22 November 2018
Our Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts (RULAC) online portal provides a detailed analysis and legal classification of the multiple non-international armed conflicts (NIACs) that are taking place in Myanmar between the Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) and several Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAOs), as well as between various EAOs.
Visitors can discover an overview of these conflicts, recent developments, the factual and methodological basis for their classification as NIACs, parties to these conflicts, and the applicable international law.
‘EAOs are armed non-state actors affiliated to ethnic groups. They are the military wings of political movements that seek autonomy and recognition of their right notably in Kachin, Shan, and Rakhine states’ underlines Dr Chiara Redaelli, Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy.
The RULAC database is unique in the world in that it legally classifies situations of armed violence that amount to an armed conflict – international or non-international – under international humanitarian law (IHL).
‘This is crucial because IHL applies only in armed conflicts. Before humanitarian players, civil servants or academics can invoke IHL or analyze whether IHL was violated, they must know whether it applies. Outside armed conflicts, only international human rights law applies’ underlines Marco Sassòli, Director of the Geneva Academy.
‘We use the following two criteria to assess whether a situation of armed violence amounts to a NIAC under IHL: on one hand, the level of armed violence must reach a certain degree of intensity that goes beyond internal disturbances and tensions, and, on the other at least one side to the conflict must be a non-state armed group that exhibits a certain level of organization’ explains Dr Chiara Redaelli.
The Myanmar entry on RULAC provides a detailed analysis of the intensity of armed violence and EAOs’ level of organization in Kachin, Shan and Rakhine states, including recent developments.
‘On that basis, we concludes that the Myanmar Armed Forces are involved in a multitude of NIACs in these three states, notably against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), the Shan State Army-South (SSA-S), the Shan State Progressive Party/Shan State Army-North (SSPP/SSA-N), and the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA)’ underlines Dr Chiara Redaelli.
Besides these NIACs, RULAC also concludes that a parallel NIAC is taking place between the Shan State Army-South (SSA-S) and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) in Kachin and Shan states.
Initiated in 2007, RULAC is an online portal that systematically qualifies situations of armed violence using the definition of armed conflict under IHL. While RULAC is still under development and new entries continue to be regularly added, it currently monitors more than 26 armed conflicts involving at least 39 states that visitors can discover either by browsing the map or by browsing conflicts by type or region.
Tim Freccia/Enough Project
Students of our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights (2019-2020 academic year) dedicated their summer to the writing of their LLM papers – a key output of the programme.
Joshua Niyo received a one-year Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) Doc.Mobility grant to spend a year at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law as Visiting Researcher.
Online side event at the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council organized by the Geneva Academy, the Geneva Human Rights Platform, UN Special Procedures and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.
Organized with the ICRC, this advanced IHL seminar aims to enhance the capacity of lecturers and researchers to teach and research IHL and contemporary issues arising during armed conflict, while also equipping policy-makers with an in-depth understanding of ongoing legal debates and their relevance to decision-making.
This online short course gives an overview of the role of sexuality and gender identity in international human rights law (e.g. persecution, discrimination, harassment etc.) and international humanitarian law (e.g. sexual violence)
Resulting from traditional legal research and informal interviews with experts, the project aims at examining how – if at all possible – IHL could be more systematically, appropriately and correctly dealt with by the human rights mechanisms emanating from the Charter of the United Nations, as well from universal and regional treaties.
This project aims at compiling and analysing the practice and interpretation of selected international humanitarian law and human rights norms by armed non-state actors (ANSAs). It has a pragmatic double objective: first, to offer a comparative analysis of IHL and human rights norms from the perspective of ANSAs, and second, to inform strategies of humanitarian engagement with ANSAs, in particular the content of a possible ‘Model Code of Conduct’.