Safety & Security
This page brings together the most relevant information on aid worker safety and security from ReliefWeb's extensive collection of humanitarian content. The two main columns show substantive reports such as safety manuals and guidelines, statistical reports on security incidents involving aid workers, and analysis of the implications of engaging with private security providers and the role of peacekeepers in humanitarian interventions.
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2015 was the year that put refugees and the movement of people back on the global and European agenda. Europe saw the biggest refugee flow since World War Two, many crossing over from Turkey into Greece. They flee from ongoing armed conflicts and mass killings in countries such as Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan and South Sudan. So long as these conflicts are not resolved there is no end in sight to the refugee flow. Following border closures throughout Europe, increasing numbers of refugees are finding themselves stuck in Greece, which is under pressure to cope.
Throughout 2015 consultations have been building towards the World Humanitarian Summit, to be held in 2016. All over the world, and in EU Member States, consultations and debates have taken place between humanitarian NGOs, governments, UN agencies, the Red Cross, affected people, private sector organisations and other civil society actors. VOICE members have been heavily involved in this process. They have taken stock of where the humanitarian sector is at and identified what changes they would prioritise to best respond to the needs of people affected by crisis in the future.
In a context of unprecedented humanitarian needs, the UN Secretary General has called for a World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) to take place in Istanbul in 2016 and European preparations for the summit are getting underway. This issue of our newsletter invites NGOs to highlight what for them are key questions on each of the main themes in the Summit. It takes a look at the relevance of the process for the community of European humanitarian NGOs and asks how the EU might contribute.
Partnership is essential in humanitarian action. No single agency is able to tackle the increasing humanitarian needs by itself, certainly in the case of mega disasters such as the floods in Pakistan or more recently the famine in the Horn of Africa. For the last decade, and especially since the Indian Ocean tsunami, traditional humanitarian actors have worked hard to strengthen their cooperation in emergencies.
Humanitarian aid should be delivered according to the humanitarian principles of humanity, independence, impartiality and neutrality and it should be based on the needs of crisis-affected people. With the NATO engagement in Afghanistan, the concept of the so-called “comprehensive approach” was developed. This integration of development and humanitarian activities with military and diplomatic measures is increasingly gaining ground as a way of trying to stabilise countries in conflict.
As the security situation and the lack of respect for International Humanitarian Law in countries such as Afghanistan or DRC deteriorates, the diminishing of humanitarian space and the reduced access to beneficiaries has become an increasing concern for the humanitarian community. Delivering humanitarian aid is becoming more and more dangerous as shown by the dramatic increase in the frequency of attacks against aid workers over the past few years.
The VOICE policy recommendations draw the
attention to four key aspects in civil-military relations in humanitarian
action: the life-saving, needs-based and independent nature of humanitarian
aid; the respect of humanitarian principles as defined in International
Humanitarian Law; the respect of roles and mandates of civilian humanitarian
actors and the military; and operational recommendations.
Brussels, 9 September 2004 -- The European NGO community condemns Tuesday's kidnapping of two Italian humanitarian aid workers from the NGO "Un Ponte per..." and two Iraqi staff members. Ms Pari and Ms Toretta were in Iraq working on humanitarian aid programmes. Because of the humanitarian character of their mission, they should in no case be targets. We therefore urge their immediate release.