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.
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.
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.
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.
Olivier Chamard / Geneva Academy
During one week, 14 academics from five countries deepened their knowledge and expertise of United Nations human rights mechanisms during a customized training course co-organized with the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights of the University of Oslo.
Olivier Chamard / Geneva Academy
Leading academics, law enforcement experts and practitioners from different regions and legal backgrounds, and representatives from international organizations and civil society will join an academic working group to discuss use of force challenges in different contexts.
Un Photo/Violaine Martin
This panel will focus on the practicalities of how international humanitarian law is used and the role it plays in the work of the UN human rights machinery.
UN Photo/Pierre Albouy
This short 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.
This short course provides participants with a comprehensive introduction to both substantive human rights law as well as the functioning of international mechanisms for the protection of human rights.
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.
We are a partner of the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project, housed at the University of Essex’s Human Rights Centre, which aims to map and analyse the human rights challenges and opportunities presented by the use of big data and associated technologies. It notably examines whether fundamental human rights concepts and approaches need to be updated and adapted to meet the new realities of the digital age.