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Toward Inclusive Security: the impact of ‘race’, ethnicity and nationality on aid workers’ security

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Published:
17 May 2022
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Toward Inclusive Security: the impact of ‘race’, ethnicity and nationality on aid workers’ security

‘Race’, ethnicity and nationality have a significant impact on the security of aid workers. However, this impact has been insufficiently explored, with conversations often remaining sensitive, if not taboo. While organisations have begun to use staff profiles to better understand the risks individuals face, they often don’t mitigate these specific risks. Based on interviews with humanitarians across a range of roles and regions, this article highlights some of the key security issues that organisations must consider to fulfil their Duty of Care toward aid workers of colour:

1)         The relation between ‘race’, ethnicity, nationality and security;

2)         The impact of racism on the security of aid workers and organisations;

3)         NGOs’ practices regarding ‘race’, ethnicity, nationality and security.

By identifying these issues and the ways in which ‘race’, racism, ethnicity, and nationality affect the security of staff and organisations, this new GISF article seeks to encourage further conversations, enabling security managers and aid workers to discuss and reflect on the security and safety of aid workers of colour. The article also provides a number of recommendations for organisations to improve their SRM practices in the short-term, and also to create long-term organisational and cultural change that enables inclusive security.

Related:

Managing the Security of Aid Workers with Diverse Profiles

This GISF research paper aims to better understand what challenges aid organisations face in relation to managing the security of aid workers while being mindful of their diversity.

HNPW & GISF | How does race and racism impact aid workers’ security?

Summary: ‘Race’, ethnicity, and nationality are key factors influencing the safety of aid workers, operations and organisations. However, their interconnection is rarely discussed and included in NGOs’ current work to implement a person-centred approach to SRM. Many security managers – and aid workers alike – feel uncomfortable even talking about…