WASHINGTON (July 11, 2016)—Executive Director Federico Borello of CIVIC Responds to NATO’s New Protection of Civilians Policy:

“NATO’s new policy sets a strong foundation for the protection of civilians in future operations by capturing the hard-learned lessons over the past 13 years in Afghanistan. Since 2007, we’ve worked with both NATO missions—ISAF and Resolute Support—on policies that mitigate civilian harm and we’ve urged NATO to transfer those good practices to the Afghan security forces. This policy, once implemented, will standardize and strengthen NATO’s capabilities on civilian protection and harm mitigation, including capabilities to learn from those operations that have harmed civilians and adjust tactics to avoid harm. It will allow the alliance to work more closely with civil society organizations, and to train allied security forces to better protect civilians on their own. Notably missing from this policy, however, is a standing commitment to make amends for harm done to civilians. We will continue to push at NATO HQ to ensure civilians are recognized and that amends are made for harm suffered.”

Background

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Notes to editors:

Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC)’s mission is to improve protection for civilians caught in conflicts around the world. We call on and advise international organizations, governments, militaries, and armed non-state actors to adopt and implement policies to prevent civilian harm. When civilians are harmed we advocate for the provision of amends and post-harm assistance. We bring the voices of civilians themselves to those making decisions affecting their lives.

For more information, contact Christopher Allbritton at +1 (917) 310-4785 or chris@civiliansinconflict.org.