Translators and interpreters (T/Is) contracted to work in conflict zones are often non-professional linguists yet play a key role in communication. Operating in high-risk environments, they are extremely vulnerable and require special protection both during and after the conflict. Users of T/I services must be aware of their responsibilities to T/Is and of the need to continuously protect them. At the same time, T/Is themselves must know their rights as well as uphold the standards and ethics of the language profession to enhance their safety and standing.
Red T, in partnership with the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC) and the International Federation of Translators (FIT), drafted a Conflict Zone Field Guide for Civilian Translators/Interpreters and Users of Their Services. This document outlines the basic rights, responsibilities, and practices recommended by the three organizations. It applies to T/Is serving as field linguists for the armed forces, journalists, NGOs, and other organizations in conflict zones and other high-risk settings.