Search results

Open Access (free)
Governing Precarity through Adaptive Design

Introduction Drawing its energy from the wave of New Left and counter-cultural radicalism of the 1960s ( Boltanski and Chiapello, 2005 ), an NGO-led direct humanitarian action pushed onto the international stage during the 1970s. The radicalism of this new anti-establishment sans frontières humanitarianism lay in its political challenge to the conventions of Cold War sovereignty. By being there on the ground it sought to hold sovereign power to account, witnessing its excesses while professing a face-to-face humanitarian solidarity with its

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Interpreting Violence on Healthcare in the Early Stage of the South Sudanese Civil War

produce substantiated accounts of incidents in specific contexts are still rare. Often methodologically wanting and more normative than analytical in their approach, as Fabrice Weissman has shown ( Weissman, 2016 ), these quantitative studies offer little interpretation of violent incidents other than to say that they demonstrate a lack of respect for international humanitarian norms that require belligerents to protect and facilitate the provision of healthcare to the sick and wounded. They tend to reinforce the assumption, widely held among the aid community, that

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

public-relations and legal responses. More importantly, they can feed into and foster an anti-migrant climate and increase mistrust towards NGOs and their interventions. In addition to these short-term consequences, disinformation may have a profound long-term impact by undermining the trust that citizens place in all sources of information. Research shows that audiences are confused and concerned about disinformation, and they struggle to know which sources of news to trust. A 2018 Pew Centre study found that 42 per cent of Americans believe

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
An Interview with Caroline Abu Sa’Da, General Director of SOS MEDITERRANEE Suisse

Europe is extremely political. It points to existing maritime law and international humanitarian law to remind states of their obligations. And what’s really interesting since the end of June is that we have ended up in a situation in which rogue European states are deliberately throwing the law to the dogs. Now we know exactly what’s going on in Libya. We know that European states are responsible for refoulement , sending people back to torture, rape and detention in Libya. This is completely unlawful but European institutions are endorsing it. So

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editor’s Introduction

humanitarian worker has never been so complex and dangerous. Many humanitarian narratives are fuelled by the fears of organisations: they see their working space reduced under the joint pressure of states increasingly asserting their sovereignty and of more frequent security incidents due to direct targeting, all happening in the context of widespread erosion of international norms ( Shaheen, 2016 ; Bouchet-Saulnier and Whittall, 2019 ; UN Security Council, 2019 ). In recent years, several

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Staff Security and Civilian Protection in the Humanitarian Sector

Introduction In contemporary crises, a key aim of international humanitarian action is the protection of the civilian population. In the same contexts in which the protection needs of the local population are greatest, staff members of international humanitarian agencies may also come under threat themselves. Thus the organisations that seek to keep the local civilian population safe from physical violence are at the same time seeking to keep their own staff safe from physical violence. Despite the same broad objective, two distinct labels are used – ‘civilian

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

departure preparations for international volunteers, and the first security booklet was developed. The module and the booklet explained the risks that volunteers might face, measures to reduce them, responsibilities and procedures for sharing security information within projects and the organisation as a whole, and rules for behaviour. During that same period, in the late 1990s, the first country-specific security plans were drawn up; with each violent incident affecting the organisation and other humanitarian actors, security management took shape. Compared to other

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

Introduction Every year, dozens of national and international aid workers are kidnapped. Like governments and companies, most humanitarian organisations handle these events with the utmost secrecy. While Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), for example, publicly confirmed the abduction and release of staff members kidnapped in Kenya in 2011 and Syria in 2014, 1 the organisation made no effort to mobilise public opinion as a way to gain their freedom. Nor did it provide any official details about the circumstances, detention conditions, kidnappers or their demands

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Uses and Misuses of International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian Principles

twentieth century ’, the director of operations for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said in 1999 ( Tauxe, 1999 ; emphasis added). With the launch of the ‘War on Terror’ following the 9/11 attacks, violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) have been described as ‘increasingly serious’, culminating – at the time of writing – in systematic attacks on hospitals and other civilian sites in Syria. Similar attacks in Afghanistan, Yemen and South Sudan add to the picture of once respected IHL being trampled. Some offer numbers as evidence, citing the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A Model for Historical Reflection in the Humanitarian Sector

Introduction In October 2016 the New York Review of Books published an article by International Rescue Committee President David Miliband titled ‘The Best Ways to Deal with the Refugee Crisis’. It began with a predictable target. US Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s claims about a ‘tremendous flow’ of Syrian refugees making their way to North America were based in ‘myth, not fact’, Miliband wrote ( Miliband, 2016 ). Not only that: they also openly belittled the difficulties faced by those seeking refuge. Those remarks, of course, were hardly unusual. Quite

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs