Protection Sector – WATAN



The protection sector is a critical component of the humanitarian aid sector, providing vital support to vulnerable populations affected by crises and conflicts. Its primary focus is to identify and address the protection needs of affected individuals, with a particular emphasis on the most vulnerable members of society, such as women, children, people with disabilities, orphans, and older people. The sector’s interventions can include monitoring and reporting on human rights situations, providing legal assistance, reducing the risk of gender-based violence, providing counseling to survivors of trauma, and educating communities on their rights and how to access protection services.

WATAN’s work in the protection and social harmony sector encompasses a wide range of activities to promote social cohesion and secure decent societies. These include community-based protection, psychosocial support, and community-based reconciliation and dialogue. WATAN’s efforts in this field date back to 2012 when it initiated its first Protection Sector project, providing psychotherapy to refugee children in Tripoli, Lebanon, in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development through the Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI). The program continued until 2013, providing critical support to over 3,000 orphans.

WATAN has been at the forefront of promoting social harmony and securing decent societies in this sector, consistently emphasized the need for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Syria, and has worked tirelessly to promote understanding and dialogue between different communities in the country.


Enable affected individuals and communities to lead safe, dignified, and fulfilling lives, and to promote respect for their rights and well-being.

by ensuring access to the basics of survival–from food, protection from violence, and fear of being forced to leave their homes or being denied access to relief.

This can be achieved by empowering individuals and communities to access their rights, building resilience, and creating an enabling environment for them.



Educate and inform individuals and communities about their rights and the services and support that are available to them. This can include information about how to access legal assistance, where to find safe spaces, how to report abuse and exploitation, and how to access counseling and other support services.

Strengthening protection practices

Ensure that the rights and well-being of individuals and communities affected by crisis and conflict are protected to the greatest extent possible.

Mainstreaming protection

Integration of protection considerations into all aspects of humanitarian response, rather than treating protection as a separate or distinct activity.

a close collaboration between different sectors and actors to ensure that protection is integrated throughout the entire humanitarian response.

Enhancing community cohesion

WATANs have two community centers within Syria for use in community integration and psychosocial and social support.



WATANs protection teams are available to provide psycho-social support in emergency situations.  keep the rights and dignity of affected individuals and communities, with a focus on addressing the root causes of vulnerability and promoting the inclusion of marginalized groups. Differentiators for such a sector may include:

  • Community-based approaches: Utilizing local knowledge and expertise, and building the capacity of local organizations and individuals to respond to and prevent protection risks.
  • Gender sensitivity: Specific attention is given to the needs and rights of women, girls, boys, men, and other marginalized groups,
  • Child protection: Special focus on the rights and needs of children, including providing safe and appropriate spaces for them to play and learn, and protecting them from abuse, exploitation, and violence.
  • Accountability and transparency: Regular monitoring and evaluation of the sector to ensure that it is meeting its intended goals and that funds are being used responsibly.
  • Coordination and collaboration: Working closely with other humanitarian actors, including UN agencies, NGOs, and local authorities, to ensure a comprehensive and coordinated response to the protection needs of affected populations.
  • Durable solutions: A long-term perspective on protection, addressing the root causes of displacement and creating opportunities for sustainable reintegration and self-reliance.