The last two decades have witnessed an increasing blurring of mandates and agendas between humanitarian actors, foreign troops and donor states. Many observers point out that this trend is spiking violence against aid workers and provoking loss of access to humanitarian agencies in several complex emergencies. This study is an effort to quantify its actual impact in humanitarian operations.
Although strongly agency-specific, available data suggests that the blurring of lines is indeed a key driver of both violent incidents and lack of access in Afghanistan. However, in other contexts such as Somalia and Sudan, its impact may not be so evident; in these two countries, the blur also seems determinant in hindering access, whereas it has less explanatory power interpreting trends on security incidents faced by aid workers. Afghanistan, Somalia and Sudan account for half of the total number of violent cases hitting humanitarians worldwide.
This paper looks at the impact Human Rights notions have on international peace and security. It discusses how human rights and international peace and security are interrelated and interdependent and that the fostering of one promotes the enhancement of the other and that the needs for universal respects for Human Rights and Peace respectively can be reconciled under international law, if the use of force remains the last resort in the problems of human rights. It also incorporates a step by step procedure for the enforcement of human rights under international law.
This paper is concerned with the tension between what it describes as “pure” humanitarianism and the increasing pressures on relief workers to become politically engaged by adopting developmental approaches and by seeking to actively resolve disaster-producing conflicts. Combining theory with case studies concerning the delivery of health and food aid in war zones, it argues that while seductive, attempts to use relief aid as a tool for political engagement are fraught with practical and ethical difficulties. Not only are developmental goals elusive in conflict environments, but abandoning principles of neutrality and impartiality to determine the allocation of scarce resources increases the risk of aid being manipulated by warring parties and by donor governments. While not unproblematic, the paper concludes that neutrality and impartiality remain the best principles currently available to organise humanitarian action.
The pattern of co-operation in West Africa has been marked in a most remarkable manner by its colonial past. Among the sub-regions into which the OAU has divided Africa, none has been polarised as West Africa. Indeed the sub-region was described as the most varied in Africa in terms of the size of countries, colonially […]
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