Humanitarians in Court! Kristin Bergtora Sandvik Explores Legal Humanitarian Issues

News

15 January 2019

Humanitarians in Court! Kristin Bergtora Sandvik Explores Legal Humanitarian Issues
The Dadaab refugee camp in northern Kenya. Photo: DFID / Pete Lewis

​The PRIO project 'Aid in Crisis? Rights-Based Approaches and Humanitarian Outcomes' explores humanitarian aid and human rights, and will last until March 2019. One of the unique articles to come out of the project was Kristin Bergtora Sandvik's 'Humanitarians in court: how duty of care travelled from human resources to legal liability', newly published January 2019.

In 2015, the Norwegian Refugee Council met Steve Dennis, a Canadian aid worker, in Oslo District court to litigate the extent of their humanitarian duty of care.

Over the last decade, the NRC has gone through a period of exceptional growth and has evolved to become one of the humanitarian sectors most well-known and respected actors. Despite this prominence, there is no critical academic engagement with the organization’s work or its institutional culture. The new article 'Humanitarians in court: how duty of care travelled from human resources to legal liability' tells the story of  how a 2012 kidnapping in Dadaab refugee camp in Northern Kenya ended up in a Norwegian courtroom, how the NRC was found grossly negligent, and what happened afterwards.

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