History and Hope
The International Humanitarian Reader
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Fordham University Press
Title Page, Copyright
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The pursuit of the goals of humanitarianism, whether through assistance or inter-vention, has no single way, follows no preconceived pattern. Almost by defi nition, each experience is different. This means, more perhaps than in any other human activity, that practitioners have to be ready to learn from experience and adapt to As the editor of, contributor to, and inspiration of this much-needed book, ...
Acronyms and Abbreviations
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As I prepare this book for publication, selecting chapters from twelve volumes in the International Humanitarian Affairs book series, editing, deleting, and updating texts so that they will be useful to students and practitioners for years to come, I offer, once again, my gratitude to all the past contributors, to Fordham University, to the volunteers at the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs, and to the ...
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History and Hope: The International Humanitarian Reader is a compendium drawn from some of the best chapters on various aspects of humanitarian assistance in a series that I have written or edited for Fordham University Press since 2001, num-bering twelve volumes to date. Books in the series are used in universities and train-Many fi ne essays by outstanding contributors could not be included in this ...
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History and Hope opens, appropriately, with an essay on the modern history of humanitarian action, and a chapter detailing the ethical and legal foundations of the discipline. Both cite the dangers that recent trends, particularly the “war on terror,” pose to hard won, almost universally accepted, positions assuring the in-One of the books in the series, Technology for Humanitarian Action, was con-...
H umanitarian Action in the Twenty-First Century:The Danger of a Setback
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Humanitarian action as envisaged by Henry Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross Movement, is both simple—it is based on the natural human tendency to respect a fellow human—and original—Dunant wished to apply that common sense prin-A fl eeting glance at the past will help us appreciate what was original about humanitarian action as conceived by Dunant, why it goes beyond good intentions ...
Humanitarian Ethical and Legal Standards
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There is a need for the implementation of existing ethical and legal standards,1 espe-cially regarding the fundamental guarantees of human life and dignity.International instruments of human rights and of international humanitarian law are not the only sources providing these fundamental guarantees.2 International law is only one of the many sources of humanitarian standards. Legal mechanisms ...
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Radio communication is vital in a relief and humanitarian setting; it is relatively cheap to establish—after the initial purchase of hardware—and costs nothing to run. Radio frequencies are normally allocated to various humanitarian actors by the national government; sometimes channels are shared, but more often than not Interventions in camp settings become more complicated due to the vast array ...
Humanitarian Response in the Era of Global MobileInformation Technology
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Technology is among the most diffi cult topics to tackle in a chapter designed to be relevant for more than a few months. The digital revolution has brought, and is still bringing, many positive changes to the world. In the humanitarian sector, technology has revitalized worldwide volunteerism through crowdsourcing, driv-ing closer cooperation between the humanitarian and the for-profit sectors. It has ...
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In this section, some of the humanitarian communities most distinguished prac-titioners refl ect on fundamental principles and values. The former Directors of Doctors Without Borders and Amnesty International provide cautionary advice—how one can sacrifi ce gains to the cause of expediency. There are three chapters describing serious fault lines in so-called civilized societies that must be recognized ...
N eutrality or Impartiality
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The construction of a new world order and the evolution of the United Nations after World War II have been guided by the principle: Never again! The Nazis’ unprec-edented crimes became a benchmark for an international community founded on certain basic values: opposition to genocide, the search for world peace, and respect for human rights. However, over the years, that determination has been replaced ...
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Torture has been and remains a constant in human society; its history is closely linked to the evolution of state powers and the exercise of authority.1 In all circum-stances, the notion of torture has two essential elements: the purposeful infl iction of pain, usually described as excruciating, and an ulterior motive in the interests of the authority responsible for the torture.2 The pain can be either physical or ...
Issues of Power and Gender in Complex Emergencies
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Two key issues dramatically affect the lives of women and children caught in the chaos of complex humanitarian emergencies: protection and equal access to relief goods and services. Equal access means that women and girls have the same access and rights to relief items, shelter, health services, access to clean water, sanitation facilities, training, employment, and education opportunities. Protection’s role ...
Terrorism: Theory and Reality
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The semantics of studies on terrorism seem to strive more for political correctness than for presenting an accurate picture of the soil in which these terrible acts are usually born, gestate, and explode. Defi nitions divorced from reality offer, at best, a two dimensional view of a multifaceted problem. To focus solely on acts of desper-ate individuals and to not equally consider offi cial or state terrorism is not only a ...
A Human Rights Agenda for Global Security
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Where . . . do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home—so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Such are the places where every man, woman and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere....
PART IIIEvolving Norms
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Over the tumultuous half-century I have been involved in international humani-tarian assistance, there have been, not surprisingly, shifting parameters and stan-dards to help guide our actions. This section offers four important views of both positive and negative adaptation to the harsh realities and challenges of complex humanitarian crises. A focus on the limits of state sovereignty or on education for ...
The Limits of Sovereignty
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Displacement in all its manifestations, internal and external, has become a global crisis of grave and escalating magnitude. Since the end of the Cold War, the num-ber of people displaced within the borders of their own countries has soared to an estimated twenty to twenty-fi ve million, and the number of refugees is now estimated at over eleven million. Statistics indicate that although the number of ...
The Child Protection Viewpoint
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I offer personal, fi eld-based perspectives on the often fraught relationship between education1 and child protection in armed confl ict. This personal perspective, gar-nered from years working in the protection fi eld, will remove us from the world of guidelines and policies and return us to the fl esh-and-bone realities around the globe, where students, their teachers, and their communities often fi nd themselves ...
Preserving Humanitarian Space in Long-Term Confl ict
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With very few exceptions, it has been considered self-evident among those in the humanitarian community that to achieve a reasonable measure of success humani-tarian action in confl ict zones should be predicated upon notions of neutrality and impartiality. In recent years, particularly following the outbreak of numerous local and regional armed confl icts in places such as Angola, Afghanistan, the Balkans, ...
Humanitarian Action in a New Barbarian Age
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If the hope for human progress and for a better world can be said to rest on any-thing, it rests on the great documents of international law that have been promul-gated since the end of the Second World War. These include, fi rst and foremost, the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But while these documents offer a global vision of what the world might become if humanity ...
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The ultimate challenge early in humanitarian crises is to maintain a necessary equanimity in the face of terrible disorder, so that one can forge an effective re-sponse. One must channel the skills and energies of the multiple actors that are required to change, at fi rst, chaos into a semblance of stability, and later, hopefully, into peace. As a physician, I have been accustomed to employing the tools of public ...
T he Challenges of Preventive Diplomacy
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One system of metaphors that I have recently used extensively is the com-parison between peace and health. . . . Peace research and health research are metaphors for each other, each can learn from the other. Similarly, both peace theory and medical science emphasize the role of consciousness and In matters of peace and security, as in medicine, prevention is self-evidently better ...
Initial Response to Complex Emergenciesand Natural Disasters
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On January 17, 2002, one of Africa’s most active volcanoes unexpectedly erupted in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). As lava rapidly advanced toward the lakeside city below, fuel depots erupted into slow burning fi res, tremors and shocks crumbled buildings and collapsed houses, heat and lava fl ows destroyed water and electrical systems, ash covered the landscape and lava-turned-to-rock covered parts ...
The Peacekeeping Prescription
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If I were a doctor examining the health of the world today, I would be greatly alarmed at the state of my patient. The international community, vibrant in its resolve to achieve a strong, stable, and healthy political environment as the post–Cold War era began, has been drained and weakened by one bout after another of violent confl ict during the last decade. In Somalia, Bosnia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, ...
Reviving Global Civil Society After September 11
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...9/11 challenged the American way of life in a manner that is unprecedented, and it is evolving with a signifi cance of which we are only beginning to grasp. To uphold the blessings of democracy, we must start with the understanding that as members of a constitutional republic, we are citizens and not subjects. Subjects discharge their political responsibilities to society by unconditionally obeying the government. ...
The Academy and Humanitarian Action
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Humanitarian action is ordinarily understood to involve a response to the needs of individuals and communities affl icted by different kinds of calamities, both those that are natural, like earthquakes and typhoons, and those that are the result of human intervention, like wars and political repression. Some calamities, of course, represent a convergence of natural disasters and human mischief; famine, for exam-...
Government Responses to Foreign Policy Challenges
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It is remarkable how much the preambles of constitutions have in common. Even when their authors come from different historical, religious, and cultural tradi-tions, these documents extol the dignity of all citizens and defend the exercise of freedom and rights while proclaiming the unity of a people in a national politic. Founders of nations and their successors invariably appeal to universal senti-...
Disasters and the Media
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For the media, a disaster is not a tragedy. It is a challenge, an opportunity. A chal-lenge for the traditional media to find out what is happening, how to get there, what is at stake, who is to blame. For the nontraditional media, the tweeters, Facebook friends, and bloggers, it is how to get the message out, who to include, when to retweet someone else’s tweet. And for all of them, there is the chance to inform, ...
Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination
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There is a tendency, in a world of increasingly ephemeral attention spans, to pay greater attention to the “latest and greatest” developments to generalize about current topics. Behavioral psychologists and economists call this the “availability heuristic.” The well-publicized tensions between nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and particularly the U.S. military at various times would suggest that civil-...
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In this section, four humanitarian specialists with extensive operational experi-ence consider some of the specialized approaches that are essential in providing a comprehensive and effi cient response to a complex emergency. There are accepted methods for rapid health assessments that will guide the early days in a disaster, helping to bring the most appropriate assistance in the shortest time to those in ...
Evidence-Based Health Assessment Processin Complex Emergencies
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Disaster assessment is defi ned as the “survey of a real or potential disaster to esti-mate the actual or expected damages and to make recommendations for prepared-ness, mitigation and relief action.”1 In natural disasters, such as rapid onset earth-quakes and cyclones, the health consequences are usually the direct results of injury or death. Often, however, the greatest toll on humans comes from the unappreci-...
Teamwork in Emergency Humanitarian Relief Situations
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Effective team functioning in disasters is often underestimated until it can no lon-ger be ignored. The importance of teamwork to the success of a mission cannot be overemphasized. In the urgency of a disaster or a sudden public health threat every-one’s energy and focus is given to the technical components. WatSan engineers plan how best to provide life-supporting water to affected communities; logisti-...
Education as a Survival Strategy
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In times of war, still photography retains a singular ability to transfi x and disturb. From the carefully crafted and sometimes dissembled compositions by the legend-ary annalists of the American Civil War to the “trophy shots” of torture and abuse of Iraqi detainees in Abu Ghraib, war photography can chronicle the horrors of confl ict and the vulnerability of its victims with breathtaking power and emotion....
What Can Modern Society Learn from Indigenous Resiliency?
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The Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2011 found that “a lot of knowledge about climate adaptation is not reaching those who need it the most.” How much more of a challenge is it, then, to get information, good practices, and capacity-building tools into the hands of indigenous communities using non-mainstream languages, so that they can adapt what has been learned to their ways ...
PART VIExit Strategies
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After the immediate challenges of disasters are addressed survivors need to regain a sense of security, reuniting families and rebuilding community structures. This process should begin as soon as a relief program is developed for vulnerable, dis-placed people, whether they are in refugee camps, forced to migrate, or, hopefully, been able to return to their own homes. It must be done with generosity of spirit ...
T o Bind Our Wounds
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Throughout the centuries, those who survive disasters have offered memorials to the dead, and they have done so with different tools and different skills: Picasso did it for the victims of Guernica with oil paints. Verdi mourned the poet/patriot Manzoni with a musical masterpiece. Graveyards and public squares are full of sculpture and architecture dedicated to those we loved and those we honor as fallen ...
The Transition from Confl ict to Peace
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Humanitarian assistance workers may fi nd themselves hopelessly confused by the range of problems facing a society struggling to move from war to peace. These problems can be approached from many directions: the shift from emergency relief into longer-range development assistance; the religious, cultural, and psychosocial models for dealing with trauma, recovery, and reconciliation; confl ict management ...
Humanitarianism’s Age of Reason
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In postconfl ict situations, the fi rst challenge is to identify the sequence of events preceding confl ict resolution, and how one classifi es what has apparently ended is of utmost importance. Was it really a confl ict? Then, what kind of confl ict was it? An international police operation, a foreign aggression, a regional war, a civil war, a state collapse, all of the above, none of the above? Depending on the answers to ...
Healing with a Single History
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There is no democracy in which justice and the rule of law are not axiomatically assumed to be foundational principles. In 1895, Professor A. V. Dicey, the great English legal philosopher, defi ned the principles of the Rule of Law. One of them, he declared, was that “no man is punishable or can be made to suffer in body or goods except for a distinct breach of law.”1 Almost a century later, Professor ...
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This Reader concludes, as the International Humanitarian Affairs Book Series began, with a short essay combining dreams, hopes, and reality, and then with a poem. This chapter offers some philosophic refl ections drawn from personal expe-riences in a career that has linked my own profession in clinical tropical medicine with periods of intensive scientifi c fi eld research; public health appointments; in-...
The Evolution of a Tropicalist
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The eighth Jubilee Edition of Tropical Medicine: A Clinical Text concludes with some personal refl ections on my own professional journey. When the initial chap-ters of my fi rst book were serialized in the New York State Journal of Medicine in 1961, I was a young physician who had been introduced to tropical infections on a fellowship in Calcutta, India. I was fascinated by the history of epidemic diseases, ...
Disturb Us, O Lord
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As with previous books, we end this volume with a poem. This one, from 1577, CH31_2012_016_FUP_Cahill_p389-390.indd 389CH31_2012_016_FUP_Cahill_p389-390.indd 389 2/13/13 11:16 PM2/13/13 11:16 PMCH31_2012_016_FUP_Cahill_p389-390.indd 390CH31_2012_016_FUP_Cahill_p389-390.indd 390 2/13/13 11:16 PM2/13/13 11:16 PM...
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The Center for International Humanitarian Cooperationand the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs
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The Center for International Humanitarian Cooperation (CIHC) was founded in 1992 to promote healing and peace in countries shattered by natural disasters, armed confl icts, and ethnic violence. The Center employs its resources and unique per-sonal contacts to stimulate interest in humanitarian issues and to promote innova-tive educational programs and training models. The CIHC has sponsored sympo-...
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Page Count: 464
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: International Humanitarian Affairs (FUP)