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.



Enhancing the capacities of state and regional institutions in transforming responsibility to protect from words to deeds: The case of Indonesia and ASEAN

As a principle, Responsibility to Protect (R2P) has gained relatively wide acceptance at a rapid pace since it was first formally introduced through the release of the report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) back in 2001. Within five years, the earlier reluctance to embrace R2P had shifted into a global step to endorse the principle as part of an effort to maintain international peace and security, particularly against mass atrocities anywhere in the world. At the UN World Summit in 2005, more than 150 countries gave their support to the R2P principle, which was then followed by the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1674 which affirmed the principle in 2006. This shows that the idea to reframe the global concern over such atrocities from emphasizing “intervention justified by humanitarian concern” into calling for “responsibility to protect”, which lies primarily in the hands of the sovereign government, has become much more palatable.


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