Discussion 1 :
Consider the humanitarian principle of neutrality. How can humanitarian organizations remain neutral while also gaining the acceptance of local populations, armed groups and/or host states? Should they?
Topic: 1. Humanitarian Principles / Topic 1
IHL limits the scope of hostilities and unnecessary suffering in armed conflict, however, it also allows for considerable collateral damage to civilians in accordance with military necessity. Is this still consistent with the principle of humanity and the preservation of life and dignity? Why or why not?
Topic: 1. Humanitarian Principles / Topic 2
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Required Reading List
OCHA, “Humanitarian Principles,” (2010).
ICRC, “The Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Disaster Relief,” (1994). [for other languages, click here]
ICRC, “Summary of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and their Additional Protocols,” International Committee of the Red Cross (2012).
ICRC, “International Humanitarian Law: Answers to your Questions,” International Committee of the Red Cross (2002).
Schwendimann, F., “ “The legal framework of humanitarian access in armed conflict”,” International Review of the Red Cross 93 (2011)
Recommended Additional Resources
Online Learning Modules
Advanced Training Program on Humanitarian Action, International Humanitarian Law Distance Learning Series
Brookings Institute, Humanitarian Principles and Law (2011) (book chapter)
ICRC, International Humanitarian Law and the challenges of contemporary armed conflicts, 32nd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent ( 2015)
J.-F. Quéguiner, ‘Precautions under the law governing the conduct of hostilities’, International Review of the Red Cross 88 (2006).
Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Rule of Law in Armed Conflict (RULAC) Project
IHL Full Text Databases
ICRC, IHL Treaties
ICRC, Customary IHL database
Why is the crisis in Goma considered a failure of humanitarian action?
Topic: 2. Goma – Set 1 / Topic 1
What measures could humanitarians have taken to increase the safety and security within Goma’s refugee camps?
Topic: 2. Goma – Set 1 / Topic 2
In what ways did the Sphere project advance humanitarian response? In what ways has Sphere fallen short?
Topic: 2. Goma – Set 1 / Topic 3