Building responsibility

Incidences of identity-based violence (IBV) and Identity-based mass violence (IBMV) are too often viewed as individual catastrophes. This leads to issue-specific awareness that draws attention to the plight of a particular victim group or problem region. Greater understanding of IBMV as a worldwide problem, its causes, and approaches to prediction, prevention, protection and justice (PPPJ) will reframe IBMV as a preventable global phenomenon and a shared responsibility.

Protection Approaches works with photographers, film makers, and designers of innovative new media to develop awareness raising campaigns around IBMV, its causes, and shared responsibilities to protect those at risk. Using short and interesting viral videos and easy to share graphics, we seek to reshape how IBMV is understood, particularly by decision shapers. This broad advocacy work will in time be coupled with a more targeted activities such as:

1) Facilitating IBMV workshops with those who work in media and government

2) Producing regular reports and factsheets for those who work in media and government

3) Engaging with military personnel to scope views towards IBMV PPPJ

Predicting identity-based mass violence

Incidents of identity-based violence (IBV) occur every day, around the world. From a Roma person being targeted in Europe to a gay person in Uganda, the Yazidis in Iraq or the Rohingya in Burma/Myanmar, IBV is always a crime. Accurately predicting when incidents of IBV are likely to develop into identity-based mass violence (IBMV) is an important tool in preventing escalation encouraging robust protection responses.

Protection Approaches is developing a prediction model that assesses the responses by 5 Actors of Change to identity-based divisions. Using this model, we will issue warnings based on our assessment of whether IBMV is likely to occur, highlight situations where peoples are at grave risk and provide recommendations on how the 5 Actors of Change can avert further violence.

The prediction model will:

1) Use a simple survey to monitor how the 5 actors of change: State, Civil Society, Media, Judiciary and International Community respond to escalations of identity based division

2) Adopt criteria to assess those responses and recommend where improvements can be made

3) Allow us to issue colour coded warnings when peoples are at risk of IBMV

Photograph: Lamsdorf prisoner of war camp, Poland, Hanna-Katrina Jędrosz 


Help to end

identity-based violence

The responsibility to protect and the United Nations

We believe that the United Kingdom, as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and as a G8 country, has a responsibility to protect civilians around the world from the threat of mass atrocity crimes (genocide, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity, war crimes). Protection Approaches works to build networks between stakeholders in the UK and abroad that share this belief. We work to promote dialogue and debate between traditionally unconnected audiences, encouraging a collective understanding of the UK's responsibility to protect.

Protection Approaches supports the proposals put forward by France to introduce a voluntary suspension of the UN Security Council veto power in instances of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing. We campaign in the UK to gain support from UK parliamentarians and key decision shapers for such a suspension. The UK hasn’t used their veto power since 1989 and support of the UK government is a vital next step in securing change.

During the campaign we will:

1) Advocate in support for a strong UK mission to the United Nations

2) Build networks with decision shapers and decision makers

3) Advocate for the UK to take a lead in UNSC reform

UK Parliamentary engagement

Protection Approaches monitors how UK political parties respond to issues of identity-based violence, particularly mass atrocity crimes. We work with parliamentarians to facilitate dialogue, improve understanding, and support reform. We provide evidence-based materials on current and emerging crises and on policy challenges relating to prevention of mass atrocities and the protection of civilians from such violence.

We are undertaking a policy review of UK atrocity prevention and civilian protection efforts, which will be published in Spring 2016. 

Our first report ranking the political parties on their demonstrable commitment to combating identity-based divisions at home and protecting vulnerable groups abroad was published in 2015 before the general election.

What we work towards:

1) robust condemnation of IBV and mass atrocities wherever it occurs

2) demonstrable commitment to strengthening UK prevention and protection policy

3) acknowledgement that mass atrocity prevention is a matter of UK national interest and therefore a national priority

4) rejection of exclusionary identity-based political discourse

Here you can read about our current programmes and plans for the future. For any information relating to our project work, please get in touch. For a more detailed explanation of how we decide what projects to undertake take a look at our theory of change diagram.