Coming clean on neutrality and independence: The need to assess the application of humanitarian principles

Neutrality and independence continue to be part of the four core humanitarian principles, in addition to humanity and impartiality. Promoting these principles needs to go hand in hand with efforts to apply and implement them. Applying neutrality and independence is a considerable undertaking. This article explains the various aspects of these two principles that are crucial for understanding and applying them. The author suggests that these aspects should be taken into account in assessing whether humanitarian organizations are managing to uphold the principles. In turn, these assessments will enable humanitarian organizations and other stakeholders in humanitarian action to understand what the opportunities and obstacles are in applying independence and neutrality.

About the author

Ed Schenkenberg van Mierop
Executive Director of HERE-Geneva

Ed Schenkenberg van Mierop is Executive Director of HERE- Geneva, a humanitarian think-tank working to close the gap between policy and humanitarian practice.