This article discusses the policy of absolute secrecy on abductions adopted by aid organisations. It argues that the information blackout on past and current cases is to a large extent a function of the growing role of private security companies in the aid sector, which promote a ‘pay, don’t say’ policy as a default option, whatever the situation. The article contends that secrecy is as much an impediment to resolving current cases as it is to preventing and managing future ones. It suggests abandoning the policy of strict confidentiality in all circumstances – a policy that is as dangerous as it is easy to apply – in favour of a more nuanced and challenging approach determining how much to publicise ongoing and past cases for each audience, always keeping in mind the interests of current and potential hostages.
In recent years, fear-mongering reports based on hard data have been describing a world of ever-increasing danger for aid workers. The book "Saving lives and staying alive" explores this observation and compares it with MSF's experience of working in particularly dangerous regions.
In "Saving Lives and Staying Alive: Humanitarian Security in the Age of Risk Management" Michaël Neuman and his colleague Fabrice Weissman analyze some of the drivers of professionalization in the context of humanitarian security and its subsequent impact on humanitarian practices through a collection of MSF case studies.
We welcome Abby Stoddard, Katherine Haver and Adele Harmer's response to our critical article on the production and the use of security data in the humanitarian sector and to our book in general. In a field that has been very much lacking debate, if not controversies, we're extremely glad to see a various range of readers engaging in the discussion.
When MSF nurse Chantal Kaghoma regained her freedom in August 2014 after being held hostage for thirteen months by rebel group ADF in the DRC, she said, “While I was in prison with all the other hostages, I had lost all faith in everyone"
This article is an English translation of an interview of Fabrice Weissman about the State of the Humanitarian Sector, in Revue Internationale et Stratégique (n°98, 2015/2) published by the Institut de Relations Internationales et Stratégiques
On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the ICRC (1863-2013) and in light of the recently launched issue of the Review on "The future of humanitarian action", the Harvard Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research (HPCR) and the International Review of the Red Cross are pleased to co-host a Live Web Seminar on the topic: "Perspectives on the Future of Humanitarian Action"...
Discussions on the merits of remote control management of humanitarian projects have been particularly intense over the last few years. We are pleased to share this contribution published in Humanitarian Exchange Magazine by Joe Belliveau, the operational manager for Somalia in the Dutch section of our organisation.
On 19th of September, PHAP hosted a discussion on the compromises and negotiations the humanitarian aid community must contend with during crisis situations with Michael Neuman and Antonio Donini.
On January 26, the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement and Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hosted a discussion on the compromises and negotiations the humanitarian aid community must contend with during crisis situations.
From international NGOs to UN agencies, from donors to observers of humanitarianism, opinion is unanimous: in a context of the alleged ‘clash of civilisations', our ‘humanitarian space' is shrinking.