Safety And Security

Key Messages

  • Provision of security, maintenance of law and order and guaranteeing the civilian character of a camp are the responsibilities of the national authorities. 
  • Camp population safety and staff security is an essential component of camp management. 
  • The Camp Management Agency has responsibility for the safety and security of its staff and acts as the facilitator for the coordination of security in the camp (meetings and focal point). However, other agencies operating in the camp must remain security-aware and take personal responsibility for their safety as situations can change quickly. 
  • Common security threats in camps include civil unrest, petty and organised crime, hazards in the form of natural disasters, accidents and diseases, armed conflicts, particularly the militarisation of camps, and acts of terrorism. 
  • Staff and camp residents are vulnerable to threats in different ways. This must be taken into consideration when implementing security measures and designing strategies for the security and safety of both humanitarian staff and camp residents. 
  • Camp management staff should receive training in safety and security. The Camp Management Agency needs knowledge of the operational context, actors, threats, risks present and how the situation in and around the camp can evolve. Such understanding will enable a systematic and effective approach to security management. 
  • It is important to have good communication with all stakeholders, including the camp population and the host community. This will facilitate sharing of information about security issues and hazards with the Camp Management Agency. 
  • Early warning and effective communication systems are vital in order to monitor, communicate and address the situation appropriately. Mitigation measures may prevent or reduce the impact of an incident. 
  • By ensuring the security of those involved in the management and the running of activities in the camp, services provided will be more sustainable and of better quality in a deteriorating security environment.