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
Staff Security and Civilian Protection in the Humanitarian Sector

protection’ and ‘staff security’ – and each designates a distinct set of policies and practices. Starting from the perspective that the reasons for such a distinction are not self-evident, the current article seeks to draw attention to the differences between staff-security and civilian-protection strategies, and to stimulate a conversation about the extent to which the differences are justified. The aim is not to argue for or against particular strategies for the safety of aid workers or the wider civilian population, or even to argue that the distinction between these

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Grassroots exceptionalism in humanitarian memoir

humanitarian agent and the ultimate sources of his or her power. The memoir-based humanitarian speaks to a broad public alienation from a rising culture of expertise and from ‘big’ management more generally. Since the end of the Cold War, as aid has increasingly been channelled through mega NGOs who take on the roles of state actors, appetite for stories about the naive exceptionality of the humanitarian

in Global humanitarianism and media culture

the rapid influx of people, the Jordanian government opened Za’atari refugee camp in late July 2012, with support from the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organisation, United Nations agencies and other partners. 3 In the harsh conditions of Jordan’s northern desert, Za’atari rapidly became a massive aid operation and at the same time the media face of not only the refugee crisis in Jordan but across the

in Global humanitarianism and media culture
The CDC’s mission to Cold War East Pakistan, 1958

1 The uneasy politics of epidemic aid: the CDC's mission to Cold War East Pakistan, 1958 Paul Greenough Epidemic outbreaks, political struggle, civil society response Historians warn against narratives in which actors are spared the dilemmas of chance and choice. No doubt prolepsis, anachronism and teleology should be avoided, but I find it difficult to tell a story

in The politics of vaccination

coloniality, even in the most ‘benign’ of research and policy areas, like international aid and humanitarianism. Coloniality can be understood as the perpetuation of colonial systems and technologies of domination into the present. As discussed by scholars such as Quijano, Grosfoguel, Dussel and Ndlovu-Gatsheni, the concept of decoloniality encourages systemic and historical analysis of the organised (re)production of injustice and mass human suffering. Formal colonialism (which arguably existed from 1492 to the 1960s) and transatlantic enslavement are but

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.

From the Global to the Local

, 2018a ). On 22 January 2018, UNRWA’s Commissioner-General, Pierre Krähenbühl, launched an emergency fundraising campaign. The #DignityIsPriceless campaign ( Table 2 ) aims to mobilise donor states and civil society worldwide to secure funds to keep open 700 UNRWA schools that educate 525,000 children across the region and to ensure that UNRWA can continue providing lifesaving emergency food aid, emergency cash assistance and essential medical services to millions of refugees. These include 400,000 Palestinians who remain at great risk within Syria

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

apart from Trump’s aptitude for fomenting societal division, politicians (of all stripes) have for centuries done battle over what Caroline Shaw called ‘the moral possibilities and conundrums that remain so familiar to the “refugee question”’ ( Shaw, 2015: 11 ). Add to that equation the poor or misleading data that hinders international efforts to assist refugees and it becomes easier to explain policy-makers’ short-termist tendencies. As Miliband put it, ‘The practice of humanitarian aid has been undermined by the fiction – sometimes convenient for donors in the

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

more than 30,000 dead and wounded in a single day of combat. Henry Dunant, a Swiss citizen who was trying to get in contact with Napoleon III to request a concession in Algeria, came upon the battlefield and the dying, and the spectacle shocked the fervent evangelical (he was one of the founders of the Young Men’s Christian Association, later known as the YMCA). Dunant took an active part in organising first aid for the wounded, regardless of nationality, and later wrote a gripping account of the battle, celebrating the battlefield exploits of the combatants and

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs