Humanitarian Law & Policy welcomes submissions from contributors committed to energizing the debate about international humanitarian law and humanitarian action.
How to Submit a Post
Types of submissions. We accept a variety of types of submissions. These include:
- Analytical (posts assessing legal or policy issues that are geared towards more specialized audiences)
- Primers (explanatory, or “what you need to know about …”, posts that lay out a specific issue)
- Stories (personal experiences or stories that illustrate an issue of concern)
Length. Posts should be from 800 to 2,000 words (unless discussed otherwise with the editors)
Format. Please submit your post as a Word document
Blog style and structure. Please see the guidelines below
Bio. Please provide a short bio (max 100 words), providing your current function and affiliation to be placed on the Contributors page
Keywords. Please provide about 5 keywords for easy web search and referencing
Submission. Please submit your post, along with your CV, to Sasha Radin
A submission should fall within the scope of the blog’s subject matter and be in a style suited to the blog’s audience. It should be rigorous, evidence-based, engaging and newsworthy.
A submission should not have the primary purpose of undermining the ICRC and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, contain claims or information which could risk the safety of personnel in the field, or have the primary purpose of denunciating a State.
All blog contributors are expected to take note and follow the blog’s editorial policy. The editorial team reserves the right to reject a submission if it falls outside of the blog’s editorial line.
Review & Editing Process
Review. All posts are reviewed for acceptance. Submissions are reviewed for quality and clarity and should be in line with our editorial policy. This review is carried out by in-house and external subject-matter experts, depending on the post.
Editing. The editorial team may provide language, content and structural edits to enhance readability and make it consistent with the blog’s editorial guidelines. Once edited, the submission is sent back to the author for feedback and validation. We ask that any changes you make or comments you have you leave in tracked changes. Please indicate where and why you may disagree with any comments or changes. Due to the timely and topical character of the blog, the editorial team may require the author to approve edits quickly. Further edits may be made after publication.
Blog Style & Structure
Blogs occupy a unique space in the publishing world today. As such, they have a specific structure and way of conveying ideas which differs from many other forms of writing, such as academic writing or news articles. We recommend taking the following points into consideration while writing your blog post.
Audience. The humanitarian law and policy blog speaks to specialized audiences concerned with the way in which international humanitarian law and humanitarian action issues are shaped and implemented. Readers span across the globe and include government lawyers, policy-makers, members of the diplomatic community, academics, armed actors, think tanks, NGOs, IGOs, students, practitioners within the ICRC and the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, as well as other interested parties.
Title. Immediately identify what your post is about in a clear, concise and assertive manner in the title. Your title is what may determine whether someone will read your post. It is what may be in the subject-heading of an email and may appear in google searches. A short and interesting title is also more easily shared on social media. We recommend 40—80, characters, and no more than 110 characters, for your title.
First Paragraph (lede). State your main point and grab the reader’s attention in the first (and possibly second) paragraph. This is your opportunity to explain to a very busy audience why they should take the time to read your post. What is your argument? Essentially, your conclusion comes first.
Body. Use the rest of your post to support your argument with evidence and nuances. Write clearly, concisely and engagingly.
Evidence and hyperlinks. When stating facts or mentioning other thinkers, cite the source using hyperlinks whenever possible. If no hyperlink is available, please refer to the source in your text. Hyperlinks are also a way to include secondary information that is interesting, but not integral to your point.
Acronyms and jargon. Please explain acronyms and avoid jargon. This is an opportunity put an important, and possibly complex, point forward in a way that is accessible both to those within your specialty and to a wider audience.
Format. Short paragraphs and use of sub-headings can make your post easier to read. Meaningful headings are clearer than cute headings. If your post contains more than a single main point, consider using section breaks with titles or submitting a series of posts on the same topic.
Humanitarian Law & Policy may not be interpreted as positioning the ICRC in any way, and its content does not amount to formal policy or doctrine.
We encourage you to join in and share your voice in the Comments section of blog posts, on social media and through other channels. While we value honesty and different perspectives, we reserve the right to reject comments that contain:
- Offensive statements against a culture, race, religion or gender;
- Abusive language, anger, hate, violence or pornography;
- Personal information (other than yours), such as names, addresses or phone numbers;
- Disparaging or threatening comments about the ICRC and our staff;
- Third party marketing, including links to third party websites;
To ensure that this is respected, the editorial team receives comments before they appear under an article.
We suggest the following format when citing Humanitarian Law & Policy articles:
McGoldrick, C. “Humanitarianism at breaking point? New roles for local and international actors”, Humanitarian Law & Policy, http://blogs.icrc.org/law-and-policy/2016/08/19/humanitarianism-local-international-actors/, 19 August 2016 (Accessed 02/09/2016).
All material in Humanitarian Law & Policy is published under the following license: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)