Attacks on humanitarian aid operations are both a symptom and a weapon of modern warfare, and as armed groups increasingly target aid workers for violence, relief operations are curtailed in places where civilians are most in need. This book provides an in-depth analysis of the challenges to humanitarian action in warzones, the risk management and negotiation strategies that hold the most promise for aid organizations, and an ethical framework from which to tackle the problem. By combining rigorous research findings with structural historical analysis and first-person accounts of armed attacks on aid workers, the author proposes a reframed ethos of humanitarian professionalism, decoupled from organizational or political interests, and centered on optimizing outcomes for the people it serves.
Necessary Risks: Professional Humanitarianism and Violence against Aid Workers is written by Abby Stoddard and published by Palgrave Macmillan.
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“Abby Stoddard intertwines in-depth analysis with harrowing first-person stories of unarmed professionals working at the frontlines of today’s complex wars. This book is essential reading for policymakers and anyone concerned with the protection of civilians in conflicts.”
—Roméo A. Dallaire, Lieutenant-General (ret.), author of Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda
“A deeply practical and very readable book. Stoddard explains why humanitarian workers are attacked, and how the aid system needs to change to reduce risk and increase effective coverage of people’s needs in armed conflict. An important text for every humanitarian who wants to do a better job.”
—Hugo Slim, Head of Policy for the International Committee of the Red Cross, author of Humanitarian Ethics: A Guide to the Morality of Aid in War and Disaster
“Necessary Risks offers two critical contributions: careful, evidence-based analysis of the growing risks to the security of aid workers, and a consideration of how aid agencies have responded in ways that have decreased or increased the risks.”
—Michael Barnett, Professor of International Affairs and Political Science, George Washington University, USA, author of Humanitarianism in Question: Politics, Power, Ethics
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