25 September 2017
The President of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), Ambassador Joaquín Alexander Maza Martelli, appointed Professor Andrew Clapham to serve as a member of the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan charged with monitoring and assessing the human rights situation in the country.
He will join Ms Yasmin Sooka, a leading human rights lawyer and the Executive Director of the Foundation for Human Rights in South Africa, and Dr Godfrey M. Musila, legal consultant in the areas of human rights, transitional justice and the rule of law and formerly director of Kenyan Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC).
Professor Clapham is an expert in international law, international human rights law and international humanitarian law, and has published widely on these issues. His current research focuses on the role of non-state actors in international law and related questions in human rights and humanitarian law. He is the former Director of the Geneva Academy and teaches in our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.
‘I am honored to have been asked to join this important UN Human Rights Council Commission to see how best to address the challenging human rights situation in South Sudan. I look forward to going to the country and learning firsthand about the situation there so that the Commission can report and make recommendations on how to improve the situation’ underlines Professor Clapham.
The HRC established the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan in March 2016 to monitor and report on the human rights situation in South Sudan and to make recommendations on transitional justice and accountability.
The Commission is scheduled to submit its second report to the HRC in March 2018.
In its first report to the HRC, the Commission noted that the ‘conduct of the Government of South Sudan and of other parties to the conflict suggests the deliberate targeting of civilian populations on the basis of their ethnic identity by means of killings, abductions, unlawful detentions or deprivation of liberty, rape and sexual violence, and the burning of villages and looting’.
Our new article The Syrian Conflict: Nearing the End? provides an overview of the current situation in Syria, details the role and involvement of the various armed groups in the multiple and overlapping non-international armed conflicts that are taking place throughout the country, and maps foreign involvement of countries like the United States, Turkey, Iran or Russia in the international armed conflicts that are ongoing in Syria.
In 2017, 55 situations of armed violence amounted to armed conflicts according to the definitions under international humanitarian law and international criminal law. The vast majority were non-international armed conflicts, as in preceding years. The analysis highlights two salient features: the multiplication of armed non-state actors and unprecedented casualties linked to armed gang violence.
Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Albie Sachs, Former Judge of the South African Constitutional Court, will reflect on the current human rights challenges and how to move the human rights agenda forward.
UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré
This training course will explore the origin and evolution of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and its functioning in Geneva and will focus on the nature of implementation of the UPR recommendations at the national level.
Organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Geneva Academy, this advanced seminar aims to enhance the capacity of lecturers and researchers to teach and research international humanitarian law contemporary issues, addressing both substantive and pedagogical aspects.
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.
Olivier Chamard/Geneva Academy