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

The majority of today’s armed conflicts are non-international, opposing states to armed non-state actors (ANSAs) or between ANSAs themselves. In this context, ANSAs’ compliance with international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law (IHRL) is a major challenge in today's armed conflicts.

While many violations of IHL and IHRL are committed by ANSAs, how they understand, interpret or can implement their international obligations has not yet been scientifically explored. The joint research project with Geneva Call precisely aims at filling this gap by collecting ANSAS’ practice and interpretation of IHL and IHRL norms.

The Research Brief From Words to Deeds: A Study of Armed Non-State Actors’ Practice and Interpretations of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Norms summarizes the focus, objectives, methodology and research questions of this project.

AUTHORS

Picture of Annyssa Bellal

Annyssa Bellal

Senior Research Fellow and Strategic Adviser on International Humanitarian Law

Annyssa Bellal's areas of expertise include public international law, international humanitarian law, international human rights law and armed non-state actors.

Pascal Bongard

Ezequiel Heffes

NEWS AND EVENTS

Fighters firing rockets in Libya News

New Research Brief Outlines the Methodology, Research Questions and Focus of a Major Research Project on Armed Non-State Actor

December 2019

The Research Brief From Words to Deeds: A Study of Armed Non-State Actors’ Practice and Interpretations of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Norms summarizes the focus, objectives, methodology and research questions of this project.

Read more >

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Online conference on the status and protection of animals in armed conflict News

Two-Day Conference Discusses the Status and Protection of Animals in Armed Conflict

June 2020

On 11 and 26 June 2020, academics and experts in the field of international humanitarian law, international criminal law, and animal law discussed online controversial issues related to the status and protection of animals in armed conflict in the context of a research project on this issue.

Read more

A LLM class with Professor Gloria Gaggioli News

LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights: Applications for the 2021–2022 Academic Year are Open!

November 2020

Applications will run until 29 January 2021 for applications with a scholarship and until 26 February 2021 for applications without a scholarship.

Read more

A farm in France Event

The Implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants in France: Focus on the Right to Seeds

December 2020, 17:30-19:30

This online conference (in French) will discuss content and recommendations of our recent publications on the right to seeds with French partners.

Read more

Afghanistan, Parwan detention facility. Inside a room where detainees of the prison, separated by an acrylic glass, are allowed to meet with their families a couple of times per year with the help of the ICRC employees who facilitate the programme. Short Course

Preventing and Combating Terrorism

11 March - April 2021

This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, discusses the extent to which states may limit and/or derogate from their international human rights obligations in order to prevent and counter-terrorism and thus protect persons under their jurisdiction.

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

30 April - May 2021

This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, 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

Session of a UN Treaty Body Project

Treaty Bodies Individual Communications Procedures

Started in January 2019

Read more

A wheelchair completely destroyed after the bombing of a civilian area Project

Disability and Armed Conflict

Started in May 2016

This project aims to ensure better protection of and assistance for persons with disabilities in situations of armed conflict or its aftermath by identifying legal obligations to protect and assist persons with disabilities during conflict, and the policies and practices required to put these obligations into effect.

Read more

Cover page of the Briefing Publication

Room for Manoeuvre? Promoting International Humanitarian Law and Accountability While at the United Nations Security Council: A Reflection on the Role of Elected Members

published on October 2020

Émilie Max

Read more