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I have a Google alert set up for new content with a few interpreting-related keywords. Several times a week, the new links that appear there refer to a colleague working in a conflict zone who got killed.

Does the profession consider that interpreting in a conflict zone is an individual decision and that the interpreters concerned are aware of the risks they are taking? After all, some of them at least command very high wages.

On the other hand, a lot of those interpreters are natives who happen to speak better English. They may have little choice but take up the job. They may be exposing themselves and their families to acts of revenge.

Does anyone know of specific initiatives to help out? If yes, what do such initiatives aim to achieve and who are they directed at?

asked 31 Oct '11, 03:52

Vincent%20Buck's gravatar image

Vincent Buck

edited 16 Jan '14, 04:17

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As well as the two projects mentioned by Marta, there's also the List Project to help Iraqi translator/interpreters (T/Is) who helped the US forces in Iraq

The AIIC project is currently working with the Red T and the International Federation of Translators on basic guidelines for T/Is and users of their services in conflict zones and hopes to extend the guidelines into an international code covering the rights and responsibilities of T/Is and users. It's aimed especially at non-professional linguists.

Usually, it's an individual decision to work in conflict zones, but many who do so are non-professionals and may be ill-informed of the dangers. They may get good pay, but compensation for death or injury may not be sufficient or easy to obtain. Locally recruited T/Is and their families are the most vulnerable to attacks of revenge for 'working with the enemy'.

permanent link

answered 02 Nov '11, 15:37

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edited 02 Nov '11, 16:21

Vincent%20Buck's gravatar image

Vincent Buck

There are several initiatives. AIIC launched a project in 2009 to help interpreters in conflict zones. The aim is to raise awareness amongst the different stakeholders of the fate of interpreters who work in conflict areas. Calling for better protection for them and their families during and after the conflict.

The project is lead by Linda Fitchett. You can find more information by clicking on the following links:

There's also Red T, a non profit organisation which raises awareness of the plight of translators and interpreters working in high-risk areas.

permanent link

answered 31 Oct '11, 04:54

Marta%20Piera%20Marin's gravatar image

Marta Piera ...

edited 02 Nov '11, 16:23

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Vincent Buck

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question asked: 31 Oct '11, 03:52

question was seen: 3,536 times

last updated: 02 Nov '11, 16:23 is a community-driven website open to anyone with questions and/or answers about interpreting, i.e. spoken language translation

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