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Publications

War and humanitarianism, medicine and public health, rights and justice... Discover CRASH publications sorted by themes.

The fact that CRASH publications are written from an aid practitioner's, rather than researcher's, perspective, does not exempt them from the demands of rigorous research methods. We try hard at this, with the help of (volunteer) research professionals. The publications are not the MSF party line, but rather tools for reflexion based on MSF's framework and experience. They have only one purpose: to help us better understand what we are doing. Criticisms, comments and suggestions are more than welcome - they are expected.

Types
Bourbon Argos: Search and Rescue Operations October 2016
Op-Ed

Humanitarian reasons versus political interests

Humanitarian organisations coming to the rescue of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea are kindly required either to watch them drown or to hand them over to human traffickers and torturers. We have seen countless political statements, opinion polls and editorials on the need to take a harder line against African migrants and accusing NGOs of being the accomplices of “smugglers”. We have even heard it said that these NGOs are organising the departures of those aspiring to migrate to Europe coincide with the presence of a rescue ship, making relief workers conscious actors in a criminal enterprise.

Rwanda
Article

Debate: Judi Rever will not let anything stand in the way of her quest to document a second Rwandan genocide

Published in March 2018, Judi Rever’s investigative work, In Praise of Blood, quickly garnered international attention. It is an indictment of both the Rwandan patriotic front (RPF) and its leader, current Rwandan president Paul Kagame, and foreign governments and international institutions – the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), in particular – that allowed crimes committed against Hutu civilians to go unpunished.Judi Rever’s book is more than a work of investigation. It reads like a prosecutor’s closing argument: the massacres are described in such a way as to classify them as genocide. And it is precisely this combination of investigation and the pursuit of evidence that would stand up in a court of law that is problematic.

Un groupe de 150 Syriens traverse la frontière entre la Grèce et la Macédoine.
Op-Ed

Consultations on asylum and immigration bill: MSF denounces ‘‘a fool’s game”

Abstaining from participation in a meeting taking place this coming Thursday, MSF feels that "government officials have listened politely at best and shown condescension and contempt at worst in response to positions expressed in meetings, op-ed pieces published in the press and questions asked in meetings by NGOs" and do not hide "a policy that is sliding into harsh repression".

Mamadou M’Baiki health centre in Bangui, CAR
Article

Review "Saving Lives and Staying Alive: Humanitarian Security in the Age of Risk Management"

Kevin MacMahon's review of "Saving Lives and Staying Alive: Humanitarian Security in the Age of Risk Management" (Michaël Neuman and Fabrice Weissman, London: C. Hurst & Co, 2016) is published in the Journal for the Study of Peace and Conflict (2016, pages 69-70).

Le camp de La Linière, à Grande Synthe, en Juillet 2016
Article

Sheltering, hosting or receiving refugees: the unresolved ambiguities of the La Linière refugee camp

Following the dismantlement of the Basroch camp in Grande-Synthe and the resettlement of refugees in the new La Linière camp, in the spring 2016, Michaël Neuman and Franck Esnée wanted to focus their analysis and story on the “camp” – as an object –, its nature and management. This article was originally published in Alternatives Humanitaires #5, in July 2017. 

Une femme et deux enfants traversent une route dans le camp de réfugiés de Domiz, au Kurdistan Irakien
Article

When camps become cities

There can scarcely be any more sensitive marker of geopolitical transformations than the refugee. Not the individual refugee as such, but the phenomenon of refugees, the representations that make them visible and the discourse around them. From this point of view, 2016 was a year of upheaval, the like of which Europe had not seen since the war in the former Yugoslavia.

A group of humanitarian workers in Honduras
Article

Dying for humanitarian ideas: Using images and statistics to manufacture humanitarian martyrdom

This article has been inspired by an analysis conducted by MSF-Crash of humanitarian security management and why and in what ways it is evolving. We endeavour not only to describe humanitarian imagery, but to analyse its consequences - the risks it generates for aid workers operating in perilous situations. 

Doctors carry a patient infected by ebola
Cahier

Médecins Sans Frontières and medical quality

The question of quality in the work of Médecins Sans Frontières has been asked from the very beginning of MSF's existence. On the one hand, the issue of improving the quality of practice is a part of ordinary professional activity; on the other hand, Médecins Sans Frontières' work involved working in distant lands and very specific environments, which demanded adjustments to medical practice as a result.

Woman carries a child in the Grande Synthe camp
Article

Temporary palliatives to an ongoing humanitarian need: MSF’s intervention in Dunkirk

This article was originally published in Humanitarian Exchange Magazine #67 in September 2016. In this paper, Angélique Muller and Michaël Neuman attempt to explore the lessons learnt through examining the decisions as well as the difficulties MSF encountered in its provision of assistance to migrants in Grande-Synthe.

A young girl walks in the streets of Bama
Article

War and humanitarian aid

Rony Brauman focuses on the humanitarian environment and practices in war, in order to try to understand and analyze its political and ethical stakes. Starting with the creation of the Red Cross at the end of the XIXth century, he then focused on the contemporary postcolonial period, switching between various scales and reporting on contradictory points of view and issues.

Logo du Crash
Article

The Crash – MSF

This article was originally published in French on Grotius, as part of a dossier on the contribution of research to humanitarian action. Unlike most think tanks and research institutes devoted to the study of humanitarian aid, the CRASH - born of Médecins Sans Frontières leaders' desire for a structure to support critical reflection on their own operations - is an integral part of a relief organization.

Un homme transporte des sodas dans le camp de réfugiés de Dadaab
Article

MSF and the aid system: choosing not to choose

We often hear it said within MSF that the aid system is unable to provide effective relief, or that the aid system’s ability to provide aid is in decline. These statements, which suggest that MSF is itself outside the "system", are based on the very real number of people in relief operations who need help but do not receive it, or do not receive enough of it. 

Une jeune fille somalienne regarde le coucher de soleil à bord du bateau Dignity
Speaking out case study

Somalia 1991-1993: Civil War, Famine Alert and a UN “Military-Humanitarian” Intervention

The ‘Somalia 1991-1993: Civil War, Famine Alert and a UN "Military-Humanitarian" Intervention‘ case study is describing the difficulties and dilemmas met by MSF during the first years that it was committed to helping the Somali people.

L'afflux des Syriens au camps de Domeez
Op-Ed

Syria: Breaking the De Facto Humanitarian Embargo against Rebel-Held Areas

While European Union members are debating the lifting of arms embargo on Syria, populations living in opposition held territories continue to be severed from desperately needed humanitarian aid. Yet, there is a controversy among aid agencies on the best ways to scale up relief activities in Syria.