Neutrality, impartiality and independence
Wednesday 19 August 2020
Among the main principles guiding the actions of humanitarian organisations, neutrality, impartiality and independence are the ethical foundations of the work they carry out. On this World Humanitarian Day it is important to remember them.
Neutrality is necessary in order to maintain the trust of all stakeholders. It means refraining from taking part in hostilities and, at all times, in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.
Impartiality means making no distinction of nationality, ethnicity, religion, social condition and political affiliation. Humanitarian organizations shall strive solely to help individuals in proportion to their suffering and to give priority to alleviating the most urgent distress.
Independence means that, while humanitarian organizations are auxiliaries to the public authorities in their humanitarian activities and are subject to the national laws of the countries in which they are present, they must nonetheless remain autonomous, so as to be able to always act in accordance with their principles.