Challenges to principled humanitarian action: Perspectives from four countries.

NORWEGIAN REFUGEE COUNCIL
Handicap International
Publication Date 
July 2016
80 p, ill.

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to an increased understanding of the perceived and actual challenges humanitarians face in operational contexts as they apply the principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence. A snapshot is provided of four case studies; Colombia, Nepal, northern Syria and South Sudan. Through a combination of field research, headquarters interviews, desk research, and a webinar, views and observations are presented from the humanitarian community. These observations provide a glimpse into the challenges faced by principled humanitarians. As a result the paper puts forward seven recommendations intended to assist humanitarians and states to sharpen tools and strengthen approaches when implementing principled humanitarian protection and assistance. An addendum to this study provides perspectives from selected members of the donor community. This research was conducted through interviews with state representatives in Geneva, aiming to understand how donors perceive their responsibilities in upholding the humanitarian principles and the Good Humanitarian Donorship Principles. This final chapter highlights challenges faced by states while supporting principled humanitarian action, particularly in conflict zones. On the basis of this research, additional recommendations for both states and humanitarians are proposed to strengthen the adherence to the humanitarian principles

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