Global Protection Risks

Discrimination and Stigmatization, Denial of Resources, Opportunities, Services, and/or Humanitarian Access

This protection risk includes acts that deprive or pre-empt people to rightfully access economic resources/assets or livelihood opportunities, education, health or other social services, on the basis of unjustifiable and/or unlawful reasons or policies with the consent or under the acquiescence or negligence of public officials or responsible parties. Discrimination includes acts of making unjustified distinctions between human beings based on categories to which they are perceived to belong (race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, as well as other categories). Stigma can include dehumanizing, degrading, discrediting and devaluing people in certain population groups, often based on a feeling of disgust. Stigma and discrimination are closely interrelated, and they reinforce each other. Stigma often lies at the root of discrimination and provides a justification to discrimination as ‘natural’ and necessary, andnecessary and makes systemic discrimination possible. One person can possess different attributes to which stigma are is attached. Denial of equal opportunity, including resources and services refers to any action, conduct or measure resulting in or likely to result in the taking away in any manner of existing opportunities for livelihood, vocation, occupation or employment or any other livelihood rights and entitlements. This is a core type of gender-based violence. Denial of humanitarian access entails blocking the free passage or timely delivery of humanitarian assistance to persons in need, as well as the deliberate attacks against humanitarian workers.

What factors must be identified for monitoring? 

The monitoring of this protection risk requires an attentive understanding of every situation where people are excluded from the use or enjoyment of resources, facilities, assets or rights. This includes all situations where people encounter barriers to access and have no alternatives, or where people are threatened with violence and fear for their physical and mental integrity. In armed conflicts, the principle of subsidiarity dictates that the primary responsibility for meeting the needs of the civilian population rests with the warring parties that are in effective control of the territory in which that population lives. Only if those parties are unable to meet their obligations should outside relief allow action. In situation of natural hazards and climate impact, including extreme weather events such as floods, storms, droughts, heat waves and wildfires or hunger crisis, authorities and responsible parties have the obligation to put in place and facilitate all actions to prevent, stop, provide redress and build an environment where no violations affect the life of the population. This is valid as well for any complex emergencies or protracted crisis combining conflict and climate change impacts. This protection risk should be therefore monitored in all situations where immediate needs (e.g., food insecurity or malnutrition) are compounded by the erosion of resources and capacities of the population, together with the insufficient response or action by state authorities over a prolong period.


What information & data can illustrate the presence of the risk? 

Understanding the presence of this protection risk requires a contextual combination of existing assessments and analysis, within and beyond the protection sector. Factors to be observed can include: a) data on food security, physical and economic access to food, disruption of livelihoods and markets, household indebtedness; b) distorted access to land and employment, barriers to sexual and reproductive health, education, safety and livelihoods, access to services; c) existing protection risks such as denial of freedom of movement and expression, denial of access to humanitarian aid, direct attacks on aid workers or restrictions on activities, child, early and forced marriage, gender-based violence; d) structural factors such as poor governance, discriminatory social and gender norms and practice, discriminatory laws or customary practices denying access or decision-making to land, household property, decent work or financial resources; e) increase resorting to harmful coping strategies, intersectional situation of affected population, information and knowledge; f) economic (goods, services and resources with market value to the community, houses, roads, schools, or health centres, productive lands, damaged crops, decrease in livestock health) and non-economic losses (missing education, training and health services, loss of life, infectious disease, malnutrition, mental health, displacement and migration, social cohesion, loss of cultural and indigenous knowledge).


You can download the definition here.