What is Sphere?
The Sphere Handbook is an international common set of humanitarian standards. It aims to improve the quality of humanitarian assistance in disasters and conflicts, and ensure that those carrying out humanitarian responses are accountable for their actions. It is also based on humanitarian organisations’ shared belief that all people affected by disasters and conflict should be able to live with dignity.
How is Oxfam Hong Kong involved?
As a Sphere Focal Point, Oxfam Hong Kong actively promotes and advocates for the application of the Sphere standards in mainland China and organises trainings for humanitarian actors in the country.
How was the Sphere handbook put together?
The Sphere Handbook was launched in 1997 by a number of global non-governmental organisations, including Oxfam and The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, after reflecting on and evaluating organisations’ response to the Rwanda genocide of 1994. The original version of the handbook is in English and has been revised five times over the past 20 years. Namely, the 1998 trial edition, the 2000 edition, the 2004 edition, the 2011 edition and the latest 2018 edition. After its release, the Sphere Handbook has been widely translated into several languages including Chinese; Oxfam Hong Kong translated the 2011 and 2018 editions into simplified Chinese.
The Sphere Handbook was put together based on the experience of organisations and people in the field, and does not represent the opinion of any organisation. The compilation and translation of the 2018 simplified Chinese version brings together the knowledge of various relief organisations and experts from the mainland and Hong Kong, making the content clearer and more professional, and more relevant to the local context.
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