Congressional Briefing: A Crisis in Humanitarian Access to Civilians

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July 10, 2012

A Crisis in Humanitarian Access to Civilians  

On July 26, 2012, the Charity & Security Network hosted a Capitol Hill briefing featuring a panel of experts discussing the dire situation on the ground in the Sahel and Somalia, how U.S. laws erect barriers to effective aid delivery, and how an international humanitarian law framework could help.  Examples were drawn from the CSN report: Safeguarding Humanitarian Access in Armed Conflict.  Click here to read its executive summary

Transcript of the event is available here


Video of the event is avaliable in two parts below

 Part I: Panelist Presentations


Part II: Q&A and Closing Remarks


The event was moderated by William Burke-White, Deputy Dean and Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Mr. Burke-White previously served in the Obama Administration from 2009-2011 as Secretary of State Clinton's Policy Planning Staff, where he advised on multilateral diplomacy and international institutions.

Featured Speakers:

  • Elizabeth Holland, Associate with Foley Hoag LLP. Prior to joining Foley Hoag, Ms. Holland was the Program Associate and Head of Curriculum Development with the Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research at Harvard University, where she focused on international humanitarian law, counterterrorism regulations and humanitarian assistance. 
  • Jeremy Konyndyk, Director of Policy and Advocacy for Mercy Corps. Mr. Konyndyk has worked in the relief and development field for over a decade, engaging in post-conflict recovery operations in Kosovo, Guinea, Sudan and Uganda.
  • Gerard McHugh, Founder and President of Conflict Dynamics International. For over a decade, Mr. McHugh has worked on international conflict resolution and humanitarian policy. He founded Conflict Dynamics in 2004 to function as an independent organization to prevent conflict and alleviate suffering caused by conflict and other crises around the world. 
  • Dr. Ken Menkhaus, Professor of Political Science at Davidson College. Dr. Menkhaus is an expert on the Horn of Africa with a focus on development, conflict analysis, peace operations, state failure, state-building, and political Islam. He previously served as a special political advisor to the UN Operation in Somalia. 
  • Kay Guinane, Director of the Charity & Security Network and Karen S. Lucas, State & Local Advocacy Attorney in the Center for Immigrant Rights at the Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc., co-authors of Safeguarding Humanitarian Access in Armed Conflict.