Humanitarian Standards

Worldwide humanitarian responses to disasters such as the Pakistan flood crisis suggest that international law does not adequately protect those who are affected by internal strife, violence and emergency.

According to a Fact Sheet by the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response were created through the Sphere Project, an inter-agency initiative that aims to make humanitarian agencies more accountable.

humanitarian aidThe charter, based on the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is made up of eighteen articles which outline the minimum standards necessary in order to protect human beings in times of adversity. According to International Law the charter articles address issues from population displacement to medical attention for the wounded and sick. Article fifteen states that in situations of public emergency, humanitarian organizations shall be granted all necessary facilities to carry out their activities.

The charter is a sign that a new strategy is in the works that will change the way UN and humanitarian agencies deal with mega-crises that continue to plague the world.

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