Expert meeting

Expert Meeting on the ongoing shrinking humanitarian space

Illustrated by Mas Hab
Illustrated by Mas Hab
Humanitarian Action is suffering from an ongoing shrinking humanitarian space. Humanitarian access is hindered by safety concerns, intensified anti-terrorism legislation and criminalizing of humanitarian support to refugees. This undermines the effectiveness of humanitarian action.

The Platform for Humanitarian Action (PHA), Dutch Relief Alliance (DRA) and KUNO (Platform for Humanitarian Knowledge Exchange) presented an expert meeting about disturbing multi-annual trends and latest developments such as:

● Tightening international financial regulations – to prevent aid money slipping into the pockets of terrorists – that hinder the finance humanitarian action;
● New anti-terrorism legislation – now discussed in the Dutch Senate – which implies that
humanitarian practitioners, traveling to areas where terrorist organizations are in control,
should ensure approval by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before they leave;
● The criminalization of humanitarian support to refugees.
In what ways do these restrictions effect Humanitarian Action? Does this undermine goals set in the Grand Bargain? How can international humanitarian NGOs cope with these restrictions?

Introductions were given by:
● Human Security Collective: tightening international (financial) rules since 9/11;
● DRA / PHA: Latest developments on anti-terror legislation;
● Teresa Dumasy, Director of Policy & Learning Conciliation Resources: How do NGOs in the UK deal with anti-terror legislation?
● MSF: Experiences of MSF with criminalizing humanitarian action (on the Mediterranean Sea)
● Clingendael: The Humanitarian Access Operational and Technical Assistance Team

Due to the current COVID-19 outbreak this meeting was held as a video-conference.

Read the report on the meeting here!


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