“You are the individual driving force behind collective security. A single unfortunate action can have tragic consequences for you but also for the functioning of the mission, and even for the survival of the association.”
The security procedures of SOS Chrétiens d’Orient have been implemented with the support of professionals in the field and are audited three times a year by independent experts. With the regular progression of the association’s activities, fields of action and projects, the standards set up and the intervention procedures evolve for greater efficiency.
A situation of insecurity can be caused by events such as: inter-ethnic or inter-religious conflicts, riots or violent demonstrations, insurrections, coups d’état, civil or conventional wars, terrorist attacks, etc. Road accidents or natural disasters are also potential risks to which one must know how to react.
When faced with all of these risks, it is important to apply a set of measures decided upon in advance to guarantee one’s safety, until the situation calms down or the local authorities intervene.
The safety of volunteers sent on mission is the absolute priority of SOS Chrétiens d’Orient. Each volunteer, who has been trained and made aware of the situation, is the main actor of his own security. However, at all times, the heads of mission of SOS Chrétiens d’Orient will be present to accompany them, to supervise them and to react in case of problems.
It should be noted that out of the 2,200 volunteers who have left since 2013, no significant problem has been reported, which does not prevent the association from deploying a permanent security unit from Paris, working every day to improve procedures and monitor volunteers in the field.
SOS Chrétiens d’Orient recruits and continuously trains its heads of mission according to their sensitivity to security and safety issues. The latter will themselves be the first trainers to give instruction to each volunteer under their responsibility (road safety, first aid, fire safety, evacuation plans, etc.). The heads of mission, under the responsibility of the operations management, participate themselves in the drafting of security plans for their mission and their delegations and ensure that they are applied. To do this, they have the support of several companies mandated by SOS Chrétiens d’Orient in the field of security auditing, crisis management, computer network security, destruction of sensitive data, etc.
In addition, we ask all our volunteers to declare themselves on the portal of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and we maintain links with the French diplomatic representations in our mission countries in order to benefit from the protection offered by France to its nationals.
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS