Pouvez-vous être poursuivi en justice? Droits et obligations des organisations internationales d’aide humanitaire vis-à-vis de leur personnel
La perspective juridique développée dans ce document, à l’instar d’autres initiatives économiques, publiques et associatives, constitue une dimension nécessaire vers la professionnalisation des secteurs internationaux et non marchands de l’aide humanitaire et du plaidoyer.
Ce document démontre que les organisations d’aide internationale (OAI), même si elles sont sans but lucratif, sont soumises au même cadre juridique que toute autre entreprise – qu’elle soit de nature commerciale, publique ou associative – ainsi qu’à un contrôle externe, indépendamment des normes et directives spécifiques au secteur ou d’autorégulation interne.
Il met l’accent sur le fait qu’il est obligatoire pour les OAI de s’occuper du bien-être, de la sûreté et de la sécurité de son personnel; ceci n’est ni volontaire ni facultatif. Les OAI sont obligées de se conformer aux normes juridiques, à la législation et aux dispositions relatives à leur devoir de protection et à leur responsabilité juridique envers leur personnel. Ceci complète et renforce les préoccupations actuelles des OAI axées sur le bien-être, la sûreté et la sécurité de leur personnel, y compris la gestion des risques de sécurité. Ces préoccupations sont cependant envisagées comme étant généralement une question de choix et donc, en fait, bénévoles et sujettes à différentes interprétations.
Traduit de l’anglais ‘Can you get sued? Legal liability of international humanitarian aid organisations towards their staff’ (SMI, 2011).
Rights and obligations of companies and organisations regarding the responsibility to protect their travelling and expatriate staff.”
Our globalized world is characterized by ever increasing mobility, be it in the private, government, media or non-profit sector. Both employees and employers can suffer accidents, be faced with unstable, volatile environments, or be caught in unexpected political upheavals. Not a day goes by without news of an incident, accident, serious injury, kidnapping or death. The duty of care is more than a moral or ethical issue; it is a legal obligation. In case of breach of the duty of protection, employers and their representatives are exposed to legal sanctions, both civil and criminal. Also in Switzerland employers must increasingly assume responsibility for their travellers and expatriates. This irrespective of whether it concerns a corporate, public, media, or non-profit organisation. Swiss legislation and case law regulating rights and obligations make little distinction as to the nature or goal of an organisation.
Droits et obligations des entreprises et organisations suisses vis-à-vis de leurs voyageurs et expatriés
En Suisse aussi, les employeurs doivent assumer de plus en plus de responsabilité pour leurs employés expatriés ou en voyage. Dans ce cadre, pour l'entreprise commerciale comme l'organisation à but humanitaire ou celle en charge de journalistes, le devoir de protection est plus qu'un devoir moral ou éthique: il s'agit bien d'une obligation juridique. En cas de violation du devoir de protection, les employeurs, et leurs représentants, doivent assumer leur responsabilité tant au niveau civil que face aux autorités pénales.
Rechte und Pflichten von Schweizer Unternehmen und Organisationen gegenüber ihren Geschäftsreisenden und Expatriates
Auch in der Schweiz haben Arbeitgeber mehr und mehr Verantwortung für ins Ausland entsandte oder im Ausland reisende Mitarbeiter zu übernehmen. In diesem Umfeld haben sowohl Wirtschaftsunternehmen, im humanitären Bereich tätige Organisationen, aber auch Medienunternehmungen für ihre Journalisten, Schutzpflichten, welche über moralische oder ethische Verpflichtungen hinausgehen: es handelt sich um eigentliche Rechtspflichten. Bei Verletzung dieser Schutzpflichten haben Arbeitgeber und ihre Vertreter dafür sowohl zivilrechtlich als auch strafrechtlich einzustehen.
SMI - Can you get sued? Legal liability of international humanitarian aid agencies toward their staff - Policy Paper - November 2011
This SMI Policy paper was written by Edward Kemp and Maarten Merkelbach. It is the result of a SMI research project that looked at current practice in the aid sector and, in cooperation with A4ID, legal reviews provided by law firms in five countries.
The aid and development sector’s risk and security management is subject to the same basic legal ground rules and responsibilities as any other enterprise. It is mandatory, not optional. It is not only an operational issue, it is a governance issue. NGOs’ undertaking risk and security management need to take this into account.
The objective is to work with lawyers, non-profit organisations and donors around the world to develop a common standard and process for analysis to be applied by international organisations seeking to meet their legal obligations in looking after their staff.
From Security Management to Risk Management - Critical Reflections on Aid Agency Security Management and the ISO Risk Management Guidelines.
The text was written by Pascal Daudin (former Director of the CARE International Safety and Security Unit (CISSU)) and Maarten Merkelbach (SMI Project Director). May 2011.
The paper argues that the model of aid agency security management which has been most commonly used in the past decade is incomplete, and cannot accommodate a host of issues and concerns that all aid agency (security) managers know are relevant but do not clearly ‘fit’ under the rubric of ‘security management’. The risk model as introduced in the ISO guideline helps to allow for a better ‘fit’, and opens the way for a forward looking discussion on challenges and changes underway or in the future. Part of these challenges centre around uncertainty and complexity of our world, and the required resilience and adaptability to cope with these.
SMI Perspectives 4 - van Duijn and Brabers-Book Review of the 2010 Edition of Good Practice Review 8
SMI Perspectives 4 - Leonard van Duijn and Tom Brabers, Book Review of the 2010 Edition of Good Practice Review 8 , March 2011.
This critical review of the new and revised version of the well known 2000 edition of HPN’s ‘Operational security management in violent environments’ was written by Leonard van Duijn and Tom Brabers. It follows the exchange that took place during the launch of this new version of the GPR 8 in The Hague in December 2010.
SMI (Security Management Initiative) - GCSP (Geneva Centre for Security Policy) Brochure.
SMI Perspectives 3, Larissa Fast and Christina Wille, Is Terrorism an Issue for Humanitarian Agencies?, December 2010.
The data show that humanitarian agencies are rarely affected by ‘general terrorist events’. The practice not to use the term ‘terrorist’ to label armed opposition movements within the aid community is a prudent one and agencies will do well not to change their attitude in this respect. Attacks by designated terrorist cells and other armed opposition groups have killed, injured and resulted in the kidnapping of at least 662 individuals over the last 21 months. Targeted attacks are also the triggering factor behind the biggest proportion of reported effects on the delivery of aid (58.7 percent). Agencies need to be aware that targeted attacks against humanitarian aid take specific forms, such as the frequent use of firearms and attacks on offices and vehicles. Furthermore, the data suggest that aid agencies take security measures that lead to disruption of operations (staff relocation or programme suspensions) most frequently in response to cross-fire events and show the most resilience in responding to legal or administrative actions by governments.
SMI Perspectives 2 - Dick, Anna, Creating Common NGO Security Terminology: A Comparative Study, October 2010.
This text is a revised version of a project conducted by Anna Dick at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. One of the hurdles to improving NGO security is that there are no commonly-accepted definitions for security terms. This impedes incident reporting and makes security management more difficult. The project reviews security terminology as it is used in NGO security documents; it provides a methodology for reviewing the terms, and offers proposed definitions for common security terms. The primary goal of this project is to offer proposed definitions for security terms. The intention is that these will serve as a further step in the discussion within the NGO security sector about the terms. The ultimate goal is that standardized definitions agreed upon by the NGO security community will be determined and will improve communication and understanding about security.
SMI Perspectives 1, Micheletti Pierre, We need to de-Westernize International Non-Governmental Humanitarian Aid, October 2010.
During a recent trip to Afghanistan, the author was struck by seeing in many streets of Kabul huge billboards with logos of USAID and a major international NGO describing their partnership on an assistance program. Since then, the summer 2009, international NGOs ‐ International Assistance Mission (IAM) and OXFAM ‐ have been attacked resulting in the death of some of their employees.
Is there, to some extent, a direct relationship between those different facts? From the author’s point of view, there is a link. This is what this article will try to analyze.
This report presents a summary of the 5th Senior Security Management Seminar, organized by the Security Management Initiative (SMI), part of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP). The Seminar was entitled: Terrorist Threats and Operational Space and took place from 2-4 May, 2010, in Geneva, Switzerland.
This report presents a summary of the 4th Senior Security Management Seminar, organized by the Security Management Initiative (SMI), part of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP). The Seminar was entitled: Sovereignty, Security and Humanitarian Action and took place from 22-24 November, 2009, in Geneva, Switzerland.
Security Management Initiative (SMI), Professional Development Brief number 3, Cyber Security for International Aid Agencies: A Primer, 2009.
Digital technology plays a crucial role in the present-day activities and operations of international aid agencies. But it comes with a host of risks, from the threat of “cyber attacks” to the interception of communications, to the theft of digital information. Aid agencies and their staff are often not fully aware of risks or how to mitigate them, and little exists in terms of policy and operational procedures to help them do so.
This SMI brief sets out key definitions, the risks associated with digital technology, and key issues for aid agencies and how to address them. First, it provides key definitions and descriptions for users unfamiliar with the relevant terms of digital technology. It then tracks the emergence of cyber security issues and discusses aid agencies’ particular vulnerabilities to cyber attacks, and points to the increasing number of ways in which authorities police digital communications and data gathering. These have manifold ramifications for aid agencies and their field operations, and they are only likely to proliferate.
Security Management Initiative, Professional Development Brief number 2, Gender and Aid Agency Security Management, 2009.
This brief argues that aid agencies would benefit from incorporating gender as one of a number of contextual factors informing security management. At the same time, insufficient understanding of how to mainstream gender can inadvertently lead to unsafe practices. It begins by providing an overview of key definitions – namely “gender,” “security,” “gender mainstreaming,” and “gender neutrality” – and discussing the lack of a “field” of literature or practice on gender and security management. Drawing on the growing raw evidence base on how gender affects aid agency security, as well as on a slim body of literature, it shows that there are three key issues for gender and aid agency security management. Perspectives from research and practitioners on how to address these issues to strengthen the gender-security management link are presented, including further quantitative and qualitative research, with attention to appropriate methodologies. Aid agencies can apply this research to policy and practice through mainstreaming gender into security management; making staff aware of the wide range of ways in which gender is relevant; instituting context-specific assessments of gender-specific risks; integrating gender-specific risks into the security assessments that are conducted in emergency contexts; and involving gender experts in a reciprocal process.
Security Management Initiative, Private Military and Security Companies and Humanitarian Action (Geneva, June 2009).
The use of PMSCs by humanitarian actors has increased, particularly over the past five years. This brief begins by providing an overview of key definitions and highlighting evolutions within the field. It shows that there are three main reasons for the increase in the market for humanitarian security. It then fleshes out the key arguments for and against the use of PMSCs, along with some key questions about the wider implications of PMSC use. Finally, a survey of recommendations from research, policy and practice is provided to avoid or mitigate the risks described in the brief.