Safety and Security of Humanitarian Personnel

A) Objectives of the pledge:

This open pledge is directed to State Parties to the Geneva Conventions participating in the 32nd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.

The signatories of this pledge/We recognize the primary responsibility of States to ensure the safety and security of humanitarian personnel in their territories; and to take measures to protect people in need and to facilitate their rapid and unimpeded access to assistance, in accordance with humanitarian principles. In situations of armed conflict these responsibilities lie with all parties to the armed conflict, including armed groups.

States should also take necessary measures to ensure that impartial humanitarian organizations can carry out/implement their activities in accordance with humanitarian principles.

The signatories of this pledge/We recognize the challenges for operational humanitarian partners to apply holistic and efficient security management approaches in complex and volatile environments with rapidly changing threats and vulnerabilities. These situations demand continuously adapted risk management analysis and practice involving all relevant actors.

We pay tribute to the courage and commitment of all those who take part in humanitarian operations, often at great personal risk;

We therefore pledge, for the years 2015-2019:To share relevant information and explore ways in which we can, individually and collectively, effectively improve our contribution to the safety and security of principled humanitarian action and of humanitarian workers, independent of their race, color, origin, sex, language, religion, national or social origin or other similar criteria. We will also work together to consider ways to incentivize good practice in terms of security risk management within the humanitarian organizations that we support.

Furthermore, we pledge to support our operational humanitarian partners in their endeavors to continuously improve on their management of staff safety and operational security, taking into account the specificities of each operational context, including what can be achieved collectively and what needs to be achieved by each of our partners.

In line with our commitments in the 32nd International Conference resolution on “Safety and Security of Humanitarian volunteers,” we pledge to support National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and all actors deploying humanitarian volunteers to improve their safety, including by promoting community understanding and acceptance of the role of humanitarian volunteers.

Moreover, we pledge to identify possible additional ways to address challenges of safety and security of humanitarian workers through bilateral actions, and in multilateral forums. We recognize the complementarity of the resolution on “safety and security” with the Resolution on “Health care in danger” and pledge our continued support to promoting and disseminating IHL including as it relates to protection of the wounded and sick and health-care personnel, facilities, and medical transports.

B) Action plan:

Proposed evaluation criteria:

  • States welcome, support and implement the UN General Assembly’s recognition to protect all humanitarian actors as stated in the last three Resolutions on Safety and Security of Humanitarian Personnel and Protection of UN Personnel.
  • Donors fund or allow funding for safety and security expenses and, when necessary, pool resources to ensure that their operational partners have the means to establish and sustain context specific security risk management system.
  • Through voluntary collective action, donors fund initiatives that build capacities on safety and security.
  • Donors’ efforts to improve safety and security measures of their operational partners should be shared and best practice identified.


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