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

Roundtable discussion during the Regional Consultation for North America and the English Speaking Caribbean on the Future of the UN Treaty Body System News

A Regional Consultation for North America and the English Speaking Caribbean on the Future of the UN Treaty Body System

12 June 2017

In the context of our Academic Platform on Treaty Body Review 2020, Columbia University hosted the regional consultation for North America and the English speaking Caribbean on 1-2 June 2017.

Read more

Portrait of Yuval Shany News

Professor Yuval Shany is the New Chair of the United Nations Human Rights Committee

5 July 2018

Yuval Shany is the Hersch Lauterpacht Chair in International Law at the Law Faculty of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He also teaches human rights in the Geneva Academy’s LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.

Read more

Democratic Republic of the Congo, Walikale, people walk on a street during th 2011 presidential elections. Event

Human Rights and Sustainable Development Goals

26 September 2018, 18:30-20:00

This public conference provides an opportunity to discuss the contributions of UN human rights mechanisms to the monitoring of the SDGs that seek to realize ESCR and their collaboration with the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.&am

Read more

Hands typing on a laptop Event

The Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association Online

11-12 October 2018

A Geneva Human Rights Platform consultation with the Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association, civil society representatives and academics.

Read more

General view of the room XX and delegates during of the High Level Segment of the 31st Session at the Human Rights Council, Geneva, Switzerland, February 29, 2016 Short Course

Optimizing the Human Rights Council: At the Interplay Between Law and Politics

23 January - 1 February 2019

This course focuses on the functioning and the mechanisms of the United Nations Human Rights Council, as well as on the dynamics at play in this major human rights body.

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

8 March - 5 April 2019

This 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

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