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The Global Protection Cluster

  • The Global Protection Cluster (GPC) is one of the 11 recognized clusters. It is the main forum for coordinating protection-related responsibilities in humanitarian action and covers a wide range of activities that aim to ensure the rights of all individuals are respected, regardless of their age, gender and social, ethnic, national, religious or other background. The role of the GPC is “to lead standard- and policy-setting relating to protection, support the development of strengthened protection capacity, and provide operational advice and support when requested by protection working groups at the country level. It also ensures that protection is mainstreamed and integrated in other clusters and sectors.” (See OneResponse website:)
  • The GPC is chaired by UNHCR, which is the global lead agency for protection. Unlike other clusters, the GPC is organized with a two-tier/dual mandate architecture: the first tier (the overall Protection Cluster) addresses comprehensive and integrated protection interventions; and the second tier--the ‘Areas of Responsibility (AoRs)’--addresses specialized protection issues in order to facilitate inter-agency response to meet programmatic and geographic gaps in the respective specialized areas. The responsibilities of these AoRs are comparable to the work of any of the clusters; the difference is that the AoRs function under the umbrella of the Protection Cluster. Gender-based violence has been designated as one Area of Responsibility.

Excerpted from GBV AoR. 2010. Handbook for Coordinating Gender-based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Settings, pg.31.