United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) - Meeting of the Consultative Group on the Use of Military and Civil Defence Assets (MCDA) - 2010
A forum at the UN Geneva discussed MCDA in support of humanitarian response operations stressing that a principled approach is essential and should be in line with internationally established rules and regulations. Speakers discussed use of MCDA in Haiti and Pakistan and discussed future implementation.
Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) - Max P. Glaser - Humanitarian Engagement with Non-state Armed Actors: The Parameters of Negotiated Access - 2005
This paper addresses the question of humanitarian engagement with the nonstate armed groups that increasingly populate the zones in which humanitarian action takes place. In particular, it seeks to understand why some combatants react positively and consistently to humanitarian demands to meet access preconditions, while others respond erratically, decline to respond or are hostile.
3D Security - Civil Society Perspectives on US Policy in Afghanistan - 2009
This policy brief discusses Afghan civil society leaders' desire for a shift in the U.S. approach to their country. Afghanistan needs a “3D” strategy with a better balance and better divisions of labor between military defense, diplomacy, and development. Expensive, short-term solutions may be able to quell violence in the short term. But without more promising policy options such as a diplomatic and development surge, a troop surge won’t build a foundation for the future.
MSF (Médecins sans Frontières), Weissmann Fabrice, Criminalising the enemy and its impact on humanitarian action, 2010.
Could a doctor working for a humanitarian organisation be sentenced to life imprisonment in the United States for having offered his “expert advice” to people linked to a “terrorist organisation”? That is what is feared by a number of civil rights’ organisations in the US since the Supreme Court declared on 21 June that the legislation known as the Material Support Statute was constitutional. Adopted by the US Congress in 1996 and amended twice since 9/11,the legislation is intended to provide a framework to crack down on “material support” for organisations and individuals identified by the State Department as “terrorists” or a “threat to US national security and foreign policy.
UN OCHA_Glossary of Humanitarian Terms in relation to Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict 2004
UN OCHA, Glossary of Humanitarian Terms in relation to the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, 2004.
It is hoped that this glossary serves as a practical reference guide to terms often used within humanitarian situations, and that it will be reviewed and updated periodically.
UN OCHA_Oslo Guidelines-The Use of Foreign Military and Civil Defence Assets in Disaster Relief 2007
UN OCHA, Oslo Guidelines - The Use of Foreign Military and Civil Defence Assets in Disaster Relief , Revised 2007.
The unprecedented deployment in 2005 of military forces and assets in support of humanitarian response to natural disasters, following an increasing trend over the past years, confirmed the need to update the 1994 “Oslo Guidelines”. The Consultative Group on the Use of Military and Civil Defence Assets (MCDA), at its annual meeting in December 2005, tasked OCHA’s Civil-Military Coordination Section (CMCS) with this facelift, to reflect current terminology and organizational changes, following a layout similar to the 2003 “Guidelines on the Use of Military and Civil Defence Assets to Support United Nations Humanitarian Activities in Complex Emergencies” (“MCDA Guidelines”).
The Oslo Guidelines were re-launched at an event hosted by the Government of Norway, in Oslo, on 27 November 2006, held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Consultative Group on the Use of MCDA. Norway, Switzerland and Sweden took the lead in the update, facilitated by OCHA’s Civil-Military Coordination Section / Emergency Services Branch.
SURVIVAL, Roberts Adam, Lives and Statistics: Are 90% of War Victims Civilians? , Vol 52, no 3, pp 115-136, 2010.
It has become a commonplace to say that war has changed radically since the early twentieth century to the point where civilians now comprise some 80 or 90% of war victims. This proposition has been supported by many writers and academics, some United Nations agencies, and the European Union in its European Security Strategy. Yet it rests on shaky foundations. It is possible that in some particular conflicts nine out of ten deaths are of civilians, but the proposition does not hold up as a generalisation about all war in the past two decades. There is persuasive evidence that certain wars have had civilian death tolls far lower than 90%. The proposition, intended to alert the world to the importance of protecting civilians, has probably had the unintended effect of reinforcing cynicism about efforts to limit the human costs of war.
Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG), Report 26, O'Callaghan, Pantuliano, Protective Action - Incorporating civilian protection into humanitarian response, 2007.
The report is divided into two main sections. Chapters 2 and 3 discuss the rise of protection, and how it has been interpreted by humanitarian agencies. Chapter 2 explains why protection has increased in importance in humanitarian and other circles, and discusses whether this represents a new departure for humanitarianism. Chapter 3 charts the various roles and responsibilities in humanitarian protection, and discusses how they have evolved, particularly over the past two decades. It highlights how the involvement of new actors has changed humanitarian concepts of protection, and discusses the
emergence of practical, as opposed to legal, interpretations.
The second section, comprising Chapters 4, 5 and 6, is more practical in its focus, with an analysis of whether humanitarian agencies should increase their engagement in protection, and how this might be approached. Chapter 4 discusses some of the implications – positive and negative – of increased engagement in protection. It argues that each humanitarian agency has a basic or ‘core’ commitment to protection, which involves minimising risks to communities and assisting them to keep safe. Chapter 5 sets out the organisational and programmatic requirements involved in incorporating this minimum commitment, and Chapter 6 discusses different approaches to more comprehensive engagement. Chapter 7 concludes the report, and sets out some recommendations for action.
NGO-Military Contact Group, Stabilization and Civil-Military Relations in Humanitarian Response - Conference Report 2009.
The NMCG aims to improve and strengthen the communication between UK Armed Forces, government and non-government aid organisations. The Group’s role is to facilitate information sharing, learning and dialogue on relevant policy, technical and operational issues concerning civil-military relations in humanitarian response. It is composed of representatives from NGOs, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the UK Armed Forces, MOD, DFID, FCO and a number of independent practitioners. It is convened and chaired by the British Red Cross.
ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross), Béatrice Megevand-Roggo, After the Kosovo conflict, a genuine humanitarian space: A utopian concept or an essential requirement? International Review no. 837, p. 31, 2000.
One of the purposes of this paper, though it originated from observations made in the aftermath of the Kosovo conflict, is precisely to remind the reader that -- while the whole Western world held its breath at the sight of state-of-the-art military technology being deployed in the Balkans and the primal suffering of hundreds of thousands of civilians -- dozens of other conflicts dragged on and millions of other innocent men, women and children continued to be killed, wounded, maimed or forcibly displaced on virtually all continents. And humanitarian agencies kept struggling to alleviate that suffering as well.
Inter-Agency Standing Committee, Civil-Military Relationship in Complex Emergencies, Reference Paper 57th Working Group Meeting, 2004.
The paper will serve as a non-binding reference for humanitarian practitioners, assisting them in formulating country-specific operational guidelines on civil-military relations for particular complex emergencies. It will be updated as the environment in which we workchanges and as new guidance on related issues becomes available. Part 1 of the paper reviews in a generic manner, the nature and character of civil-military relations in complex emergencies. Part 2 lists the fundamental humanitarian principlesand concepts that must be upheld when coordinating with the military, and Part 3 proposes practical considerations for humanitarian workers engaged in civil-military coordination.
Norwegian Atlantic Committee, Marit Glad, Stephen Cornish, Civil-Military Relations-No Room for Humanitarianism in Comprehensive Approaches, 2008.
This paper seeks to outline a number of issues arising from the politicization and militarization of aid resulting from the use of comprehensive approaches, and to highlight the new challenges that this trend poses for civilian populations and non governmental organizations (NGOs). Through the examination of the Afghanistan case, it aims to explain some of the reasons for NGOs criticism of comprehensive approaches and their reluctance to collaborate with military actors.
Feinstein International Center, Don Hubert and Cynthia Brassard-Boudreau, Shrinking Humanitarian Space? Trends and Prospects on Security and Access, In: Journal of Humanitarian Assistance, November 2010.
The concept of humanitarian space is used to describe the situation where the changing nature of armed conflict and the geopolitical shifts, particularly since 9/11, have combined to limit or restrict the capacity of humanitarian organizations to safely and effectively provide material relief to populations suffering the ravages of war. In addition to the proliferation of non-state actors, humanitarian organizations have pointed to the growth of asymmetrical warfare and an increase in the targeting of civilian populations, deliberate attacks on humanitarian workers, the cooptation of humanitarian response within counter-insurgency operations, the push for coherence within integrated UN missions and the ever-increasing overlap with longer-term development programming as sources of shrinking humanitarian space.
This article begins with an examination of the meaning of the phrase “humanitarian space” and of the evidence for the claim that this space is shrinking due to decreasing respect for humanitarian law, increases in attacks on humanitarian workers and declining access to populations at risk. The following section analyses the blurring of boundaries between humanitarian organizations and other actors and agendas, including militaries and the delivery of assistance, counter-insurgency strategies and integrated UN missions. A third section assesses the possible measures humanitarian organizations can undertake to maximize humanitarian space including the reassertion of traditional humanitarian principles, pragmatic steps that humanitarian organizations can take to improve security and access, and the value of adopting a more beneficiary-centered approach to humanitarian action.
Institut de Recherche Strategique de l'Ecole Militaire (IRSEM), Dr Cécile Wendling, The Comprehensive Approach to Civil-Military Crisis Management - Critical Analysis & Perspective - 2010.
The present study identifies the dilemmas of the comprehensive approach (the neutrality of humanitarian intervention versus the armed commitment of states, the explicit cooperations between international organisations versus implicit cooperation, etc). It anticipates the consequences of the comprehensive approach, foremost a strengthened position for the European Union and Nato, wielding management capabilities for civil and military crisis management, and the quest for legitimacy within Nato and the African Union. It qualifies the French position towards the concept. It analyses the operational impact of the comprehensive approach for the military. Finally, it reinforces the academic thinking on the comprehensive approach and presents new research topics in security studies.
Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS), Williams, Paul D., Enhancing Civilian Protection in Peace Operations - Insights from Africa, Research Paper No. 1, September 2010.
Recent incidents of systematic rapes in the eastern DRC and continued mass dislocations of populations in Somalia and Sudan have again thrust the issue of civilian protection and the responsibility of international peace operations onto news headlines around the world. Such episodes simultaneously damage the very credibility of peace operations. As home to 40 peace operations in 14 countries since 2000, Africa is at the forefront of grappling with the civilian protection issue. In this ACSS Research Paper, Paul Williams assesses the role civilian protection plays in peace operations, lessons learned from past civilian protection efforts, progress that has been made and key obstacles that remain in effectively providing protection to civilians caught up in armed conflict. Drawing on this experience, the paper puts forth ten priorities for improving civilian protection in ongoing and future peace operations – in Africa and beyond.
ActAlliance, SCHR Position Paper on Humanitarian-Military Relations, January 2010.
Created in 1972, the SCHR (Steering Committee on Humanitarian Response) is an alliance for voluntary action of Care International, Caritas Internationalis, International Committee of the Red Cross, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Lutheran World Federation, Oxfam International, Save the Children, World Council of Churches/ACT, World Vision International .
In 2001 the SCHR issued a first position paper on ‘humanitarian-military relations in the provision of humanitarian assistance’. At this time, military forces were becoming gradually more involved in the delivery of aid. In 2004, as the operating environment became increasingly complex, the SCHR revised its position paper, defining its members’ recommended position depending on the mandate and type of armed forces and the type of armed conflicts encountered.
SDA-CEIS-EADS_EU Smart Power-Towards a better integration of European civilian & military dimensions
SDA-CEIS-EADS, EU Smart Power-Towards a better integration of European civilian and military dimensions, 2009.
UN OCHA-DPO (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs-Department of Peacekeeping Operations), Protecting Civilians in the Context of UN Peacekeeping Operations, November 2009.
VOICE, NGO Seminar on Civil Military Relations, December 2007.
Guttieri Karen, Humanitarian space in insecure environments: a shifting paradigm, In Strategic Insights, Volume IV, Issue 11 (November 2005).
A paradigm shift is taking place in the world of humanitarians. It is evident in the numerous discussions taking place over a very basic concept of humanitarian space. As defined by the European Commission’s Directorate for Humanitarian Aid, “humanitarian space” means “the access and freedom for humanitarian organizations to assess and meet humanitarian needs.” International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) are examples of the many humanitarian organizations that operate in conflict zones today.
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) & Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), Civil-Military Guidelines & References for Complex Emergencies (March 2008).
InterAction - United States Institute of Peace, Civil-Military Guidelines for Relations between US Armed Forces and Non-Governmental Humanitarian Organisations in Hostile or Potentially Hostile Environments, 2005.
Bessler & Seki, Civil-Military Relations in Armed Conflicts -A Humanitarian Perspective - Liaison Article (Nov 06).
This article is an excerpt from "Liaison - A Journal of Civil-Military Humanitarian Relief Collaborations, Vol. III No. 3, 2006, pages 4-10."
Geneva Call & PSIO (Program for the Study of International Organizations), An inclusive approach to Armed Non-State Actors and International Humanitarian Norms, Report of the first meeting of signatories to Geneva Call's Deed of Commitment, 2004.
In March 2000, Geneva Call obtained the first signature of the Deed of Commitment for Adherence to a Total Ban on Anti-Personnel Mines and for Co-operation in Mine Action (Deed of Commitment). Nearly five years on, more than 25 armed groups or non-State actors (NSAs) from Africa, the Middle East and Asia have followed suit and renounced the use of anti-personnel mines (AP mines) by signing the Deed of Commitment. In November 2004, as States were preparing to attend the First Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty in Nairobi, Geneva Call, in collaboration with the PSIO and the Armed Groups Project, convened a parallel meeting for non-State actors in Geneva. During the three-day event, representatives from signatory groups and prospective signatory groups, humanitarian actors, academics, diplomats and mine action practitioners had a unique opportunity to meet, exchange views and review Geneva Call’s work.
This report summarises the discussions that took place in plenary and during the working groups on each of the four topics on the agenda:
I. Implementing the Deed of Commitment
II. Monitoring and Promoting the Deed of Commitment
III. Expanding the Geneva Call Mechanism to Other Humanitarian Norms
IV. Mine Action and Peace Processes.
Small Arms Survey, Violence and victimization after Civilian Disarmament - the case of Jonglei.
Koenraad Van Brabant, “Humanitarian action and private security companies”, Humanitarian Exchange Magazine 20 (March 2002).
Van Brabant identifies the use of national and international private security companies by aid agencies. He lists the type of services they are likely to use them for and notes that agencies tend not to have policies governing their use of private security firms, despite the “fundamental ethical, political and management issues at stake”. Are agencies contributing to the “privatisation of security” by using private companies rather relying on state-provided security? Van Brabant points to a refusal to asks such questions within aid agencies and proposes ways forward for aid organisations, regulatory authorities and private security companies to address this impasse.
Max P. Glaser, Humanitarian engagement with non-state armed actors: The parameters of negotiated access (London: Humanitarian Practice Network, June 2005).
The paper’s ultimate objective is to determine the parameters of responsible humanitarian engagement with combatants. Glaser argues that ‘the proliferation of ANSAs has complicated humanitarian access because it has contributed to a deterioration in the security conditions for aid workers in conflict zones”. The direct aim of humanitarian engagement with ANSAs is thus to ensure security guarantees for aid workers; and to secure the ANSA’s respect for the rules of IHL. This paper discusses humanitarian engagement, and considers why some ANSAs react positively and consistently to humanitarian demands to meet access preconditions, while others respond erratically, decline to respond or are hostile. Glaser looks at the characteristics and classifications of ANSAs; means of engaging ANSAs and their effectiveness and reliability; and modalities of engagement, levels and interlocutors. He provides a methodology for assessing ANSAs to encourage analysis of the civil relations that underlie the process of negotiating access.