Humanitarians are not just going to regions affected by conflict or disaster to provide aid to affected people. Thats only the first step. Once on the ground, they need to deal with much tougher dilemmas: How can one ethically persuade a political or military authority to give access to an affected area? When does working closely with a warring party or an immoral regime move from practical cooperation to complicity in human rights violations? How can an agency be impartial when its movement is restricted?
It can be hard for humanitarians to live up to the principles of impartiality and independence, and focus on alleviating human suffering when many others may not share these views. Do humanitarian principles and ethical practice still have a place in humanitarian action, or are they overwhelmed by the power and realpolitik of others in armed conflicts and disasters?
In his new book Humanitarian Ethics: A Guide to the Morality of Aid in War and Disaster, Hugo Slim Head of Policy at the ICRC aims to answer these questions and enable humanitarian workers to develop a practical understanding of the principles that govern their profession.
Join ALNAP and Hugo for the launch of this book and a discussion about the place of values and ethics in humanitarian action.
John Mitchell Director, ALNAP
Hugo Slim Author of ‘Humanitarian Ethics’ and Head of Policy, ICRC
Rianne C. ten Veen Head of Research, Osman Consulting
Alice Obrecht Research Fellow, ALNAP