Expert meeting

Master Class: Working with Detained Populations in Greece & Libya

Humanitarian aid workers and NGOs working with the detained populations in Greece and Libya face several complex ethical challenges when carrying out their work. Which challenges do they face and how can they deal with these ethical challenges?

The humanitarian interventions for detained migrants and asylum-seeking populations in Greece and Libya are confronted with enormous operational constraints, while these populations experience the most severe needs. The horrific health conditions in detentions centres, for example, raise nagging questions about the quality of care. However, in these situations the influence of humanitarians is extremely limited. This poses humanitarian aid workers and NGOs, supporting these detained populations, for complex ethical tensions related to care, complicity, responsibility, the need for advocacy, independence, impartiality, and even humanity.

In a recent report Working with Detained Populations in Greece and Libya: A Comparative of the Ethical Challenges Facing the International Rescue Committee, Jason Phillips describes these ethical challenges in a structuralized manner and analyses the implications for humanitarian practitioners and their organizations.

For this Master Class, KUNO invited other humanitarian professionals that are acquainted with the situation of the detained populations in Greece and Libya, to discuss the ethical challenges that INGOs and their staff face.

The report of the Master Class can be found here.

About Jason Phillips

Jason Phillips is currently an independent researcher and consultant based in Ottawa, Canada. He is an experienced humanitarian with a demonstrated history of working at board, field and senior HQ levels of the non-profit organization management sector. He has 20 years of NGO experience, 18 years of which were at the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Furthermore, Jason Phillips has academic, teaching and research experience, including a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Political Science from The Johns Hopkins University.

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