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On October 28th, the the American Red Cross International Humanitarian Law Division hosted the D.C. launch of the Oxford Guidance on the Law Relating to Humanitarian Relief Operations in Situations of Armed Conflict alongside its co-sponsors: Interaction, The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), The Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law, and Armed Conflict, and The Oxford Martin Programme on Human Rights for Future Generations. 

A discussion panel comprised of the authors of this Guidance, along with US government and NGO representatives, discussed the challenges of humanitarian access featured prominently in the World Humanitarian Summit, including in the commitments made by the US government and by NGOs worldwide. An examination of these issues, and their policy and operational implications, offered valuable insights discussing the rules that regulate humanitarian forces acting in armed conflict, as well as the legal obligations and frameworks assuring civilians not only resources and assistance, but preservation of their human rights. 

Commissioned by OCHA at the request of the United Nations Secretary-General, the Oxford Guidance on the Law Relating to Humanitarian Relief Operations in Situations of Armed Conflict is the outcome of a series of consultations of eminent experts in international law. It is hoped that the Guidance will enhance understanding of the rules of international law that are relevant to this area, promote further discussion, and inform policies and advocacy strategies for improving humanitarian access to conflict-affected populations.