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

are distributed. The fact that these are invaluable, sometimes life-saving, for those who can take advantage of them should not mask the stark reality that humanitarians and the principles they invoke have no impact at all on the reality of war, which is a wrecking ball. ‘Even war has rules’, say the Médecins 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

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

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 current civil war in South Sudan. 2 It focuses on the first few months of the war and on

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editor’s Introduction

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 the same conclusions in a series

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

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

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
Staff Security and Civilian Protection in the Humanitarian Sector

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 make a statement, but they do not always do so when other (non-fatal) staff-security incidents occur, and only rarely do they make public statements when other civilians are killed. Even in Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), the agency with témoignage at the

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

.1057/ejdr.2008.7 . Médecins Sans Frontières ( 2018 ), Evolution of an International Movement: Associative History, 1971–2014 , 2 volumes, available at http://associativehistory.msf.org/ (accessed 25 July 2018) . Médecins Sans Frontières ( n.d. ), MSF Speaking Out , http://speakingout.msf.org (accessed 25 July 2018) . Miliband , D. ( 2016 ), ‘ The Best Ways to Deal with the Refugee Crisis ’, New York Review of Books , 13 October . Shaw , C. ( 2015 ), Britannia’s Embrace: Modern Humanitarianism and the Imperial Origins of Refugee Relief ( Oxford : Oxford

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A Focus on Community Engagement

opportunity to conduct this work. Luisa Enria would like to acknowledge support from the Economic and Social Research Council (Future Research Leaders Fellowship ES/N01717X/1) and the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 115854, and to thank Mahmood H. Bangura for research assistance. 2 Almudena Mari Saez would like to thank the neighbours around the SKD Stadium who agreed to talk and share their concerns with the liaison person and herself. 3 Abbreviation of Samuel Kayon Doe. 4 MSF Belgium was heavily involved in the Ebola response

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs