Event information

5 March 2021, 13:00-14:30

Human Rights Responsibilities of Armed Non-State Actors

Event

Touareg militants driving near Timbuktu, Mali Touareg militants driving near Timbuktu, Mali
OHCHR   DFAE   Geneva Academy CMJN   GHRP logo RVB  

Online Side Event at the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council

The pervasiveness of armed non-State actors’ (ANSAs) involvement in armed conflict and other situations of violence worldwide highlights the importance of effectively implementing the existing international legal protections to safeguard the human dignity of individuals, as protected under International Human Rights Law (IHRL) and International Humanitarian Law (IHL) – irrespective of the status or character of the perpetrators.

The precise extent and content of the legal obligations of ANSAs under IHRL are subject to an evolving discussion among States, academics, civil society and corporate actors. Nonetheless, the international community – including international tribunals, UNGA, UNSC and UN human rights mechanisms – have repeatedly held ANSAs accountable for conduct harming the human rights of individuals and called on States to reaffirm and strengthen the international human rights obligations of ANSAs.

This online side-event to the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council follows a joint public statement just issued by a large group of United Nations Special Procedures Mandate Holders. Focusing on armed conflicts and other situations of violence, the joint statement highlights the far-reaching negative human rights impact of ANSAs on rights’ holders and provides recommendations to States and other stakeholders in view of safeguarding the human rights of individuals from transgression on the part of ANSAs.

Co-organized by the Geneva Academy, the Geneva Human Rights Platform, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights – mandates of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions – the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, it aims at:

  • Recalling human rights norms and standards, including jus cogens norms and non-derogable rights, which must be safeguarded against any perpetrator, including ANSAs regardless of their level of control, organisation or structure;
  • Taking stock of Special Procedures Mandate Holders’ recommendations and interpretation on ANSAs obligations under IHL and IHRL;
  • Identifying challenges in safeguarding human rights in situations of armed conflict and other situations of violence, including through formal and informal channels of engagement with ANSAs;
  • Providing recommendations to States and other stakeholders in view of safeguarding the human rights of individuals from transgressions on the part of ANSAs.

Video

Human Rights Responsibilities of Armed Non-State Actors

This online side-event to the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council follows a joint public statement just issued by a large group of United Nations Special Procedures Mandate Holders. Focusing on armed conflicts and other situations of violence, the joint statement highlights the far-reaching negative human rights impact of ANSAs on rights’ holders and provides recommendations to States and other stakeholders in view of safeguarding the human rights of individuals from transgression on the part of ANSAs.

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