HUMANITARIAN ACTION AND POLITICS: THE AWKWARD BEDFELLOWS
CEDIS Working Paper VARIA, nº 1 de Janeiro de 2021
Humanitarian Law has walked a path full of ups and downs. Ever since its emergence in the 19th century, by cause of Henri Dunant’s initiative, Humanitarian Action has been relevant for the promotion and codification of International Humanitarian Law.
Approximately one century later, Humanitarian Action started to face some difficulties. With the changing nature of conflicts, its flaws started being exposed. There was something else on the equation: Politics. The separation of Humanitarian Action from Politics that, up until then, was thought of as a fact, was starting to be questioned. Consequently, the principles which guide humanitarian actors’ work in the field were under scrutiny as well.
The present paper will have two main aims. The first one is to prove that the relationship between Humanitarian Action and Politics can be beneficial to both sides, despite the negative connotation it might have. The second aim is to propose a reform of the core principles of Humanitarian Action in order to better adjust to this new relationship.
International Humanitarian Law; Humanitarian Action; Politics; ICRC; MSF