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The humanitarian principles

It is now clear that deciding on the right course of action during armed conflict is not easy.

The Red Cross and United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) have a long history of helping to mediate armed conflicts worldwide, and have developed four core humanitarian principles that all healthcare workers should follow.

The four humanitarian principles are:

  • Humanity
  • Neutrality
  • Impartiality
  • Independence

Read this short article and answer the following questions:

What are the four principles really about? You might think that some of the four words sound really similar. After reading the article, explain the difference between the four principles.

Which of the humanitarian principles is most affected by the Lieutenant-Colonel’s request?

Have you experiences an armed conflict situation in which it was difficult for healthcare workers to adhere to the humanitarian principles?

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This article is from the free online course:

Global Health, Conflict and Violence

University of Bergen