20 May 2020, 15:00-16:30
The Corona Pandemic and countermeasures taken by governments are already exacerbating the situation of persons living in situations of armed conflicts and in particular those trying to escape from persecution, misery, and/or armed conflict – whether within or across national borders.
Internally displaced persons and refugees are particularly vulnerable to the rapid spread of COVID-19 because they can hardly comply with measures of confinement and/or social distancing and have limited access to healthcare facilities. In Syria, Yemen and many other places affected by armed conflict, healthcare facilities have also been destroyed or degraded, and there is a significant shortage of medical equipment and medical professionals. This shortage is aggravated by a decline in the delivery of humanitarian and development aid – in the immediate due to problems in shipping and transportation, but in the long term probably also by changing priorities of donor funding.
Persons already vulnerable face immense threats, whether due to the degrading situation in camps or the impossibility to leave zones of conflict altogether. Many western countries have opted for a policy of closed borders to protect their populations from further spread of COVID-19. This includes suspension of migratory and refugee management and a factual break-down of the asylum system.
The discussion of those humanitarian challenges will also contrast in legal terms states’ obligations of due diligence to prevent the further spread of the virus with states’ obligations under international law, concerning asylum, refugee and migration management, including based upon human rights law. It will also look back into how these issues were tackled in past situations of pandemics.
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‘Right On’ is a new digital initiative – co-organized by the Geneva Academy, the Geneva Human Rights Platform, the Geneva Internet Platform, the DiploFoundation, the Universal Right Group, the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex, as well as the Permanent Missions of Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands to the United Nations in Geneva – that will keep the human rights dialogue going during these COVID-19 times.
Every Wednesday at 15:00, experts and practitioners will discuss key human rights issues related to the current health crisis.
In this online event of the ‘Right On’ digital initiative, panelists discussed how the Corona Pandemic and countermeasures taken by governments are already exacerbating the situation of persons living in situations of armed conflicts and in particular those trying to escape from persecution, misery, and/or armed conflict – whether within or across national borders.
Olivier Chamard/Geneva Academy
Knowledge transfer is at the heart of our activities. During 2019, our professors, researchers and staff have ensured such transfer in international humanitarian law, human rights and transitional justice via research, our three masters, training courses, events and the Geneva Human Rights Platform.
UN Photo/Manuel Elias
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, provides an introduction to the regime of sanctions under international law and their effectiveness in addressing contemporary forms of conflict. It addresses the questions related to state responsibility, the pacific settlement of international disputes and the role of the International Court of Justice.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, examines the sources of international humanitarian law (IHL). It provides an introduction to the key principles and terminology of IHL.
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’.
This project, initiated in 2014 by the Swiss Chair of International Humanitarian Law, Professor Noam Lubell, intends to identify, via expert meetings and research, a set of best practices that states should apply when they investigate or examine alleged violations or misconduct in situations of armed conflict.