New Report on the Societal Ethics of Biometric Technologies

Biometric technologies are rapidly becoming integral to the governance of populations world-wide. Contemporary societies are networked by advanced biometric technologies of identity management that were inconceivable just a couple of decades ago. A report by Nina Boy, Elida K.U. Jacobsen and Kristoffer Lidén addresses the widespread ethical issues raised by the increasing use of biometric… Read more »

The EU-Turkey Refugee Deal Cost Refugees the Most

Note: On 18 March 2016, the EU and Turkey agreed on a deal to stop refugees from crossing the Mediterranean. At that time, Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert and Pinar Tank warned that the agreement was advantageous for Europe and Turkey but not for the refugees whose rights to protection were severely compromised. Three years later the… Read more »

The Needs, Challenges and Power Dynamics of Refugee Resettlement

This fall, the 73rd General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) was held in New York. The 193 UN member states gather annually to discuss, and sometimes act upon, global issues. Refugees were on the agenda in 2018, not only because numbers are historically high (25.4 million at the end of 2017) but also because… Read more »

The mass killing of women activists in Latin America: making political violence visible

In 2017, Latin America was described by the UN as the world’s most violent continent for women. The assassinations of women activists and community leaders have continued across the region in 2018. While the killing of Marielle Franco, a favela community leader, and the unraveling of government-private enterprise collusion in the 2016 killing of Berta… Read more »

Eid, Islamic finance and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

Muslims all over the world are celebrating Eid-ul-Adha, the ‘festival of sacrifice’ or the Greater Eid. The other Eid, Eid-ul-Fitr is the festival which marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. This is when many Muslims pay their annual zakat – a religious tax equivalent to 2.5 percent of a person’s wealth each… Read more »

Dead Male Bodies: A Challenge for Feminist Legal Thought

The scholarship on law, conflict and suffering has for the past two decades been dominated by a moral and analytical concern with “women and children” and sexual violence. However, when we look up and do the body count out in the physical and political world – in the city and along the borderlands – those… Read more »

Record deaths at sea: will ‘regional disembarkation’ help save lives?

Never has it been more dangerous for people in search of protection to make the crossing to Europe. The estimated death rate on boat migration journeys across the Mediterranean has risen from 4 per 1000 in 2015 to 24 per 1000 in the first four months of 2018, according to available data. While the death… Read more »

Aid Agencies Can’t Police Themselves. It’s Time for a Change

The spreading “Oxfam scandal” will affect the entire humanitarian sector painfully. It brings into plain sight what observers of the internal workings of NGOs have known for a long time: NGOs have an organisational reflex of banning outsiders from their kitchen, and keeping their potentially dangerous secrets hidden. Abuses of power are common in any… Read more »

From Principle to Practice: Humanitarian Innovation and Experimentation

Without methods to gauge success and failure, and without appropriate ethical frameworks, humanitarian tech may do more harm than good. Humanitarian organizations have an almost impossible task: They must balance the imperative to save lives with the commitment to do no harm. They perform this balancing act amidst chaos, with incredibly high stakes and far… Read more »

Humanitarian Experimentation

Humanitarian actors, faced with ongoing conflict, epidemics, famine and a range of natural disasters, are increasingly being asked to do more with less. The international community’s commitment of resources has not kept pace with their expectations or the growing crises around the world. Some humanitarian organizations are trying to bridge this disparity by adopting new… Read more »