“Eastern law is at odds with the seven [fundamental] principles [that guide the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement]. I say this because we could only help one side of the conflict. If we worked with the other side, we would be beheaded. It was that bad. Although we wanted to go, we couldn’t. The Red Cross couldn’t go to any of the refugee camps. Red Cross volunteers from other states and divisions had to come and work in the camps. Even now, the Red Cross cannot work in those places. This is at odds with the seven principles.” (Male Volunteer)
- Local volunteers are at the heart of negotiating between the local contexts and broader humanitarian principles.
- Seemingly neutral humanitarian principles are often interpreted differently in diverse different cultural settings.
- Given their critical role, local volunteers’ voices and experiences need to be brought into debates on humanitarian principles and practice.