It is often people’s immediate community that provides the first, last and perhaps best tactical response for many people affected by or under threat of displacement. However one defines protection or community, external actors will struggle to provide appropriate support unless they understand this reality. Unless they develop a greater awareness of the role of community-based protection strategies, they may fail to actively incorporate the ‘agency’ of the community into policy and programming; at worst, they risk undermining local communities’ capacity to avoid or survive violence and displacement.
This issue’s feature theme, ‘Local communities: first and last providers of protection’, looks at the capacity of communities to organise themselves before, during and after displacement in ways that help protect the community. Refugee and IDP authors from Rwanda, Sudan and Yemen share their insights, while other authors reflect on the subject in general or look at specific community-led protection strategies in countries such as Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Dominican Republic, India, Nigeria and Uganda.
As usual, this issue of FMR also includes – in addition to the feature theme articles – a varied selection of articles of interest on other forced migration topics.
Formats and languages: The full issue and all the individual articles in this issue are online in html, pdf and audio formats at www.fmreview.org/community-protection. FMR 53 and its accompanying FMR 53 digest (which provides introductions to all articles plus QR/web links) will be available online and in print in English, Arabic, French and Spanish.
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We would like to thank Rachel Hastie (Oxfam) and James Thomson (Act for Peace, a member of the global ACT Alliance) for their assistance as advisors on the feature theme of this issue. We are also grateful to DanChurchAid, the Global Protection Cluster, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and UNHCR for their financial support of this issue.
Forthcoming issues and feature themes:
- FMR 54: Resettlement (due out February 2017)
- FMR 55: Shelter (due out June 2017)
For details, including article submission deadlines, see www.fmreview.org/forthcoming.
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Marion Couldrey and Maurice Herson
Editors, Forced Migration Review