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Uses and Misuses of International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian Principles
Rony Brauman

’ 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 fact that the overwhelming percentage of victims in World War I were soldiers, compared with

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Why Building Back Better Means More than Structural Safety
Bill Flinn

respiratory diseases. Similarly, no house is complete without a toilet. Reconstruction is an opportunity to improve housing on many fronts. Indebtedness. It is generally recognised that the housing reconstruction grant of NPR300,000 (US$3,000) is not enough to rebuild a home to the required safety standards. The Housing Recovery and Reconstruction Platform estimates that the average cost of a new home is US$6,750 (HRRPb). In order to avail themselves of the money, families are becoming indebted – or increasing their already existing debt burden. In this respect, families

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Matthew Hunt, Sharon O’Brien, Patrick Cadwell, and Dónal P. O’Mathúna

during Humanitarian Crises The examples noted above, and many others, show that provision of adequate translation services during crises is ethically justified by the potential benefits provided and the possible harms avoided. It also demonstrates respect for linguistic minority populations caught up in crisis. Translation is essential to good communication and attention to the needs and values of different groups in contexts of

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Fernando Espada

apparent détente between Washington DC and Pyongyang is not experienced by humanitarian agencies working in North Korea. Threats of mutual obliteration have given way to a slower process of asphyxia by bureaucratic impediments, mostly related to sanctions by the UN Security Council and the US government, on top of North Korea’s restrictions. Ideally, all actors (whether aid organisations or not) responding to a crisis should share similar – or at least compatible – goals and respect each other’s mandates. However, this is something that doesn’t happen in North Korea

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Gender Equality and Culture in Humanitarian Action
Ricardo Fal-Dutra Santos

Introduction Despite increasing attention to gender issues in the humanitarian sector, the notion of gender equality as a humanitarian goal remains largely rejected. Some humanitarians argue that transforming gender relations goes against the humanitarian principles (see Fal-Dutra Santos, 2019 for a critique of this position). This is only part of the argument, which also emphasises the cultural nature of gender norms and the duty to respect

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Olivia Umurerwa Rutazibwa

humanitarian interventions. The topic was thrust upon me by events in Rwanda in 1994. As a teenage, second-generation Rwandan immigrant in Belgium, I was more personally affected than fellow classmates by the hypocrisy of the international community: the preaching of respect for human rights, followed by their omission during one hundred days of mass murder before the eyes of the world. It felt like there was more to the story than ‘good intentions versus regrettable outcomes’. Ever since, I have worried about the content and purpose of (Western

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Brad Evans

ecological degradation who should be most deserving of our respect and attention. Violence Comes Easily to Humans A picture of impending dystopian realism is part of the contemporary reckoning 4 . Collapse, anarchy, violence – the surest signs the explosive potential was always there. We might make a crude point here and say that if our basic level instinct is survivalist, and this in turn has shaped the prevailing account of politics as a means to protect life from its unmediated desires, then every human has a violent impulse deeply woven into consciousness and

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
A Belated but Welcome Theory of Change on Mental Health and Development
Laura Davidson

failure to respect human rights. 2 Calling for a paradigm shift towards a multisectoral, empowering rights-based approach favouring psychological and psychosocial treatment options, 3 he also highlighted the negative impact of social determinants on health which cause inequities likely to have an adverse effect on mental health ( Pūras, 2017 : 15–16). Unfortunately, the much-heralded sea-change in mental health has largely failed to come to fruition, as evidenced by the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Humanitarianism in a Post-Liberal World Order
Stephen Hopgood

looming environmental disasters. Domestically, the liberal social contract is coming apart in many Western states as the coalition of those who have not benefited from the decades of wealth accumulation after 1979 turns to populist politicians and looks for scapegoats, with experts, immigrants and Muslims seen as prime targets. The commitment to liberal institutions that create limits to the scope of political competition – rights, the rule of law, freedom of the press – and to the basic level of respect due to all persons, be they citizens or refugees

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

respect to violent incidents or mistreatment of staff (a more adversarial, but still soft, acceptance strategy) or the wider civilian population, but in several cases attacks on staff have been publicly denounced while contemporaneous attacks on other civilians in the same country were not publicly commented upon (in Sri Lanka in 2009, for example; see Niland, 2014 ). When expatriate or national staff members are killed, the agency that employed them will invariably

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs