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Posts on: non-state armed groups

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Human rights obligations and accountability of armed groups

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  One of the controversies surrounding armed groups is whether – and to what extent – they bear obligations under international human rights law. The traditional and still dominant conceptualization of human rights addresses only harms done by governments to individuals and leaves largely unaddressed abuses committed by non-state actors and private parties. The relevant treaties are signed and ratified by states and... More >>

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On ICRC Engagement with Non-State Armed Groups: Recent Developments

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  Engaging with non-state armed groups has been at the core of ICRC actions for decades. For example, Henri Dunant, the founder of the ICRC, brought humanitarian help and tried to negotiate the release of hostages during the Paris Commune in 1871. According to an ICRC publication from 1900, only 39% of Red Cross operations between 1863 and 1899 happened in "international wars", while 55% were carried out in contexts... More >>

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Challenges of compliance of non-state armed groups: one-way obligations?

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  As we write, non-state armed groups (‘NSAGs’, also variously described as‘insurgents’, ‘rebels’, ‘insurrectionists’, etc) are mainly seen as law-takers rather than as law-makers, and thus as objects rather than