From natural disaster areas to conflict zones, humanitarian workers today find themselves operating in diverse and difficult environments. While humanitarian work has always presented unique ethical challenges, such efforts are now further complicated by the impact of globalization, the escalating refugee crisis, and mounting criticisms of established humanitarian practice.
Featuring contributions from humanitarian practitioners, health professionals, and social and political scientists, this book explores the question of ethics in modern humanitarian work, drawing on the lived experience of humanitarian workers themselves. Its essential case studies cover humanitarian work in countries ranging from Haiti and South Sudan to Syria and Iraq, and address issues such as gender based violence, migration, and the growing phenomenon of `volunteer tourism'. Together, these contributions offer new perspectives on humanitarian ethics, as well as insight into how such ethical considerations might inform more effective approaches to humanitarian work.
Publisher: Zed Books Ltd
Number of pages: 336
Dimensions: 216 x 135 mm
`Ahmad and Smith expertly dissect the moral and ethical dilemmas inherent in the delivery of humanitarian assistance, helping aid workers develop the practical approaches needed for effective responses.'
Unni Karunakara, Yale School of Public Health, and former International President of MSF
`Brings fresh thinking to the field of practical ethics in aid, and helps to bridge the divide between academics and practitioners. It will help field teams with the practical problems that they face in delivering change within today's highly politicized aid environments.'
Neal Keny-Guyer, CEO, Mercy Corps
`Remarkably interdisciplinary, deeply thought-provoking, and relentlessly practical, Humanitarian Action and Ethics will be instructive to scholars, practitioners and the interested public alike.'
Janina Dill, University of Oxford
`An important and valuable book on the ethical challenges arising in humanitarian action. It highlights the complex range of challenges, while also presenting practical and constructive recommendations from authors who have worked on the front line of humanitarian crises.'
Bayard Roberts, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
`Powerfully depicts the ethical challenges pervading a world which deliberately generates so much human suffering through disasters and conflict. The chapters demonstrate what we can do to help, despite the moral entanglements of today's humanitarian labyrinth.'
Ilan Kelman, Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction, University College London
'Nobody is under the illusion that humanitarian work is easy or convenient. What Ayesha Ahmad and James Smith have achieved in this volume, moreover, is a powerful challenge to the idea that it is unquestionably "right".'
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