Oxfam’s new policy on biometrics explores safe and responsible data practice

James Eaton-Lee ICT4D, Protection

By James Eaton-Lee and Elizabeth Shaughnessy  The collection and processing of biometric data – data which is linked to the human body or its behaviour – such as fingerprints or facial recognition – has become significantly more common in humanitarian contexts worldwide in the last five years.  Few donors or large INGOs have not had a position on biometric data or had some experience rolling this out. But this …

How can the UK government justify arms sales that fuel the war in Yemen?

Laura Gyte Conflict, Food security, Humanitarian, In the news, Protection Leave a Comment

Laura Gyte describes why Oxfam intervened in a court case brought against the UK government over arms sales. UPDATE: on 20 June the Court of Appeal ruled that UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia are unlawful. In April, the Court of Appeal heard a claim brought by Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) on whether the UK government’s decision to …

Law as a tool to empower and achieve change

Laura Gyte Active citizenship, Climate Change, Governance, Influencing, Protection, Rights, Tax Leave a Comment

Noélie Coudurier, Sreetama Gupta Bhaya and Laura Gyte share a wealth of examples demonstrating how law can help drive positive change. As campaigners, we can feel ambivalent about law. As a product of society, it’s often structured to protect the privileged. Even the most progressive constitutions in the world, forged in times of political transformation and hope, are not yet …

Questioning the use of biometric technology in humanitarian response

Anna Kondakhchyan Humanitarian, ICT4D, Protection, Refugees and IDPs 1 Comment

Anna Kondakhchyan shares the findings of new research, Biometrics in the Humanitarian Sector, which looks into the benefits and risks of using biometric technology to register people to receive humanitarian aid. How would you feel if refusal to submit your biometric data meant you were excluded from the provision of humanitarian assistance? Biometrics, the measurement of human characteristics through technology such …

Working with men in the most dangerous place to be a woman

Augustin Titi Rutanuka Fragile contexts, Gender, General, Protection, Violence Against Women and Girls Leave a Comment

The Democratic Republic of Congo has become renowned for incredibly high levels of sexual violence. Oxfam partner CEDIER has been working to engage men in the DRC, to tackle some of the widespread beliefs and practices which contribute to making this such a dangerous place for women. Over the last 20 years, the DRC has been characterized by internal armed …

Speaking out about the Rohingya crisis

Ed Cairns Emergency, Humanitarian, Protection, Refugees and IDPs, Research Leave a Comment

Oxfam has interviewed Rohingya refugees about their needs, hopes and fears for the future, and published their responses in a new briefing paper. Here Ed Cairns reflects on the responsibility to speak out. More than 626,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar since 25 August, one of the fastest movements of people in history. By November, the world’s interest had largely moved …

All these unused toilets – who are we building them for?

Julie Lafrenière General, Protection, Refugees and IDPs, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Leave a Comment

Going to the toilet is one of the most dangerous things you can do as a woman living in a refugee camp. That’s why we’re conducting research into the use of lighting to promote safety around latrines and wash facilities, for World Toilet Day Kerry Akers and Julie Lafrenière share the key findings so far. These shocking quotes are from people …

Podcast: Protecting civilians in conflict

Rachel Hastie Conflict, Humanitarian, Protection Leave a Comment

[buzzsprout episode=’2559253′ player=’true’] As a result of conflict, the world today is faced with huge challenges in protecting civilians. In Yemen, Syria and South Sudan, infrastructures have been destroyed and thousands of people are forced to flea, or face the risks of disease, famine or harm. NGOs and relief agencies play a large role in the protection of civilians, from …

Civilians are not a target

Rachel Hastie Humanitarian, Protection Leave a Comment

For World Humanitarian Day Rachel Hastie, Oxfam’s Global Protection Adviser, reflects on our common humanity and what it means. Some years back I was walking my children to school before catching a flight to Darfur. I was going to meet people – ordinary civilians – who had fled attacks on their villages and were still facing dangers and a very uncertain …