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This is an updated policy paper on the ICRC’s prevention approach. It provides a snapshot of our current practice and reflections, which will help internal and external staff members, experts, and governmental and non-governmental agencies to better understand and position this complex area of humanitarian work.
The policy paper provides an insight into what "prevention" means for the ICRC, the logic and structure of our work, and our approach to building a conducive environment to influence the behaviours that cause human suffering. Three types of prevention work are identified in the paper – structural prevention, front-line prevention and bilateral or multilateral prevention.
The paper concludes by briefly discussing the prevention challenges we face and the difficulties in creating a functioning monitoring and evaluation system so we better understand the impact of our work. The conclusion also stresses the need for the ICRC to listen and partner with others, and to link international humanitarian law (IHL) with other humanitarian values and norms in order to ensure that a humanitarian space exists for the ICRC’s operational activities, and that people’s lives and dignity are respected during armed conflict and other violence.