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History of Humanitarian Organizations Research Guide
What does it mean to bring humanity to times of crisis and conflict? From the protection of prisoners of
war during the First World War, to relief for Syrian refugees today, humanitarian aid has had a profound
effect on the social, legal, and ethical development of the modern world. This advanced seminar
examines the history of international humanitarian organizations like the International Committee of
the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders from 1863 to the present. We will interrogate a set of
tensions that continue to characterize humanitarian relief today: the conflict between traditional
principles and contemporary human rights; the role of governments in the provision of foreign aid; and
the difficulties of enforcing the humanitarian protections of international law during sectarian conflicts.
Sherrill Library | Lesley University, Brattle Campus | 89 Brattle Street - Cambridge, MA 02138 | 617-349-8850
John & Carol Moriarty Library | Lesley University, Porter Campus | 1801 Massachusetts Avenue - Cambridge, MA 02140 | 617-349-8070
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