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Dunant’s pyramid: thoughts on the "humanitarian space"

31-03-2007 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 865, by Daniel Thürer

This article uses the metaphor of a pyramid to portray what constitutes humanitarian action. Whereas humanity forms the aim at the tip and international humanitarian law the basis, the sides are the principles of impartiality, neutrality and independence, which make the humanitarian endeavour possible.

   

Daniel Thürer
is Professor and Head of the Institute for Public International Law and Comparative Constitutional Law at the University of Zürich, and a Member of the ICRC. 

 
Abstract 
This article uses the metaphor of a pyramid bounding the humanitarian space as a means of portraying what it is that constitutes humanitarian law and humanitarian action. Whereas humanity as the tip of the pyramid forms the aim and international humanitarian law the base, the sides are the principles of impartiality, neutrality and independence, which enclose the humanitarian space and make the humanitarian endeavour possible.  

   
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