Event information

22 June 2018, 10:30-12:00

Downloads

Flyer >

Human Rights Obligations and Armed Non-State Actors: The Protection of the Right to Life

Event

A view of the deserted streets in the town of Malakal, in the Upper Nile State of South Sudan where residents have fled due to ongoing violence between rebel groups and government troops. A view of the deserted streets in the town of Malakal, in the Upper Nile State of South Sudan where residents have fled due to ongoing violence between rebel groups and government troops.

The rise of armed non-state actors (ANSAs) in contemporary conflicts and situations of violence and their great impact on human rights calls for increased and specific attention from states and international organizations. ANSAs growing influence is a general trend. Some of these actors control territory and persons for a prolonged time, often without access by any human rights monitoring mechanisms.

While international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law (IHRL) share certain common objectives, they differ in their scopes of application. IHRL apply at all times, while IHL applies only in cases of armed conflict. ANSAs, which are party to a conflict, are subject to the obligations imposed by IHL. However, less legal clarity exists, as to which extent they are also legally bound to respect human rights in situations that are not covered by IHL or where IHL does not provide adequate guidance on how to address a situation which is human rights relevant.

Up to now, it is still unclear and difficult to establish whether ANSAs’ IHRL obligations are anchored in some form of law or practice, as could be gathered from the analysis of the resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, the UN Security Council and the Human Rights Council. The issue of accountability and reparation for human rights violations committed by ANSAs is also a critical point of the debate.

This side event, co-organized with Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions will discuss this issues in light of her latest report Armed Non-State Actors: The Protection of the Right to Life.

Moderator

  • Felix Kirchmeier, Manager of Policy Studies, Geneva Academy

Speakers

  • Annyssa Bellal, Senior Research Fellow and Strategic Adviser on International Humanitarian Law, Geneva Academy
  • Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions
  • Ezequiel Heffes, Legal Advisor, Geneva Call
  • Anita Ramasastry, Chair of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
  • Michael Wiener, Human Rights Officer, Rule of Law and Democracy Section, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Registration

We do not take specific registration for this event, which is open to everyone who has access to the Palais des Nations.

 

Location

Room XXVI, Palais des Nations, 8 – 14 avenue de la Paix, Geneva

Access

Public Transport

Tram 15, Direction Nations - tram stop Nations

Map of Palais des Nations

Practical information to access the Palais des Nations and room XXVI.

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Map of the RULAC online portal with the pop-up window of the non-international armed conflict in Nigeria News

Nigeria: A Non-International Armed Conflict involving Boko Haram and Troops from Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria

18 December 2018

Our Rule of Law in Armed Conflict (RULAC) online portal provides a detailed analysis and legal classification of the non-international armed conflict (NIAC) between Nigeria and Boko Haram, a non-state armed group that pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group.

Read more

Professor Gloria Gaggioli during an IHL class of our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights News

Gloria Gaggioli Appointed SNF Professor at the University of Geneva

15 March 2018

Gloria Gaggioli has been appointed Swiss National Fund (SNF) Professor at the Law Faculty of the University of Geneva where she will lead a four-year research project on ‘Preventing and Combating Terrorism and Violent Extremism: Towards an Empirico-Legal Approach’.

Read more

Mali, view of a Mosque from the Niger river Short Course

Introduction to the Islamic Law of Armed Conflict

28 February - 11 April 2019

This short course introduces participants to the Islamic law of armed conflict and how it relates to the current conflicts in Muslim contexts. It examines the rules regulating the use of force during both international and non-international armed conflicts under classical Islamic law.

Read more

Peru, Huancasancos. Vigil and burial ceremonies for the victims of the conflict whose remains were finally restituted to their families after 30 years of disappearance. Spring School

Confronting the Truth: The Functions, Practices and Challenges of Truth Commissions

2-4 April 2019

Truth Commissions are by now an integral part of the transitional justice vocabulary and practice. The 2019 Spring School will provide a comprehensive, multidimensional and practical examination of this transitional justice mechanism, shedding light on both its aims and the practical challenges it has met or is likely to meet.

Read more

A woman worker at a construction site in India Project

Human Rights and Gender Equality in the Context of Business Activities

Started in June 2018

This project aims to support the UN working group’s consultation process and thus contribute the promotion and protection of human rights and gender equality in relation to the business sector via research on international human rights law and policy related to gender equality guarantees and their application to business activities, and the organization of a global conference in Geneva.

Read more

Séléka rebels patrol in the town of Bria, Central African Republic (CAR). Project

Human Rights Responsibilities and Armed Non-State Actors

Started in June 2018

This research aims at building a common understanding and vision as to how states and the relevant parts of the UN system can provide a concrete and practical framework to address human rights responsibilities of armed non-state actors.

Read more