GPC Roundtable: Humanitarian Evacuations in Armed Conflict

On 24 November 2014 in Geneva, the Global Protection Cluster convened a thematic roundtable on humanitarian evacuations of civilians in armed conflict.1 Bringing together practitioners and independent experts, the roundtable sought to distill learning from past and present examples of humanitarian evacuations, exploring in depth the particular dilemmas confronted by humanitarian actors when having to consider, plan and implement such extreme protection measures. As a complement to this discussion, participants were invited to take stock of available policy and operational guidance on humanitarian evacuations, and to recommend a way forward to address any emerging gaps. Particular focus was placed on decision-making processes for humanitarian evacuations, alongside a review of the roles, mandates and expertise of different actors in such interventions.

The overall aim of the roundtable was to develop a set operational considerations that could eventually contribute to an update of current guidance and the issuance of fresh policy and tools, not least in the realm of decision-making. It was also hoped that this discussion would trigger interest in taking forward a multi-stakeholder dialogue aimed at reaching understanding and consensus on the intent and relevance of humanitarian evacuations, and the roles to be played by different actors within and outside of the humanitarian community.