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The Humanitarian Principles


Human suffering must be addressed wherever it is found. The purpose of humanitarian action is to protect life and health and ensure respect for human beings.


Humanitarian action must be carried out on the basis of need alone, giving priority to the most urgent cases of distress and making no distinctions on the basis of nationality, race, gender, religious belief, class or political opinions.


Humanitarian action must be autonomous from the political, economic, military or other objectives that any actor may hold with regard to areas where humanitarian action is being implemented.


Humanitarian actors must not take sides in hostilities or engage in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.

Latest from Community of Practice

9 May: The use of private military and security companies (PMSCs) by humanitarian actors

I couldn't agree more Maher. At a global level, there is a big push to get more development and humanitarian organisations to work better together. But what will this mean in operations, when one actor adheres to the...

13 April: The use of private military and security companies (PMSCs) by humanitarian actors

Thank you Kate for raising this, I am also interested to have different opinions on this.It is understandable that delivering principled and quality aid in war zones involves difficult choices. The polices...

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