Experts and Law Enforcement Practitioners Discuss New Standards on the Use of Less Lethal Weapons

Experts at the annual seminar on use of force and less lethal weapons Experts at the annual seminar on use of force and less lethal weapons

Last week, at our annual seminar held in the context of the Geneva Human Rights Platform and its focus on the use of force, around 40 police officers, experts on the design, testing and use of weapons, representatives of national police oversight mechanisms, human rights experts, representatives of UN specialized agencies, academics, representative of governments and of national civil society organizations discussed human rights challenges related to the use of less-lethal weapons (LLWs).

A Document to Establish International Standards on the Use of LLWs

Participants notably reviewed a first draft document to guide the use of LLWs and other equipment in law enforcement. This first draft was designed early this year by an academic working group made of leading academics, law enforcement experts and practitioners and representatives from international organizations and civil society.

This draft document aims to build upon, and in no way to challenge or to update, the United Nations (UN) Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials.

It is intended to assist relevant stakeholders in meeting the requirement of these existing standards to develop ‘non-lethal incapacitating weapons for use in appropriate situations ’ and that such development and/or deployment of such weapons be ‘carefully evaluated in order to minimize the risk of endangering uninvolved persons ’

‘It is vital, when conceiving standards in this sometimes highly contested space, that there are opportunities to consult all the stakeholders. Only on the basis of frank exchanges can standards speak properly to the challenges faced on the ground’ says Professor Christof Heyns.

Next steps will include a revised draft after the meeting that will integrate comments from participants and a follow-up meeting before the end of 2018.

Briefing Diplomats and Civil Society on the Particularities of LLWs’ Use around Peaceful Protests

This annual seminar took place in parallel of a UN Human Rights Council (HRC) negotiation on a resolution dealing with the use of LLWs in peaceful protests. The Omega Research Foundation, which participated in the seminar and specializes in research of LLWs, gave a technical seminar for diplomats and civil society representatives at the Palais des Nations on the particularities of the use of LLWs around protests.

About the Geneva Human Rights Platform and Its Focus on Use of Force

The Geneva Human Rights Platform (HRP) provides a dynamic forum in Geneva for all stakeholders in the field of human rights to discuss and debate topical issues and challenges. Relying on academic research and findings, it enables various actors to become better connected, break down silos and, hence, advance human rights.

The HRP notably focuses on the use of force in relation to law enforcement, management of assemblies, crowd control, the right to life or the use of specific security devices and how these issues are addressed at the UN Human Rights Council, the UN Human Rights Committee or at the Conference on Disarmament.

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Print screen of the treaty bodies scheduler News

The Consolidated Reporting Model and ‘Treaty Body Scheduler’ Presented for the First Time to UN Treaty Body Members

8 October 2018

Felix Kirchmeier, coordinator of the Geneva Human Rights Platform briefed the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on the main proposals developed by the Academic Platform on Treaty Body Review 2020.

Read more

Coverpage of the 2016 Annual Report News

2016 Annual Report

12 June 2017

Our 2016 Annual Report is out! It provides an overview of our activities and achievements.

Read more

A frame of the UN film on the UDHR Event

The UDHR at Seventy: Historical and Juridical Perspectives

5 December 2018, 09:30-19:45

This symposium, co-organized with the Department of International History of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, will discuss recent and ongoing research related to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Read more

A frame of the UN film on the UDHR Event

The Individual and the Group: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Genocide Convention at 70

5 December 2018

This public lecture by Philippe Sands QC, Professor of Law, University College London, will close the public symposium on ‘The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at Seventy: Historical and Juridical Perspectives’.

Read more

Afghanistan, Parwan detention facility. Inside a room where detainees of the prison, separated by an acrylic glass, are allowed to meet with their families a couple of times per year with the help of the ICRC employees who facilitate the programme. Short Course

Preventing and Combating Terrorism

7 February - 14 March 2019

This short course discusses the extent to which states may  limit and/or derogate from their international human rights obligations in order to prevent and counter terrorism and thus protect persons under their jurisdiction.

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

Data connections with a man's shadow on the back Project

HUMAN RIGHTS, BIG DATA AND TECHNOLOGY PROJECT

Started in May 2016

We are a partner of the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project, housed at the University of Essex’s Human Rights Centre, which aims to map and analyse the human rights challenges and opportunities presented by the use of big data and associated technologies. It notably examines whether fundamental human rights concepts and approaches need to be updated and adapted to meet the new realities of the digital age.

Read more