanitarians are not armed -- their security depends on prevention, deterrence and acceptance. In addition to security, ensuring safety must cover common activities such as construction, transport and health/hygiene precautions.

Wall and gate of a camp

Photo: Amunga Eshuchi/TrĂ³caire

Key references

Overview of the latest verified aid worker casualty statistics, based on the Aid Worker Security Database (AWSD)

Outlining the common features of safety and security that apply or could apply to persons working in conflict areas

Issue of the Humanitarian Exchange Magazine capturing the varying responses to safety and security challenges across the aid sector

Tools for the job

Guide for non-security experts to quickly set up basic safety, security, and risk management systems in new contexts or rapid onset emergency response situations

Key actors

Independent network of Security Focal Points who represent European-based humanitarian NGOs, aiming to improve NGO humanitarian security risk management and sustainable access to populations in need

Provides registered NGOs with a range of free services including real-time incident tracking, analytical reports, safety related data and mapping, crisis management support, staff orientations, and training

Global membership association for individuals committed to improving the quality and effectiveness of the safety and security of humanitarian relief and development assistance workers operating in dangerous and complex contexts

Conducts independent research on staff safety and security, and founded the Aid Worker Security Database (AWSD), recording major incidents of violence against aid workers from 1997 until present

Upcoming courses: 

4-8 November:
Addis Ababa

10-14 November:
Amman/Dead Sea 

25-29 November:
Geneva

Upcoming Webinars:
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