Towards Guidance on the Use of Less-Lethal Weapons in Law Enforcement

Participants in the Geneva Academy Consultation on less lethal weapons Participants in the Geneva Academy Consultation on less lethal weapons

11 October 2018

On 8 and 9 October, members of the Academic Working Group – a group of experts convened by the Geneva Academy and the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa (University of Pretoria) – met at the Villa Moynier to consult states and to discuss revisions made to a proposed text of guidance on less-lethal weapons (LLWs) and related equipment in law enforcement.

The Academic Working Group includes academic experts, members of United Nations (UN) specialized bodies, UN Special Rapporteurs, members of UN treaty bodies, representatives of other international organizations, law enforcement officials, experts in police oversight, non-governmental organizations and civil society.

A Document Providing Guidance to States, Law Enforcement Agencies, manufacturers and Other Stakeholders

The text, which is intended to provide guidance on the lawful and responsible design, production, procurement, testing, training, transfer, deployment, and use of LLWs and related equipment, is hoped to be of use to states, law enforcement agencies, manufacturers, human rights bodies and mechanisms, private security companies, police oversight bodies, human rights defenders, as well as individuals seeking to assert their right to a remedy for human rights violations.

Geneva Guidelines on less lethal Weapons text for consultation

A Large Consultation Process with a Broad Range of Stakeholders

After a written consultation process which had run for three months over the summer, and several consultations in Pretoria and in Cambridge, a number of revisions had been made to the latest draft, which was discussed in the meeting. The meeting also states through their diplomatic missions in Geneva to make inputs on the draft.

‘All diplomatic missions were invited, and we are grateful to those delegations who attended, asked questions and provided comments’ underlines Kamelia Kemileva, co-coordinator of the Geneva Human Rights Platform.

‘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.

In light of the exchanges, and after some further reviews or requests for clarification on certain technical matters, the text will be finalised and is intended for publication in 2019.

Under the Umbrella of the Geneva Human Rights Platform

This process forms part of the Geneva Human Rights Platform and its focus on current challenges related to the use of force.

The Geneva Human Rights Platform provides a dynamic forum in Geneva for all stakeholders in the field of human rights – experts, practitioners, diplomats and civil society – 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.

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Policeman with a TASER X26 News

Use of Force for Law Enforcement Purpose: Focus on Less-Lethal Weapons

1 June 2017

Given the lack of definition of less-lethal weapons in international human rights (IHRL), law, the absence of international standards regulating their use and the lack of clarity regarding their human rights impact and compliance with IHRL, the annual seminar on current human rights challenges related to the use of force concluded with a call to further explore the use of LLW for law enforcement purposes.

Read more

Woman drying beans on the ground News

The Rights to Food Sovereignty and to Free, Prior and Informed Consent

10 April 2018

Our new Research Brief The Rights to Food Sovereignty and to Free, Prior and Informed Consent presents the protection of these rights at international, regional and national levels and defines the main elements of the rights that could be included in the UN Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas. It will be presented at the 5th session of the intergovernmental working group on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas which aims to finalize the UN Declaration.

Read more

Young boy in a slum Training

Formation en ligne sur les Droits Economiques, Sociaux et Culturels

Deuxième moitié de 2020

Cette formation en ligne permet d’acquérir une connaissance approfondie des droits économiques, sociaux et culturels (DESC), des obligations des états et des mécanismes chargés de les protéger et de surveiller leur mise en oeuvre.

Read more

An aerial view of camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs), which have appeared following latest attacks by M23 rebels and other armed groups in the North Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Short Course

International Refugee Law

6 March - 9 April 2020

This short course analyses the main international and regional norms governing the international protection of refugees. It notably examines the sources of international refugee law, including the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, and their interaction with human rights law and international humanitarian law.

Read more

Panel Discussion: Project

Treaty Body Members’ Platform

Started in January 2014

The Treaty Body Members’ Platform connects experts in UN treaty bodies with each other as well as with Geneva-based practitioners, academics and diplomats to share expertise, exchange views on topical questions and develop synergies.

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