Issue 18 – November 2021

Migration and nationalisms: what path for NGOs?


The cause of migrants at threat from the rise of nationalisms: what path for international solidarity organisations?

By Clara Egger - The end of the Second World War ushered in a movement to amplify international cooperation that has been further magnified since the early 1990s. Many international organisations around the world were founded during this half century marked by a hope of greater solidarity between peoples, societies and economies. In particular, the cause of migrants has always been one of the main pillars of this international solidarity project. [Read more]


Managing dedication, risk and emotions: the experiences of French Red Cross volunteers during the Covid-19 emergency

By Olivia Névissas In direct contact with beneficiaries, the volunteers of the French Red Cross provide aid despite the risk to their physical and mental health. How did they cope during this unprecedented situation that affected both their capacity to commit and their usual management practices? Based on a study funded by the French Red Cross Foundation, the author attempts to provide answers to this important question. [Read more]

The continuum of violence in forced migration: acknowledging it and acting on it

By Isabelle Auclair and Lorena Suelves Ezquerro On top of the difficulty or distress they experience when leaving, migrants endure all kinds of violence throughout their exile. For the authors, recognising the existence of this “continuum” of violence is an essential step in reducing its prevalence. [Read more]


The French Hautes-Alpes: community solidarity locks horns with a security ideology

By Agnès Antoine, Philippe Hanus, Ariane Junca, Luc Marchello, Guillaume Pégon and Philippe Wyon In Vauban’s old fortress-building stomping ground, and more specifically at the frontier with Italy, the French State is struggling to secure its borders. In the middle of the mountains, volunteers respond by creating humanitarian corridors and providing aid to migrants in transit. A heart-rending account of a local solution to a global problem. [Read more]

The cause of exiles in France: the reticence of international humanitarian organisations called into question

By Frédéric Meunier All over France, solidarity with migrants is demonstrated through multiple initiatives led by local associations. But for Frédéric Meunier, the major humanitarian NGOs are not doing enough of their part in this fight. [Read more]

Humanitarian discourse and the challenges of migration: the European exception?

By Maelle L'Homme Are non-governmental organisations also guilty of double standards? Reviewing humanitarian actors’ approaches to migration in Europe, the author analyses the demands, intentions and dilemmas that drive them. [Read more]

Indignity at the gates of Europe

By Léna Lefebvre and Guy Caussé Humacoop-Amel France is one of those activist organisations that never forget the tragic situation of the exiled people “at the gates of Europe”, particularly considering that Greece is regarded as an airlock for people making their way to other countries on the continent. [Read more]

A critique to political chauvinism and the naturalisation of racial privilege in Myanmar

By Eduardo S. Molano Behind the political crisis and the fate of the Rohingyas, there are deeply entrenched ethnic markers and a well-established social hierarchy. The author examines these aspects at the crossroads of current events – the recent coup – and the enduring wandering of migrants in Bangladesh. [Read more]

Variations of nationalism in Ecuador: NGOs and the inclusion and exclusion of Colombian and Venezuelan exiles

By Lucie Laplace Ecuador has long presented itself as a host country that is particularly favourable to migrants. Over the past ten years or so, however, “inclusive nationalism” has been transformed into “exclusive nationalism”. NGOs helping forced migrants have mobilised on the legal front and have implemented economic programmes to promote the figure of the “good” refugee. [Read more]

Unwelcome in Brazil: the broken promise to Venezuelan refugees

By Tyler Valiquette, Yvonne Su and Gerson Scheidweiler Drawing on a survey, this article argues that despite Brazil’s promise to welcome Venezuelan asylum seekers as refugees, the country remains hostile to migrants, particularly those from the LGBTQI+ community. [Read more]


What are the effects of the fight against terrorism on humanitarian action?

By Julien Antouly - Caught up in spite of themselves in the “war on terror” launched following the 9/11 attacks, non-governmental organisations are still suffering from the collateral damage linked to this policy. Its reactivation in recent years has been associated with increasing threats and constraints for humanitarian actors. In this article, Julien Antouly gives a legal overview of this issue. [Read more]

Honduras, Lebanon, Nepal: civil society on the front lines of natural disasters and their daily consequences

By José Ramón Ávila, Ziad Abdel Samad, Arjun Bhattarai, Sarah Strack and Bibbi Abruzzini - How does society deal with the cascading consequences of natural disasters? In this collaborative article, the authors highlight the active participation of local civil societies, often the first and last on the scene when it comes to helping populations. [Read more]


About the possibility of controlling an HIV epidemic hotspot

By Pierre Mendiharat, Elba Rahmouni and Léon Salumu Luzinga - Designed to reduce the incidence of HIV/AIDS in a Kenyan district, a Médecins Sans Frontières project successfully exceeded the “90-90-90” target set by UNAIDS. A look back on the results that the authors of this article believe are encouraging but by no means a guarantee that the epidemic will be over by 2030. [Read more]

The Global Water Sanitation and Hygiene Cluster’s Field Support Team and the challenges of humanitarian coordination

By Jean Lapègue, Jennifer Vettel and Martina Rama - The Water, sanitation and hygiene sector and the coordination represent two major issues in contemporary humanitarian aid. In this article, the three authors offer us an in-depth analysis of the achievements and challenges of a global system. [Read more]


Are humanitarian standards scientific? What sociology of science can teach us about the Sphere standards

By Joël Glasman The myth of humanitarian action supported by data and scientific evidence has had its day – or so argues the author here, drawing on the history of the most widely known standards in the sector. He does not refute the essential role that science can and must play within it, provided it does within the framework of a permanent dialogue with the stakeholders and not on the basis of the exploitation of science. [Read more]


Perspectives on a fractured world

By William Daniels William Daniels is one of those photographers who likes to take the time to capture the chaotic pace of our world. Although he does news reports, like the one he just wrapped up for Le Monde in Afghanistan, his project of choice is the long-term documentary. He is curious about the quest for identity and territories prone to chronic instability. [Read more]


Paper dream


Once a humanitarian, always a humanitarian… - This book is unique amongst the essays interested in the humanitarian community of practice: it gives the floor to the professionals. Humanitarian aid workers have the privilege of entering the lives, and often the intimacy, of thousands of people. But surprisingly, bureaucratic imperatives mean that the most beautiful stories, at the heart of humanitarian action and human solidarity, are not highlighted, and remain confined to our memories. [Read more]



CSU, horizon 2030 - This multiauthor volume brings together the latest scientific knowledge on health finance reforms in sub-Saharan Africa, about subjects as varied as free policies, outcome-based funding and health insurance. In addition to the origin and content of these different policies, the articles analyse the challenges of their implementation, but also their effects and sustainability. [Read more]




Régis Koetschet or “diplomacy through the skin” - “Inside the mind of a diplomat”: such could have been the subtitle of this book, which reveals diplomatic work in all its political and cultural diversity, in the heart of an Eastern region under “post-9/11” high-security tension, in two outposts: Jerusalem, where Régis Koetschet was consul general from 2002 to 2005, and Afghanistan, where he represented France from 2005 to 2008. [Read more]


Extreme violence as seen by researchers, practitioners and journalists - Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Syria have been the settings for extreme situations of violence. As witnesses, the authors of this book shed light on three key moments that marked these tragic episodes: the investigation, the relief programme and the establishment of legal procedures leading to a verdict. [Read more]



How to apply foresight and strategy in humanitarian action - This book provides humanitarian practitioners and policymakers with a manual for how to apply foresight and strategy in their work. Drawing on extensive research, the book demonstrates in practical terms how embedding futures-focused thinking into practice can help humanitarian actors to enhance their impact and fit for the future. [Read more]




Humanitarian theory and practice: the book-summary - How can the theory and practice of humanitarian action be brought together in a single book? This ambition is perfectly embodied in this book-summary, produced under the triple direction of Sandra Szurek and Marina Eudes, masterfully accompanied by Philippe Ryfman. [Read more]


Anna Brun • Gillian Eaton • Gabriel Grandjouan • Fay Guerry • Sophie Jeangeorges • Juliet Powys • Benjamin Richardier • Derek Scoins • Naomi Walker

Correction of the French version:

Cécile Leonett

Correction of the English version:

A.D.T. International

Acknowledgements for their voluntary contribution to this issue:

Brax • Damian Gonzalez Dominguez (CICR/ICRC)


In medias res


Imprimerie Brailly – Saint-Genis-Laval

ISSN: 2492-7120