Help to end

identity-based violence

Photograph: Lamsdorf prisoner of war camp, Poland, Hanna-Katrina JÄ™drosz 

Download our theory of change diagram here:

Protection Approaches understands identity-based mass violence to be a global phenomenon that has occurred across continents and throughout history. It is not an aberration peculiar to particular cultures, races, or regions. 

We are working towards the PREVENTION of identity-based violence

We strive for accurate PREDICTION  of identity-based mass violence

We advocate for the PROTECTION of people at risk from identity-based mass violence

We believe JUSTICE is integral to building a world free from identity-based mass violence

We shorten this to PPPJ



Recognising causal factors can help to predict risks of identity-based violence. Protection Approaches analyses risk factors in order to predict where and when serious incidents of identity-based mass violence may occur. We use a simple survey to assess and monitor how different stakeholders respond to escalations of identity-based divisions. When necessary we provide recommendations to stakeholders, promoting the prevention and protection of people we consider at risk from identity-based violence. In situations where we consider groups to be in serious danger we issue colour-coded warnings.


Identity-based mass violence does not appear from nowhere. It is a cumulative expression of a multidimensional social process driven by a number of curable factors. Identifying and tackling these factors can prevent the trajectory of identity-based violence from beginning. We call efforts to tackle the source of the problem upstream prevention.


Following an isolated incident of identity-based violence we would expect to see robust responses from the state authorities, from civil society or general public, the media and the judiciary. When identity-based violence is not met with condemnation and appropriate punishment, decision makers and decision shapers contribute to the further exclusion of the victim group from state protection, society, media representation, and justice. Robust responses to early warning signs of social exclusion and identity-based hatred is key to preventing escalations of violence, entrenched division, and the loss of human life. When decision makers and decision shapers exploit the exclusion of a group because of their identity, the risks of identity-mass violence increase.

When domestic stakeholders are unable or unwilling to protect their citizens, Protection Approaches believes that it becomes the responsibility of global decision makers and decision shapers to act.


When identity-based mass violence occurs, it is crucial that those responsible are held to account in order to provide justice for the victims and to publicly condemn the crimes. Legal prosecution of those who incite or commit identity-based crimes, whether in domestic, regional, or international courts, is fundamental. Whether committed by state authorities, paramilitary proxies, or civilians, the violent targeting of individuals or groups because of their identity almost always occurs in environments where impunity triumphs over accountability.