A knowledge resource selected by UNICEF for humanitarian practitioners everywhere
Humanitarian Negotiations with Armed Groups: A Manual for Practitioners
For humanitarian workers, the ability to negotiate with all actors in situations of crisis or conflict is essential to effective and timely provision of humanitarian assistance and protection. Indeed, where the humanitarian imperative dictates, negotiation – conducted in an independent, impartial and neutral manner – can sometimes be a humanitarian necessity!
Every day, humanitarian workers are faced with situations that require some form of negotiation, from seeking agreement on how best to access those in need, to reaching an understanding with other actors of how best to protect civilians in times of armed conflict. This often involves interaction with non-state armed groups. The absence to date of a structured approach to humanitarian negotiations with armed groups resulted in these interactions having been undertaken in an ad hoc manner, sometimes with less than optimal outcomes.