The aim of the course is to provide a general introduction to the protection of civilians, with a focus on conflict and post-conflict environments. It provides insight on both theory and practical realities and applies critical thinking on concepts, principles and professional practices most common amongst protection actors in humanitarian or peace operations.

A French version of the video is available here.

Objectives of the course

At the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Discuss the main protection of civilians conceptual frameworks, definitions, principles and related world-level policy issues
  • Explain where the protection of civilians lies within the political, peace and security agenda, but also under humanitarian or development action
  • Identify and analyse protection actors, threats and risks
  • Describe professional protection standards, programming/operations, mechanisms and processes
  • Distinguish and assess various protection field strategies


Structure of the course

  • History and politics of protection
  • Protection principles and operational realities
  • Protection norms, policies and doctrines
  • Unveiling evolving protection concepts and modes of action
  • Introduction to field protection strategies
  • Protection actors and analysis
  • Critical review of field-level protection action
  • Case studies



Around 50 hours of work for the whole course, including:

  • 20 hours of face-to-face teaching (lectures, case studies, group work)
  • App. 30 hours of self-study time (readings, writing and group-work)
  • Professionals in the humanitarian, development or social sector looking to develop their competencies in protection norms, policies, doctrines and strategies
  • Professionals of international and regional peace operations, national defence and security forces who wish to increase their understanding of protection of civilians at institutional and field level
  • Graduate students with relevant volunteer or intern experience, looking to undertake a postgraduate course with a view to entering the humanitarian sector.
  • Baptiste Martin Baptiste Martin Designation: Course Director "Protection of civilians, from humanitarian to peace operations"

Admission requirements:

  1. a university qualification (bachelor’s degree or equivalent);
  2. at least three years of relevant professional experience;
  3. excellent command of English;
  4. motivation working in the humanitarian sector.


Documents required:

  • CV (Résumé)
  • Copy of your highest diploma
  • Work certificate or official document of your current job position
  • Scanned copy of passport.


More information about the admission process is available on our application page.



As a Centre which prides itself on being agile, it is with pleasure that we can announce that all our upcoming short courses in 2021 will be available to online and residential students. We are adapting not only to the current global challenges linked to COVID19, but also to the increasing aim to make our courses as inclusive as possible by making more available online.
  • participants can choose either a residential or online option
  • participants inside Europe can choose residential, but they have to follow the sanitary restrictions when they travel to Switzerland (PCR test or quarantine)
  • participants outside of Europe need to choose online (no visas are available at the moment)
  • Participants should expect approximately four hours of live sessions per day – they will be scheduled between 9am – 4pm Geneva time (the exact schedule will be communicated 10 days before the course)
  • All live lecture sessions will bring online and residential participants together (both groups combined)
  • Break out groups online (for online students)
  • Break out groups face to face (for residential students)
  • Other material (videos, readings etc.) available online
  • Protection of civilians, from humanitarian to peace operationsDates 19 - 30 September 2022
  • Protection of civilians, from humanitarian to peace operationsDuration Two weeks
  • Protection of civilians, from humanitarian to peace operationsLocation Online
  • Protection of civilians, from humanitarian to peace operationsLanguage English
  • Protection of civilians, from humanitarian to peace operationsCREDITS 2 ECTS
  • Fee CHF 1'500
  • Application Deadline 28 August 2022
  • If applying for a scholarship Deadline: N/A