Implementing International Humanitarian Law Through Human Rights Mechanisms

Started in April 2019

Beyond the International Committee of the Red Cross, international humanitarian law (IHL) lacks mechanisms to effectively ensure its own compliance. Such structural flaw of its system prompted a general recourse to the better-equipped human rights machinery, even if the opportuneness of this tendency has long been – and remains – debated in both intergovernmental and scholarly forums.

If some human rights mechanisms provide unique opportunities for victims affected by armed conflict (such as individual complaints before universal and regional treaty bodies), others remain criticized for being inherently political, too slow to deal with violations, or disconnected from the realities of conflict, thus antagonizing important military stakeholders.

Objectives

The purpose of this research project is not to pass judgment on the above-mentioned trend but to contribute to its objective and contemporary assessment.

Resulting from traditional legal research and informal interviews with experts, the project aims at examining how – if at all possible – IHL could be more systematically, appropriately and correctly dealt with by the human rights mechanisms emanating from the Charter of the United Nations, as well from universal and regional treaties.

While this research does not aim at providing a detailed comparative assessment of how all existing (international, regional or domestic) mechanisms have dealt with IHL, examined or made pronouncements on IHL, it will:

  • Provide a useful background for discussion at the scientific colloquium of the 2019 Geneva Human Rights Week (14–-15 November 2019), and
  • Identify lessons learned from the practice of human rights mechanisms in order to assist stakeholders (especially States) in potentially adopting a coherent and systematized positioning vis-à-vis the implementation of IHL by such mechanisms.

RESEARCHERS

Portrait of Emilie Max

Émilie Max

Researcher

Émilie Max's research focuses s on the intersection between international humanitarian law and international human rights law

Publications

Cover of the publication

Implementing International Humanitarian Law Through Human Rights Mechanisms: Opportunity Or Utopia?

October 2019

Émilie Max

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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NEWS AND EVENTS

Emilie Max at her desk at the Geneva Academy News

Meet our Researchers: Émilie Max

January 2020

Émilie Max is one of our researchers. She tells us about her background, the research projects she works on and why she decided to work in this field.

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A session of the UN Human Rights Committtee at Palais Wilson News

New Paper Discusses IHL Implementation through Human Rights Mechanisms

October 2019

After a reminder on mechanisms established by the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their additional Protocols of 1977, the paper summarily frames the relationship between IHL and international human rights law and assess the competence and practice of political mechanisms emanating from the Charter of the United Nations, as well as of universal and regional treaty-based mechanisms.

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MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Papers related to the Geneva Human Rights Platform on a table News

Geneva Diplomats Discuss Developments around the 2020 Treaty Body Review and Next Steps in New York

November 2019

Staff from the Geneva Human Rights Platform, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and invited experts briefed state representatives in Geneva about developments related to the work of UN treaty bodies (TB) and the 2020 TB Review in New York.

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Portrait of Melina Fuidelis in front of the Geneva Lake News

LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights: What our Students Say

December 2019

In this interview, Melina Fidelis-Tzourou, who is enrolled in our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, tells us about the programme and life in Geneva.

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Photos taken from the Norse Attack Map.     The map shows in realtime attacks that happen on the Norse honeypots. Event

ESIL Lecture: Disruptive Military Technologies

February 2020, 14:00-16:00

Robin Geiß, Swiss Chair of IHL at the Geneva Academy, will explore the disruptive potential of new military technologies with a focus on those areas where these technologies could fall through the cracks of the international legal order.

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The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants

8- June 2020

From its adoption to its content and implementation, this training course provides a comprehensive overview of the United Nations Declaration on the rights of peasants, as well as tools to protect and promote the rights of peasants, rural women, fisher, pastoralist and nomadic communities, as well as agricultural workers.

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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

6 March - April 2020

This short 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.

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First annual conference of the Geneva Human Rights Platform Project

The Annual Conference of the Geneva Human Rights Platform

Started in June 2019

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Session of a UN Treaty Body Project

Treaty Bodies Individual Communications Procedures

Started in January 2019

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Cover of the publication Publication

From Words to Deeds: A Study of Armed Non-State Actors’ Practice and Interpretations of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Norms

published on December 2019

Annyssa Bellal, Pascal Bongard, Ezequiel Heffes

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