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Artificial intelligence (AI)-supported systems have transformative applications in the humanitarian sector but they also pose unique risks for human rights, even when used with the best intentions. Drawing from research and expert consultations conducted across the globe in recent years, this paper identifies key points of consensus on how humanitarian practitioners can ensure that AI augments – rather than undermines – human interests while being rights-respecting. Specifically, these consultations emphasized the necessity of an anchoring framework based on international human rights law as an essential baseline for ensuring that human interests are embedded in AI systems. Ethics, in addition, can play a complementary role in filling gaps and elevating standards above the minimum requirements of international human rights law. This paper summarizes the advantages of this framework, while also identifying specific tools and best practices that either already exist and can be adapted to the AI context, or that need to be created, in order to operationalize this human rights framework. As the COVID crisis has laid bare, AI will increasingly shape the global response to the world's toughest problems, especially in the development and humanitarian sector. To ensure that AI tools enable human progress and contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, humanitarian actors need to be proactive and inclusive in developing tools, policies and accountability mechanisms that protect human rights.
In this compelling history of the co-ordinated, transnational defence of medical experimentation in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Rob Boddice explores the experience of vivisection as humanitarian practice. He captures the rise of the professional and specialist medical scientist, whose métier was animal experimentation, and whose guiding principle was 'humanity' or the reduction of the aggregate of suffering in the world. He also highlights the rhetorical rehearsal of scientific practices as humane and humanitarian, and connects these often defensive professions to meaningful changes in the experience of doing science. Humane Professions examines the strategies employed by the medical establishment to try to cement an idea in the public consciousness: that the blood spilt in medical laboratories served a far-reaching human good.
The Eastern Cape Frontier; colonial Humanitarianism and the Aborigines Committee; Anna Gurney, the Protectorates of Aborigines; the Myall Creek massacre; representative government in Australia and the Cape Colony; reconciling settler colonialism with humanitarianism.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, advocates have argued for the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans (LGBT) people in humanitarian response efforts. Yet the application of this differential focus has been mixed among international policy guidelines and national programs. This research note details a queer theoretical approach to humanitarian crises that considers the intersectional factors that produce specific vulnerabilities within LGBT communities. We take two examples from distinct LGBT communities during the COVID-19 pandemic to demonstrate the analytical risk of treating the umbrella acronym LGBT, indicating distinct identity groups, as monolithic and not differentiating within identity groups based on other factors. We contend that this monolithic approach risks obviating the way different structural forces further compound precarity during crisis. Thus, we make the case for rooting intersectional approaches in any queer analyses of crisis.
This chapter continues the exploration of the gap between legal theories on the conduct of war and enemy aliens on the one hand and the practice of states at war on the other. It focuses first of all on the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871 that anticipated the mobilization of the nation-in-arms and examines, in particular, the expulsion of "Germans" from Paris and Strasbourg in the summer of 1870, the consequences of the expulsion and the lively debate among international lawyers it sparked. The chapter continues with an analysis of the Russo-Ottoman War of 1877–1878, concentrating on the emergence of a humanitarian discourse in order to legitimize intervention. Then it moves east to take into consideration the treatment of enemy aliens and the accompanying discourses on civilization in the Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895) and in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905. This chapter also delves into the novelties that occurred in the field of international law and international relations with the signing of the Geneva Convention, the foundation of the Institute of International Law in Brussels, the two Conferences at The Hague in 1899 and 1907. The final part of the chapter concentrates on the Balkan conflicts of 1912–1913 and the atrocities against civilians.
This chapter opens the third section of the book on the aftermath of the war. It addresses the end of the war and its many legacies. It starts with the armistice, and then considers the discussion about enemy aliens during the peace conference; it also explores the treaties that ended the war and their consequences for aliens, citizenship and property rights. It continues with the signing of all the final treaties, the emptying of the concentration camps and the lifting of the provisions on foreign movements, the agreement that regulated restitution or liquidation of assets, and the final exchange of populations. The chapter covers the period up to the late 1920s and deals with the transition from the state of emergency to peace, the resumption of naturalization procedures, new rules on borders and migration, new citizenship regimes that emerged from the war in both victorious and defeated countries as well as in the new successor states, and mass denaturalization and statelessness as a consequence of the emergence of new political regimes (such as the Soviet Union) or population exchange. It investigates the impact of special legislation on alien and enemy aliens on policies of migration control and explores the debate among jurists about the many violations of the conventions and human rights and the failed attempts at writing a new convention on enemy aliens.
This chapter focuses firstly on the expansion of internment and confinement between 1915 and the beginning of 1917 in Europe and outside it. It traces the differences among the various belligerents in the treatment of enemy aliens, the living conditions in the camps, and the national, gender and generational composition of the inmates. It also concentrates on the one hand on the popular pressure in support of the wholesale internment of enemy aliens and, on the other, on the broadening of the humanitarian activities pursued by international non-governmental organization such as the International Committee of the Red Cross that actively promoted the exchange of prisoners of war and civilian internees. The second part of the chapter addresses the spread of a nationalistic economic discourse that boosted the intensification of the economic war and the attack on enemy aliens' property with the creation of new state bureaucracies and the beginning of the liquidation of sequestered assets. The chapter shows how the capacity of the state to enforce such policies was continuously put to the test by the effect of the war on politics and by its military evolution.
This article explores the tensions between well-intentioned humanitarianism and coercive colonialism during smallpox outbreaks in eighteenth-century Guatemala, when the state extended inoculation programmes to its predominant, culturally diverse Maya communities. Evidence from anti-epidemic campaigns shows public debates broadly comparable to the current COVID-19 crisis: debates about the measurably higher mortality rates for indigenous people and other marginalized groups; debates about the extent of the state’s responsibility for the health of its peoples; and debates on whether or not coercion and violence should be used to ensure compliance with quarantines and public health campaigns. While inoculations provided medical assistance and material help to Maya communities, and resulted in demonstrably lower mortality rates from smallpox, at the same time they functioned as avenues for the expansion of colonial power to intervene in the daily lives of people in those communities, characterized by colonial actors as necessary for their own good, and for the broader public good.
This chapter explores whether and how the history of humanitarianism and human rights can be unravelled in terms of suffering and status, respectively. A case can be made that this mapping working from the origins of each beginning in the nineteenth century, but over the last two decades provides less insight.
This chapter examines whether there are meaningful differences between human rights and humanitarianism in terms of perfect and imperfect duties, and concludes that this is a false parallel and that increasingly humanitarianism and human rights are blurring the distinction between the two in terms of their practices.
The conclusion offers a synethetic summary that focuses on the differences between human rights and humanitarianism in the realm of practices, and how practices themselves inform the meaning and ethics of each field.
This chapter argues, contrary to most of the other contributions, that for all their perceived differences human rights and humanitarianism are in fact indistinguishable in practice. That said, humanitarianism is more likely to survive the decline of liberalism than is human rights.
Far from a crisis that could not be predicted and that cannot be resolved, the so-called Mediterranean migration crisis of 2015–2016 can be understood as a foreseeable result of the production of death and vulnerability, whereby those who escape across the Mediterranean Sea by boat are either left to perish en route or are rescued only to arrive to EU territory as casualties or survivors. This chapter builds on the analysis in Chapter 1 in order to develop further understanding of this process, specifically by exploring the policy mechanisms and power dynamics through which death and vulnerability are rendered normal (i.e. regular and accepted). It examines policy developments within the EU in terms of different mechanisms of prevention, rescue and containment, to highlight the ways in which instruments that monitor, filter and channel migration expose people on the move to various harms without recourse to rights. Showing how such harms are perpetuated across both the security and humanitarian domains, the chapter draws on works that analyse the co-constitution of border security and humanitarianism to emphasise the ways in which a form of humanitarian government is implicated in a politics that seeks to secure home. However, it also draws attention to the limits of an approach that overlooks the importance of humanitarian politics, which involves more far-reaching contestations over what it means to be human. Highlighting the challenges that are posed to a humanitarian politics where the Mediterranean Sea itself plays a crucial role in practices of governing migration, the chapter concludes by exploring how different dynamics of power become blurred through a form of biophysical violence that operates directly on the biological functions of migrating bodies.
The humanitarian framing of disarmament is not a novel development, but rather represents a re-emergence of a much older and long-standing sensibility of humanitarianism in disarmament. The Book rejects the 'big bang' theory that presents the Anti-Personnel Landmines Convention 1997, and its successors – the Convention on Cluster Munitions 2008, and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons 2017 – as a paradigm shift from an older traditional state-centric approach towards a more progressive humanitarian approach. It shows how humanitarian disarmament has a long and complex history, which includes these treaties.This book argues that the attempt to locate the birth of humanitarian disarmament in these treaties is part of the attempt to cleanse humanitarian disarmament of politics, presenting humanitarianism as a morally superior discourse in disarmament. However, humanitarianism carries its own blind spots and has its own hegemonic leanings. It may be silencing other potentially more transformative discourses.
The chapter traces the emergence of transnational humanitarianism and efforts towards disarmament from the nineteenth century through to the outbreak of the Second World War. It explores the Hague Peace Conferences of 1899 and 1907 as exercises in humanitarian disarmament, and the neglected but significant work of the League of Nations. In studying the League’s legacy of humanitarian disarmament, a number of initiatives are explored including the ambitious but ultimately doomed Disarmament Conference 1932–1934, the creation and work of the League’s Temporary Mixed Commission on Armaments and its Permanent Armaments Commission, and the negotiation of the 1925 Geneva Protocol.
This chapter explores the social origins of famine and outlines the book's fresh moral economic perspective on humanitarian aid – it updates and reconfigures moral economy as a tool for understanding prioritisations of transnational charity. The chapter draws on scholar-activists including Peter Singer, Amartya Sen, and E. P. Thompson, among others.
The Introduction outlines how this book takes a fresh look at humanitarian action over two centuries through the concept of moral economy. The book employs a theoretical outlook that reflects the emerging academic interest in histories of morality, the cross-disciplinary rise of a ‘moral economy’ discourse beyond the confines of E. P. Thompson’s framing, and the growing field of humanitarian studies. The integrated moral economy perspective draws on philosophical, humanitarian, and medical ethics, especially the problems of triage. We present three empirical studies which provide insights into the history of three humanitarian causes.