Turkey hosts the world’s largest number of refugees and asylum seekers The Government of Turkey (GoT) is primary responsible for the protection refugees, including their access to services, and is the overall coordinator of the refugee response.
Thus, in cooperation with GoT, UNHCR and partners have established an inter-agency refugee response coordination structure in Turkey as part of the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan in Response to the Syrian Crisis (3RP) which draws upon the expertise of UN agencies in providing leadership to sectoral working groups. The national Protection Working Group (PWG) based in Ankara was formed in December 2014 in light of these developments as a central element of the refugee protection response in Turkey.
Definition and scope of intervention
Protection encompasses “all activities aimed at ensuring full respect for the rights of the individual in accordance with the relevant bodies of law, including international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law”.
The PWG focuses on setting overal strategic direction; setting minimum standards and guidelines in line with the national legal framework; conducting advocacy with the authorities and other key stakeholders; capacity building and training initiatives; taking the lead in resource mobilization and communication with donors.
The primary purpose of the PWG is to strengthen and coordinate the protection needs of Syrians and other persons of concern in Turkey. To meet this purpose, the needs of host communities will also be taken into consideration.
Key priorities for 2016
Strengthening national capacity to ensure sustainability and national ownership of protection interventions,
Expansion of outreach mechanisms to strengthen community mobilization and improve the delivery of assistance and services to refugees.
Strengthening of community-based protection coordination and referral mechanisms.