The PHF Code of Conduct establishes, maintains and promotes humanitarian principles and values by its members. The Code of Conduct outlines principles which all members must adhere to in their work and is signed by all members. It is expected that in signing this code, members commit to ensuring their conduct lives up to these principles in the course of their work.
Humanitarian principles are central to establishing and maintaining access to affected populations whether in the context of a natural disaster, an armed conflict, or a complex emergency.
Human suffering must be addressed wherever it is found. The purpose of humanitarian action is to protect life and health and ensure respect for human beings.
Aid will not be used to further a particular political or religious standpoint. Humanitarian assistance will be given on the basis of need and need alone.
Humanitarian action must be carried out on the basis of need alone, giving priority to the most urgent cases of distress and making no distinction on the basis of nationality, race, gender, religious belief, class or political opinions.
• Operational independence
Humanitarian action must be autonomous from the political, economic, military or other objectives that any actor may hold with regard to areas where humanitarian action is being implemented.
We will not knowingly – or through negligence – allow ourselves or our employees to be used to gather information of a political, military or economically sensitive nature for governments, nor will we act as instruments of foreign policy of donor governments.
PHF members are accountable towards beneficiaries. Members will strive for beneficiary involvement at all stages of the project cycles and ensure that vulnerable and marginalized groups are involved in the decision making process for issues that impact them and their families and communities. Genuine attempts will also be made to ensure that two-way communication strategies between all stakeholders are put in place to improve overall service delivery to program participants.
• Rights-based Approach
Members shall strive to address vulnerabilities and inequalities; by doing so respecting the basic rights of everyone for life in dignity. Members should recognise everyone as a member of society with the right to be equally supported and empowered. Members will choose strategies based on values of respect, equity, solidarity and justice. Members will avoid strategies that potentially stereotype, sensationalise or discriminate against people, situations, or places.
The Code is adapted from the following:
- OCHA Humanitarian Principles
- International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement Code of Conduct
- International NGO Safety and Security Association (INSSA) Code of Conduct
- Humanitarian Accountability Practice Standards, 2010
- A guide to understanding and implementing the Code of Conduct on Images and Messages, Dochas