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Civilians Under Fire: Restore Respect for International Humanitarian Law

Published:
2 February 2016
Region:
Global
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Civilians Under Fire: Restore Respect for International Humanitarian Law

This policy brief asserts that the scale and severity of human suffering in current armed conflicts represent a distressing race to the bottom in disregard for the basic rules regulating armed conflict. Civilian deaths and injuries resulting from explosive weapons have increased by 52% over the last four years. The world is currently witnessing the greatest population displacement since World War II. This is not merely the tragic, inevitable consequence of conflict, and it cannot be excused by the fog of war. Much of this loss of life and human suffering is avoidable. This is precisely what international humanitarian law, also known as the law of armed conflict, is for – to limit the effects of armed conflict. This brief argues that the basic rules of international humanitarian law are being violated by both non-state and state actors and provides focused recommendations on how to counter this trend.

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