In the absence of a normative framework, the concept of humanitarian corridors lacks a consistent definition and is highly vulnerable to political interpretation. The notion underwent multiple semantic shifts, from referring to a right of passage in situations of armed conflict, to an appeal to facilitated access in the face of bordure closures or bureaucratic constraints. The diverse range of situations in reference to which the terms ‘humanitarian corridor’, ‘relief corridor’ or ‘access corridor’ are used, often interchangeably, is matched only by the diverse range of actors that use them. Calls for their opening have become so common that corridors seem increasingly considered a relevant modality of humanitarian action despite much ambiguity around what they are expected to achieve, how much protection they offer, and how they are likely to affect the overall dynamic of conflicts. Meant to allow the unobstructed deployment of humanitarian aid and/or the evacuation of civilians, humanitarian corridors are by definition temporary and limited in geographical scope. As such, they are a timid assertion of the principle of free access to victims, prone to manipulation by belligerents or third parties to serve war strategies or to project an image of civility. Looking at the wide array of its application in history, the author puts the use of the concept into perspective, drawing on a variety of examples to illustrate how both the idea and its implementation have been problematic. A few operational recommendations are then derived from this analysis for humanitarian practitioners to consider and adapt in light of their particular context.
report / synthesis offered by Maelle L’Homme, the author returns us to the analysis of classical humanitarian action as defined in traditional international humanitarian law. Analysing the use and misuse of the discourse of ‘humanitarian corridors’, the author argues that the widespread use of the term challenges norms of humanitarian access to civilians in conflict settings. By creating corridors as zones of exception in which humanitarian norms apply, all other zones are normalised as non-humanitarian spaces, thereby constraining all other types and modes of access
US, the EU and other Western donor governments has at least generally come with certain stipulations about human rights and relative autonomy for international relief NGOs in the field. The Chinese have no such agenda, and governments in the Global South have come to understand this perfectly. In short, there is no need to apply to Washington or Brussels when making the same application to Beijing comes at a considerably lower cost in terms of what has to be conceded vis-à-vis humanitarian access, let alone human rights guarantees. The advent
is void.’ A third concern about speaking out on the issue of attacks against aid workers is the potential for blowback in the operational environment. This concern parallels the perceived risks of seeking legal accountability. Namely, many interviewees expressed the sense that speaking out about attacks on aid workers can come at a direct cost to humanitarian access or security by jeopardising their perceived neutrality, impartiality or independence. Furthermore, some practitioners expressed the fear that speaking out could lead to further attacks against
), ‘Roadblock Ethnography: Negotiating Humanitarian Access in Ituri, Eastern DR Congo, 1999–2004’ , Africa , 76 : 2 , 151 – 79 . Redfield , P. ( 2012 ), ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Ex‐Pats: Double Binds of Humanitarian Mobility’ , Cultural Anthropology , 27 : 2 , 358 – 82 . Richards , P. (ed.) ( 2005 ), No Peace, No War: An Anthropology of Contemporary Armed Conflicts ( Oxford : James Currey ). Schenkenberg , E. ( 2016 ), ‘Emergency Gap Series 03: The Challenges of Localised Humanitarian Aid in Armed Conflict’ ( Barcelona : MSF OCBA ). Shevchenko
be reluctant to admit that, even with major humanitarian funding, conditions continue to deteriorate. For humanitarian actors, famine is the dramatic manifestation of response failure ( Maxwell and Majid, 2016 ). With increasing recognition of the linkage between conflict and famine, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 2417 in 2018 that condemns both the use of starvation as a weapon and the denial of humanitarian access in conflict ( de Waal, 2018
doubts, and possible diversion of aid by the Soviets caused worries. For example, The Times criticized the Soviets for not offering ‘enough guarantees’ in the agreement signed with Nansen in September 1921. The SCF’s chairperson Lord Weardale and the Quakers’ general secretary Anna Ruth Fry reacted vigorously to support cooperation with the Bolsheviks in order to guarantee humanitarian access ( The Times , 1921 : 9). In December 1921, the Daily Express ‘suggested that “the magnitude of the famine (in Russia) has been greatly exaggerated” and criticised the appeals
, Conflict Research Programme ( London : London School of Economics and Political Science ). Geneva Call ( 2021 ), Understanding Humanitarian Access and the Protection of Civilians in an Era of Depoliticized War ( Geneva : Geneva Call ), www.genevacall.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Geneva
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Given the significant similarities and differences between the welfare states of Northern Europe and their reactions to the perceived 'refugee crisis' of 2015, the book focuses primarily on the three main cases of Denmark, Sweden and Germany. Placed in a wider Northern European context – and illustrated by those chapters that also discuss refugee experiences in Norway and the UK – the Danish, Swedish and German cases are the largest case studies of this edited volume. Thus, the book contributes to debates on the governance of non-citizens and the meaning of displacement, mobility and seeking asylum by providing interdisciplinary analyses of a largely overlooked region of the world, with two specific aims. First, we scrutinize the construction of the 2015 crisis as a response to the large influx of refugees, paying particular attention to the disciplinary discourses and bureaucratic structures that are associated with it. Second, we investigate refugees’ encounters with these bureaucratic structures and consider how these encounters shape hopes for building a new life after displacement. This allows us to show that the mobility of specific segments of the world’s population continues to be seen as a threat and a risk that has to be governed and controlled. Focusing on the Northern European context, our volume interrogates emerging policies and discourses as well as the lived experiences of bureaucratization from the perspective of individuals who find themselves the very objects of bureaucracies.