Ready-to-use workshop on principles guiding humanitarian action

04 May 2016
Ready-to-use workshop on principles guiding humanitarian action

Based on How does law protect in war? and the International Review of the Red Cross, this ready-to-use workshop combines fictitious case studies, presentations, group work and discussion allowing lecturers and trainers to address humanitarian principles and action in their courses and seminars.

The workshop is intended for use in academic centres that provide education in humanitarian action, such as faculties of political science, international relations and law, as well as in other training programmes. It enables participants to explore the legal and operational issues linked to humanitarian action and the Fundamental Principles. The workshop focuses on international rules in humanitarian law, policy and action, while addressing some of the current challenges and encouraging participants to think about appropriate humanitarian responses. 

The workshop is divided into three parts:

  • A role play case study 
  • An interactive presentation including images and quizzes 
  • Group work using real cases taken from the IHL study guide How does law protect in war?


This approach aims to involve teachers and students alike by getting them to apply the law to real-life events.

Questions put to participants include the following:

  • "What does it mean to be engaged in humanitarian activities?"
  • "Does the fact of being engaged in humanitarian activities implies to be a humanitarian organisation?"
  • "Are humanitarian organisations bound to act in accordance with the Fundamental Principles?"
  • "Are states obliged to act in accordance with the Fundamental principles?"
  • "What are the current challenges of humanitarian action?"

Participants will have the opportunity to discuss such issues, come up with solutions together and make a real contribution to humanitarian dialogue.

Further reading: 

HP legal framework

HP workshop fictitious case study

HP workshop reading list

HP workshop structure

HP workshop user's guide

HP workshop presentation