Humanitarian Access Issues Linked to Peace Processes: Advantages, Disadvantages and Examples
Political mediators and humanitarian negotiators both seek to stabilise a conflict situation. However, the goal of political mediators is to build a political consensus to address the causes of the conflict, while the goal of humanitarian negotiators is to address the immediate humanitarian consequences: specifically access to aid and protection of vulnerable populations. This report provides a general overview of potential advantages, disadvantages, risks and challenges of linking humanitarian issues to ceasefires and peace processes, based on a range of academic and practitioner literature. This is followed by a case study of Syria, where there is some emergent academic literature that looks at the incorporation of humanitarian access issues in ceasefires and peace processes—and outcomes for civilians, in terms of protection and access to aid. It also takes a brief look at civilian monitoring and recent humanitarian ceasefires in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic. Examples and evidence of humanitarian issues linked to ceasefires and peace processes—and the impacts on protection of civilians and humanitarian access—is extremely sparse. This is stated in the literature itself, which covers varying aspects of this research.