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Document Type: Publications

A Critical Approach to Collective Protection: Taking Stock of Protection International’s Experience

8 April 2024

Protection International is delighted to introduce our new paper: A Critical Approach to Collective Protection: Taking Stock of Protection International’s Experience. Defending human rights is inherently a collective practice. Human rights defenders act both individually and as a group. Therefore, protection should also be collective. However, existing protection mechanisms often focus on individual HRDs, potentially overlooking contextual factors and relations in which HRDs are immersed.

The document shares PI’s key concepts for protection work that we have developed over the past years. Collective protection redefines HRD protection as something that is collective by nature. It highlights the collective impact of violence, the need for collective protection strategies, and redirects the discussion on the protection of HRDs towards structural roots of violence.

In our latest paper, we delve into the key elements of collective protection, both as a concept and as a practical approach. Here’s what you can expect:

  • We explain why a collective approach to protection is important;
  • We define collective protection and the key concepts linked to it;
  • We present practical examples and outcomes of implementing a collective approach to protection of HRDs and their collectives.

Our Collective Protection Paper also provides key recommendations to HRDs, authorities and other stakeholders involved in ensuring the security of HRDs and their right to defend human rights.

You can download the document below. For now, the publication is currently available in English; however, we are aiming to translating it into more languages in the next few months.

For questions regarding the content or the accessibility of the document, please contact

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