In this conversation, Nick and Hugo discuss:
Hugo’s early life and career as a frontline humanitarian worker in Africa and the Middle East
The bureaucratisation of humanitarian organisations over recent decades
The magic of young people in humanitarian (and other) organisations
The experience of civilians in war and conflict, the ‘seven spheres of suffering’, and memorialisation of the dead
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Hugo’s term as Head of Policy and Humanitarian Diplomacy
Recent developments in International Humanitarian Law and warfare
The impact of COVID-19 on relief work in conflict zones
The changed ethical landscape that many in western nations now find themselves in as a result of the pandemic.
Dr Hugo Slim recently concluded 5 years as Head of Policy and Humanitarian Diplomacy at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva. Before joining ICRC in 2015, he was Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict (ELAC) at the University of Oxford where he led research on humanitarian ethics and the protection of civilians. Hugo has combined a career between academia and practice. He was Chief Scholar at the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue from 2003–2007 and Reader in International Humanitarianism at Oxford Brookes University from 1994–2003. Between 1983 and 1994, Hugo worked for Save the Children and the United Nations in Morocco, Sudan, Ethiopia, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Bangladesh. He received his PhD in humanitarian ethics from Oxford Brookes University in 2002. His most recent books are Humanitarian Ethics: A Guide to the Morality of Aid in War and Disaster (2015 Hurst/OUP) and Killing Civilians: Method, Madness and Morality in War (2007 Hurst/OUP).