Interpreters have long played a key role in situations of violent conflict. From military field operations to humanitarian and diplomatic activities, interpreters have “a direct or indirect impact on how a war is waged and on how it is remembered” (Inghilleri and Harding, 2010, p.166). Yet their role and influence is not always well understood. Recent conflicts in the Middle East under the banner of the “War on Terror” have generated large-scale language support needs and brought the figure of the interpreter to public attention, most notably in relation to post-conflict asylum applications in countries such as the UK, US, France, Denmark and New Zealand. Despite some special visa immigration programmes, many continue to endure the risk to life. Since 2012, a coalition of prominent professional interpreter and translator associations led by Red T has been advocating for greater protection for linguists under international law. However, such efforts are often hampered by pervasive myths about interpreting as “unskilled labour” and inadequate planning practices at the institutional level.