Protection Approaches works to change how the world views identity-based violence – and by so doing, change the way we respond to and prevent it.
We seek a world where everyone accepts and respects each other, regardless of identity. We are dedicated to doing the hard work necessary to make this vision a reality.
We believe that
Our commitment to these values drives not only what we do but also how we do it. We are committed to our mission of preventing identity-based violence worldwide.
In April 2014, as the Syrian Civil War was entering its fourth year, the world’s elite gathered in Kigali’s Amahoro Stadium to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide. Heads of state and ambassadors paid tribute to Rwanda’s victims and survivors, promising to learn from the lessons of 1994 and pledging that the world must never let such events unfold again.
In the audience, Kate Ferguson and Andy Fearn felt the hypocrisy of world leaders promising ‘never again’ at the same time that another regime was committing atrocities against its own population. The world was failing the people of Syria just as it had in Rwanda.
Over the next few months, Kate and Andy kept returning to the same set of questions. Why do people so often turn away when confronted with evidence of mass violence? Why have governments repeatedly failed to prevent the world’s worst crimes? Why do those living in the Global North see both perpetrators and victims as somehow morally distant when identity-based violence plagues their own societies? Is the social fracture and democratic backsliding taking place in so many western democracies really so different? And why do we in the UK consider peacebuilding and civic education as things that are needed ‘over there,’ in other parts of the world, but not in Europe, the United States, or ‘at home’ in Britain?
Over many conversations – and a couple of arguments – Kate and Andy agreed that no organisation had yet developed a comprehensive approach to these questions. While sitting in a bar in Lusaka, Zambia, they used the back of a napkin to sketch out the ideas that would drive the establishment of Protection Approaches.