Speaking Out Case Studies

This collection: "Case Studies: Médecins Sans Frontières Speaks Out," was created in response to the Médecins Sans Frontières International Council's desire to provide the movement with reference documents on "temoignage"/"advocacy". These documents are designed to be straightforward and accessible to all and to help volunteers understand and adopt the organisation's culture of speaking out on issues.

MSF and the war in the former Yugoslavia 1991-2003

MSF and the war in the former Yugoslavia 1991-2003

On 14 December 1995, the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords ended the separatist war in former Yugoslavia and created the State of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Twenty years on, MSF reveals how the organization spoke out about a conflict marked by ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity, targeted assaults of humanitarian organizations and individuals, and the unfulfilled promises by the International Community.

MSF and Srebrenica, 1993-2003

The case study ‘MSF and Srebrenica 1993-2003’ explores the constraints and dilemmas raised when MSF spoke out about the events that occurred in Srebrenica’s Muslim enclave. The enclave was besieged in 1993 and then seized by Bosnian Serb forces in July 1995. 8,000 men over the age of 16 were massacred, despite the presence of United Nations peacekeeping forces supposedly providing protection in what had been declared a ‘security zone’.

The Hunting and Killing of Rwandan Refugees in Zaire-Congo: 1996-1997

The Hunting and Killing of Rwandan Refugees in Zaire-Congo: 1996-1997

The ‘Hunting and killings of the Rwandan refugee in Zaire/Congo’ case study is describing the constraints and dilemmas faced by Médecins Sans Frontières’ teams in 1996 and 1997 when trying to bring assistance to the Rwandan refugees in Eastern Zaire, after their camps had been attacked by the rebel forces supported by the Rwandan army: could MSF extrapolate from the little known conditions of these refugees and their health needs to speak out about their presumed current plight, despite the fact that it had no access to them?

Rwandan Refugee Camps in Zaire and Tanzania 1994-1995

Rwandan Refugee Camps in Zaire and Tanzania 1994-1995

The “Rwandan refugee camps in Zaire -Tanzania 1994-1995” case study is describing the constraints and dilemmas met by MSF when confronted with camps under the tight control of ‘refugee leaders” responsible for the genocide of the Rwandan Tutsis from April to June 1994.

The camps were transformed into rear bases from which the reconquest of Rwanda was sought, via a massive diversion of aid, violence, propaganda, and threats against refugees wishing to repatriate.

Salvadoran Refugee Camps In Honduras 1988

Salvadoran Refugee Camps In Honduras 1988

The "Salvadoran Refugee Camps in Honduras 1988" case study describes the dilemmas regarding a stance that … was not supposed to be public.
In 1988, after 8 years in the Salvadoran refugee camps in Honduras, MSF decided to withdraw. It refused to meet the excessive, and even dangerous, demands of the refugee committees which were extensions of the Salvadoran guerrilla that exerted a tight and violent control over the refugee camps.
MSF, however, refused to reveal the real reasons for its departure so as to avoid a crackdown of the Honduran army on the refugees.

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