Humanitarian Assistance and the Conundrum of Consent: A Legal Perspective

Cedric Ryngaert

Abstract


Syria’s refusal to allow humanitarian actors to provide assistance to the Syrian population in need, at least on a number of occasions, has again drawn attention to the continued validity of the requirement of state consent with regard to the outside provision of humanitarian assistance. This refusal to give consent has again foregrounded such questions as to whether a state’s denial of access is an entirely discretionary decision and whether humanitarian actors can provide assistance without obtaining consent to operate.


Keywords


state consent; humanitarian assistance; aid refusal; non-governmental humanitarian actors; refusal; access; relief operation; Syria

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