Counter-terrorism laws: what aid agencies need to know

6 November 2014 14:00 - 16:00 GMT+00
Public event
Streamed live online

Sara Pantuliano - Director, Humanitarian Policy Group


Naz K. Modirzadeh - Director, Harvard Law School Program on International Law and Armed Conflict (via video-link) 

Dustin Lewis - Senior Researcher, Harvard Law School Program on International Law and Armed Conflict (via video-link)

Tom Keatinge - Associate Fellow, Royal United Services Institute 

Abdurahman Sharif - Executive Director, Muslim Charities Forum 


Do aid workers risk violating counter-terrorism laws to reach people who need humanitarian support?

Over the past two decades, states and inter-governmental bodies have adopted increasingly robust counter-terrorism laws and policies. At the same time, humanitarian crises in countries like Somalia, Mali and Syria have reaffirmed the continued importance of principled humanitarian action. 

Counter-terrorism laws and humanitarian action share several goals, including the prevention of attacks against civilians and of the diversion of aid to armed actors. Yet tensions between these two areas of law and policy have emerged in recent years, resulting in challenges for governments and humanitarian actors.  

This event launches Network Paper 79, Counter-terrorism laws and regulations: what aid agencies need to know, published by the Humanitarian Practice Network with the Counter-terrorism and Humanitarian Engagement Project at the Harvard Law School (part of the Program on International Law and Armed Conflict). Speakers will present key findings from the paper, engage the audience in an exercise which will address key challenges that anti-terrorism laws and regulations pose for humanitarian action and explore how humanitarian actors might respond to these challenges. 

Refreshments are available from 16:00