160 years after Henri Dunants Book on the Battle of Solferino, which became fundamental for modern humanitarianism, Hugo Slim wrote a reflection on new warfare, cyber wars and its implications for much needed reform of the humanitarian sector. We discuss this in the 10th episode of the CHAtroom podcast:
Dr Hugo Slim is a British academic and policy advisor in International Relations specialising in the ethics of war and humanitarian aid. He writes about the nature of contemporary conflict, the protection of civilians and the ethics of humanitarian aid. He is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Las Casas Institute for Social Justice at Blackfriars Hall at the University of Oxford and also at the Blavatnik School of Government.
“The warfare most humanitarian aid workers are working in today […] is not the war that military planners and great powers today are preparing for. That is a massive war.”
“This big war is not only going to be on land, sea and air, it is moving into new domains of outer space, cyber space and information space.”
“We [as a humanitarian sector] need to raise our eyes and look at the big war of the future as well as the wars we are in today.”
“We will have to think much more about massive casualties and massive displacement. And we will need to work out what are the ethics, norms and laws to regulate AI based weaponry and weapon of mass destruction. And we have to work on our own practice: What does it mean for us to become a much more AI based profession as well.”
“The principles do, neutrality does hinder localisation to some degree, because it is used as an excuse very often by a more powerful international system.”
“People have a right to humanitarian self-determination.”
“We need a simpler aid, we need to focus much more. […] In a way, humanitarianism has absorbed the whole of the human rights agenda […] they are becoming utopian.”
Books by Hugo Slim:
Solferino 21 – Warfare, Civilians and Humanitarians in the Twenty-First Century
Humanitarian Ethics: The Morality of Aid in War and Disaster und Killing
Civilians: Method, Madness and Morality in War.
Jingle: lie by Clueless Kit
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