Research Handbook on International Law and Terrorism
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Research Handbook on International Law and Terrorism

Edited by Ben Saul

This newly revised and updated second edition provides a comprehensive overview of international counter-terrorism law and practice. Brand new and revised chapters provide critical commentary on the law from leading scholars and practitioners in the field, including new topics for this edition such as foreign terrorist fighters, the nexus between organized crime and terrorism, and the prevention of violent extremism.
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Chapter 21: Humanitarian action, development and terrorism

Andrej Zwitter


This chapter gives an introduction to the general laws and norms, as well as the terrorism-specific policies and laws, governing humanitarian and development aid. It further highlights the controversies caused by the clash of humanitarian principles and counter-terrorism policies. The biggest controversy results from the interaction between the humanitarian principles and the counter-terrorism laws. The humanitarian principles, on the one hand, were established to act as a shield for the protection of humanitarian aid workers by creating the identity of the impartial and neutral aid provider that would not take sides in a conflict. The counter-terrorism laws, on the other hand, force humanitarians not to deal with armed groups designated as terrorist organizations. Thereby, humanitarian organizations are seen to be taking sides, which increases the likelihood of their being targeted for terrorist attacks and undermines their ability to assist vulnerable civilian populations.

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