Minimum standards for protection, gender and inclusion in emergencies


The IFRC’s Minimum standards for protection, gender and inclusion (PGI) in emergencies is now its second edition. This edition is the result of three years of testing, revision and feedback from protection, gender and inclusion (PGI) and sectoral specialists, based on use in the field by Red Cross and Red Crescent staff and volunteers in many different humanitarian operations. In addition to new chapters (such as cash-based interventions), there is a stronger focus on sexual and gender-based violence and disability inclusion. This edition will be complemented by an expanded toolkit (under development) with practical resources to support the use of the standards in all operations.

Why have minimum standards for protection, gender and inclusion in emergencies?

Emergencies exacerbate existing gender inequalities, and the incidence of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), violence against children and trafficking in human beings often increase during and after emergencies. Someone’s sex, gender identity and other factors, including age, disability, sexual orientation, health status, including HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses, social status, immigration and/or legal status, ethnicity, faith and nationality (or lack thereof) shape the extent to which people are vulnerable to, affected by, respond to and recover from emergencies.

These differences are also the source of strengths, which must be recognised and incorporated into all emergency preparedness, prevention, response, reconstruction and recovery efforts to build resilient societies.

These minimum standards aim to ensure that the emergency programming of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and National Societies provides dignity, access, participation and safety for all people affected by disasters and crises. It provides practical guidance on how to mainstream these four principles in all sectors, based on a consideration of gender, age, disability and other diversity factors. This includes limiting people’s exposure to the risks of violence and abuse and ensuring that emergency operations “do no harm”. The minimum standards also include guidance on SGBV prevention and response and child protection.

Who are these minimum standards for? The standards are to be used by all Red Cross and Red Crescent staff and volunteers, and as a key reference for partners and other stakeholders interested in the IFRC’s approach to these issues. Irrespective of their area of expertise, all field practitioners need to understand the distinct needs and risks that persons of all gender identities, ages, disabilities and backgrounds face in emergency settings as well as what measures and approaches can be implemented to address needs and mitigate safety risks.

This revised edition was made possible thanks to the financial contribution of the Australian Government, Australian Red Cross, Norwegian Red Cross and Swedish Red Cross.