The Regional Safe Spaces Network is an inter-agency coordination mechanism that was developed in the Americas Region in 2016 and launched in 2017 with the support of UNHCR’s Regional Legal Unit (RLU) of the Americas Bureau.
The Network, under the coordination of the SGBV/Child Protection team at the RLU, led the development and implementation of a regional protection strategy to address the needs of the populations displaced by conflict and violence.
In consultation with partners and communities, the Network focuses on improving access to services for survivors of SGBV, victims of trafficking, children at risk, and LGBTI persons with protection needs. The Network has developed common standards and tools to promote cross-border coordination in the region.
As of 2019, there are more than 100 organizations providing services in 14 different countries (United States, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Chile, Dominican Republic, and Trinidad and Tobago).
The RSSN aims to improve disclosure of serious protection incidents, reaching out to the most vulnerable individuals and ensuring delivery of quality services along the displacement cycle.
- Age, Gender, and Diversity (AGD)Approach, UNHCR's Policy on Age, Gender, and Diversity, 2018
- Survivor-centered Approach, UNHCR SGBV Prevention and Response Training Package, 2016
- Best Interests Principle, Guidelines on Determining the Best Interests of the Child, 2018 Provisional Release
- Humanitarian principles, based on principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence found in International Humanitarian Law, taken up by the United Nations General Assembly Resolutions 46/182 and 58/114.
- SGBV/Child Protection case management for adults and children, including best interests procedures;
- Mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS);
- Medical or health services, in particular sexual and reproductive health services and clinical management of rape (CMR);
- Legal assistance to access justice and other legal procedures;
- Safety through shelters or through community-based solutions;
- Family tracing and reunification;
- Alternative care arrangements.