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Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response

References and further reading


International legal instruments

The Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Health (Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights), CESCR General Comment 14, 11 August 2000. UN Doc. E/C.12/2000/4. Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

World Health Organization (WHO) (2002), 25 Questions & Answers on Health & Human Rights. Health & Human Rights Publication Issue No. 1. Geneva.

Health systems

Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) (2004), Minimum Standards for Education in Emergencies, Chronic Crises and Early Reconstruction. Geneva.

Inter-Agency Steering Committee (IASC) Global Health Cluster (2009), Health Cluster Guide: A practical guide for country-level implementation of the Health Cluster. WHO. Geneva.

Management Sciences for Health (1997), Managing Drug Supply, 2nd edition.Kumarian Press. Bloomfield, CT., USA.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) (2009), Emergency Health Information System.

Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) (2000), Natural Disasters: protecting the public’s health.Scientific Publication No. 575. Washington, DC.

WHO (1994), Health Laboratory Facilities in Emergencies and Disaster Situations.Geneva.

WHO (1999), Guidelines for Drug Donations, 2nd edition. Geneva.

WHO (2000), World health report 2000 – Health systems: improving performance. Geneva.

 WHO 2001. Macroeconomics and health: Investing in health for economic development

WHO (2009), Model Lists of Essential Medicines. Geneva.

WHO (in press), The Interagency Emergency Health Kit: Medicines and Medical Devices for 10,000 People for Approximately 3 Months, 4th edition. Geneva.

WHO and PAHO (2001), Health Library for Disasters. Geneva.

Control of communicable diseases

Heymann, David L (2008), Control of Communicable Diseases Manual, 19th edition. American Public Health Association. Washington, DC.

WHO (2002), Guidelines for the Collection of Clinical Specimens During Field Investigation of Outbreaks. Geneva.

WHO (2005), Communicable disease control in emergencies. Geneva.

WHO (2005), Malaria Control in Complex Emergencies: An Interagency Field Handbook. Geneva.

WHO (2007), Tuberculosis Care and Control in Refugee and Displaced Populations: An Interagency Field Manual, 2nd edition.Geneva.

Child health

WHO (1997), Immunisation in Practice. A Guide for Health Workers Who Give Vaccines. Macmillan. London.

WHO (2005), IMCI Handbook (Integrated Management of Childhood Illness). Geneva.

WHO (2005), Pocket book of hospital care for children: Guidelines for the management of common illnesses with limited resources. Geneva.

WHO (2008), Manual for the health care of children in humanitarian emergencies. Geneva.

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) (2009), The State of the World’s Children 2009. New York.

Sexual and reproductive health

IASC (2009). Guidelines for Addressing HIV in Humanitarian Settings.

Inter-Agency Working Group on Reproductive Health in Crises (2010 revision for field review), Inter-agency Field Manual on Reproductive Health in Humanitarian Settings.

Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children (2006), Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) for Reproductive Health: A Distance Learning Module.

WHO (2006), Pregnancy, Childbirth, Postpartum and Newborn Care: A guide for essential practice, 2nd edition. Geneva.

WHO and UNHCR (2004), Clinical Management of Rape Survivors: Developing Protocols for use with Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons. Geneva

WHO, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Andalucia School of Public Health (2009), Granada Consensus on Sexual and Reproductive Health in Protracted Crises and Recovery. Granada, Spain.


Hayward-Karlsson, J et al. (1998), Hospitals for War-Wounded: A Practical Guide for Setting Up and Running a Surgical Hospital in an Area of Armed Conflict. International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Geneva.

PAHO (1995, reprint 2001), Establishing a Mass Casualty Management System.Washington, DC.

WHO (2005), Integrated Management for Emergency and Essential Surgical Care tool kit: Disaster Management Guidelines. Geneva.

Mental health

IASC (2007), IASCGuidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings. Geneva.

IASC Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (2010), Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) In Humanitarian Emergencies: What Should Humanitarian Health Actors Know? Geneva.

WHO (2010), mhGAP Intervention Guide for Mental, Neurological and Substance Use Disorders in Non-specialized Health Settings.

WHO, World Vision International and War Trauma Foundation (forthcoming), PsychologicalFirst Aid Guide. Geneva.

Non-communicable diseases

Spiegel et al. (2010), Health-care needs of people affected by conflict: future trends and changing frameworks. Lancet, Vol 375, January 23, 2010.

WHO (2008), The Management of Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in Emergency and Humanitarian Settings. Draft, 28 February 2008. Geneva.

WHO (2009), WHO Package of Essential Non-communicable Disease Interventions (WHO PEN). Geneva.

Further reading

International legal instruments

Mann, J et al. (eds.) (1999), Health and Human Rights: A Reader. Routledge. New York.

Baccino-Astrada, A (1982), Manual on the Rights and Duties of Medical Personnel in Armed Conflicts. ICRC. Geneva.

Health systems

Beaglehole, R, Bonita, R and Kjellstrom, T (2006), Basic Epidemiology, 2nd edition. WHO. Geneva.

IASC Global Health Cluster (2010), GHC position paper: removing user fees for primary health care services during humanitarian crises. Geneva.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (2008), Public health guide in emergencies. Geneva.

Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) (1997), Refugee Health. An Approach to Emergency Situations. Macmillan. London.

Noji, E (ed.) (1997), The Public Health Consequences of Disasters. Oxford University Press. New York.

Perrin, P (1996), Handbook on War and Public Health. ICRC. Geneva.

WHO (2006), The Interagency Emergency Health Kit 2006. Geneva.

Essential health services

Checchi, F and Roberts, L (2005), Interpreting and using mortality data in humanitarian emergencies. Humanitarian Practice Network. Overseas Development Institute. London.

MSF (2006), Rapid health assessment of refugee or displaced populations. Paris.

SMART (2006), Measuring Mortality, Nutritional Status and Food Security in Crisis Situations: Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transition.

UNHCR (2009), UNHCR’s Priniciples and Guidance for Referral Health Care for Refugees and Other Persons of Concern. Geneva.

WHO (1999), Rapid Health Assessment Protocols for Emergencies. Geneva.

Control of communicable diseases

Cook, G C, Manson, P and Zumla, A I (2008), Manson’s Tropical Diseases, 22nd edition. WB Saunders.

Connolly, M A et al. (2004), Communicable diseases in complex emergencies: impact and challenges. The Lancet. London.

WHO (2004), Cholera outbreak, assessing the outbreak response and improving preparedness. Geneva.

WHO (2005), Guidelines for the control of shigellosis, including epidemics due to shigella dysenteriae type 1. Geneva.

Child health

WHO (2005), Guidelines for the management of common illnesses with limited resources. Geneva.

WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF and The World Bank Group (2003), Managing Newborn Problems: A guide for doctors, nurses, and midwives. Geneva.

Sexual and reproductive health

Inter-agency Standing Committee (2006), Guidelines for Gender-based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Emergencies. Geneva.

International Rescue Committee (2003), Protecting the Future: HIV Prevention, Care and Support Among Displaced and War-Affected Populations. Kumarian Press. Bloomfield, CT, USA.

UNFPA and Inter-agency Working Group on Reproductive Health in Refugee Situations (2008), The Reproductive Health Kit for Emergency Situations.

UNHCR (2006), Note on HIV/AIDS and the Protection of Refugees, IDPs and Other Persons of Concern. Geneva.

UNHCR (2007), Antiretroviral Medication Policy for Refugees. Geneva.

UNHCR and Southern African Clinicians Society (2007), Clinical guidelines on antiretroviral therapy management for displaced populations.

UNHCR, WHO and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) (2009), Policy Statement on HIV Testing and Counselling in Health Facilities for Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons and other Persons of Concern to UNHCR. Geneva.

WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF and The World Bank Group (2000, reprint 2007), Managing Complications in Pregnancy and Childbirth: A guide for midwives and doctors. Geneva.


International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) (2001), ISPO consensus conference on appropriate orthopaedic technology for low-income countries: conclusions and recommendations. Prosthetics Orthotics International. Vol. 25, pp 168– 170.

ISPO Code of Conduct for International Non-Governmental Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Mobility Assistance:

Landmines Survivors Network (2007), Prosthetics and Orthotics Programme Guide: implementing P&O services in poor settings: guide for planners and providers of services for persons in need of orthopaedic devices. Geneva.

Landmine Survivors Network (2007), Prosthetics and Orthotics Project Guide: supporting P&O services in low-income settings a common approach for organizations implementing aid projects. Geneva.

MSF (1989), Minor Surgical Procedures in Remote Areas. Paris.

WHO (1991), Surgery at the District Hospital: Obstetrics, Gynaecology, Orthopaedics and Traumatology. Geneva.

Mental health

UNHCR and WHO (2008), Rapid Assessment of Alcohol and Other Substance Use in Conflict-affected and Displaced Populations: A Field Guide. Geneva.

WHO (2009), Pharmacological treatment of mental disorders in primary health care. Geneva.

Non-communicable diseases

Fauci, AS et al. (eds.) (2008), Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, 15th edition. McGraw Hill Professional. New York.

Foster, C et al. (eds.), The Washington Manual of Medical Therapeutics, 33rd edition. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Publishers. Philadelphia.

Tierny, LM, McPhee, SJ, Papadakis, MA (eds.) (2003), Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment, 42nd edition. McGraw-Hill/Appleton & Lange. New York.