Author Archive

Katharine Weatherhead

Katharine T. Weatherhead holds an MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies from the Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford University. She also holds an MA in International Relations and Law from the University of Edinburgh. Her work focuses on EU law and policy on asylum and immigration.

On 17 June 2016, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) International tweeted: ‘We cannot accept funding from the EU or the Member States while at the same time treating the victims of their polices! It’s that simple.’ The decision is a vivid example of MSF’s political engagement, this time in reaction to EU policies aiming to deter immigration. However, MSF’s actions sit uneasily with the organisation’s politically neutral and impartial public image. The political aspects of its work are not well-captured by the principles of independence, neutrality and impartiality that MSF celebrates, an issue that may hinder members of the public from being fully informed about which humanitarian charities best align with their beliefs. Two notions help to illustrate the political nature …