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Protection Cluster Presence

Active Emergencies

Conflict and violations of human rights remain the single biggest driver of protection challenges today. In 2022, 151 million people are in need of protection. This is a major increase from 113 million in 2021. It is largely driven by the worsening situation in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Myanmar and Sudan as well as chronic high levels of needs in Yemen, Syria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Over the world, armed conflict continues to be characterized by high levels of civilian deaths, injury, displacement, psychological trauma and sexual violence. Alongside such widespread protection risks, we also know that particular groups shoulder disproportionate burdens – children living through conflict for instance are at risk of being separated from their families, recruited into armed groups and denied an education. Women and girls are particularly affected by gender-based violence, described as being among top concerns across cluster operations. 


Severity Minor Stressed Moderate Severe Extreme N/A
Gender-based violence 0 0 2 20 6 0
Impediments or restrictions to freedom of movement, siege and forced displacement 1 1 5 17 3 1
Psychological/emotional abuse or inflicted distress 0 1 9 14 4 0
Attacks on civilians and other unlawful killings, attacks on civilian infrastructures 2 3 3 14 5 0
Theft, extortion, eviction or destruction of personal property 1 3 10 12 1 1
Abduction, kidnapping, forced disappearance, arbitrary or unlawful arrest and/or detention 0 4 7 10 3 1
Impediments and/or restrictions to access to documentation, remedies and justice 1 4 9 10 3 1
Discrimination and stigmatization, denial of resources, opportunities, services 0 4 14 9 0 1
Presence of mines and other explosive ordnance 4 2 9 9 3 1
Child, early or forced marriage 1 14 14 8 1 0
Forced recruitment, including recruitment of children in armed forces and groups 12 4 12 8 1 1
Forced family and child separation 0 5 16 5 1 1
Forced labour, slavery, trafficking in persons 3 10 8 5 1 1
Misinformation and denial of access to information 4 11 7 4 1 1
Torture or inhuman, cruel, degrading treatment 6 4 10 4 2 2

Crisis Watch


The first quarter of 2023 was marked by the expansion and intensification of violence linked to armed groups. Protection needs almost doubled in one year and no area in Port-au-Prince is safe. Gang violence has escalated across the metropolitan area, and spilled over into neighbouring regions, particularly the Artibonite department. Violence surged in areas already controlled by gangs (Cité Soleil, Croix-des-Bouquets and Port-au-Prince) and extended to other communes considered relatively safe until now (Kenscoff and Pétion-Ville), progressively cutting the capital off from the rest of the country.


Since mid-April, widespread fighting between Sudan’s military and main paramilitary force has resulted in over 400 civilian deaths and over 3,500 injured. Millions of people are trapped inside their homes. Fighting has halted food distributions and is preventing health professionals from reaching hospitals. Civilians are increasingly fleeing areas affected by fighting, including Khartoum. With some 15.8 million people – roughly a third of the population – in need of humanitarian relief and facing acute food insecurity this year, continued violence threatens the already precarious humanitarian situation.


The protection situation in earthquake affected areas is alarming, exacerbating an already very concerning protection situation in a challenging environment where needs are very high, and funding limited. Along with ongoing human rights abuses, displacement and protection risks, the further loss of homes and properties, livelihoods, civil documentation, and access to essential services, means that people are experiencing compounded protection risks and have even less capacity to keep themselves and their families safe4 . A humanitarian system wide scaleup activation in relation to the earthquake was announced for a duration of 6 months.