Fabrice Weissman

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

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

sans Frontières (MSF) flyers protesting hospital bombings. In theory, hospitals and other civilian assets should be spared. In practice, however, there is only one rule: to pursue victory or various advantages. The means used to achieve that end nevertheless differ from one situation or time period to another. The fundamental point is that for political forces engaged in armed conflict, whether state or non-state actors, the threshold of what is tolerable depends on their

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

Introduction 1 On 15 December 2013, only two and a half years after the Republic of South Sudan had become an independent state, the long-simmering tensions between President Salva Kiir and his former vice-president, Riek Machar, erupted into armed clashes in the capital, Juba. War soon broke out. This article seeks to document and analyse violence affecting the provision of healthcare by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and its intended beneficiaries in the early stage of the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editor’s Introduction
Michaël Neuman, Fernando Espada and Róisín Read

years, several publications have attempted to analyse these discourses critically. In 2011, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) published a book on humanitarian negotiations ( Magone et al ., 2011 ) in which the authors deconstructed ‘declinism’ while emphasising the intrinsically political dimension of aid, the responsibility of aid organisations to establish their work space and the crucial role of negotiations in the implementation of relief operations. Other analysts reached

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

The Journal of Humanitarian Affairs is an exciting, new open access journal hosted jointly by The Humanitarian Affairs Team at Save the Children UK, and Centre de Réflexion sur l’Action et les Savoirs Humanitaires MSF (Paris) and the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute at the University of Manchester. It will contribute to current thinking around humanitarian governance, policy and practice with academic rigour and political courage. The journal will challenge contributors and readers to think critically about humanitarian issues that are often approached from reductionist assumptions about what experience and evidence mean. It will cover contemporary, historical, methodological and applied subject matters and will bring together studies, debates and literature reviews. The journal will engage with these through diverse online content, including peer reviewed articles, expert interviews, policy analyses, literature reviews and ‘spotlight’ features.

Our rationale can be summed up as follows: the sector is growing and is facing severe ethical and practical challenges. The Journal of Humanitarian Affairs will provide a space for serious and inter-disciplinary academic and practitioner exchanges on pressing issues of international interest.

The journal aims to be a home and platform for leading thinkers on humanitarian affairs, a place where ideas are floated, controversies are aired and new research is published and scrutinised. Areas in which submissions will be considered include humanitarian financing, migrations and responses, the history of humanitarian aid, failed humanitarian interventions, media representations of humanitarianism, the changing landscape of humanitarianism, the response of states to foreign interventions and critical debates on concepts such as resilience or security.

An Interview with Caroline Abu Sa’Da, General Director of SOS MEDITERRANEE Suisse
Juliano Fiori

information – facts – on the situation in the Mediterranean, so that they at least are able to form their own judgement on it. They can then decide whether they have a responsibility. Definitely the need is there. After eleven years with MSF, it was really this kind of political and social engagement that interested me. SOS is a ‘hydroponic NGO’, if I may put it like that – nourished from below. Working with the organisation in Switzerland is particularly interesting, given that the country is not very open-minded on migration. It has really been a challenge

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
David Rieff

complete fiction either. An accurate portrait is drawn in Humanitarian Negotiations Revealed , a book published by MSF-CRASH some years ago. Its authors argued that relief groups could be thought of as ‘unreliable friends’, constantly bargaining with donors (not to mention governments and insurgent groups in the countries in which they do their work). An important problem relief agencies face today, which is almost certain to grow worse in the coming decade, is that their success in negotiations can be in vain if donors don’t have the power to make

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Four Decisive Challenges Confronting Humanitarian Innovation
Gerard Finnigan and Otto Farkas

in Afghanistan, run and operated by Médicins Sans Frontières (MSF), killing twenty-four patients, fourteen staff and four carers ( MSF, 2016a ). In August 2016, a strike on a hospital run by MSF in Yemen left eleven dead and nineteen injured ( MSF, 2016b ). The bombing of al-Quds hospital in Aleppo killed at least twenty people ( Al Jazeera, 2016a ), and a terrorist bombing targeting a hospital in Quetta in Pakistan killed at least seventy

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

Frontières (MSF), the agency with témoignage at the heart of its mandate, the role of public statements has been contested among the senior management, and MSF mostly undertakes its medical work without making public statements about abuses in its zones of operations ( Weissman, 2011 ). Both the ICRC and MSF have also run global campaigns concerned with attacks on medical missions and healthcare facilities. 2 While framed

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Planned Obsolescence of Medical Humanitarian Missions: An Interview with Tony Redmond, Professor and Practitioner of International Emergency Medicine and Co-founder of HCRI and UK-Med

-Med’s biggest innovation is in setting up an application of standards that try to mirror the standards of UK practice. GS: In relation to standards of practice, is this something that other organisations are also doing, following in UK-Med’s footsteps? TR: Yes, other organisations are following UK-Med and the work of other teams, such as MSF, Red Cross, ICRC and so on. This all led to the WHO Emergency Medical Teams initiative, which has codified a set of standards that are there for people to

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs