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In their words: Perceptions of armed non-state actors on humanitarian action

As humanitarian actors increasingly operate in situations of internal armed conflict, the importance of negotiating with armed non-state actors (ANSAs) to ensure access has come to the forefront. Yet humanitarians on the ground and the broader international humanitarian community often fail to understand ANSAs’ perspectives and motives and, as a result, struggle to engage with them effectively.

Between June 2015 and February 2016, Geneva Call consulted nineteen ANSAs (and several relief organisations affiliated with these groups) in eleven countries. This study by Ashley Jackson on behalf of Appel de Genève (Geneva Call) (2016) aims to contribute to a better understanding of ANSAs’ perceptions of humanitarian action. It presents key findings on issues varying from ANSAs’ understandings of humanitarian action to their acceptance of humanitarian principles and IHL.

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