Humanitarian Action under Scrutiny: Criminalizing Humanitarian Engagement

I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This Working Paper presents HPCR’s research to date on dilemmas arising from the intersection between, on the one hand, counterterrorism laws and policies prohibiting engagement with certain non‐state entities (NSEs)1 and, on the other, humanitarian access and protection of civilians in armed conflict. This Working Paper aims to provide HPCR’s initial analysis of these dilemmas and to suggest key areas for future research and policy engagement.

HPCR’s research indicates that two trajectories may be emerging. The first increasingly recognizes the importance of NSEs in terms of ensuring humanitarian access and promoting adherence to international norms. The second aims to restrict various forms of engagement with certain NSEs through counterterrorism laws and policies.