Directorate of Humanitarian & Social Affairs

The Department of Humanitarian Affairs was created in the year 2000 following the adoption of the Protocol relating to the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Peace-Keeping and Security in December 1999.

Presently, the Department is known as the Department of Humanitarian and Social Affairs following a January 2007 merger with the Department of Social Affairs.

Divisions of the Directorate of Humanitarian and Social Affairs

Units under the Humanitarian Division,

  1. Disaster Management Unit: relates to in the implementation of the ECOWAS Policy for Disaster Risk Reduction. The Policy is aimed at advocating for and raising awareness on disaster risk reduction, integrating risk reduction into development policies, planning and programmes, developing and strengthening institutions, mechanisms and capacities to build resilience to hazards.
  2. It is also aimed at incorporating risk reduction approaches in emergency preparedness, rehabilitation and recovery and enhancing the contribution of disaster reduction to peace and security in the sub region.
  3. The ECOWAS Emergency Response Team (EERT) Unit: is designed as a civilian tool to complement Peace Support Operations and Emergency Response Mechanisms in West Africa. The members of the EERT located in situ, in Member States, will be drawn from National NGOs and staff of relevant government Ministries such as Foreign Affairs, Internal Affairs and Defences e.t.c of ECOWAS Member States.Units under the Social Affairs Division,
  4. The EERT members will be deployable alone on ECOWAS missions or alongside UN and other International Agencies to spearhead civilian participation in Peace Support Operations, complement the ECOWAS Standby Force and also work in complex emergencies.

Units under the Social Affairs Division,

  1. Trafficking in Persons Unit: involved in counter trafficking activities within the sub region and provides Member States with technical support to fight the trafficking phenomenon mobilizes resources for Member States and monitors overall implementation of related activities of the Region. It also implements the Joint ECOWAS/ECCAS Plan of Action on Trafficking in Persons.
  2. Health Programme Unit: This Unit in collaboration with WAHO is implementing the ECOWAS Health Development Programme. West African Health Organization (WAHO) is a specialized Institution of ECOWAS established with a responsibility for health matters in the region.
  3. Labour Programmes Unit: is involved in harmonizing labour laws for the purpose of creating industrial peace in the region; promoting the welfare and security of workers for the purpose of regional integration and development; revitalizing the labour sector to make it proactive in the regional integration process.
  4. Child Protection Programme Unit: ECOWAS Child protection programme is devoted to the protection of the inalienable rights of a child during conflict and peace times, giving attention to their physical, mental welfare.
  5. Capacity Building for Public Service Programme Unit: It focuses on building professionalism and ethical standards in the Public Service in the Region. This is based on the implementation of the African Charter on Public Service. It provides all the guidelines and codes for ethical standards in Public Service.

International Partners include: UNHCR, ICRC, UNODC, ILO, WHO, USAID, EU, UNOCHA, Japanese Embassy, Swedish Govt. e.t.c

Member States