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Ondřej Horváth, a security expert of People in Need, met with RMSSP students to discuss security of humanitarian missions

29.03.2017

On March 28, RMSSP students welcomed Ondřej Horváth, a security expert of the leading Czech humanitarian organization People in Need.

The deliberation started with the presentation of mechanisms assessing security threats of missions conducted by People in Need. Mr. Horváth discussed those procedures in great detail and explained them on practical examples. The communication among NGOs working in the same area, good preparation and right setting of procedures were named as main ways how to secure the safety of humanitarian missions.

It was pointed out that those procedures have to be flexible due to the need to react to different environments. This fact was illustrated in the comparison of humanitarian missions of People in Need in Burma and Mosul. The lecture also contained Mr. Horváth's precious personal stories from humanitarian missions.

Presentation often spontaneously changed into interactive debate encouraged by the guest. The reason for possible reactions from the local community and the way how to prevent them were discussed (the incident in Zare region in Afghanistan from 2015 was reminded in that respect). Mr. Horváth mentioned that it is crucial to hold an open communication with the local population, respect native culture and not just blindly pursue NGOs goals.

Other discussed issues were the requirements for staff of People in Need, the ways how to minimize the risk of kidnapping ( a problem which recently became a serious challenge for humanitarian workers) and the reflection of UN humanitarian missions. 

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