Every day, 100 civilians are killed in conflict and countless more are harmed, often without recognition, recourse, or justice. Yet their perspectives are repeatedly missing from the stories we tell about war and the way we think about war’s costs. The Civilian Protection Podcast, brought to you by CIVIC and PAX, shares the voices of people affected by war, the dangers they face, the choices they make, and what can be done to better protect them — because we believe it’s time to put them at the center of the discussion.


Episode #15: Counting the Death Toll in Gaza

On October 7, Hamas attacks in Israel killed an estimated 1,200 people and took over 200 people hostage. The Israeli response, including intense bombardments and a ground offensive in Gaza, has been extremely destructive, reportedly killing over 13,000 Palestinians including 5,500 children as of the time of this episode’s recording. In this episode, Emily Tripp, Director of the casualty counting organization Airwars, joins us to make sense of these numbers and explain the process and importance of casualty recording. Full transcript of this episode here.

Episode #14: Conflict and Displacement in Nagorno-Karabakh

On September 19, in a 24-hour lightning military operation, Azerbaijan seized Nagorno-Karabakh, the disputed region that has been an epicenter of conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. In the days and weeks that followed, tens of thousands of ethnic Armenians – nearly the entire population of Nagorno-Karabakh – have fled. In this episode, Alissa de Carbonnel, Deputy Director for Europe and Central Asia at the International Crisis Group, joins us to discuss the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh and the humanitarian crisis that has resulted. Full transcript of this episode here.

Episode #13: War in Sudan

In Season 3 of the Civilian Protection Podcast, we’re exploring civilian protection issues in the news – as well as what the headlines might be missing. This episode brings us to the conflict in Sudan, which, since April 2023, has continued to exact a horrifying toll on civilians. Kholood Khair, Founder and Director of the Sudanese think-and-do tank Confluence Advisory, discusses what is happening in Sudan and why, the resulting attacks on civilians and civic space, and what communities are doing about it. Full episode transcript here.


Episode #12: Community-Based Protection in Nigeria

Civilians are not simply victims of armed conflict, but people with agency and expertise about the conflicts they are living in. In this episode, guest host Bulus Mungopark of CIVIC brings us to northeast Nigeria, where we explore successful community-led efforts to advocate for their own protection needs amid ongoing violence. Full episode transcript here.

Episode #11: Police Performance in South Sudan: The Law Enforcement Gaps

In this episode, Annie and Marc take us to South Sudan where they interview people about civilian perceptions of local police performance, the challenges people face in seeking effective police assistance, and what may happen when people start looking for alternative sources of protection. Full episode transcript here.

Episode #10: Conflict, Climate, and the Environment. Part 2: Iraq and Yemen

In S2E2, we explored the impact of conflict on the natural environment, and in turn, on civilian lives, in Ukraine. In this episode, we bring you to Iraq and Yemen to explore the reverse: how climate change can serve as a driver of conflict, and in turn, affect civilians. Full episode transcript here.

Episode #9: A Landmark Declaration on Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas

The bombing of towns and cities, or the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, leads to vast civilian harm, destruction of civilian infrastructure, and long-term humanitarian consequences. In this episode, we take you behind the scenes of the signing of a landmark political declaration on explosive weapons in populated areas (EWIPA), signed by over 80 nations in Dublin last month. Full episode transcript here.

Episode #8: Conflict, Climate, and the Environment. Part 1: Ukraine 

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the human toll of the war has been devastating. But obscured by news about fatalities, injuries and material damages is the longer-term impact of this conflict. In this episode, we’ll explore the environmental degradation caused by military operations in Ukraine and its consequences for civilians, and discuss why protecting the environment is an essential part of protecting civilians. Full episode transcript here.

Episode #7: Made in the USA: Arms Sales & Civilian Harm

On April 22, 2018, planes belonging to the Saudi- and Emirati-led Coalition dropped a bomb on a wedding celebration in Al-Raqa village, in Yemen. The attack killed 21 civilians, including eleven children, and injured 97 people. And it did so using a bomb that was made and sold in the United States. In this episode, we explore the US arms trade system and policies that made this, and so many incidents like it, possible. Full episode transcript here.

Bonus material:

  • Listen to the full interview here or read and download the full transcript here with Ali Jameel, Mwatana for Human Rights
  • Listen to the full interview here or read and download the full transcript here with Tony Wilson, Security Force Monitor, and Joyce Soyhun Lee, The Washington Post


Episode #6: The Invasion of Ukraine

On February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. Since that day, thousands of civilians have been killed or injured and over ten million people have been internally displaced or fled Ukraine as refugees. In this episode, our CIVIC colleagues in Ukraine share their experiences living through the war, the dangers facing civilians, and what must be done to protect them.

Episode #5: Reverberating Effects: The Aftermath of Hawija

In June 2015, Dutch F-16s carried out an airstrike on an ISIS ammunition factory in the Iraqi town of Hawija, causing considerable harm beyond what was anticipated. In this episode, Mohammed Abdulkareem Khthar, Head of Programs at Iraqi NGO Al-Ghad, and Dutch journalist Judit Neurink explain the impact of the airstrike on the people in Hawija, both in the immediate aftermath of the strike and in the years that followed, and why they think it’s time for acknowledgement from the Dutch government.

Episode #4: Afghanistan: A Legacy of Harm

In August 2021, U.S. and international forces completed their withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years of war. In this episode, we sit down with Shaharzad Akbar, Chairperson for the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, to explore the legacy of civilian harm left behind and what it means for Afghan civilians moving forward.

Episode #3: People-Centered Peacekeeping

A people-centered approach to UN Peacekeeping makes sense as a concept– listen and learn from the communities you are mandated to protect — but how is it actually implemented in practice? Speaking with experts from the Central African Republic, South Sudan, and United Nations Headquarters, this episode explores the need for applying a people-centered approach in peacekeeping contexts and the complexities of effectively implementing this approach.

Episode #2: In Search of Answers

In Somalia, a family sits down to eat. Before dinner is over, their lives have been irreversibly changed. A U.S. airstrike had hit their home. Unfortunately, this is not an unfamiliar scene for civilians living in conflict-affected areas. Speaking with experts from Somalia and Yemen, this episode explores what happens after harm, and the challenges civilians face trying to get answers, recognition, and amends.

Episode #1: More Than Numbers

In 2014, ISIS, also known as Daesh, seized the city of Mosul, Iraq, and a battle involving ISIS, American-led coalition forces, and national Iraqi forces ensued. It was then that Iraqi historian Omar Mohammed began to document cases of civilian harm on his anonymous blog, Mosul Eye, risking his life to ensure history would remember their names.

Bonus material: the full interview with Omar Mohammed (Mosul Eye)

Trailer: An introduction to the Civilian Protection Podcast

Hosts Annie Shiel, Senior Advisor for US Policy and Advocacy at CIVIC, and Marc Garlasco, Military Advisor at PAX, introduce the Civilian Protection Podcast. This podcast, brought to you by CIVIC and PAX, shares the voices of people affected by war, the dangers they face, the choices they make, and what can be done to better protect them — because we believe it’s time to put them at the center of the discussion.

Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) envisions a world in which no civilian is harmed in conflict. We support communities affected by conflict in their quest for protection and strengthen the resolve and capacity of armed actors to prevent and respond to civilian harm.

PAX works to protect civilians living in conflict. Our purpose is to reduce civilian harm, end armed violence and build sustainable peace around the world. To achieve this, we work closely with civil society and authorities at local and international levels to put civilian perspectives first.