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The humanitarian principles

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From your discussions, it should now be clear that deciding on the right course of action during armed conflict is not easy. Luckily, through their long history of providing humanitarian assistance and helping to mediate armed conflicts worldwide, the Red Cross and United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) have developed four core humanitarian principles which all healthcare workers should abide by.

The four humanitarian principles are:

  • Humanity
  • Neutrality
  • Impartiality
  • Independence

Read this short article and answer the following question in the general discussion area below.

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.

Find an example of an armed conflict where it was difficult or impossible for healthcare workers to adhere to the humanitarian principles. Which of the four humanitarian principles do you think was most impacted in the example that you found?

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This article is from the free online course:

Medical Peace Work

University of Bergen

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