Esprit Rock

Although humanitarian intervention has proliferated since the 1990’s

Although humanitarian intervention has proliferated since the 1990’s, it is not a new concept. The concept of humanitarian intervention was first coined by the jurist Hugo Grotius in his De Jure Belli ac Pacis in 1625, where he stated that “a state may exercise a right of intervention when a tyrant inflicts upon his subjects inhuman suffering” . Moreover, true forms of humanitarian intervention and creation of International communities for human relief date back to the mid nineteenth century, such as the European intervention by France, Britain and Russia in the Ottoman Empire to protect Greek Christians in 1827 and the creation of the International Committee for Relief to the Wounded in 1863. These events provided the foundations for the principle of classical humanitarian intervention, based the following four developments: “the crystallization of the idea of humanitarian action; the institutionalization of that same idea with the creation of what has become the most well-known international organization in human crises responses; the codification of the idea of humanitarian action in humanitarian law with the definition of the Hague Law (1899 and 1907) and the 1949 Geneva Conventions (Geneva Law); and finally, the will of a sovereign authority to place humanitarian imperative above national interests and security” . Classical Humanitarianism is characterized by the protection of the livelihood and dignity of individuals whom are not part of an armed conflict, it’s aim is to protect all individuals such as civilians, refugees and internally displaced people. The underlying principle of classical humanitarian action is that of impartiality and neutrality whereby it commits to provide assistance without any distinction of religion, ethnicity or race; individuals equally deserve immediate relief when their basic needs are compromised . Indeed, classical humanitarianism is one of impartiality and neutrality and it not linked to any form of political ideology .

Humanitarian action continued to follow this vison until the 1990’s. The end of the Cold War brought about many challenges for the international community, the emergence of a “new world order” and the changing nature of the geo-political climate created more complex and extreme forms of violence, conflict, civil war and situations in which the livelihood,