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Encyclopedia > Humanitarianism

There are a number of meanings for humanitarianism: humanitarianism, humanism, the doctrine that people's duty is to promote human welfare.


Humanitarianism is an humanistic approach to the suffering of humanity. It has been used to describe a wide number of activities relating to human welfare. Suffering is any aversive (not necessarily unwanted) experience and the corresponding negative emotion. ...

Contents

An informal ideology

Humanitarianism is an informal ideology of practice, whereby people practice humane treatment and provide assistance to others; it is the doctrine that people's duty is to promote human welfare.[1] Political Ideologies Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      An ideology is an organized collection of ideas. ...


Humanitarianism is based on a view that all human beings deserve respect and dignity and should be treated as such. Therefore, humanitarians work towards advancing the well-being of humanity as a whole. It is the antithesis of the "us vs. them" mentality that characterizes tribalism and ethnic nationalism. Humanitarians abhor slavery, violation of basic and human rights, and discrimination on the basis of features such as colour of skin, religion, ancestry, place of birth, etc. Humanitarianism drives people to save lives, alleviate suffering and promote human dignity in the middle of man-made or natural disasters. Humanitarianism is embraced by movements and people across the political spectrum. The informal ideology can be summed up by a quote from Albert Schweitzer: "Humanitarianism consists in never sacrificing a human being to a purpose." This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Ethnic nationalism is the form of nationalism in which the state derives political legitimacy from historical cultural or hereditary groupings (ethnicities); the underlying assumption is that ethnicities should be politically distinct. ... Slave redirects here. ... Human rights are rights which some hold to be inalienable and belonging to all humans. ... This article is about discrimination in the social science context. ... Albert Schweitzer, M.D., OM, (January 14, 1875 - September 4, 1965), was an Alsatian theologian, musician, philosopher, and physician. ...


A universal doctrine

Jean Pictet, in his commentary on The Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross points out the univeral characteristics of humanitarianism:

The wellspring of the principle of humanity is in the essence of social morality which can be summed up in a single sentence, Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them. This fundamental precept can be found, in almost identical form, in all the great religions, Brahminism, Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Islam, Judaism and Taoism. It is also the golden rule of the positivists, who do not commit themselves to any religion but only to the data of experience, in the name of reason alone.[2].

Historical examples

Historically, humanitarianism was publicly seen in the social reforms of the late 1800s and early 1900s, following the economic turmoil of the Industrial Revolution in England. Many of the women in Great Britain who were involved with feminism during the 1900s also pushed humanitarianism. The atrocious hours and working conditions of children and unskilled laborers were made illegal by pressure on Parliament by humanitarians. The Factory Act of 1833 and the Factory Act of 1844 were some of the most significant humanitarian bills passed in Parliament following the Industrial Revolution. // Invention of the Jacquard loom in 1801. ... // Public flight demonstration of an airplane by Alberto Santos-Dumont in Paris, November 12, 1906. ... A Watt steam engine. ... Feminism comprises a number of social, cultural and political movements, theories and moral philosophies that are concerned with cultural, political and economic practices and inequalities that discriminate against women. ... The Factory Act of 1833 was an act of the parliament of the United Kingdom, which limited the workday for children in factories. ... The Factory Acts were a series of acts passed by the British Parliament to limit the number of hours worked by women and children first in the textile industry, then later in all industries. ... Type Bicameral Houses House of Commons House of Lords Speaker of the House of Commons The Right Honourable Michael Martin MP Lord Speaker Hélène Hayman, Baroness Hayman, PC Members 1377 (646 Commons, 731 Peers) Political groups (as of May 5, 2005 elections) Labour Party Conservative Party Liberal Democrats...


In the middle of the 19th century, humanitarianism was central to the work of Florence Nightengale and Henry Dunant in emergency response and in the latter case led to the founding of the Red Cross. Florence Nightingale, OM (12 May 1820 – 13 August 1910), who came to be known as The Lady with the Lamp, was a pioneer of modern nursing, and a noted statistician. ... Dunant as an elderly man. ... The Anarchist Black Cross was originally called the Anarchist Red Cross. The band Redd Kross was originally called Red Cross. This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ...


Emergency response

Today, humanitarianism is particularly used to describe the thinking and doctrines behind emergency response to humanitarian crises. In such cases it argues for a humanitarian response based on humanitarian principles, particularly the principle of humanity. Nicholas de Torrente, Executive Director of MSF-USA writes: A humanitarian crisis, (or, in the language of history; humanitarian disaster) is a health or otherwise natural disaster which mortally threatens a very large number of people. ... Humanitarian aid arriving by plane at Rinas Airport in Albania in the summer of 1999. ... There are a number of meanings for the term humanitarian. ...

"The most important principles of humanitarian action are humanity, which posits the conviction that all people have equal dignity by virtue of their membership in humanity, impartiality, which directs that assistance is provided based solely on need, without discrimination among recipients, neutrality, which stipulates that humanitarian organizations must refrain from taking part in hostilities or taking actions that advantage one side of the conflict over another, and independence, which is necessary to ensure that humanitarian action only serves the interests of war victims, and not political, religious, or other agendas.
"These fundamental principles serve two essential purposes. They embody humanitarian action’s single-minded purpose of alleviating suffering, unconditionally and without any ulterior motive. They also serve as operational tools that help in obtaining both the consent of belligerents and the trust of communities for the presence and activities of humanitarian organizations, particularly in highly volatile contexts.[3]

See also

Look up humanitarianism in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 150 languages. ... Humanitarian aid arriving by plane at Rinas Airport in Albania in the summer of 1999. ... There are a number of meanings for the term humanitarian. ... Ludwig L. Zamenhof Homaranismo (roughly: Humanitarianism) is an Esperanto word used by its creator, Ludwig Zamenhof to describe his philosophy of human interaction and behaviour. ... Misanthropy is a general dislike of the human race. ... Mundialization is all the ideas and actions expressing the solidarity of populations of the globe and aiming to establish institutions and supranational laws of a federative structure common to them, while respecting the diversity of cultures and peoples. ... The flaming chalice is the universally recognized symbol for Unitarian Universalism. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

Notes

  1. ^ "humanitarianism." WordNet® 3.0. Princeton University. 02 Jun. 2007.
  2. ^ Pictet (1979) Humanity
  3. ^ de Torent (2004)

Sources

  • Dictionary.com: Humanitarianism
  • de Torrent, Nicholas: "Humanitarian Action Under Attack: Reflections on the Iraq War" Harvard Human Rights Journal, Volume 17, Spring 2004[1] Retrieved 2007-07-13
  • Minear, Larry (2002). The Humanitarian Enterprise: Dilemmas and Discoveries. West Hartford, Conn: Kumarian Press. ISBN 1-56549-149-1. 
  • Pictet, Jean (1979). The Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross: a commentary. Retrieved on 2007-07-13.
  • Walter, J. (2003). Focus on ethics in aid. World disasters report, 2003. Geneva, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.[2] Retrieved 2007-07-13
  • Waters, Tony (2001). Bureaucratizing the Good Samaritan: The Limitations of Humanitarian Relief Operations. Boulder: Westview Press.

  Results from FactBites:
 
MSF-USA: 2004 Activity Report - Military humanitarianism (3010 words)
Clear-cut examples include the coalition's "humanitarian" food drops during the first aerial strikes in 2001, its deployment of special forces in civilian dress who claim to be on a "humanitarian mission," and threatening to suspend humanitarian aid to populations in southern Afghanistan if they refuse to provide information about the Taliban and Al- Qaeda.
The blurring of the humanitarian symbol and its disastrous consequences for team safety and aid activities are not limited to the Afghan theater.
The blurred lines between humanitarian assistance and the international military takeover in the early 1990s as well as the UN's use of aid to advance its military strategy has crippled the respect which humanitarians could have enjoyed as neutral and independent caregivers.
Humanitarianism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (339 words)
Humanitarianism is based on a view that all human beings deserve respect and dignity and should be treated as such.
Humanitarians abhor slavery, cannibalism, and discrimination on the basis of features such as color of skin, ancestry, place of birth, etc. Humanitarianism is embraced by movements and people across the political spectrum, and particularly (but not exclusively) by leftists.
Humanitarianism was probably most publicly seen in the social reforms of the late 1800s and early 1900s, following the economic turmoil of the Industrial Revolution in England.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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