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Seminaar on Hum

n Action aand Intern
national Humanitar
rian Law:
Perspeectives on
n Ukraine

Friday 155 May 2015 from 9.00 to
o 16.30
Riga Graaduate Schoo
ol of Law, Strrelnieku iela 4k-2, Riga, Latvia

Seminarr concept
The sem
minar forms part of the initiatives taaken under the
t Latvian presidency oof the Council of the
European Union, with the purp
pose of dem
monstrating the strong commitmennt of both the Baltic
opean Union to upholdding the norrms of Interrnational Huumanitarian Law and
region aand the Euro
promoting best pracctice in huma
anitarian assiistance.
The sem
minar will pro
ovide a brieff introductioon to the basic conceptss of humanittarian assista
ance and
International Human
nitarian Law,, and will offfer some insights into ho
ow they havee been applied in the
om the conflict in Ukrainee.
particulaar context off the humanitarian crisis resulting fro
As a ressult of the prolonged fighting betw
ween armed
d groups and
d governmeent forces in
n Eastern
Ukraine,, many peop
ple have bee
en forced too flee from their homes and have become inccreasingly
ble. As of Ap
pril 2015, some 1.15 milllion people are
a registere
ed as internaally displaced
d persons
(IDPs) an
nd about 700,000 have taken
refugee in neighbouring countrries. The afffected people mainly
need sheelter, food and
a sanitatio
on, as well ass proper heaalthcare and psychosociaal support, education
and prottection.
The Euro
opean Union
n and its Member Statees, and othe
er donors, are providingg assistance to those
affected by the crisiss through a wide range oof implemen
nting partnerrs, including United Natiions (UN)
and other internaational and local non-go
overnmentall organisatio
ons. But
agenciess, the Red Cross
access to
o the conflicct-affected re
egions rema ins a challen
nge for huma
anitarian orgganisations and
a many
people in the affecteed areas rem
main isolatedd. Other chaallenges inclu
ude the effeective coordination of
assistancce and ensurring cost-effiicient deliverry.
The Euro
opean Union
n and its Me
ember Statess are commiitted to act on the basiss of the international
humanittarian princiiples of hum
manity, neu trality, impaartiality and
d independeence, and to
o ensure
respect for Internatiional Human
nitarian Law . Here too the situatio
on in Ukrainee poses a nu
umber of
ng the pro
otection of civilians and humanitarian workkers, ensurring safe
challengges, includin
humanittarian accesss and free mo
ovement of ppersons.

Outline Programme
In order to bring together the speakers and participants, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the
Republic of Latvia will host a welcome reception on the evening of 14 May preceding the seminar on
15 May at Riga Graduate School of Law, which is financed by Network on Humanitarian Action
(NOHA) - International Association of Universities that aims to enhance professionalism in the
humanitarian sector with contributions from the organisations providing speakers.
The opening of the seminar will be undertaken by the president of NOHA, and joining the president
will be the rector of Riga Graduate School of Law, where the seminar will take place.
In order to set the scene, the seminar will in substance commence with a keynote address from an
experienced practitioner from the UN, who is currently engaged in handling humanitarian issues in
For each segment of the seminar, ample time is set off for both an in-depth presentation of topics
and further development through discussions between the speakers and the participants.
The first panel will focus on actors, coordination mechanisms, access, and funding. Speakers will
include representatives of the International Federation of Red Cross (ICRC), NOHA and the European
Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO).
The second panel will focus on International Humanitarian Law in relation to norms, application and
enforcement of protection. Speakers will include representatives of VOICE (network representing 82
non-governmental organisations (NGOs) active in humanitarian aid worldwide, who are based in 19
European countries), NGO “Providus” that promotes evidence-based policy making, starting from the
initial preparation phase until implementation and review, and the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP).
Following a final discussion, the seminar will end at 16.30.
The target audience for this seminar includes students, academia, NGOs, private sector,
representatives of state institutions, and media.
Please sign up for participation by email to:
The seminar is limited to 50 places on a first come, first serve basis.