December 05, 2023

Aid in North Korea and the four humanitarian principles

Examining how aid works in the DPRK is essential to balancing its pros and cons

The humanitarian community often refers to its four guiding principles: humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and independence. Known as the humanitarian principles, they are derived from the core principles of the Red Cross.

Humanity refers to the need to relieve human suffering. Neutrality dictates that humanitarians should not take sides in conflict. The principle of impartiality refers to the priorities of humanitarians when delivering aid: groups must deliver aid based on need alone, without bias toward race, religious or political beliefs, or gender. Independence stipulates that humanitarian actors should be autonomous and free from political motives.