Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (UK), the Generating Respect Project is led by Dr Ioana Cismas (CAHR and York Law School) and Mr Ezequiel Heffes (Geneva Call) and developed in close partnership with key humanitarian organisations. 

Whilst humanitarian norms aim to 'humanise' war by requiring parties to armed conflict to protect civilians from attacks, detainees from abuse, and to facilitate humanitarian assistance, across the globe civilians are killed, detainees are ill-treated, and hospitals are bombed.

This reality portrays the pressing need to develop new approaches to generate greater compliance with humanitarian norms. The Generating Respect Project proposes such a novel approach. It focuses on the role that religious leaders (can) play in influencing state and non-state armed actors to internalise humanitarian norms with the ultimate aim of enhancing the protection of members of communities affected by armed conflict.

By documenting the roles played by religious leaders in ongoing conflicts in Colombia, Libya, Mali and Myanmar, this research is providing the evidence-base for expanding the interlocutors of humanitarian practitioners beyond the direct parties to armed conflict and their engagement tools to value-based arguments – this in turn, may lead to a paradigm shift in humanitarian engagement strategies. 

Project activities and publications