Africa

The Colombian government and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) recently signed peace accords bringing an end to 52 years of violent conflict. For his efforts to negotiate and conclude the peace deal, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos was awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize on October 7.

On August 24, 2016 the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, commonly referred to as the FARC, signed a peace deal after 52 years of internal conflict. This peace deal marks a potential end to the over half century of violence that has killed over 220,000 Colombians and displaced more than six million.

In this practitioner profile, ATHA is joined by Sareta Ashraph, Chief Analyst on the Commission of Inquiry on the Syria crisis since May 2012. The Commission was established by the UN Human Rights Council in August 2011 to investigate and document violations of international law in Syria.

The World Humanitarian Summit, held in Istanbul on May 23-24, 2016, was guided by a framework articulated by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s “Agenda for Humanity,” focusing on areas such as preventing and ending conflicts, enhancing promotion of community resilience, proactive emergency planning, and inter-organizational coordination. In this Practitioner Profile, ATHA is joined by Dr.

Humanitarian actors increasingly find themselves in contexts where the application of the norms and concepts of international humanitarian law (IHL) is contested.

Recent high-profile attacks on humanitarian professionals and operations in Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq, among others, call attention to the growing vulnerabilities of humanitarian staff and medical operations at the frontlines. These attacks endanger lives, violate international humanitarian law, and jeopardize the effective delivery of emergency relief to populations in need.

Personal relationships and trust-building constitute critical dimensions of frontline humanitarian negotiations. In order to operate effectively, in many contexts, humanitarian organizations must first ensure that they are accepted by the parties to a conflict, and establish and maintain an ongoing relationship with counterparts.

In many of today’s frontline humanitarian environments, access is increasingly difficult to obtain and maintain, and continued engagement with non-state armed actors is an integral aspect of ensuring assistance and protection activities and advocating for compliance with international legal standards.

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