More security specialists needed to protect humanitarian workers
'Aid agencies operating in these difficult and complex environments need to ensure that they have policies and procedures that will facilitate the effective delivery of humanitarian aid while minimising the security risk to humanitarian workers,' says Lucy Hodgson, RedR's Security Training Coordinator. 'This includes establishing and monitoring an acceptable threshold of risk at which operations can be maintained. NGO's also need to take appropriate measures to minimise the risk to personnel, resources and activities.'
At the recent RedR Seminar on 'The Global War on terror' and 'its implications for Security Management' in November 2003, NGO experts recommended that in progressively more hostile environments, agencies should aim to have a designated security officer for each field office. However such security specialists are a rare breed.
'To meet those needs RedR is working hard to recruit and train these specialists,' says Hodgson. 'The required profile for a security specialist should include: knowledge of the common security concepts, a high level of personal and organizational security awareness and previous humanitarian experience in insecure environments. Good inter-personal communication and negotiation skills along with strong cultural, political and religious awareness are also required. A military or police background may help some positions but is by no means essential.'
RedR is organising a Security Specialists Workshop in the UK from 29 March to 1st April to enhance the knowledge and skills of such specialists. A RedR Security Management Workshop, from 22nd to 26th March, precedes the Security Specialists workshop. This course aims to provide Field and Desk Managers with a holistic and NGO specific management approach to tackling staff safety and security issues.
RedR is an international charity that relieves suffering by selecting, training and providing relief personnel to humanitarian programmes worldwide.
Following the merger of RedR with International Health Exchange (IHE), RedR and IHE have now access to over 2000 skilled and committed aid professionals and deliver training to more than 1000 aid workers every year.
RedR/IHE contact details:
1 Great George Street
London SW1P 3AA
For more information please contact:
For training enquiries: Lyndsay Perkins
on +44 (0) 207 233 3116, email: email@example.com
For recruitment enquiries: Jessica Hardaway on + 44 (0) 207 233 3116, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 Source United Nations & Relief Web Reports, analysed by Dennis King, Humanitarian Information Unit, US Department of State