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Ethik-Zentrum Universitärer Forschungsschwerpunkt Ethik

Menschenwürde und humanitäre Hilfe


Beat Schweizer (ehemaliger Vize-Direktor des IKRK) war von November 2010 bis Februar 2011 eingeladener Fellow am "Netzwerk Menschenwürde". Zu seinem Forschungsvorhaben schrieb er:

The Ethics of Humanitarian Aid and Human Dignity

Humanitarian organizations involved in emergency relief operations traditionally define their moral responsibilities in the terms of a duty-based ethics, justifying their actions with a categorical “humanitarian imperative”. Critics of humanitarian operations, especially in the contexts of civil wars and failing states, have argued that a duty-based approach does not sufficiently consider the unintended negative consequences of humanitarian aid, such as providing support to warring factions and corrupt structures, or destroying the local economic structures.

One of the criticisms of a purely duty-based approach is that it leads to paternalistic relief operations and creates dependencies. Many humanitarian organizations have struggled with the inequalities that are inherent in an aid relationship and have generally acknowledged that aid cannot be about physical well-being only. In addition to saving lives and alleviating suffering, maintaining or restoring the “human dignity” of persons affected by natural or man-made disasters has increasingly become part of the stated objectives in humanitarian aid operations.

I will develop some practical advice to humanitarian organizations on how issues touching upon the human dignity of aid recipients must be integrated in the discussions on the ethics of humanitarian aid, and on how various concepts of human dignity can be used in their internal and external communications.

Das Forschungsvorhaben ist aus einer Zusammenarbeit des Ethik-Zentrums mit der Direktion des IKRK entstanden, die fortgesetzt werden soll.

Weiterführende Informationen