- Protection within conflict-affected settings is widely defined as “all activities aimed at obtaining full respect for the rights of the individual in accordance with the letter and spirit of relevant bodies of law” (IASC Gender Handbook, 2006, pg.12). Protection activities aim to create an environment in which human dignity is respected, specific patterns of abuse are prevented or their immediate effects alleviated, and dignified conditions of life are restored.
- The following three bodies of law provide a comprehensive legal framework for the protection of women and girls in humanitarian contexts:
- international humanitarian law,
- international human rights law,
- international criminal law.
- This international legal framework for protection can be also considered in light of the following two elements:
These are ‘legally binding’ for states.
- International human rights treaties/conventions that a State has ratified or acceded to,
- International humanitarian law
- UN resolutions
These are non-binding, but carry significant moral commitment and responsibility in the international community.
• International guidelines
• International conference documents, declarations, programmes of action
Source: excerpt from: UNHCR. 2008. Handbook for the Protection of Women and Girls, pg. 333.
- Also important, but not binding, are the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council which help to facilitate the implementation of laws, conventions, declarations, etc., such as UN monitoring committees, special envoys, special rapporteurs, and other experts. They are typically independent human rights experts with mandates to report and advise on human rights related to a specific theme or country. As of January 1st 2013 there are 36 thematic and 12 country mandates, including a Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, Its Causes and Consequences (Adapted from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights:).