Humanitarian aid in armed conflicts: a case study of Red Cross

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Svoliantopolou, Sofia
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Humanitarian crisis is one of the biggest problems that the world has to face the last couple of years. If one looks at what is happening in the world and in our region, he could come to the conclusion that 100 years after the end of the First World War and 25 years after the end of the Cold War, Thomas Hobbs was right: the world was characterized by the principle "bellum omnium protiomnes" which means war against all, where the principle applied is "your death, my life", because that's the human nature. That's why, as Hobbes says, human life is lonely, poor, awful, tough and short. It is a fact that the whole planet is dominated by situations that might make Hobbes' categorical discovery convincing. But if we look at the situation more calmly, we will see that many parts of the planet live peacefully while most war fronts are not new. They have historical depth without this meaning they cannot escape the "hostage" of their history.However, after the end of the Cold War, geopolitical data has changed, while the "multipolarity" of the new global security system makes the situation less predictable. That is why the "new order of things" needs more and better coordination between "players" and a more collective approach to global problems and conflicts. As a result the need of humanitarian action is more recent than ever. In this paper we will try to understand the armed conflicts and set the background of humanitarian law which is the one applicable to those circumstances. Moreover we will find out where and how are we going to apply it. On the second part we will deal with Red Cross, the only humanitarian organization that has its own legal right in the Geneva Convention. We will explain why the humanitarian action is needed and it is integral part of the future of this world and we will analyze how they act in 3 different situations, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria. Finally we will come with some conclusion about what are the problems and the advantages of the humanitarian action and then we will give some suggestions. Key – Words: International Humanitarian Law, Armed Conflicts, Red Cross, Humanitarian Aid, International Help
Second semester University: Ruhr - University Bochum
humanitarian assistance, Red Cross, armed conflict, international humanitarian law