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Ethics and Corruption in Humanitarian Operations

Tuesday, October 6, 2020, 1011 a.m.


What can you say about common ethical challenges encountered by humanitarian personnel and how to overcome them? Is corruption really an issue for humanitarian personnel? Isn’t this more something for the financial sector?

Integrity is at the heart of everything we do, and humanitarian work is no exception. Adherence to the values, principles, and ethical standards required of those engaged in humanitarian work is critical in developing and maintaining beneficiary confidence, promoting a strong public image, cultivating an effective workforce, and nurturing accountability and transparency. At the opposite end of the spectrum, corruption, exploitation, and other abuse of authority have the potential to channel resources away from those for whom they were intended, and to harm beneficiaries, co-workers, and others in profound ways.

Lex Takkenberg will explore the topics of ethics and corruption in humanitarian operations during this webinar, discussing how humanitarian personnel can serve with integrity and proactively prevent and adequately respond to unethical situations.

About the Speaker
A Dutch national, Takkenberg has worked in various field and headquarters positions with United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) since 1989 and was until recently based in Amman, where served as chief of the Ethics Office. Before joining UNRWA, he was the legal officer of the Dutch Refugee Council for six years. A law graduate from the University of Amsterdam, he obtained a doctorate in international law from the University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands, after successfully defending his doctoral dissertation, titled “The Status of Palestinian Refugees in International Law.” Oxford University Press (OUP) published a commercial edition of the dissertation in 1998, and an Arabic translation was published by the Institute for Palestine Studies in 2003. A new version of the book—co-authored with Francesca Albanese—was published by OUP in 2020.