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Domestic regulation of international humanitarian relief in disasters and armed conflict: a comparative analysis

30-06-2007 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 866, by David Fisher

In both disasters and armed conflicts, domestic regulatory control over the entry and operation of international humanitarian relief workers can significantly impact their ability to address the critical needs of affected persons. Although similar problems arise in both contexts, the underlying dynamics and the applicable international law can be quite different. This article analyzes these similarities and differences and suggests distinct steps that might be taken to improve the capacities.

   

David Fisher
is the Senior Legal Research Officer for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Cross Societies’ International Disaster Response Laws, Rules and Principles (IDRL) Programme. 

 
Abstract 
In both disasters and armed conflicts, domestic regulatory control over the entry and operation of international humanitarian relief operations can significantly affect their ability to address the critical needs of affected persons. The types of regulatory problems that arise, such as customs barriers, visa issues and taxation of aid, are often similar, but both the underlying dynamics and the applicable international law can be quite different. This article analyses these similarities and differences and suggests distinct steps that might be taken to move forward in the two contexts.  

   
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