Brown Bag Seminar: Mixing Medical Aid and Human Rights in an Israeli Humanitarian Clinic Speaker Affiliation

Monday March 4, 2013
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM


Ilil Benjamin

Visiting Fellow at the Feinstein International Center

Mixing Medical Aid and Human Rights in an Israeli Humanitarian Clinic


114 Curtis Street, Somerville, MA 02144

1st Floor Conference Room

Handicap Accessible

GEO: ,


Ilil Benjamin, Visiting Fellow at the Feinstein International Center, will illustrate the tensions that emerge daily among aid workers as they confront the contradictions ensuing from their dual mandates. Sponsored by the Feinstein International Center

The combination of short-term aid with human rights advocacy, peace-building, or development-oriented work is an increasingly visible phenomenon in the global humanitarian space. Such mandate-mixing, whether planned, accidental or improvised in response to unpredictable aid contexts, is nothing new. But its practical consequences for aid workers and recipients alike remain underexplored. This chapter examines the daily manifestations of two coinciding mandates – for aid and for human rights advocacy – in a medical free clinic based in central Israel. Operating as the humanitarian arm of a human rights NGO, this clinic utilized informal networks of medical professionals to provide both primary and specialized care for anyone ineligible for government-sponsored healthcare, including over 60,000 asylum seekers from Sudan and Eritrea who have entered Israel through the Sinai desert since the mid-00s.

Contact Information

Ann O'Brien

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