Definition of humanitarianism


Humanitarianism, when applied to an attribute of the human individual, could be defined as a person with philanthropic principles and, in all senses, humane. That the individual is conscious of the suffering of less fortunate humans, and that he acts by helping others, while promoting the idea that all humans should have the same state of wellbeing at their disposal.

Mao Tse-Tung claimed that in humanitarianism there should exist a feeling of love and solidarity regardless of existing social classes. A love and freedom that was abstract in many senses, but equal to all of Humanity.

Humanitarianism principles

  • All humans should be equally valued.
  • We all deserve the same respect and dignity.
  • All of humanity should have the same resources at its disposal.
  • The state of wellbeing should be assured for all of the human population.

Humanitarian workers and those people who share these principles struggle to get all human beings to be treated equally, regardless of their social class, origin, race, religion, etc. They all oppose the violation of the fundamental rights, human rights, and any other circumstance that may imply the discrimination of a human being before another.

Within the humanitarian movement and the ideology of humanitarianism people from any political ideology are welcome, as long as favouring the rights and dignity of human beings is among their objectives. This is an altruistic movement, dedicated to offering support during violent events caused by man or natural disasters.

Humanitarianism nowadays

In current days, Humanitarianism is frequently used to describe the way of thinking and principles that govern an emergency response in the face of any humanitarian crisis. On this cases, a humanitarian response which abides by the principles mentioned above is fostered, the main one being offering support to all individuals in equal measure, maintaining a standard of impartiality and neutrality that should always be present when deciding to offer humanitarian help.

These principles have little by little made headway into human conscience, and nowadays, they have managed to bring awareness to a large part of humanity, who, setting political responses aside, feel they should respond to emergency situations and wish to collaborate in humanitarian actions.

– El humanismo y el humanitarismo, by Arnold Gehlen. Revista española de la opinión pública, Issue 44
El humanitarismo, ¿un nuevo ideal moral?, de Miguel Gusti

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