13 new plain language versions of the Core Humanitarian Standard commitments

23 March 2020

Following the positive reception for the plain-English CHS Commitments, Translators without Borders (TWB) and the CHS Alliance are pleased to announce 13 new plain-language translations.

Seeing the high level of interest in the plain-English version of the CHS Commitments, TWB and the CHS Alliance knew they could not stop there. TWB has now translated it into 13 languages. Each of the new translations provides clear explanations of what the Nine CHS Commitments mean for people affected by crisis. These translations have been reviewed and validated by humanitarian and development practitioners from around the world.

Plain-language CHS Commitments are available in the following languages:

  • Arabic*
  • Bangla*
  • Brazilian Portuguese
  • Chinese
  • French
  • Indonesian*
  • Italian
  • Myanmar*
  • Spanish
  • Swahili
  • Thai
  • Ukrainian
  • Vietnamese

*Note these language translations are coming in the next few days. Thank you for your patience.

Download the plain language versions

A child translates different words into local languages at a school in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo. Credit: Translators without Borders

A child translates different words into local languages at a school in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo. Credit: Translators without Borders

Language matters

During, after, and even before a disaster, clear communication is a crucial part of aid.

TWB and the CHS Alliance recognise that communication in the right language is vital in humanitarian aid. It can be critical for facilitating comprehension where languages and literacy levels vary among people affected by crisis. Ultimately, information in the wrong language is useless, no matter how clearly written it is.

“We know that people who don’t understand or speak official or dominant languages in a given context are often at a disadvantage in society and exposed to greater risks in a crisis,” said Ellie Kemp, Head of Crisis Response at TWB. “If we are serious about our commitments, we need to ensure crisis-affected people understand what they can expect from us by communicating in accessible languages and formats.”

Both organisations are dedicated to improving access to clear information and accountability in the mother tongue of people affected by crisis. This is why we are sharing the 13 new versions of the plain-language CHS Commitments.

Visible accountability

CHS Alliance members and partner organisations can access the plain-language versions of the CHS commitments below. We urge all our members who operate in areas where these languages are relevant to print the plain-language one-pagers. The more visible the Commitments are to as many people affected by crisis as possible, the better. We encourage our members to share the translations widely with their partner organisations. We want to increase the number of people who understand how to hold aid organisations who apply the CHS to account.

Over the coming months, the CHS Alliance expects to provide even more translated versions and will keep you updated on progress.

Which languages do you think are a priority?

Download the plain language CHS in your language now and make your CHS Commitments visible and accessible.