Is the protection afforded by international law during armed conflicts robust enough in light of the nature of today’s conflicts where armed groups often control large populations and territories? What is the role of armed groups in the creation and implementation of the rules they are expected to respect? What are the responsibilities of business enterprises operating in conflict zones? What about the commission of war crimes or crimes against humanity by their staff?
‘Non-state actors’ – whether armed groups or large multinational business companies – are important actors in contemporary international relations. Most armed conflicts are today of a non-international character, involving numerous armed groups who can control a territory or a population, raising issues about the suitability of the existing protection framework afforded by international human rights law and international humanitarian law. Similar challenges arise in relation to the activities of businesses or transnational companies, notably when they operate in conflict zones or situations of armed violence.
Our research in this domain explores the extent to which these actors are bound by international law, whether the existing legal framework provides adequate protection and proposes concrete solutions to address these contemporary challenges.
Dave Klassen/The EITIRESEARCH
NYU Stern BHRESEARCH
Oliver Peters / PixabayRESEARCH
© ILO/ Joydeep MukherjeeRESEARCH
Completed in 29 February 2020
Completed in 1 March 2021
Completed in 31 December 2016
Completed in 1 June 2018
Completed in 31 December 2015
Completed in 31 December 2011
The U.S. ArmyRESEARCH
Completed in 31 December 2010
Our new Working Paper Non-State Actors and Enforced Disappearances: Defining a Path Forward discusses the growing phenomenon of disappearances committed by non-state actors and the need to rethink the current definition of enforced disappearance to address this reality, improve the situation of victims and ensure proper accountability of non-state actors.
Our Senior Research Fellow and Strategic Adviser on IHL Dr Annyssa Bellal travelled this summer to North-East Syria with colleagues from Geneva Call – Ezequiel Heffes and Pascal Bongard – as part of the research project she leads that examines the practice and interpretation of ANSAs on core IHL norms.
The first of a longer series aimed at producing a global comparative analysis, they provide a unique insight on how two armed non-State actors perceive international humanitarian law and some selected rules contained therein.