#protectlinguists

Campaign for the protection of Translators and Interpreters working in Conflict Zones 

“When we went out beyond the wire with him, and with the other interpreters, we put our lives in their hands. They never betrayed us, they saved us countless times. And now they need us, where are we for them? 

The Locally Engaged Employee process has been plagued with lengthy processing times from the beginning. Some have taken six years! …It shouldn’t take six years, for a bureaucratic check on character. We know them. We fought with them. We answer for their character. With the Taliban there, they don’t have time for bureaucracy. They need action.”

Captain Jason Scanes, Forsaken Fighters

Following the FIT Resolution adopted by the Berlin Statutory Congress in 2014, calling on the international community to protect linguists working in conflict zones, FIT continues to advocate for the rights and safety of conflict zone linguists, working with its partners Red T, the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC), World Association of Sign Language Interpreters (WASLI), the International Association of Professional Translators and Interpreters (IAPTI) and Critical Link International. Together we call for a UN Convention and/or an international safety resolution for the protection of linguists working in conflict zones during and after their service. 

As most linguists working in areas of conflict are locally engaged, they and their families need specific protection and support. FIT urges all governments to extract local personnel and their families. Abandonment to insurgent forces after troop withdrawal is no recompense for faithful service. 


Translators and Interpreters have a human right to life, to work, to freedom from torture, and to freedom of expression.

11 November 2022. On behalf of the world language community, this letter from international language community coalition, including translator and interpreter associations, urgently calls attention to the ongoing violation of the human rights of translators and interpreters (T/Is) across the globe and asks Volker Turk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights  to record human rights violations againstT/Is.

as recent conflicts and sites of political unrest have made tragically clear, linguists in such high-risk settings have become priority targets of state and non-state actors alike, who view them as traitors, spies or subversives and imprison, abduct, torture and murder them with impunity. In fact, the simple practice of their profession makes them vulnerable to the loss of life, limb and liberty.”

With no data, impunity abounds….


August 2022. As part of the language community coalition to highlight the safety of linguists working in conflict zones, FIT implores the German government to protect linguists in Mali with any withdrawal of its forces. Leave no one behind.