Practice Relating to Rule 55. Access for Humanitarian Relief to Civilians in Need

Geneva Convention IV
Article 30, first paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides:
Protected persons shall have every facility for making application to the Protecting Powers, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the National Red Cross (Red Crescent, Red Lion and Sun) Society of the country where they may be, as well as to any organization that might assist them. 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 30, para. 1.
Additional Protocol I
Article 70(1) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides:
If the civilian population of any territory under the control of a Party to the conflict, other than occupied territory, is not adequately provided with the supplies mentioned in Article 69, relief actions which are humanitarian and impartial in character and conducted without any adverse distinction shall be undertaken, subject to the agreement of the Parties concerned in such relief actions … In the distribution of relief consignments, priority shall be given to those persons, such as children, expectant mothers, maternity cases and nursing mothers, who, under the Fourth Convention or under this Protocol, are to be accorded privileged treatment or special protection. 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 70(1). Article 70 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.43, 27 May 1977, p. 245.
Additional Protocol II
Article 18(2) of the 1977 Additional Protocol II provides:
If the civilian population is suffering undue hardship owing to a lack of the supplies essential for its survival, such as food-stuffs and medical supplies, relief actions for the civilian population which are of an exclusively humanitarian and impartial nature and which are conducted without any adverse distinction shall be undertaken subject to the consent of the High Contracting Party concerned. 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 18(2). Article 18 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VII, CDDH/SR.53, 6 June 1977, p. 150.
Recommendation on the Tragic Situation of Civilians in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Paragraph 5 of the 1992 Recommendation on the Tragic Situation of Civilians in Bosnia and Herzegovina states: “Persons temporarily transferred to areas other than their areas of origin should benefit, as vulnerable groups, from international assistance, inter alia, in conformity with its mandate, by the ICRC.” 
Recommendation on the Tragic Situation of Civilians in Bosnia and Herzegovina, adopted at the invitation of the International Committee of the Red Cross and signed by Representatives of Mr. Alija Izetbegović (President of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and President of the Party of Democratic Action), Representative of Mr. Radovan Karadžić (President of the Serbian Democratic Party), and Representative of Mr. Mate Boban (President of the Croatian Democratic Community), Geneva, 1 October 1992, § 5.
N’Djamena Protocol on the Establishment of Humanitarian Assistance
Article 1 of the 2004 N’Djamena Protocol on the Establishment of Humanitarian Assistance states:
Human sufferings will be taken into account wherever they are found; rights of all vulnerable persons will be respected and protected. The rights to receive humanitarian assistance and protection, and to provide it, is fundamental. 
Protocol on the Establishment of Humanitarian Assistance in Darfur, signed by the Government of Sudan, the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army, the Sudanese Justice and Equality Movement, the African Union and the Chadian Mediation, N’Djamena, 8 April 2004, annexed to the N’Djamena Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement, signed by the Government of Sudan, the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army, the Sudanese Justice and Equality Movement, the African Union and the Chadian Mediation, N’Djamena, 8 April 2004, Article 1.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1989) states that, if the civilian population of any territory under the control of a party to the conflict, other than occupied territory, is insufficiently provided with supplies (such as foodstuffs, medical supplies, means of shelter and other supplies essential to the survival of the civilian population), relief actions of a humanitarian and impartial character shall be undertaken, subject to the agreement of the parties concerned. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, § 4.11.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) provides: “Every opportunity must be given to protected persons to apply to the Protecting Powers, the ICRC, the local National Red Cross (or equivalent) society or any other organization that may assist them”. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 11-4, § 31.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001), in its chapter entitled “Treatment of civilians in the hands of a party to the conflict or an occupying power” and, more specifically, in a section entitled “Provisions common to the territories of the parties to the conflict and to occupied territories”, states:
Every opportunity must be given to protected persons to apply to the Protecting Powers, the ICRC, the local National Red Cross (or equivalent) society or any other organization that may assist them. Within the limits of military or security considerations, the belligerent must provide these organizations with all necessary facilities for given assistance. Belligerents must facilitate as much as possible visits to protected persons not only by delegates of the Protecting Powers and of the ICRC but also by representatives of other organizations ministering to their spiritual or material need. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1120.
In the same chapter, in a section entitled “Aliens in the territory of a party to the conflict”, the manual states:
Subject to security requirements protected persons who remain in the territory of the belligerent must, in general, be treated in accordance with the rules governing the treatment of aliens in time of peace. In particular, they must be allowed to receive any individual or collective relief that may be sent to them. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1123.
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Instructor’s Manual (1999) states in Volume 2 (Instruction for group and patrol leaders) that “civilians who are under the authority of the adverse party … have the right … to receive relief.” 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 2: Formation pour l’obtention du certificat technique No. 2 (Chef de Groupe), du certificat Inter-Armé (CIA), du certificat d’aptitude de Chef de Patrouille (CACP) , Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter I, Fundamental Rules, § 4.
Djibouti
Djibouti’s Manual on International Humanitarian Law (2004) states that “the civilian population has the right to receive objects essential for its survival.” 
Djibouti, Manuel sur le droit international humanitaire et les droits de l’homme applicables au travail du policier, Ministère de l’Intérieur, Direction Générale de la Police, 2004, p. 31.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) states: “Civilians may at any time seek help from a protecting power, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) or any other aid society.” 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, August 1992, § 516.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands provides: “If the civilian population of a certain area is not equipped with elementary necessities, relief actions have to be undertaken.” 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. VIII-4.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
If the civilian population of a territory is not adequately provided with elementary supplies (food, medicines and dressings, clothing, shelter, etc.), relief actions must be undertaken. This relates to the civilian population as a whole, in other words not only protected persons. Offers of such relief may not be regarded as intervention in the armed conflict. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0818.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states:
Section 10 - Humanitarian aid
1070. …
The International Institute of Humanitarian Law in San Remo drew up the “Guiding Principles on the Right to Humanitarian Assistance” in 1993. This “recommendation” states … inter alia that there is a right to request and receive humanitarian aid. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 1070 and p. 172.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides:
Every opportunity must be given to protected persons to apply for help from the Protecting Powers, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the local national Red Cross (or equivalent) society or any other organisation that may assist them. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1115.
Nicaragua
Nicaragua’s Military Manual (1996) states: “The civilian population has the right to receive the relief they need.” 
Nicaragua, Manual de Comportamiento y Proceder de las Unidades Militares y de los Miembros del Ejército de Nicaragua en Tiempo de Paz, Conflictos Armados, Situaciones Irregulares o Desastres Naturales, Ejército de Nicaragua, Estado Mayor General, Asesoría Jurídica del Nicaragua, 1996, Article 14(33).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) provides that, in a territory temporarily occupied by foreign troops, “civilians shall have every facility for making application to the Protecting Powers, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the national Red Cross Society of the country where they may be, as well as to any organization that might assist them”. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 155(1).
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) provides:
Every opportunity must be given to protected persons to apply to the Protecting Powers, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the local national Red Cross (or equivalent) society or any other organisation that may assist them. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 40.
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) provides:
Protected persons shall have every facility for making application to the Protecting Powers, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the National Red Cross (Red Crescent, Red Lion and Sun) Society of the country where they may be, as well as to any organization that might assist them. 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 269.
United States of America
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1956) states:
Article 30 [of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV] seeks to put teeth into the Geneva protections by requiring the parties to give protected persons every facility for making application to the Protecting Powers, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the National Red Cross (Red Crescent, Red Lion and Sun) Society of the country where they may be, as well as to any organization that might assist them. 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 14-4.
Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s International Crimes (Tribunal) Act (1973) states that the “violation of any humanitarian rules applicable in armed conflicts laid down in the Geneva Conventions of 1949” is a crime. 
Bangladesh, International Crimes (Tribunal) Act, 1973, Section 3(2)(e).
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).
Ireland
Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, provides that any “minor breach” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including violations of Article 30 of the Geneva Convention IV, and of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, including violations of Article 70(1), as well as any “contravention” of the 1977 Additional Protocol II, including violations of Article 18(2), are punishable offences. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Norway
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, provides:
Anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 … [and in] the two additional protocols to these Conventions … is liable to imprisonment. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, § 108.
No data.
Colombia
The Report on the Practice of Colombia refers to a draft internal working paper in which the Colombian Government stated: “The parties in conflict must guarantee the right to protection and humanitarian assistance of the victims of political violence.”  
Report on the Practice of Colombia, 1998, Chapter 4.1, referring to Presidential Council, Proposal of the Government to the Coordinator Guerrillerra Simón Bolívar to humanize war, Draft Internal Working Paper, Part entitled “El Derecho Internacional Humanitario”, § 8.
Ethiopia
In the context of the conflict in Ethiopia, it has been reported that “to combat new famine threats, in early 1991 the EPLF [Eritrean People’s Liberation Front] and the Ethiopian Government agreed on a joint and equal distribution of UN famine relief supplies”. 
Amnesty International, Ethiopia: End of an Era of Brutal Repression, London, May 1991, p. 43.
According to the Report on the Practice of Ethiopia, “this and similar practices tend to indicate that, however recent, the right to humanitarian relief is gaining respect” in Ethiopia. 
Report on the Practice of Ethiopia, 1998, Chapter 4.1.
France
In 2009, the President of the French Republic stated:
[In Sri Lanka], [t]ogether with the UN Secretary General, we demand a humanitarian truce in order to allow the civilian population to leave the combat zone and to receive the assistance to which it is entitled. 
France, Address by the President of the French Republic on the 90th Anniversary of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, 4 May 2009, p. 2.
Germany
In 1993, during a parliamentary debate on the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a German Minister of State stated that existing IHL granted a right to the civilian population to receive humanitarian aid. Therefore, obtaining the consent of the occupying or besieging forces to grant transit of humanitarian goods was legally unnecessary. 
Germany, Lower House of Parliament, Statement by a Minister of State, 22 April 1993, Plenarprotokoll 12/152, p. 13074, § C.
Germany
In 1997, during an open debate in the UN Security Council, Germany declared: “We have witnessed … a worrisome development whereby civilian populations are denied humanitarian assistance by the Powers in control of the territory, in clear breach of the norms of international humanitarian and human rights law.” The consequences of these actions were said to range from massive displacement to death by starvation. 
Germany, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.3778 (Resumption 1), 21 May 1997, p. 18.
Mexico
In 2007, during a debate in the UN General Assembly on the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the UN, the permanent representative of Mexico stated:
Mexico is … concerned by the fact that the issue of access to civilians in armed conflicts is being interpreted as a question of interference without considering that this is a fundamental human right of the victims. 
Mexico, Statement by the permanent representative at the 62nd session of the UN General Assembly, UN Doc A/62/PV.54, 19 November 2007, p. 10.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s ABC of International Humanitarian Law (2009) states:
Humanitarian access
If the civilian population is not adequately provided with food supplies, international humanitarian law provides that relief actions which are humanitarian, impartial and non-discriminatory shall be undertaken, subject to the consent of the parties concerned. It also requires States to allow and facilitate rapid and unimpeded access of relief consignments. Civilians have the right to turn to any organisation that could come to their aid. Despite this, humanitarian organisations often have no access to Civilians in need of assistance and protection in Armed conflicts, either because the parties to the conflict refuse permission, or because of geographical or logistical difficulties, bureaucratic obstacles or security considerations. 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, ABC of International Humanitarian Law, 2009, pp. 22–23.
UN Security Council
In 1998, in a statement by its President on children and armed conflict, the UN Security Council expressed “its readiness to consider, when appropriate, means to assist with the effective provision and protection of humanitarian aid and assistance to civilian population in distress, in particular women and children”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/1998/18, 29 June 1998, pp. 1 and 2.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1970 on basic principles for the protection of civilian populations in armed conflicts, the UN General Assembly stated:
The provision of international relief to civilian populations is in conformity with the humanitarian principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international instruments in the field of human rights. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 2675 (XXV), 9 December 1970, § 8, voting record: 109-0-8-10.
UN General Assembly
In the United Nations Millennium Declaration adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2000, the heads of State and government declared that they would
spare no effort to ensure that children and all civilian populations that suffer disproportionately the consequences of natural disasters, genocide, armed conflicts and other humanitarian emergencies are given every assistance and protection so that they can resume normal life as soon as possible. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 55/2, 8 September 2000, § 26, adopted without a vote.
UN Secretary-General
In 1996, in a report on emergency assistance to Sudan, the UN Secretary-General stated that the two main southern factions, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) and the Southern Sudan Independent Army (SSIA), had endorsed new rules on cooperation with Operation Lifeline Sudan. These rules contained specific references to respect for and the upholding, inter alia, of a set of principles governing humanitarian aid, including “the right to offer and receive assistance”. In his concluding observations, the Secretary-General condemned the fact that the conflict in the Sudan had affected the lives of millions of Sudanese, stating:
Under such circumstances any attempt to diminish the capacity of the international community to respond to conditions of suffering and hardship among the civilian population in the Sudan can only give rise to the most adamant expressions of concern as a violation of recognized humanitarian principles, most importantly, the right of civilian populations to receive humanitarian assistance in times of war. 
UN Secretary-General, Report on emergency assistance to Sudan, UN Doc. A/51/326, 4 September 1996, §§ 71 and 93.
UN Secretary-General
In 1998, in a report on protection for humanitarian assistance to refugees and others in conflict situations, the UN Secretary-General stated:
Under international law, refugees, displaced persons and other victims of conflict have a right to international protection and assistance where this is not available from their national authorities. However, if this right is to have any meaning for the intended beneficiaries, then the beneficiaries must have effective access to the providers of that protection and assistance. Access to humanitarian assistance and protection, or humanitarian access, is therefore an essential subsidiary or ancillary right that gives meaning and effect to the core rights of protection and assistance. Humanitarian access is, inter alia, a right of refugees, displaced persons and other civilians in conflict situations and should not be seen as a concession to be granted to humanitarian organizations on an arbitrary basis. 
UN Secretary-General, Report on protection for humanitarian assistance to refugees and others in conflict situations, UN Doc. S/1998/883, 22 September 1998, § 15.
UN Secretary-General
In 1999, in a report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the UN Secretary-General called on neighbouring States “to bring any issues that might threaten the right of civilians to assistance to the attention of the Security Council as a matter affecting peace and security”. 
UN Secretary-General, Report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, UN Doc. S/1999/957, 8 September 1999, recommendation 19.
UN Secretary-General
In 2001, in a report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the UN Secretary-General stated: “Under international law, displaced persons and other victims of conflict are entitled to international protection and assistance where this is not available from national authorities.” 
UN Secretary-General, Report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, UN Doc. S/2001/331, 30 March 2001, § 17.
No data.
World Conference on Human Rights
The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights in 1993, reaffirmed “the right of the victims to be assisted by humanitarian organizations, as set forth in the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and other relevant instruments of international humanitarian law”. 
World Conference on Human Rights, Vienna, 14–25 June 1993, Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, UN Doc. A/CONF.157/23, 12 July 1993, § I(29).
International Conference for the Protection of War Victims
In the Final Declaration adopted by the International Conference for the Protection of War Victims in 1993, the participants declared that they refused to accept that “victims [are] denied elementary humanitarian assistance”. 
International Conference for the Protection of War Victims, Geneva, 30 August–1 September 1993, Final Declaration, § I(1), ILM, Vol. 33, 1994, p. 298.
International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (1995)
The 26th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in 1995 adopted a resolution on protection of the civilian population in period of armed conflict in which it strongly reasserted “the right of a civilian population in need to benefit from impartial humanitarian relief actions in accordance with international humanitarian law”. 
26th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Geneva, 3–7 December 1995, Res. II, § A(h).
International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (1995)
The 26th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in 1995 adopted a resolution on the principles and action in international humanitarian assistance and protection in which it took note of Resolution 11 of the Council of Delegates held in 1993 in Birmingham which, inter alia, reminded States of “the victims’ right to receive humanitarian assistance”. 
26th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Geneva, 3–7 December 1995, Res. IV, preamble.
International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (1999)
The Plan of Action for the years 2000–2003 adopted in 1999 by the 27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent proposed that all the parties to an armed conflict take effective measures to ensure that “every possible effort is made to provide the civilian population with all essential goods and services for its survival”. 
27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Geneva, 31 October–6 November 1999, Res. I, Annex 2, Plan of Action for the years 2000–2003, Actions proposed for final goal 1.1, § 1(g).
African Parliamentary Conference on International Humanitarian Law for the Protection of Civilians during Armed Conflict
The Final Declaration adopted in 2002 by the African Parliamentary Conference on International Humanitarian Law for the Protection of Civilians during Armed Conflict emphasized that “we agree that all civilians in need are to benefit from impartial humanitarian relief actions”. 
African Parliamentary Conference on International Humanitarian Law for the Protection of Civilians during Armed Conflict, Niamey, 18–20 February 2002, Final Declaration, § 14.
No data.
Council of Delegates (1991)
At its Budapest Session in 1991, the Council of Delegates adopted a resolution on humanitarian assistance in situations of armed conflict which recalled that “the principle of humanity and the rules of international humanitarian law recognize the victims’ right to receive protection and assistance in all circumstances”. 
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Council of Delegates, Budapest Session, 28–30 November 1991, Res. 12, preamble.
Council of Delegates (1993)
At its Birmingham Session in 1993, the Council of Delegates adopted a resolution on principles of humanitarian assistance in which it noted that victims have the “right to be recognized as victims and to receive assistance”. 
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Council of Delegates, Birmingham Session, 29–30 October 1993, Res. 11, § 1(b).
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
The Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Disaster Relief states: “The right to receive humanitarian assistance, and to offer it, is a fundamental humanitarian principle which should be enjoyed by all citizens of all countries.” 
Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Disaster Relief, IRRC, No. 310, 1996, Annex VI.
ICRC
In a communication to the press issued in 1997 concerning the conflict in Zaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo), the ICRC appealed to all concerned to “respect the victims’ right to assistance and protection”. 
ICRC, Communication to the Press No. 97/08, Zaire: ICRC Demands Access to Conflict Victims, 2 April 1997.
International Institute of Humanitarian Law
The Guiding Principles on the Right to Humanitarian Assistance, adopted by the Council of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law in 1993, state:
Every human being has the right to humanitarian assistance in order to ensure respect for the human rights to life, health, protection against cruel and degrading treatment and other human rights which are essential to survival, well-being and protection in public emergencies.
The right to humanitarian assistance implies the right to request and to receive such assistance, as well as to participate in its practical implementation. 
International Institute of Humanitarian Law, Guiding Principles on the Right to Humanitarian Assistance, Principles 1 and 2, IRRC, No. 297, 1993, pp. 521–522.
International Institute of Humanitarian Law
In 1995, the International Institute of Humanitarian Law stated that any declaration on minimum humanitarian standards should be based on “principles … of jus cogens, expressing basic humanitarian consideration[s] which are recognized to be universally binding”. According to the Institute, this includes the principle that “the population and individuals have the right to receive humanitarian assistance when suffering undue hardship owing to the lack of supplies essential for their survival, when this is the result of the conflict or violence deployed in the area”. 
International Institute of Humanitarian Law, Comments on the Turku Declaration of Minimum Humanitarian Standards submitted to the UN Secretary-General, §§ 1 and 21, reprinted in UN Doc. E/CN.4/1996/80, Report of the Secretary-General prepared pursuant to UN Commission on Human Rights resolution 1995/29, 28 November 1995, pp. 8 and 11.