What is humanitarian mediation?

New NCHS paper released

The use of mediation in humanitarian contexts appears to be growing.

However, despite the various ways in which mediation plays a role in humanitarian action, the practice is not well documented and has not been studied systematically.

This latest NCHS paper, “Humanitarian mediation: Conceptual and ethical explorations”, by Kristina Roepstorff and Kristoffer Lidén (Peace Research Institute Oslo, PRIO) explore the concept of humanitarian mediation, including how it is defined, who undertakes humanitarian mediation, its benefits in humanitarian contexts and the ethical considerations.

In their paper, Roepstorff and Lidén put forward a working definition of humanitarian mediation that focuses on humanitarian settings and humanitarian concerns, but that opens up the practice to different kinds of mediators and stakeholders, beyond humanitarians and humanitarian organisations.

Roepstorff and Lidén argue that with the “increasing promotion of humanitarian mediation, there is a clear need for better understanding of its practice and ethical implications.”

To read more and download a copy of the paper visit our resource hub here.

Kristina Roepstorff is a Senior Researcher at PRIO, working on the research project, “Red lines and grey zones: Exploring the ethics of humanitarian negotiations” (RedLines).

Kristoffer Lidén is a Senior Researcher at PRIO and the Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies. He currently leads the research projects “RedLines” and “On fair terms: The ethics of peace negotiations and mediation.”