A project will take you through an induction clearly explaining the expectations they have of you whilst in your role and they will ask you to sign a ‘Code of Conduct’, specific to the work of your placement. We suggested you take a look at this very general ‘Code of Conduct’ to guide you on how you will be expected to behave when working in the field and watch the following videos to ensure you have a good basic knowledge of the crisis.

A ‘Code of Conduct’ is a voluntary code, enforced by the will of the organisation to maintain the standards.  It seeks to guard our standards of behavior, and maintain the high standards of humanitarian aid, effectiveness and impact to which we aspire to as an organisation.



What guides global humanitarian work
What a 6 minute video explaining these principles


The singular motivation of humanitarian action is to save lives and alleviate suffering in a manner that respects and restores personal dignity.


Humanitarian action is based solely on need, with priority given to the most urgent cases irrespective of race, nationality, gender, religious belief, political opinion or class.


Humanitarian actors refrain from taking sides in hostilities or engaging in political, racial, religious or ideological controversies.


Requires autonomy on the part of humanitarian actors, who are not to be subject to control or subordination by political, economic, military or other non-humanitarian objectives.

Source: UNHCR, Emergency Handbook https://emergency.unhcr.org/entry/44766/humanitarian-principles


Understand the context of your volunteer role and project

What a 2 minute video explaining these principles

The principle of “do no harm” obliges all actors to prevent and mitigate any negative impact of their actions on affected populations.  Volunteers are asked to adopt the ‘do no harm approach’ in both professional and social environments, and to consistently assess the implications and potential consequences of their actions for themselves as individuals, for beneficiaries and for their respective organisations. Volunteers must be conscious of the social, cultural and professional contexts they are working in, particularly their interactions with beneficiaries, and work within the necessary professional boundaries that ensure we can provide principled, accountable and high-quality humanitarian aid.


Volunteer preparation