12 December 2017
Our new publication Gang Violence in Colombia, Mexico and El Salvador analyses three case studies of countries – Colombia, Mexico and El Salvador – that have stood out for their elevated rate of violence, violent homicides and criminal activities linked to confrontations between state forces and armed gangs or between armed gangs themselves.
‘These countries are severely scourged by the expansion of the phenomena of urban gangs, gang violence and organized crime’ underlines Dr Annyssa Bellal, Strategic Adviser on International Humanitarian Law at the Geneva Academy. ‘Violence is unprecedented not only in terms of number of casualties, but also in the form it takes. In such settings, the civilian population has been and still is subject to extortion, confinement, forced displacement, gender-based violence and recruitment of minors’ she adds.
For each country, the authors – Ana Balcazar Moreno, Ximena Mercedes Galvez Lima, Julie Lambin and Lina Rodriguez – provide an overview of the violence in the country and impact on the civilian population; an overview of the main gangs involved in the violence, their tactics, structure and levels of organization; and an analysis of the states’ responses.
‘What is really striking is that the number of civilian casualties linked to gangs’ violence and states’ responses to this violence might exceed those of major current armed conflicts’ stresses Annyssa Bellal. ‘While this article does not discuss the qualification of these violent situations under international law, it highlights the heavy weaponry used by armed gangs, the fact that some of them control sizeable territory and have the ability to conduct military operations, as well as the frequent involvement of the military in the repression’ she adds.
This publication will form part, along with other analysis of conflict situations, of the War Report 2017 which will be published at the beginning of 2018.
The project will be coordinated by Jérôme de Hemptinne, Lecturer at the Geneva Academy, under the Direction of Robert Kolb, Professor at the University of Geneva and at the Geneva Academy.
Our new publication addresses the handling of individual communications, tackles efficiency questions related to this procedure and outlines a series of key recommendations to improve the system, including the creation of a registry to provide substantive legal support to United Nations treaty bodies.
This event, co-organized with the ATLAS Network will feature prominent women in international law. Coming from different professional backgrounds, they will share their experience and advice through an interactive discussion.
In the face of a rapidly changing world, this opening lecture of the academic year by Lindsey Cameron will explore some of the current challenges for IHL and transitional justice.
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.
This short course examines the sources of international humanitarian law as well as the threshold criteria for its applicability to an armed conflict.
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.
Several ad hoc fact-finding and inquiry commissions have been established to assess some of the most serious situations of human rights and humanitarian law violations across the world. With such mechanisms gaining influence, the question arises of whether a minimum formal standard of proof (or degree of certainty) exists or is required when such bodies adjudicate on such serious matters.