Humanitarianism, armed groups and the role of history

Have you heard of “The Humanitarian Negotiations Information Portal”?

The portal was established in 2014, providing resources on armed groups, humanitarian engagement, and international humanitarian law.

history & humanitarianism

The prolonged and destructive conflict in Syria, in which perhaps 1,000 or more armed groups are fighting, has brought the role of armed groups within humanitarian action to a new level of public prominence. It has, however, been on the agenda of humanitarian organisations for some time. An important landmark came in 1991 when, as part of reforms to the international aid architecture, the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator was mandated to negotiate with all belligerents in the name of humanitarian assistance. In 2010 UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon restated his appeal for engagement with armed groups in the name of protection of civilians. Guidelines have been developed to assist humanitarian organisations engaging with armed groups and organisations such as Geneva Call have devoted their efforts to minimising the impact of conflict on civilians by facilitating the extension of international humanitarian law (IHL), which remains state-centric, to non-state armed groups.

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