In the aftermath of conflict and gross human rights violations, victims have a right to know what happened to their loved ones. Such a right is compromised if mass graves are not adequately protected to preserve evidence, facilitate identification and repatriation of the dead and enable a full and effective investigation to be conducted. Despite guidelines for investigations of the missing, and legal obligations under international law, it is not expressly clear how these mass graves are best legally protected and by whom. This article asks why, to date, there are no unified mass-grave protection guidelines that could serve as a model for states, authorities or international bodies when faced with gross human rights violations or armed conflicts resulting in mass graves. The paper suggests a practical agenda for working towards a more comprehensive set of legal guidelines to protect mass graves.
perpetrators that participating in CRSV/M is considered a grave violation of the international law, and the prosecution approach should be the same as is the case in obtaining justice for CRSV against women ( Lewis, 2009 : 49). Encouraging men to speak about their CRSV experiences, particularly to the humanitarian service providers, may make them more inclined to offer the care and support they need. Therefore, the move towards a language that is vividly gender-inclusive recognises that both men
unlawful but European institutions are endorsing it. So SOS says: ‘No! Actually, according to international law, these are the obligations of states.’ It’s kind of a vigilante of the Mediterranean. Right now, my problem with NGOs like MSF and Save the Children and Oxfam is not what they do out in the field. It is that their staff generally don’t act as citizens. They go out to Uganda or DRC or whatever but they don’t engage with politics in their own home countries. Perhaps this is a result of the way NGO workers see themselves. My PhD research was
. UN Security Council ( 2019 ), ‘ Aid Operations under Increasing Threat as State, Non-State Combatants Ignore International Law, Humanitarian Affairs Chief Warns ’, Security Council, SC/13760, 8499th Meeting (PM) .
kind of formulation, which justifies additional measures for staff on the basis of the services they provide for others, sits uncomfortably with the principle of humanity, according to which ‘human value is based on life not utility’ ( Slim, 2015 : 56). Legal Frameworks Differences in legal status do not offer a convincing explanation of differences in security/protection strategy. International law does offer additional
newfound attention to the targeting of humanitarian and medical actors in conflict zones, not only in Afghanistan, but also in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere, as well as renewed calls for legal accountability. As the incident highlighted, however, a notable gap exists between the lofty theoretical promise of international law – and its domestic corollaries – and the difficulties of achieving accountability in practice. On the one hand, the legal clarity of international law regarding the protection of humanitarian action in armed conflict from deliberate attack is
Chinese assertiveness. The blocking of effective action on Syria at the security council, including preventing a referral of Assad to the ICC, was the result. It is a long time since Kosovo in 1999, the high point of the post-Cold War humanitarian international, when the Western-led coalition broke international law but justified it by retrospectively arguing their actions were ‘illegal but legitimate’. Imagine China making the same argument about its treatment of the Uighurs, as many as one million of whom, it is said, now languish in re
about: her ship, the international law of the sea, Europeans’ moral responsibilities, and conditions faced by migrants in Libya. At the same time, she convincingly claimed that she preferred her actions to do the talking for her. The role of Rackete has also been important in that it deflected emotions away from the migrants rescued by the NGOs – and thus away from an asymmetrical extension of compassion – towards the rescuers. The deflection of emotions away from the migrants may also have helped to subvert humanitarianism’s tendencies to perpetuate ‘the neo
for a set of humanitarian values ( Walker, 2004 ; Wortel, 2009 ). Humanitarianism is a culture that values humanity in all its forms, that champions non-discrimination, that advances restraint in war and many other values codified in international law. ‘Promoting’ ( Bugnion, 2003 : xxvii) or ‘spreading’ ( Slim, 1998 ) this humanitarian culture, therefore, inevitably requires transforming cultural values and practices that
humans truly were naturally violent and that violence came easily to them, would there not be more cases of violent outrage and self-destruction among impoverished communities? What is more, most of the extreme cases of human slaughter throughout history have taken place within the bounds of domestic and international law. They have been fully in keeping with the prevailing normative claims to truth and its ritualised performances. Very rarely does violence come to us in a truly sporadic or spontaneous way. All political violence has a history and most often it is