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An image of the cleanup efforts underway in Nepal

Special Event - Nepal: The First Two Weeks

Friday, May 8, 2015

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In the 13 days since the magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Nepal on 25 April 2015, the international community has witnessed the resulting death toll climb upwards of 7,300 people, with another 14,300 injured, in the midst of aftershocks up to magnitudes of 6.7. According to preliminary assessments, over 8 million people are currently affected in 39 out of Nepal’s 75 districts, and an estimated 2.8 million people are displaced. This past week has also seen a tremendous surge in the global response, including engagement from over 60 nations and growing, hundreds of relief organizations, online donations, private sector engagement, technological more...



Monitors from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine have been tasked to monitor the withdrawal of heavy weapons by both Ukrainian and anti-government forces.

The Role of Monitoring, Reporting, and Fact-finding in Civilian Protection

Thursday, April 30, 2015

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The past several decades have seen a dramatic proliferation of monitoring, reporting, and fact-finding (MRF) missions mandated by governments and international organizations. In the recent session of the United Nations Human Rights Council alone, the Council discussed the most recent report of the Commission of Inquiry on Syria, an oral report from the Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea, as well as reports from special rapporteurs on Iran, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Myanmar, and the Palestinian territories. Additionally, MRF missions have been increasingly mandated at the regional level. In recent years, the African Union more...



Afghanistan © Ebadi/WFP

Civil-Military Coordination in Humanitarian Protection

Thursday, March 26, 2015

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Especially in complex humanitarian emergencies, effective civil-military coordination can be crucial to maintaining humanitarian access, protecting civilians, and managing the security of aid workers. After all, military forces often play a lead role in response to natural disasters or conflicts. Yet “civ-mil” coordination poses a number of challenges, particularly in terms of preserving the neutrality, impartiality and independence of humanitarian operations while operating alongside militaries.

This podcast will explore legal and operational challenges associated with civil-military engagement in Pakistan, which puts the more...



A Coca-Cola kiosk in Tanzania. In partnership with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Coca-Cola has helped Tanzania's Ministry of Health improve its supply chain so that medicines can reach remote parts of the country, the way soft drinks do. Public-private partnerships are on the rise in development and humanitarian work  © Charlotte Nordahl/Flickr

Private Sector Engagement in Humanitarian Response

Thursday, February 19, 2015

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As humanitarian leaders united in Davos this year at the World Economic Forum, one message was clear: the humanitarian system is strained, and increased collaboration with the private sector is crucial for enhancing capacity to respond to the protracted, complex crises currently confronting the humanitarian sector.

The humanitarian and private sectors differ in many crucial aspects – mission, principles, procedures, among others  – but the private sector is already contributing to humanitarian operations in a variety of ways. Beyond the evolving field of corporate social responsibility (CSR), private businesses engage in more...



Bridging the Gaps: An Interview with Winnie Byanyima

Thursday, February 5, 2015

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In this episode, ATHA's Anaide Nahikian talks with Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International. They discuss the design and implemention of gender-responsive climate change policies, strategies, and programs, as well as the relationship between humanitarian actors and the private sector. 

More on Winnie Byanyima: Winnie is a leader on women’s rights, democratic governance and peace building. She served eleven years in the Ugandan Parliament, and has served at the African Union Commission and as Director of Gender and Development at the United Nations Development Program. She co-founded the 60-member Global Gender and Climate...



Children walk through a sandstorm in Tillaberi region, Niger (Feb 2012)  © Jaspreet Kindra/IRIN

Climate Change and Displacement: Addressing Protection Gaps

Thursday, January 29, 2015

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Climate change and environmental degradation are increasingly becoming a humanitarian issue. Variability in climate, as well as in increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, is disrupting livelihoods, driving displacement, and contributing to conflicts over increasingly limited natural resources. While climate change is impacting lives on a global scale, the populations most likely to be affected – those already vulnerable to natural and man-made disasters – are also the least able to cope, particularly due to poverty, state fragility, geographic vulnerability, resource insecurity, low resiliency or legacies of past more...



The Role of Gender in Humanitarian Protection and Response

Thursday, December 18, 2014

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What role does gender play in humanitarian crises? How could a gendered lens improve humanitarian practitioners’ approaches to designing and implementing assistance and protection programs in complex environments?

A gendered perspective of humanitarian protection focuses on analyzing the impact of gender on vulnerabilities in conflict settings. Women and men experience different forms of violence and resulting needs, and different constraints on their access to resources and services. While men are more likely to die during conflict, for example, women are more likely to die after a conflict has officially ended, or to suffer from more...



Humanitarians Under Attack: Delivering Aid in Insecure Settings

Thursday, November 20, 2014

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Recent high-profile attacks on humanitarian professionals in Syria and Iraq call attention to a disturbing trend: humanitarian agencies face growing threats and attacks on their staff. These attacks endanger their lives, violate international humanitarian law, and jeopardize the effective delivery of emergency relief to populations in need.

Violence against humanitarian aid workers reached record highs in 2013, with 155 aid workers killed globally. So far this year, at least 82 more have been killed. While such violence occurs in a variety of humanitarian settings, humanitarians are most vulnerable in situations of extremely more...



The “New World” of IHL Compliance: An Interview with Charles Garraway

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

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In this episode, ATHA's Rob Grace talks with Professor Charles Garraway, who is a Vice-President of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission; faculty at the International Institute of International Law in San Remo, Italy; and a fellow at the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex. Professor Garraway also has thirty years of experience in the United Kingdom Army Legal Services, where he served in various capacities, including as a criminal prosecutor and as an advisor in international humanitarian law. Rob asked Professor Garraway about the experiences and challenges faced by the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission, and about broader issues of IHL compliance. 



Conflict Migration: Assessing the Approaches to Rehabilitation

Thursday, October 23, 2014

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On World Refugee Day this year, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees reported that the number of refugees, asylum-seekers, and internally displaced people worldwide has exceeded 50 million people. Humanitarian organizations are currently struggling to address the needs of these displaced populations, due primarily to protracted armed conflict and other situations of violence. Existing legal, policy, and operational approaches to humanitarian protection are increasingly insufficient to keep up with patterns of conflict-related migration in North Africa and the Middle East, for example. Some argue that humanitarian interventions are slow more...



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