IRRC No. 876

Victim identity and respect for human dignity: a terminological analysis

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The use of the term 'victim' as an identity can have different implications, depending on who is using it, claiming it, rejecting it or attributing it to others; therefore, the term should be used with some care and insight. This article analyses the use and function of the word 'victim' at different levels in the work and actions of the ICRC. It stresses the importance of aid workers being able to recognize the potential and active identity of a person beyond the institutional label as 'victim', thereby respecting that person's human dignity.

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