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Protecting CiviliansThe Obligations of Peacekeepers$
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Siobhán Wills

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199533879

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199533879.001.0001

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The Extent to which Peacekeeping and other Multi-national Forces have a General ‘Responsibility to Protect’ under International Humanitarian Law

The Extent to which Peacekeeping and other Multi-national Forces have a General ‘Responsibility to Protect’ under International Humanitarian Law

Chapter:
(p.88) 2 The Extent to which Peacekeeping and other Multi-national Forces have a General ‘Responsibility to Protect’ under International Humanitarian Law
Source:
Protecting Civilians
Author(s):

Siobhán Wills

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199533879.003.0002

This chapter examines the extent to which international humanitarian law (IHL) may be applicable to peacekeeping forces, and the extent to which this encompasses positive obligations that would require troops to protect the local population from serious abuses of certain of their human rights. Common to the four Geneva Conventions, Article 1 is the most significant provision of IHL that could be construed as obliging troops to take action to prevent serious abuses of human rights being committed by third parties. Article 1 provides that the High Contracting Parties undertake to ‘respect and ensure respect’ for the provisions of the Conventions ‘in all circumstances’. It is now largely accepted that Article 1 of the Geneva Conventions carries third party obligations for State parties at a general level; but it is not clear what this implies for States that contribute to peacekeeping operations or for the peacekeepers themselves.

Keywords:   Article 1, Geneva Conventions, respect, peacekeepers, protection, war crimes, crimes against humanity

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