CERAH Conferences & Workshops on Humanitarian Action

Upcoming and Latest Events and Conferences

CERAH organises and participates in numerous conferences and workshops throughout the year. The events offer the public to join debates on major contemporary humanitarian challenges and issues. Providing a forum for reflection and debate with researchers and practitioners, the events are typically open to the public and free of charge.


Conference_Humanitarian_Crisis.pngThis conference will be held in french.

: Tuesday, October 3, 2017, at 8:00pm

Where: Salle Jean-Jacques Gautier, Route du Vallon 1, 1224 Chêne Bougeries

At the first global humanitarian summit in Istanbul (2016), this has raised an alarm and mobilized governments, public and private organizations. What are the reasons and how to deal with it?
Specialists Hichem Khadhraoui, Claire Colliard and Edith Favoreu will provide some answers during this round table.

Edith Favoreu is the Deputy Director at CERAH. She has worked in development for over sixteen years, projects in the field (Bolivia, Benin) and at headquarters of local and European NGOs (Central America, Chad, Haiti) as well as for UNESCO.

Download the flyer






CERAH's Professional Humanitarian Corner 

Humanitarian-Professional-CornerLike every year CERAH organizes a job and networking event for an with CERAH students and partner organizations.

When: Friday, March 31, 2017, from 14:30PM to 18:30PM

Where: CERAH offices, 22 rue Rothschild, Geneva

Its triple win constellation makes the Humanitarian Professional Corner quite unique: students and alumni find support in their career plan, meet HR representatives from various humanitarian organizations and get valuable insights about job opportunities and recruitment requirements.

Partner organizations get a privileged access to CERAH students and regularly seize the opportunity to not onle present themselves but recruit qualified staff for the future.

And hosting the yearly event is for CERAH a pleasant moment of networking and listening to market needs and tendencies.


Session 1: Overview
Overview by CERAH staff on the general trends in recruitment professes in the humanitarian sector, tips and tricks for CVs and interviews

Session 2: Insights
Presentations by representatives of selected humanitarian organizations on the types of profiles that they seek

Session 3: Speed-dating
Representatives of various organizations meet and discuss with students.


Panel Discussion: Sexual Violence against Men and Boys - Breaking the Silence 

Sexual Violence on Men and BoysWhen: Thursday, March 23, 2017 from 18:00 to 20:00

Where: Humanitarium, 17 avenue de la paix, 1202 Geneva

Soundcloud Prof SchopperSoundcloud: Listen to CERAH director Prof Schopper responding to Radio Cité, Geneva, "Rencontres du jour" on March 21, 2017
Interview Dr DavisPress Clipping: Read about "Les hommes, ces victimes oubliés", interview of Dr Meg Davis by Le Matin, March 23, 2017
Soundcloud Prof Schopper Soundcloud: Listen to CERAH director Prof Schopper responding to Radio RJB, "Format A3" on April 4, 2017
Sexual violence is a burning issue in the humanitarian response, but what about the impact on men and boys who are victims of sexual violence? Stigma, homophobia, and traditional gender roles make reaching male survivors especially challenging. In this panel, leading experts will discuss emerging approaches to reaching men and boys.
The panel will include an open discussion with the audience, followed by a reception. 
The panel discussion is co-sponsored by the Swiss Agency for Development Coordination, ICRC, UNHCR and CERAH. 

The Secretary-General at ICRC, Yves Daccord and the Swiss Agency for Development Coordination will both open the panel.


  • Louise AUBIN, Deputy Director Division of International Protection, UNHCR
  • Chris DOLAN, Executive Director, Refugee Law Project
  • Charu Lata HOGG, Director, All Survivors Project


  • Prof Doris SCHOPPER, Director, CERAH


Visiting research presentation 

Daniel J Barnettby Prof Daniel Barnett, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Examining Health Workers' Perceptions of Organizational Expectations Following Disasters

When: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 from 1:30PM to 3:30PM
: CERAH Geneva


Professor Barnett, Associate Professor of Environmental Health & Engineering at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH), will deliver a visiting research presentation during CERAH's research methods course in January. As an associate at the Center for Refugee and Disaster Response at JHSPH his research focus is on disaster preparedness, response, and recovery, with a particular focus most recently on the willingness of healthcare and public health workers to fulfill response- and recovery-phase activities following high-dread public health emergencies and disasters, ranging from pandemics to natural disasters and terrorism. In addition to his research he will share accessible content regarding methodological, practice and policy aspects of his research. The presentation will be followed by discussion and Q&A.

The talk will be particularly interesting for students, but also for humanitarian actors regarding both his findings and methodology.

Title: Examining Health Workers' Perceptions of Organizational Expectations Following Disasters

Abstract: An ever-broadening array of emergent threats has raised operationally relevant research questions about health workers' sense of efficacy in fulfilling organizational expectations in disaster response and recovery. Dr. Daniel Barnett and colleagues from Johns Hopkins University have examined perceptual and attitudinal barriers and facilitators toward such perceptions among this cohort. Their findings have yielded novel, behavioral model-based curricular interventions to address these willingness gaps. A threat- and efficacy-based behavioral model (Witte's Extended Parallel Process Model) has underpinned this work throughout. Dr. Barnett's presentation will accordingly focus on the latest findings from ongoing mixed-methods research on public health workers' commitment to their organizations in the contexts of disasters and emergent threats. The presentation will also include new data on local health departments workers' perceptions toward disaster recovery in a variety of Hurricane Sandy-impacted U.S. jurisdictions from the states of Maryland and New Jersey. The presentation will also explicitly address broader policy and practice implications of these and related findings for current and future disaster preparedness, response and recovery efforts.



Panel Discussion: Fight against drug use in Latin America: Geneva commitment

SSI-event.jpgWhen: Tuesday, November 22, 2016 at 6:30pm

Where: Geneva Press Club


  • M. Vito Angelillo, Directeur Général de TDH
  • M. Francois Longchamps, Président du Conseil d'Etat de la République et canton de Genève
  • Mme Margot Brogniart, Secértaire générale de Casa Alianza Suisse
  • M. John Orlando, Chef de délégation de TDH
  • Prof Hans Wolff, Médecin-chef du service de médecine et de psychiatrie pénitentiares des Hôpitaux universitaires de Genéve

Registration is not mandatory but strongly recommended at the following address:

For more details, click here.



Conference: When healthcare is in danger, what can we do?

PanelDiscussion-Healthcare2.jpgWhen: Wednesday, November 2, 2016 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm

Where: Faculté de Médecine - UNIGE, Auditorium A250, Avenue de Champel 9, 1206 Genève


  • Erin Kenney, Technical officer, Stop Attacks on Health Care Workers, WHO
  • Marine Buissonière, Not A Target Senior Coordinator, MSF
  • Ali Naraghi, Head of the Health Care in Danger project, ICRC


Attacks on medical facilities in conflict zones have killed and injured countless patients and healthcare professionals in recent years, destroying infrastructures and depriving people of access to medical care.

Moderator Prof Doris SCHOPPER, Director of CERAH, medical doctor and professor at the Medical Faculty of Geneva University will ask representatives of ICRC, WHO and MSF, who are exposed in the field together with affected populations: “When healthcare is in danger, what can we do?”

Denunciating that medical facilities are #NotATarget, MSF will also present a short film and expose their expo booth in front of the auditorium.


  • Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action - CERAH
  • International Comittee of the Red Cross - ICRC
  • Médecins Sans Frontière - MSF
  • Unversity of Geneva  and Medical Faculty
  • World Health Organization - WHO




Events and conferences further down the line



Public Lecture: Contemporary Challenges to Refugee Protection


CERAH Director Doris Schopper will join a round table discussion on Contemporary Challenges to Refugee Protection as part of the 2016 Geneva Summer School Public Lecture on 28 June.GSS_Public_Lecture_June_28.jpg

When : Tuesday, June 28, 6 pm

Where : Uni Mail MR380 (Boulevard du Pont-d'Arve 40, 1205 Genève)

Keynote Speaker : Ms Carol Batchelor, Director of the Division of International Protection, UNHCR

Round Table with : Professor Doris Schopper (CERAH, UNIGE), Professor Sandra Lavenex (UNIGE), Professor Barbara Moser-Mercer(InZone, UNIGE), Senior Lecturer Alexandre Hedjazi (UNIGE)


Epidémies et sociétés - passé, présent, futur


2016 - Epidemies 2.JPGGeneva, 6-8 June. CERAH will contribute to a forum on 'Epidemics and Societies: Past, present, future' which will discuss the nature of epidemics, the factors affecting contagious and noncontagious diseases, and public health responses.

The public event 'Epidémies et sociétés - passé, présent, futur' is organised by the Société Genevoise d’Utilité Publique in partnership with the ICRC, and will take place at the Maison de la Paix, Geneva.

CERAH Director Doris Schopper will chair a round table panel on the third day of the meeting, exploring new challenges for human aid in epidemic situations.


Book launch: "Famine in Somalia"

Wednesday 27 April 2016, 12:30 – 14:00
Auditorium A2, Maison de la Paix, Chemin Eugène-Rigot 2, Geneva
Book Launch:  Famine in Somalia by Daniel Maxwell, Research Director for Food Security and Complex Emergencies at the Feinstein International Centre.
CERAH and the Graduate Institute's Centre on Conflict Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP) invite you to a launch event for the book Famine in Somalia: Competing Imperatives, Collective Failures, 2011-12Maxwell-Famine.jpg
Some 250,000 people died in the southern Somalia famine of 2011-12, which also displaced and destroyed the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands more. Written by Daniel Maxwell and Nisar Majid, this book analyses the trade-offs between competing policy priorities that led to the famine. The authors show the collective failure in the response to the famine and how those affected by it attempted to protect themselves and their livelihoods.
The book will be presented by author Daniel Maxwell, who is Research Director for Food Security and Complex Emergencies at the Feinstein International Centre, Tufts University.


  • Renée Larivière, Deputy Director-General Development and Learning, Interpeace
  • Christophe Golay, lecturer at the Geneva Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action

The discussion will be moderated by Prof. Gilles Carbonnier, CCDP Faculty Associate and President of CERAH's Board of Directors.


ccdp.png         CERAH Logo

Responding to protracted crises: Blurred lines between humanitarian and development aid


Auditorium Pictet, Maison de la paix, Geneva: 18:30 - 20:00

Organised with the support of the Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action (CERAH), a joint centre of the Graduate Institute and Université de Genève.

The recent World Humanitarian Summit in Geneva highlighted the need for new, integrated relationships between humanitarian action and development aid, in particular during protracted crises. The timeframes of crisis intervention and the need for principled humanitarian action make this challenging, however. How do the ICRC and the IFRC, the two lead organisations of the “Red Response”, propose to address this? Given the mandates of each organisation, what are the possible tensions and complementarities between humanitarian and development approaches?


Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Yves Daccord, Director-General, International Committee of the Red Cross


Doris Schopper, Director, Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action (CERAH)


Fighting sexual violence in developing countries


Club Suisse de la presse, Geneva, 18.30 onwards

Doris Schopper, Director of CERAH, has been invited to participate in a conference on sexual violence to be held on 24 November from 18.30 onwards at Club suisse de la presse in Geneva. This is the second conference on sexual violence in November and is organised by the Service de la solidarité internationale.

You can download the flyer here.

ICRC - CERAH Joint Event on "Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict: Underlying causes and possible prevention strategies"


Building on the previous panel discussion "Responding to sexual violence in conflict: can we do better?", the ICRC and CERAH are convening a follow-up event on 12 November from 18:00 to 19:30, aimed at addressing the challenging issue of prevention of conflict-related sexual violence. The event will take place on the occasion of the second session of CERAH's thematic seminar on "Sexual Violence in Conflict Settings and in Emergencies", and will provide an opportunity to feature the recent publication of the International Review of the Red Cross on "Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict".

The discussion will focus on conflict-related sexual violence, committed by state or non-state armed actors involved in an armed conflict. Weapon bearers may commit sexual violence for various reasons – from strategic to opportunistic ones. In recent years, a number of research studies in political science, anthropology, psychology or military ethics have greatly contributed to a deeper understanding of the causes of conflict-related sexual violence. There is now a need to connect the wealth of research and practical experience to build effective prevention strategies forward.

If you want to participate in the event, you can register here

Symposium - Law, Conflicts and the Role of Courts



The Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action (CERAH) and the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights (The Academy) organized a symposium on the occasion of the launch of the book by Dr Sharon Weill The Role of National Courts in Applying International Humanitarian Law (Oxford University Press, 2014).

Download invitation

Video recording here

Photo album here


20 years after the genocide in Rwanda: presentation and reflections on the judicial process


2014 highlights the commemoration of the genocide committed in Rwanda in 1994, one of the most tragic events of the 20th century.  Following the genocide, with more than 100,000 suspects in prison and only 20 active magistrates, the Rwandese governement and the international community must face the gravity and scope of the committed crimes. How can one judge the authors of these crimes? What are the legal sentences foreseen?What are the alternatives? How can one re-build a country where victims and slaughtermen are bound to live together? The Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action (CERAH) and RCN Justice & Démocratie organised a public conference.

Download full programme
Watch the video!


South Sudan crisis: in midst of chaos, can humanitarian actors effectively communicate?


An estimated 720,000 people have been displaced inside South Sudan since the current conflict started in December 2013. More than 170,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries. This crisis comes on top of already large-scale humanitarian needs. Over 20 UN agencies, 150 international NGOs and many national NGOS contribute to one of the world’s largest aid operations. What does this crisis situation imply in terms of coordination and collaboration between humanitarian actors and their relationship with the government and other humanitarian actors? This conference was followed by a workshop on interdisciplinary research on humanitarian action in South Sudan. The objective of this workshop was to share lessons learned from past and (current) research on humanitarian action in South Sudan and to identify and discuss emerging research questions.



Challenges facing humanitarian action


A conference organised in the framework of the 150th anniversary of the ICRC, on the occasion of the commemoration of the Battle of Solferino (24 June 1859), that led Henry Dunant to write his book: A Memory of Solferino. Horrified by the suffering of wounded soldiers left on the battlefield, Dunant set about a movement that led to the adoption of the Geneva Conventions and the creation of the International Red Cross. Speakers included Peter Maurer, President of the ICRC and Didier Burkhalter, Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Prof. Doris Schopper, Director CERAH was the moderator. The conference took place on 24 June 2013, at 10.00 at Unimail in Geneva.

More information is available here.
Listen to the recording
❯ Check out the photo album on our Facebook page

When nature strikes: is there an International right to disaster relief?


The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights (the Academy) and the Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action (CERAH) organised a round table on the occasion of the launch of the book "International Disaster Response Law" on 15 May 2013, 6.15-8 pm. 

❯ The book is available via this link.
❯ See the photo album on our Facebook page!

Responding to famine: mobilizations, operations and humanitarian practices?


This international conference gave a historical perspective on famine over the past two centuries in order to better understand how to respond in the future. Speakers included Valérie Gorin, CERAH lecturer.



Humanitarian Principles revisited ? Current and future challenges


On 21 March, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the ICRC, and at the backdrop of the Review’s recent issue on ‘The Future of Humanitarian Action’, the International Review of the Red Cross and the Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action (CERAH) convened a panel discussion in Geneva entitled ‘Humanitarian Principles Revisited? Current and Future Challenges’.


Choices and dilemmas. Health-care workers on the frontline: an online discussion


Prof. Doris Schopper, Director of CERAH participated in this discussion on the responsibilities of medical staff in armed conflict or other emergencies.

❯ Visit the web page and view the video for further information:

New challenges for humanitarian action? Afghanistan, past and present

Semi-public lecture.

Since a decade, humanitarianism has been debated as it faces new challenges. With 9/11 and the Global War On Terrorism, humanitarian action seems to be polarized in terms of Western hegemony and needs to better understand its perception by beneficiaries and reaffirms its basic principles. Considering the case of Afghanistan, this country has been offering an interesting field since the civil war that erupted in 1979, for all the humanitarian actors (local and international) that have been involved since then. The goal of this roundtable is to put together some experts of the humanitarian world and the Afghan nation, to re‐interrogate Afghanistan as a case study for the future of humanitarianism.


The right to education during armed conflict


Following UNESCO’s 2011 report "The hidden crisis: armed conflict and education", which called into question elements of the aid sector, CERAH, with the help of an outstanding selection o f experts, decided to look again at the challenge to protect the right to education in times of war.



In their eyes: perceptions of humanitarian action and of MSF



In the scope of the module “The humanitarian field and its actors”, the CERAH joins with MSF to launch the collaborative study “Through others’ eyes: perception of humanitarian action and MSF” (Dans l’œil des autres:  Perception de l’action humanitaire et de MSF).






Abidjan : spotlight light on an urban crisis and the humanitarian response



Within the framework of CERAH’s Thematic Seminar on ‘Crises and humanitarian intervention in urban areas’, this conference presents an examination of the specific characteristics of humanitarian action in urban areas.






CERAH Conference: « Humanitarian Education and Training Conference – InFocus: articulating an agenda for humanitarian education »


In October 2011 CERAH held a conference in partnership with the UK based NGO Enhancing Learning & Research for Humanitarian Assistance (ELRHA), to facilitate dialogue between academics and professionals working in the field of humanitarian education and training. One of the goals of the conference was identifying future training needs of humanitarian professionals.

In 2010, CERAH published a comprehensive inventory of academic training programmes on humanitarian action. The handbook "Humanitarian Studies 2010: university training and education in humanitarian action" offers the first comprehensive inventory of its kind. One of the handbooks findings is the great diversity of training available. In order to better target the needs and to identify the relative contributions of humanitarian organisations and academic institutions, the two-and-a-half day conference critically assessed the field of humanitarian studies education, training and learning. The event aimed to contribute to developing synergies and collaboration within and across humanitarian and academic sectors in finding and advancing solutions to identified challenges.

Further information:

Download the report
❯ Press coverage: «Comment se former au travail humanitaire », Le Temps
❯ Press coverage: «Former les humanitaires aux défis de demain», Tribune de Genève


CERAH Conference: « Haïti: an uncertain future »



On 12 January 2010 Haiti was struck by a devastating earthquake that reduced to rubble much its capital Port au Prince. Especially as several of CERAH’s staff had spent several years working in Haiti, CERAH held a conference to provide a platform for the Haitian academic community, and for academics, researchers and the staff of humanitarian and development NGOs working in Haiti, to meet, think and debate.

A further key aim of the conference was to gain a better understanding of the challenges facing reconstruction in Haiti from an analytical perspective and to suggest possible short- and medium-term futures.

The international, two-day conference, attended by over 200 people, was generously supported by the University of Geneva, the Department for International Cooperation of the Canton of Geneva and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

More than twenty eminent Haitians (former Ministers, university staff, NGO leaders, journalists) crossed the Atlantic to come to Geneva and many others came from Canada, France and Switzerland.

The publication "Haïti, Réinventer l’avenir" (Haiti: Recreating the future), published jointly by the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, France and the Haiti State University, seeks to go beyond the deliberations of the conference by collecting the opinions of over 20 Haitian, North American and European researchers and practitioners.


Documentary Kenbe la Ayiti: autres regards sur Haïti (Kenbe la Ayiti: the other Haiti)

With the support of the Department for International Cooperation of the Canton of Geneva, the Swiss-Haiti NGO platform and the University of Geneva, CERAH produced the documentary "Kenbe la Ayiti: autres regards sur Haïti" which focuses on the efforts of Haitian civil society, within a few months of the earthquake, to physically, economically, socially and psychologically rehabilitate their country.

In particular, the film sets out to question the stereotype of total dependence on international assistance all too often applied to Haiti.

While the film was made with a public audience in mind, it is also seen as a method of stimulating thought amongst Haitian and international organisations and civil society working in development.

Further information:

❯ Description of the documentary film « Kenbe la Ayiti: autres regards sur Haïti» (french)