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Mar 11 2021

The Protection of Civilians Allied Command Operations Handbook


MONS, Belgium – Protection of civilians is a key element for the success of any NATO mission.

The Protection of Civilians Allied Command Operations (ACO) Handbook supports the integration of the NATO Protection of Civilians approach in the planning and conduct of NATO operations and missions.

The protection of the civilian population is a fundamental requirement to achieving long-lasting peace. NATO fully acknowledges the vulnerability of civilians during an armed conflict and the obligation to protect them is outlined in NATO's Policy for the Protection of Civilians endorsed at the Warsaw Summit in 2016.


The Protection of Civilians Allied Command Operations Handbook aims at building a strong Protection of Civilians approach within NATO and at integrating the NATO Policy for the Protection of Civilians and the related Concept for the Protection of Civilians in the planning and conduct of all NATO operations and missions.

The handbook is a tool to support the development of a Protection of Civilians mind-set across NATO staff and provides a sound understanding of the impact of Protection of Civilians-related activities to any NATO operation and mission and its reverberating consequences on long-term security and stability.

The handbook is designed to be used by all staff elements directly engaged in the planning and execution of NATO operations, across different functional areas within strategic, operational and tactical level headquarters. It may also be a valuable and interesting source of information for other International Organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations.


To read the full handbook, click here.



Story by SHAPE J9 Division

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