A Humanitarian In The Front Line
International Protection Of People Displaced Inside Syria
With Paul White, Senior Protection Officer, OCHA Regional Office for the Syria Crisis
Thursday 7 July 2016
Copy of Paul White's slide presentation (pdf format)
Many factors conspire to make humanitarian work difficult in Syria. These include the political contradictions amongst the players in the crisis, fragmentation and changing alliances, the politicization of humanitarian work, a changing humanitarian environment where human rights are mostly ignored, the proliferation of sectarian and ethnic cleansing, the movement of Syrians to Europe and a lack of access for humanitarian workers seeking to provide protection inside Syria.
The UN and other humanitarian actors who are working to respond inside Syria have been criticized for being both too close to the government of President Assad and at the same time too close to some forces opposing the government.
Can the UN better respond to assist Syrians who have no chance of leaving? What are the implications of this crisis on the future of humanitarian work?
This lecture will be delivered by Paul White, Senior Protection Officer, working as Adviser to the UN Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis.
Paul White is an Adelaide lawyer, working in international law since the 1990s. He worked for UNHCR in Asia, Geneva and Darfur, before becoming a Senior Protection Officer with the UN interagency Protection Project – ProCap (Protection Capacity).
In this role he works with UN agencies, such as UNICEF and UNHCR, to build local capacity and provide strategic advice – essentially working to protect civilians in countries experiencing conflict. Countries where he has been deployed include, Iraq, Dohuk (Kurdish Region of Iraq near the border of Syria and Turkey), South Sudan, Myanmar, Nepal, Uganda and Sudan.
Paul has recently returned from a deployment as Protection Adviser to the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis where he was based in UNOCHA. He roved between Amman Jordan, Gaziantep Turkey and other places working on the UNs cross border protection response in opposition held areas. He also travelled to Damascus Syria to assist the UN teams working with displaced people in government areas in Syria – where there are 6 million displaced persons. Among others issues, he worked on: children affected by armed conflict; sexual and gender based violence; mine action; civil documentation, and ensuring the inclusion of the most vulnerable beneficiaries in UN distributions.
Presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre
Photo credit: UNICEF
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Areas of study and research
- Health Research
- Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity (ARENA)
- Centre for Cancer Biology
- Centre for Drug Discovery and Development
- Centre for Population Health Research
- Centre of Research Excellence for the Prevention of Chronic Conditions in Rural and Remote High Risk Populations
- International Centre for Allied Health Evidence
- Medicine and Device Surveillance CRE
- Quality Use of Medicines and Pharmacy Research Centre
and Social Sciences
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- Asia Pacific Centre for Work Health and Safety
- Australian Centre for Child Protection
- Barbara Hardy Institute
- Centre for Research in Education
- Hawke EU Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence
- Centre for Islamic Thought and Education
- International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding
- Research Centre for Languages and Cultures
- Zero Waste SA Research Centre for Sustainable Design and Behaviour (sd+b)
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