Humanitarian Aid is a response to a crisis or emergency and is material, food, water, clothing, etc. assistance for saving lives, alleviating suffering, and maintaining human dignity, and does not address the underlying socioeconomic factors which lead to the crisis or emergency. Internationally,this is invoked two ways:
- Peacetime- Human Rights Law
- Armed conflict- International Humanitarian Law
International Humanitarian Law (Armed conflict) is also considered accepted Customary Law and a universal codification standard. The United Nations (UN) has the UN office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), formed in 1991 by the General Assembly Resolution 46/182 & the Department of Humanitarian Affairs (DHA) replacing the Office of the United Nations Disaster Relief Coordinator formed in 1972. Humanitarian Aid is also called:
- International Relief and
- Development Aid
There are Seven Conventions and Nine Protocols that include International Humanitarian Law (Armed conflict). Conventions are defined as standard presentations and protocols are defined as, the simplest-rules governing the syntax, semantics, & synchronization of communication and the lowest protocols defines the behavior of a hardware. The conventions and protocols for International Humanitarian Law (Armed conflict) are:
- The Four Geneva Conventions of 1949.
- Additional Protocols of 1977, protection of victims of armed conflicts.
- The 1954 Convention, protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict plus its two protocols.
- The 1972 Biological Weapons Convention.
- The 1980 Conventional Weapons Convention and its five protocols.
- The 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention.
- The 1997Ottawa convention on anti-personnel mines.
- The 2000 Optional Protocol to the convention on the Rights of child on the involvement of children in armed conflict.
International Humanitarian Law (Armed conflict) is used:
- only for armed conflict,
- once the conflict has begun, and
- equally applied to both sides regardless of who started the fighting.
International armed conflicts are those in which at least two states are involved, the use of the word states for these purposes implies the word country is included or synonymous.
A London research released in April of 2009 stated that 122 Humanitarian Aid Worker were murdered and 260 assaulted.
Human Rights Law applies to peacetime and many of the provisions are suspended during armed conflict. The United Nations (UN) has the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), it is the first International statement to use the term “human rights”.
The Covenant on Civil and Political Rights:
- The right to self determination.
- The right to own, trade, and dispose of their property freely, and not deprived of their means of subsistence.