Episode #86 The Long Term Dead: Exhuming and Identifying Missing Migrants with Kate Spradley

Episode #86 The Long Term Dead: Exhuming and Identifying Missing Migrants with Kate Spradley

In this episode of the Podcast, we speak with Kate Spradley, a biological anthropologist and professor with the Forensic Anthropology Center at the University of Texas. In 2013, she founded Operation Identification, a service-learning project that seeks to restore identities to the remains of migrants recovered from the Rio Grande Valley region. We talk about her work, the barriers to identifying migrant remains, and the crossover with ICRC’s work with the missing. Hosted by Niki Clark and Will Pons.

Read More

Geneva Conventions at 70: Are the 1949 Geneva Conventions Still Relevant?

Geneva Conventions at 70: Are the 1949 Geneva Conventions Still Relevant?

In this episode of Intercross the Podcast, we are joined by ICRC Deputy Legal Advisor Andrea Harrison to discuss the Geneva Conventions of 1949. The first Geneva Convention was signed in 1864, the year after the founding of the ICRC, and it was for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in Armies in the Field with 57 States Parties.  Most recently, the Geneva Conventions of 1949 were added, in part as a reaction to the tragedies of World War II.  How have the content of the Geneva Conventions changed over time? Every State in the world is party to the Geneva Conventions. What does this say about their significance and importance? And 68 years after the 1949 Conventions, with the nature of conflict radically evolving, are they still relevant and can they still stand the test of time? Hosted by Tracey Begley and Niki Clark.  

Read More

Episode #85 Displacement in Times of Armed Conflict with Dr. Cedric Cotter

Episode #85 Displacement in Times of Armed Conflict with Dr. Cedric Cotter

This episode of Intercross the Podcast is the fourth in our new joint series with Humanitarian Law & Policy. Humanitarian Law & Policy is the ICRC blog based in Geneva that provides timely analysis and debate on international humanitarian law (IHL) issues and the policies that shape humanitarian action. With this series we hope to have monthly conversations on trends, issues, future challenges and solutions as they pertain to IHL or humanitarian action. Whether within or across borders, the displacement of persons remains a pressing humanitarian concern. Millions of people are separated from their homes, livelihoods and families each year by armed conflict or other catastrophes, and frequently suffer severe abuses and hardship while in flight or at their place of refuge. ICRC recently released a study called Displacement in Times of Armed Conflict: How International Humanitarian Law Protects in War and Why it Matters. In this episode of the podcast, we speak with Dr. Cedric Cotter, the lead researcher behind the report to discuss the role of IHL in influencing displacement. Hosted by Austin Shangraw.

Read More

Episode #84 No End in Sight: The Conflict in Libya with Mohamed Sheikh-Ali

Episode #84 No End in Sight: The Conflict in Libya with Mohamed Sheikh-Ali

Eight years of violence and armed conflict have taken a heavy toll on Libya. Its economy is in crisis, instability prevails, and basic services such as health care, schools, electricity and water are suffering. In Tripoli, the latest conflict continues with no end in sight over three months after it began. There are growing fears that a protracted urban battle lies ahead. Meanwhile, tens of thousands remain displaced in other parts of the country. In this episode, we speak with Mohamed Sheikh-Ali, the Economic Security Coordinator from the ICRC’s Libya delegation. We discuss the current crisis, challenges the population is facing and perspectives about the future. Hosted by Niki Clark

Read More

Episode #83 Healing Cultural Conflict with Andrea Hummel

Episode #83 Healing Cultural Conflict with Andrea Hummel

There is a quote, attributed sometimes to Michelle Obama, Brene Brown and even James Comey, that says, “It’s hard to hate up close.” In this episode, we are joined by Andrea C. Hummel, director and founder of Improv for Peace, an organization that focuses on making this idea a reality, operating under the belief that if people are able to better understand each other and communicate in a safe environment, conflicts based on cultural differences will subside. Hosted by Niki Clark.

Read More

Episode #82 Live from Women Deliver: Growing up in War with Dr. Hozan Sindhi

Episode #82 Live from Women Deliver: Growing up in War with Dr. Hozan Sindhi

In this episode of the Podcast, we come to you from Women Deliver, the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women. We are joined by Dr. Hozan Sindi, a general health practitioner in Iraq. Dr. Hozan served as a medical intern at the West Erbil Emergency Hospital during the fall of Mosul in 2017. She was also featured in the ICRC/National Geographic collaboration, A Women’s War. She discusses what it is like to grow up surrounded by war, the resilience of a women living and working in conflict and her dreams for the future of Iraq. Hosted by Niki Clark.

Read More

Episode #81 Live from Women Deliver: Inclusion, Disability and Changing Perspectives with Dr. Mina Mojtahedi

Episode #81 Live from Women Deliver: Inclusion, Disability and Changing Perspectives with Dr. Mina Mojtahedi

In this episode of the Podcast, we come to you from Women Deliver, the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women. We are joined by Dr. Mina Mojtahedi, the disability inclusion advisor for both ICRC and the International Federation. A former Paralympian, a PHd of Nutrition and an international expert in human rights of persons with disabilities, Mina works to create a more inclusive environment not only for those trying to access humanitarian services but also for those in the workplace.  We talk about the power of sports, the myths of stereotypes and how inclusion benefits us all. Hosted by Niki Clark.

Read More

Episode #80 Emerging Technologies in Warfare: Where do the Limits Lie? with Neil Davison

Episode #80 Emerging Technologies in Warfare: Where do the Limits Lie? with Neil Davison

This episode of Intercross the Podcast is the third in our new joint series with Humanitarian Law & Policy. Humanitarian Law & Policy is the ICRC blog based in Geneva that provides timely analysis and debate on international humanitarian law (IHL) issues and the policies that shape humanitarian action. With this series we hope to have monthly conversations on trends, issues, future challenges and solutions as they pertain to IHL or humanitarian action. The risks of functionally delegating complex tasks—and associated decisions—to sensors and algorithms is one of the central issues of our time. Nowhere are these issues more acute than in relation to decisions to kill, injure and destroy. In this episode, we are joined by Neil Davison, ICRC’s Scientific and Policy Adviser in the Legal Division Arms Unit and Will Pons, our guest host and legal advisor at the Washington Delegation. We discuss emerging technologies in warfare. Can artificial intelligence increase IHL compliance? Where should the limits lie in terms of human control? What does the law say about all of this? And beyond the legal debate, what are the ethical debates behind emerging technologies in war? Hosted by Will Pons.

Read More

Episode #79 Harnessing Humor in Humanitarian Contexts with Pablo Suarez

Episode #79 Harnessing Humor in Humanitarian Contexts with Pablo Suarez

The evidence is irrefutable: Humor helps. Helps situations involving communications, relationships, problem solving, and productivity among others. So much so, in fact, that the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre has been exploring it as an unconventional approach to engagement in difficult conversations. In this episode of the Podcast, we are joined by guest host Anna Nelson, ICRC’s head of communications in Washington as well as Pablo Suarez, Director for Research and Innovation at the Climate Center, visiting fellow at Boston University, researcher, math geek and overall fan of humor. We chat about bringing humor into unusual contexts, including humanitarian work, and the science behind it all. Hosted by Niki Clark and Anna Nelson.

Read More

Episode #78 'Every Issue is an Access Issue': Humanitarian Challenges with Jacob Kurtzer

Episode #78 'Every Issue is an Access Issue': Humanitarian Challenges with Jacob Kurtzer

Rule 55 of Customary Law states that ‘The parties to the conflict must allow and facilitate rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief for civilians in need, which is impartial in character and conducted without any adverse distinction, subject to their right of control.’ And while the rules seems clear, in complex conflict settings there are often challenges to implantation. In this episode, we speak to Jacob Kurtzer, a research fellow with the Center for Strategic & International Studies’ Humanitarian Agenda initiative, an initiative that leverages the expertise of CSIS programs to explore complex humanitarian challenges. The primary challenge he’s focusing on is access to aid in complex man-made emergencies. Prior to joining CSIS, Jacob spent seven years with the ICRC, most recently as head of communications for the ICRC Delegation in Israel and the occupied territories and at some point in time, helping to head up the Washington Communications department. Hosted by Niki Clark.

Read More

Episode #77 The Impact of Violence and Conflict on Education

Episode #77 The Impact of Violence and Conflict on Education

Armed conflict and other situations of violence deprive those in the midst of it of the essentials – food, clean water, health care, shelter – and the chance to experience life and grow at their own pace. Despite the protection afforded them by international law, both children and adults are vulnerable to all sorts of risks. One of the most critical is the impact violence has on education. The interruption of education has severe consequences for both the future of individuals and a country’s capacity to recover, especially when crises are protracted. In this episode of Intercross the Podcast, we talk about the impact of violence and conflict on education, the long-term effects and what ICRC is doing to help mitigate those. Guests include Geoff Loane, ICRC’s Head of Education, Danijel Cuturic, ICRC’s Education Advisor in Ukraine and Karla Hoover, ICRC’s Education Advisor in South Sudan. Hosted by Niki Clark.

Read More

Episode #76 Audio Series: The Aftermath of Idai with Katie Wilkes, Khatija Nxedlana and Crystal Wells

Episode #76 Audio Series: The Aftermath of Idai with Katie Wilkes, Khatija Nxedlana and Crystal Wells

It has been six weeks since Cyclone Idai made landfall in southern Africa, unleashing unprecedented devastation and destruction on communities in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe. Many communities were stranded for weeks and cut-off from outside assistance. Tens of thousands of people were left homeless. Crops were washed away. The ICRC has been working with IFRC and national Red Cross societies to provide assistance to people who lost everything to the storm, an effort that has been made even more complicated by Cyclone Kenneth, another tropical cyclone that is pummeling northern Mozambique with rainfall, sparking widespread flooding and creating a new humanitarian crisis just weeks after Cyclone Idai hit the country. We hear several audio diaries from the ground and then speak with Crystal Wells, ICRC’s Communications Delegate for East Africa. Hosted by Niki Clark.

Read More

Episode #75 Audio Series: The Massacre in Mali with Insaf Mustapha Charaf and Francoise Lambert

Episode #75 Audio Series: The Massacre in Mali with Insaf Mustapha Charaf and Francoise Lambert

In late March, the small village of Ogossagou in Central Mali experienced a horrific massacre. The scene, from those who were there, looked apocalyptic. Huts and farm buildings burnt and riddled with bullet holes, charred remains of cars and donkeys. The wells became unusable because of the contamination of corpses. Families are struggling to come to terms with what happened– the latest in a recent series of very violent clashes between herders and settled farmers in the region.

In this episode of Intercross the Podcast, we first hear from Isaf Mustafa Charaf, an ICRC mental health delegate who was present in a hospital following the tragic event. Then we speak to Francoise Lambert, an ICRC delegate based in Dakar. What happened to lead to such a massacre? What are the needs of the families on the ground—physically and psychosocially? Many are living in a state of uncertainty—with missing relatives and unsure futures. What is being done? What is needed to move forward? Hosted by Niki Clark.

Read More

Episode #74 Using Innovative Financial Models to Maximize Sustainable Impact with Juan Coderque

Episode #74 Using Innovative Financial Models to Maximize Sustainable Impact with Juan Coderque

Responding to today's most complex humanitarian challenges, particularly those in protracted conflicts, requires innovative approaches and mobilizing a range of actors. Many have pointed to the potential of innovative financial models as a way to bring together humanitarian, development, government, and private sector actors to respond and maximize sustainable impact in meeting affected persons' needs. In September 2017, the ICRC launched an innovative finance mechanism, the world's first Humanitarian Impact Bond, which looked to scale up the ICRC's physical rehabilitation services in three countries. In this episode, we chat with Juan Coderque, Head of New Financial Models for the ICRC. We breakdown what we mean by new financial models, discuss the potential of innovative finance approaches to humanitarian action, and explore how the ICRC is thinking about the issues and how best to utilize new financial models to meet humanitarian needs. Hosted by Austin Shangraw.

Read More

Episode #73 Transformative Change and the Future of Humanitarian Action with Yves Daccord

Episode #73 Transformative Change and the Future of Humanitarian Action with Yves Daccord

In this episode of Intercross the Podcast with speak with ICRC’s Director General Yves Daccord who was in town for last week’s World Bank Spring Meetings. We chat about some of the things that came out of those meetings as well as the growing nexus between humanitarian and development actors, particularly in protracted conflicts. We discuss the transformative change he’s seen in nearly 30 years of service with the ICRC, including the evolving approach to humanitarian action, as well as the inclusion of innovation and technology. Finally, as Yves’ tenure comes to a close in 2020, he shares his hopes for ICRC’s future, what he is most proud of and what’s next. Hosted by Niki Clark.

Read More

Episode #72 Five Years in the Donbas with Alain Aeschlimann

Episode #72 Five Years in the Donbas with Alain Aeschlimann

IThe conflict in the Donbas is entering its fifth year, and heavy weaponry remains in regular use—with far-reaching humanitarian consequences for this predominantly industrial and urban region of eastern Ukraine. Civilians on either side of the contact line rely on the same infrastructural network – water systems, electricity grids and gas lines – for vital services. Several of these key infrastructural installations are on or near the contact line, and in the immediate vicinity of the ongoing hostilities, which involve regular use of high-calibre artillery.  In this episode of Intercross the Podcast, we sit down with ICRC’s outgoing head of delegation in Kyiv, Ukraine, Alain Aeschlimann. We chat about the situation and challenges of working in Ukraine, how the situation has evolved in his time there and how ICRC works in one of the most heavily militarized regions in the world. Hosted by Niki Clark.

Read More

Episode #71 Audio Series/Life in Al Hol: Voices from Syria with Sarah Al-Zawqari and Adnan Hezam

Episode #71 Audio Series/Life in Al Hol: Voices from Syria with Sarah Al-Zawqari and Adnan Hezam

It’s been eight years since fighting began in Syria. Out of 18 million people living in the country, 13.1 million of them require humanitarian aid. One in 2 Syrians have been displaced by the conflict, either abroad or within the country. 1.3 million were newly displaced in last year alone. Years of fierce fighting have left some of the country’s vital services extremely fragile. 50% of health facilities are out of service or partially functioning. 2 million children are unable to go to school, casting a further shadow on the country’s future. These are bleak and tragic numbers. But many times statistics are hard to visual, inefficient in telling the brutal impact of conflict. To really give a sense of the view from the ground, in this episode of Intercross the Podcast, we start with an audio diary from our communications delegate Sara Al-Zawqari who recently traveled to Al Hol in the northeast of Syria. Then, we talk more about about the situation in Al Hol with Adnan Hezam, ICRC’s media delegate based in Damascus.  Hosted by Niki Clark.

Read More

Episode #70 The Right Choice: Virtual Reality Puts War at the Front Door with Christopher Nicholas

Episode #70 The Right Choice: Virtual Reality Puts War at the Front Door with Christopher Nicholas

The sound of gunfire approaches. You don’t know if your family should run or hide. Making the right choice can mean life or death. A new immersive virtual reality movie called The Right Choice puts users next to a Syrian family trapped in urban warfare. The film, a collaboration between ICRC, Google’s Daydream Impact Project and the creative agency Don’t Panic London, uses a simulated experience to help people understand urban warfare and its impact on real lives. In this episode of Intercross the Podcast, we speak with ICRC's Audiovisual Producer and project manager of The Right Choice about how virtual reality is helping tell the story of urban warfare.

Read More

Episode #69 The Deepening Humanitarian Crisis in Nigeria with Trevor Keck

Episode #69 The Deepening Humanitarian Crisis in Nigeria with Trevor Keck

In this episode of Intercross the podcast, we sit down with Trevor Keck, the deputy director of policy at the ICRC Washington Delegation, who recently returned from Nigeria. Intensifying attacks in NE Nigeria have caused around 30,000 people to flee across the border and within the country over the last weeks. The crisis, now nearly in its 10th year, has resulted in widespread displacement, violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, protection risks and a deepening humanitarian crisis. Just recently, presidential elections were held in the country. We discuss the overall state of affairs, what he saw on the ground, as well as potential election impacts, challenges and most needed humanitarian interventions. Hosted by Niki Clark.

Read More

Episode #68 Detention in Armed Conflict: Enduring Standards and Current Issues with Jelena Pejic

Episode #68 Detention in Armed Conflict: Enduring Standards and Current Issues with Jelena Pejic

This episode of Intercross the Podcast is the second in our new joint series with Humanitarian Law & Policy. Humanitarian Law & Policy is the ICRC blog based in Geneva that provides timely analysis and debate on international humanitarian law (IHL) issues and the policies that shape humanitarian action. With this series we hope to have monthly conversations on trends, issues, future challenges and solutions as they pertain to IHL or humanitarian action. In this discussion, we speak with Jelena Pejic, Senior Legal Adviser for ICRC in Geneva. She discusses about international humanitarian law and human rights law and some of the debates and tensions around the two bodies of law during armed conflict. We focus on one debate in particular – detention in non-international armed conflicts. This conversation is in response to our podcast with Jonathan Horowitz last month. Hosted by Sasha Radin.

Read More