“Protection is to prevent any act against the persons”

Première Urgence Internationale’ teams conduct many activities in protection in the Middle-East. But what does it mean? Suad Shehaded, a social-Protection Manager in Jordan, explains what this term means.

Suad Shehadeh has been working for Première Urgence Internationale since August 2016 as a social-Protection project Manager in Jordan. She is 26 years old and made a Master degree in public health.

Can you explain simply what protection is?

We can define “protection” in very different ways. Generally it consists in preventing any damage against the persons.

The institutional definition says that “protection encompasses all une jeune femme qui travaille pour notre ONGactivities aimed at ensuring full respect of the individual in accordance and the spirit of the relevant bodies of law” (according to the International Committee of the Red Cross definition). It can be provided by NGOs. At Première Urgence Internationale, our aim is to make sure that Humans Rights are respected and recognized. For instance, in Jordan the Protection Monitoring Project’s aim is to address the needs of displaced people and to facilitate their access to services and humanitarian aid.

At Première Urgence Internationale, we target the most vulnerable refugees.

Why is protection so important in Jordan?

Jordan is one of the first home countries for Syrian refugees, 655.000 are registered and their living conditions deteriorated. That is why the current project is mainly focusing on protection. Our intervention has three steps. First, there is the identification. We pinpoint what issues refugees are facing in term of protection, we meet them to understand their circumstances and needs. Then, we start working with our capacity to respond to their needs. If the panel of the different services provided by our teams cannot satisfy their different needs, we refer the persons to the other local or international NGOs that can adress their needs. After that comes the follow-up process: we ensure that the service was provided and well received by the beneficiary.

They are different forms of assistance in protection. For instance, we can help refugees to obtain or to renew their missing civil documents by giving them detailed information about the procedure and we refer them to the adequate structure. If necessary, we provide cash assistance to support them in obtaining their documents. Also one of the main objectives is to facilitate their access to services and to legal documents.

In the field we identified different types of protection issues such as: child early marriage cases, child labor and children who are not attending school and children without birth certificates, people without work permit, families without ressources.

Première Urgence Internationale implemented global awareness sessions on the importance of education, the prevention of early marriage and the importance of identification documents and the process to obtain them.

An awareness session about protection in Jordan

An awareness session

What is the role of a social protection PM?

Première Urgence Internationale intervenes in four governorates (Amman, Zarqa, Balqa and Madaba). I’m based in Amman, which hosts the greater population of Syrian refugees in the country. Most of my time in the office in Amman is to follow the activities achievement by the teams, liaise with other departments to ensure smooth implementation of the activities. As well as I join the field teams in many field visits, global information session, focus group discussions..etc.

I remember one family composed of 7 members with a new born baby and 2 year old child who didn’t have any birth certificate. In addition, the other members of the family didn’t have any identification documents. We set up an action plan in collaboration between the outreach case and referred them to a specialized NGO to follow the birth certificate issuing process. We also provided cash assistance for obtaining the rest of missing documents.

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