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Internal armed conflict: international standards, mechanisms and commentary

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response
Description/subject: The Charter sets out ... what people affected by disasters have a right to expect from humanitarian assistance ... based on the principles and provisions of international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law, and on the principles of the Red Cross and NGO Code of Conduct. It describes the core principles that govern humanitarian action and asserts the right of populations to protection and assistance. The Charter is followed by minimum standards in five core sectors - water supply and sanitation, nutrition, food aid, shelter and site planning, and health services.
Language: English
Source/publisher: The Sphere Project, http://www.sphereproject.org
Format/size: html, pdf (2.45 MB)
Alternate URLs: http://ocw.jhsph.edu/courses/RefugeeHealthCare/PDFs/SphereProjectHandbook.pdf
Date of entry/update: 18 July 2010


Title: International Humanitarian Law
Description/subject: International Humanitarian Law database; the Conventions and number of other documents and commentaries; The law of war: information for defence and military staff; National Implementation of International Humanitarian law - and other publications.
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: The ICRC - its mission, role and mandate
Description/subject: "The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an impartial, neutral and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and internal violence and to provide them with assistance. It directs and coordinates the international relief activities conducted by the Movement in situations of conflict. It also endeavours to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles. Established in 1863, the ICRC is at the origin of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
Alternate URLs: http://www.icrc.org/Web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/iwpList2/About_the_ICRC:Mandate
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Individual Documents

Title: Global Peace Index
Date of publication: 2015
Description/subject: "This is the ninth edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI), which ranks the nations of the world according to their level of peacefulness. The index is composed of 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators from highly respected sources and ranks 162 independent states, covering 99.6 per cent of the world’s population. The index gauges global peace using three broad themes: the level of safety and security in society, the extent of domestic and international conflict and the degree of militarisatio."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute for Economics & Peace
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 11 July 2015


Title: The protective scope of Common Article 3: more than meets the eye
Date of publication: March 2011
Description/subject: Abstract: "Non-international armed conflicts are not only prevalent today, but are also evolving in terms of the types that have been observed in practice. The article sets out a possible typology and argues that Common Article 3 to the Geneva Conventions may be given an expanded geographical reading as a matter of treaty law. It also suggests that there is a far wider range of rules – primarily of a binding nature, but also policy- based – that apply in Common Article 3 armed conflicts with regard to the treatment of persons in enemy hands and the conduct of hostilities"
Author/creator: Jelena Pejic
Language: English
Source/publisher: "International Review of the Red Cross" (Vol. 93 Number 881. March 2011)
Format/size: pdf (526K)
Date of entry/update: 16 December 2014


Title: List of Customary Rules of International Humanitarian Law (Burmese ျမန္မာဘာသာ )
Date of publication: March 2005
Description/subject: Annex to Henckaerts' "Study on customary international humanitarian law: A contribution to the understanding and respect for the rule of law in armed conflict" (see Alternate URL for the text and Annex in English. Only the list of rules has been translated into Burmese)..... "This list is based on the conclusions set out in Volume I of the study on customary international humanitarian law. As the study did not seek to determine the customary nature of each treaty rule of international humanitarian law, it does not necessarily follow the structure of existing treaties. The scope of application of the rules is indicated in square brackets. The abbreviation IAC refers to customary rules applicable in international armed conflicts and the abbreviation NIAC to customary rules applicable in non-international armed conflicts. In the latter case, some rules are indicated as being “arguably” applicable because practice generally pointed in that direction but was less extensive."
Author/creator: J.- M. Henckaerts
Language: Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: "International Review of the Red Cross" (Vol. 87 No. 857, March 2005)
Format/size: pdf (74K)
Alternate URLs: https://www.icrc.org/eng/assets/files/other/icrc_002_0860.pdf
Date of entry/update: 17 December 2014


Title: Study on customary international humanitarian law: A contribution to the understanding and respect for the rule of law in armed conflict
Date of publication: March 2005
Description/subject: Abstract: This article explains the rationale behind a study on customary international humanitarian law recently undertaken by the ICRC at the request of the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. It describes the methodology used and how the study was organized and summarizes some major fi ndings. It does not, however, purport to provide a complete overview or analysis of these findings".....Annex: List of rules.
Author/creator: Jean-Marie Henckaerts
Language: English
Source/publisher: "International Review of the Red Cross" (Vol. 87 No. 857, March 2005)
Format/size: pdf (388K)
Date of entry/update: 16 December 2014


Title: The ICRC in Myanmar
Date of publication: 03 October 2003
Description/subject: The ICRC began working in Myanmar in 1986 providing physical rehabilitation for mine victims and other disabled people. From 1999 until the end of 2005, ICRC delegates carried out regular visits to detainees in prisons and labour camps but since 2006 the authorities have not permitted the organization to continue this activity according to its standard procedures applied worldwide. In addition, the authorities have imposed restrictions on the ICRC's ability to conduct assistance and protection activities on behalf of vulnerable people living in sensitive border areas. In Shan, Kayin and Mon states, where weakened infrastructure, isolation and the security situation make the population particularly vulnerable, the ICRC meets basic water and sanitation needs in selected villages, helps hospitals provide surgical care to the wounded and has stepped up dialogue with the governmental authorities on the protection of civilians in those sensitive areas.... The ICRC also works to improve coordination with the International Federation in an effort to enhance the effectiveness of the Myanmar Red Cross Society.... OPERATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS:- Between January and May 2003, the ICRC: * completed several water, sanitation and hospital rehabilitation projects, providing proper sanitary facilities and safe drinking water to approximately 10,000 beneficiaries in Shan, Kayin and Mon states * individually visited and registered more than 1,381 people deprived of their freedom * visited 40 places of detention (under the authority of the Ministry of Home Affairs) and provided assistance..." Contains link to map of ICRC ooperations in Burma.
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 06 December 2010


Title: The ICRC in Myanmar
Date of publication: 22 January 2002
Description/subject: Extract from the ICRC Annual Report 2000: Help for detainees; Assistance for internally displaced people and vulnerable groups; Speading awareness of humanitarian law; Working with Myanmar REd Cross Spociety.
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
Format/size: PDF (238K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.icrc.org/WEBGRAPH.NSF/Graphics/AC_AS_MYANMAR_AR.pdf/$FILE/AC_AS_MYANMAR_AR.pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: The right to food in situations of armed conflict: The legal framework
Date of publication: 31 December 2001
Description/subject: [For Burma, the most relevant section is that dealing with non-international armed conflict]. "War is one of the primary obstacles to realization of the right of all people to have adequate food. This article examines the relevant provisions, belonging to human rights law or international humanitarian law, of the various international law treaties The author concludes that the body of rules codified by the instruments of international humanitarian law in force today are sufficient to ensure adequate food for persons affected by armed conflict. Unlike the human rights treaties, the humanitarian law conventions do not create subjective rights for the persons concerned, but binding obligations for States."...Résumé de l'article: "La guerre est l’un des obstacles majeurs à la réalisation du droit de chacun à une alimentation adéquate. Cet article examine les dispositions pertinentes des différents traités de droit international, qu’elles appartiennent au droit des droits de l’homme ou au droit international humanitaire. L’auteur conclut que les instruments de droit international humanitaire en vigueur ont codifié un corps de règles suffisant pour assurer une alimentation adéquate aux personnes touchées par un conflit armé. Contrairement aux traités relatifs aux droits de l’homme, les conventions de droit humanitaire ne créent pas des droits subjectifs pour les personnes concernées, mais des obli-gations qui lient les États."
Author/creator: Jelena Pejic
Language: English
Source/publisher: ICRC: International Review of the Red Cross No. 844, p. 1097-1110.
Format/size: PDF (86K) Full text
Alternate URLs: http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/misc/57jrlg.htm
Date of entry/update: 29 November 2010


Title: An examination of the usage of systematic sexual violence as a weapon of warfare and tool of repression in non-international armed conflicts
Date of publication: 06 October 2000
Description/subject: "In 1994, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women stated, “[rape] remains, the least condemned war crime; throughout history, the rape of hundreds of thousands of women and children in all regions of the world has been a bitter reality.” Despite the pervasiveness of sexual violence during periods of armed conflict, rape and other forms of sexual violence have traditionally been mischaracterized as private acts, the unfortunate but inevitable behaviour of individual soldiers. The revelations of the existence of ‘rape camps’ in Bosnia-Herzegovina, dramatically altered the awareness of systematic sexual violence against women as a facet of warfare. It has become recognised that sexual violence is not purely an unfortunate ancillary effect of armed conflict but rather a tool by which the civilian population is terrorized, dominated, driven from their homes and destroyed. However, although the rapes in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia have attracted a wealth of academic discussion and analysis, numerous other occurrences of widespread and systematic sexual violence have received comparatively little attention. This paper will focus on the systematic use of sexual violence against women in situations of non-international armed conflict, due to both the prevalence of internal conflicts in recent history, and the relative lack of legal provisions of international humanitarian law which apply to conflicts of this nature. The discussion will focus on the use of sexual violence as both a weapon of warfare, i.e. in order to actively achieve a specific political or military objective, and as a form of heinous repression by which the civilian population is dominated, though in practice the distinction between the two concepts may be somewhat fine. It is of the utmost importance to recognise that sexual violence happens systematically. It is only through acknowledging and responding to the occurrence of organised and strategic sexual violence that senior political and military officials can be held accountable. The term systematic is not used to denote the invention of a new crime, but rather to describe certain forms of sexual violence which have been deliberately planned or officially sanctioned by senior military or government figures for the achievement of a specific objective. Part One of the paper will detail the systematic use of sexual violence, in relation to internal armed conflicts and will outline the various purposes which sexual violence has been intended to achieve. Particular emphasis will be given to the conflicts in Peru, Rwanda and Kosovo, though the conflicts in Kashmir Sierra Leone, Liberia and Chechnya are also particularly pertinent to the discussion. Although the characterisation of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia has been the subject of varying determinations by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and is considered by several academics as having been both an international and a non-international conflict, the details of the mass rape which occurred in Bosnia-Herzegovina have been well documented and will not be discussed in depth. Part One will also examine the factors which fuel systematic rape, with particular regard to the promulgation of gender and ethnicity based stereotypes and propaganda. Sexual violence in situations of armed conflict amounts to a clear breach of international law. Part Two will consider the importance of the fact that sexual violence has occurred systematically for the characterisation of such acts as violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law. In this respect, the adequacy of international humanitarian law in relation not only to the physical victims but also to the witnesses of sexual violence warrants analysis, as sexual violence of this nature is often intended to cause harm to those other than the physical victims. Part Two will also examine the characterisation of rape as a crime against humanity and will analyse the genocidal rape discourse which has evolved following the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia..."
Author/creator: Bob Last
Language: English
Source/publisher: University of Nottingham School of Law (Dissertation)
Format/size: html (348K)
Date of entry/update: 19 July 2004


Title: Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and the 1977 Protocols
Date of publication: 12 August 1949
Description/subject: Myanmar ratification: 25 August 1992. See Article 3, commmon to all four Conventions, which covers conflict "not of an international character" i.e. civil war and other forms of internal conflict. Burma is a party to the Conventions but not to the Protocols.
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003