Online Learning Series on Humanitarian Law and Policy – Legal foundations for humanitarian access in situations of armed conflict

Ongoing course
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International humanitarian law (IHL) establishes a number of provisions designed to enhance protections for civilians in armed conflict. The provision of humanitarian assistance, and securing the requisite humanitarian access to do so, are critical to addressing the suffering of the civilian population. IHL provides a legal basis for humanitarian actors to engage with parties to the conflict. It presents a common set of concepts, principles, and terminology that can inform negotiations as well as policy and operational decisions. Understanding what IHL says – and does not say – in terms of humanitarian access is critical for humanitarians. This event introduced the concept of humanitarian access and highlight the relevant IHL terminology and rules and presented some of the key challenges to this concept.

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