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Humanitarian advocacy in Darfur: the challenge of neutrality

Briefing/policy papers

Neutrality is often said to be a ‘pragmatic’ principle: in order to gain access to communities affected by war, humanitarians should not engage publicly in matters of political controversy. However, as this latest paper argues, the strict notion of neutrality has been much eroded in recent years and there is a lack of clarity around the role of advocacy of humanitarian actors. This can lead to aid actors overstepping humanitarian boundaries and being drawn into discussions in which they have limited competence or expertise. The paper argues that more discussion and evaluation of the role of advocacy, and its effectiveness in humanitarian action, is required.

Sorcha O'Callaghan