The humanitarian sector is confronted by a period of decreasing warfare and increasing fragility. Since the beginning of the 1990s there has been an unprecedented decline in armed conflict. Notwithstanding the wider decline in armed conflict, the military, relief and development sectors are confronting what many describe as new forms of “fragility” or “ungoverned spaces”.
The preoccupation with “fragile” states and cities, along with growing investment in so-called stabilization and reconstruction, reflects a set of priorities and assumptions of predominantly western donor and affected governments. They also demonstrate that while security and development establishments are shrewdly adapting, humanitarian agencies are slower on the up-take. This is partly because such environments also include an array of comparatively “new” settings for the humanitarian sector, including post-conflict settings, urban spaces and what the ICRC describes as “situations other than war”.
Cities and inner city neighbourhoods are now of greater international importance, including to the humanitarian sector. Although the application of traditional “conflict” analysis and approaches may offer important insights and perspectives, they are insufficient – and the humanitarian sector is finding that in these environments – especially contexts marked by high levels of urban violence – a business as usual approach may not be appropriate. Likewise, humanitarian principles of neutrality, impartiality and independence may have comparatively little purchase.
To tackle this new challenge, HASOW advances five core pillars:
João Pontes Nogueira
Renata de Figueiredo Summa
Aline Fernandes Vasconcelos de Abreu
Felippe De Rosa
Ana Paula Pellegrino
Isadora de Andrade
Workshop “Urban Violence: Patterns and Trends”
(8 September 2011 – BRICS Policy Center, Rio de Janeiro)
Lecture “Regulating Drug Wars: International Rules on Violence”
(19 October 2012 – BRICS Policy Center, Rio de Janeiro)
First Hasow International Conference “The Politics of Protection and the Future of Humanitarian Practices”
(25 -26 March 2013 – PUC-Rio)
International Workshop: Humanitarian Protection and Contemporary Forms of Violence
(30 April 2014 – PUC-Rio)