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Uses and Misuses of International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian Principles

issue for contemporary humanitarian action. This article is thus an historically informed contemplation on the political function of IHL and what we can expect from it. The Soldier, the Legal Expert and the Rescuer Let us begin with the first Geneva Convention, the starting point of contemporary IHL; it was signed on 22 August 1864 1 and did not even mention the word ‘humanitarian’. In ten articles occupying two pages, its subject (as reflected by its title) was ‘the amelioration of the condition of the wounded in armies in the field’. It can be summarised in just

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

observe that the humanitarian world has never really known how to think about its own political role. The neutrality of the International Committee of the Red Cross, though not quite as complete as the organisation claims, is real enough in practice. But as the custodian of the Geneva Conventions, the ICRC has an international legal status that no other relief organisation can claim. Yes, major private voluntary relief groups have accepted various codes of conduct, but their adherence to these codes is ultimately voluntary. It remains the case that

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

histories of humanitarianism in places like Exeter, Galway, Geneva, London, Mainz, Manchester, Milan, Oslo, Ottawa and Sheffield. The result was a growing conversation about humanitarianism’s past and its potential to shape our understanding of the present. Those discussions have centred on three themes. The first is an insistence on moving beyond what David Lewis termed the aid sector’s ‘perpetual present’: ‘a state characterised by an abundance of frequently changing language and “buzzwords”’ ( Lewis, 2009: 33 ; see also Borton and Davey, 2015 ). High rates of staff

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
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Humanitarianism in a Post-Liberal World Order

investments. We can look at the use by German forces in the 1870 Franco-Prussian war of the Red Cross as a bombing target, or the contrast between The Hague Conventions and the use of poison gas during World War I, or prior to that the creation of a concentration camp system by the British in South Africa. Indeed, we can go back to the famines the British at worst engineered, and at best tolerated, in India, killing millions of people. Or the Germans and the Herero, or the Belgians and the Congo, or the British and Mau Mau, or the French in Algeria

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
An Interview with Celso Amorim, Former Brazilian Foreign Minister

?’ But regardless of hypocrisy and selectivity, there was a general acceptance that there existed this kind of order, in which the US broadly set the terms. At the ILO [International Labour Organisation], the US refused to sign many of the conventions, but it demanded that other countries sign. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, this order expanded. This was the world I encountered when I was appointed foreign minister for the first time, by [Brazilian President] Itamar Franco, just after the Gulf War. US hegemony was almost incontestable. The

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
From the Global to the Local

Commission on Palestine – UNCPP) mandated to fulfill the international community’s obligations towards Palestinian refugees displaced and dispossessed by the partition of Palestine in 1948. The exclusion of Palestinian refugees from the ‘universal’ refugee regime – the 1950 Statute of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the 1951 Refugee Convention – and the international community’s failure to secure a political solution to ensure Palestinian refugees’ Right of Return enshrined in UNGA Resolution 194, has meant that

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
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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
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Diversification and the rise of fragmented time systems

Labour Organization (ILO) Part-Time Work Convention (No. 175) and the EU Directive on part-time work. Research has long noted the division between marginalised and integrated part-time work (O’Reilly and Fagan, 1998) and discussion of the latter is developed in the subsequent literature on good-quality part-time employment, which proposes criteria for differentiating good quality from poor quality (Fagan et al., 2014; Lyonette et al., 2016). However, it remains difficult to use the criteria with national labour force data, except through relatively crude indicators

in Making work more equal
Legality and legitimacy

Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory in the Former Yugoslavia since 1991.62 Its establishment was part of a wide range of international legal responses to the conflict and dissolution of Yugoslavia.63 A Commission of Experts had been established by the SC in 1992 to collect information and examine the evidence relating to grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and other violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia.64 A massive computer database had been established in the US. In its

in Domestic and international trials, 1700–2000
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motives to conceal their instrumental goals. But after a while they may regard these concocted motives as equally valid, or they may use them to attain a positive self-definition and to ensure their legacy for posterity. Notes 1 For other such attempts regarding nineteenth-century practice (though in far less detail) see M. Ganji, International Protection of Human Rights (Geneva: Librairie E. Droz, 1962

in Humanitarian intervention in the long nineteenth century