Norms of Protection

Responsibility to Protect, Protection of Civilians and their Interaction

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A series of humanitarian tragedies in the 1990s (Somalia, Rwanda, Srebrenica, Kosovo) demonstrated the failure of the international community to protect civilians in the context of complex emergencies. These brought to life two norms of protection – Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and Protection of Civilians (POC) – both deeply rooted in the empathy that human beings have for the suffering of innocent people. Both norms raise concerns of misinterpretation and misuse. They are developing – sometimes in parallel, sometimes diverging and sometimes converging – with varying degrees of institutionalization and acceptance. This book engages in a profound comparative analysis of the norms and aims to serve policy-makers at various levels; practitioners with protective roles; academics and researchers; civil society and R2P and POC advocates.



The relationship between international humanitarian law and responsibility to protect: From solferino to srebrenica

Since the earliest times people and communities have set rules intended to minimize the suffering caused by war. Limitations on the way conflict is fought can be found in every culture, and traditionally these rules were often agreed upon by the specific parties involved. The founder of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Henry Dunant, started the modern codification of the laws of war, after experiencing the horrors of a battlefield and urging the international community to create binding treaties in the area. This call for humanity during war resulted in the first Geneva Convention of 1864 and the development of international humanitarian law (IHL). Today the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 are universally ratified and have been added to by many other treaties, protocols and developments in customary international law.


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