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Protection of Civilians$
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Haidi Willmot, Ralph Mamiya, Scott Sheeran, and Marc Weller

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198729266

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198729266.001.0001

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Protection of Civilians under International Human Rights Law

Protection of Civilians under International Human Rights Law

(p.141) 6 Protection of Civilians under International Human Rights Law
Protection of Civilians

Andrew Clapham

Oxford University Press

The chapter considers the protection of civilians under international human rights law and notes that the role of international human rights in protecting civilians is complex. Unlike international humanitarian law, international human rights law does not distinguish between civilians and others. This chapter elucidates the debates regarding the human rights obligations of national troops operating outside of their own territory, and armed non-State actors. In the wake of the UN’s failure to avert the genocide and atrocities in Rwanda and Srebrenica, or address the human rights violations in Sri Lanka, the chapter notes a realization that human rights warnings should not be ignored, yet there remains apprehension about what the duties are of those who become aware of human rights atrocities. It finds that UN peacekeeping missions are obliged to observe human rights standards and halt human rights violations whether or not the operation has a protection-of-civilians mandate.

Keywords:   protection of civilians, international human rights law, international legal responsibility, human rights violations, armed non-State actors, extraterritorial application of human rights law

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