Eger Travel

Eger Travel on In a 1981 address to the United Nations in Geneva, titled Confronting Governments: Human Rights, Michel Foucault (2000) argued that the suffering of men, which is all too often ignored by governments, legitimates a right to humanitarian intervention. Enthused by the activist humanitarianism of the 1970s and his work with Bernard Kouchner (then head of Mede- cins san Frontieres/Medecins du Monde, and, until recently, France’s foreign minister), Foucault envisioned the possibility of a new form of right liberated from sovereignty. The statement is interesting for two reasons. First, in registering an implicit link between humanitarian interventions and what Foucault calls the rights of international citizenship, it contrasts the present day when humanitarian imperatives not only provide the frame for many governmental operations but also specify the border where sovereign interventions can be called on to supplement or supervene over governmental powers (Whyte 2012). This is not just the case in state military exercises that justify themselves as humanitarian interventions, such as those that occurred in Kosovo in the late 1990s or more recently in Libya. Sovereign intervention regularly crosses governmental rule in episodes of border policing and migration control, although in such instances humanitarian motives and justifications can pull in different and often discrepant ways. This brings us to our second point of interest in Foucault’s text”the fact that he mentions, alongside Amnesty International and Terres des Hommes, the German nongovernmental organization (ngo) Cap Anamur, which was founded in 1979 when a group of concerned West German citizens, including writer Heinrich Boll, chartered the cargo ship Cap Anamur to rescue boat people fleeing from Vietnam. Eger Travel 2016.

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