INVITATION Humanitarian Action – Whose Business is it anyway? Good Humanitarian Action needs strong roots in society, Berlin, 14-15 April 2016

2016/04/14 to 2016/04/15

International Forum 14-15 April 2016

INVITATION Humanitarian Action – Whose Business is it anyway? Good Humanitarian Action needs strong roots in societyI

International Forum 14-15 April 2016 Berlin, Dietrich-Bonhoeffer-Haus


Médecins Sans Frontières

Caritas international

Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe

Ev. Akademie Villigst

Languages: German and English

Humanitarian action is on everyone's mind these days. Escalating crises and rising numbers of refugees reaching Western Europe have drawn attention to aid delivery in theregions of origin. However, there is a lack of understanding in Germany of the principles of humanitarian assistance, of its objectives and its limitations. The humanitarian principles as an element of global ethics are hardly discussed in politics, the media or the general public. Extreme challenges and dilemmas in humanitarian operations are rarely reflected upon systematically. To a large extent, humanitarian assistance is left to agencies and to the German government as a donor – this leaves room for its instrumentalisation for other political purposes.

This forum brings together different civil society actors to discuss steps to promote a stronger integration of humanitarian action into German society and as a contribution to the international humanitarian system more broadly.

Based on this need to enhance humanitarian action, the forum will first examine the ethical foundations and values of humanitarian action, followed by the portrayal of challenges and tensions in humanitarian practice. The goal is to improve our understanding of the very difficulties and dilemmas as well as the conditions for good humanitarian action. The forum serves as a good environment for this purpose to enable an exchange of experience between the different participants.

However, not only the conditions on the ground can promote or hamper good humanitarian action. The link between good humanitarian action and the perception and terms of humanitarian aid in the donor countries is another aspect that deserves attention. At this point we seek to relate back to the localisation and institutionalisation of humanitarian action in German society in order for German humanitarian aid to be good on the ground and within the international humanitarian system.

We extend a warm invitation to you

Andrea Hitzemann, Caritas international

Christian Huber, Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe

Dr. Ulrike von Pilar, Doctors Without Borders

Uwe Trittmann, Ev. Akademie Villigst