Intended for healthcare professionals


Aid workers should strive for impartiality, new principles stipulate

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 20 April 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2523
  1. Weiyuan Cui
  1. 1Geneva

Aid workers are called on to follow core principles of doing no harm and remaining impartial, in an updated version of a handbook setting out standards for providing humanitarian assistance.

The principles are introduced as a new chapter to the third version of the Sphere Handbook, launched by humanitarian organisations earlier this month. The handbook establishes shared principles and minimum standards in four areas of humanitarian response: water and sanitation; food; shelter; and healthcare.

The handbook, which was revised by more than 650 experts from 300 organisations, calls on aid workers to assess the context and anticipate the …

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