International humanitarian law (IHL) — the body of norms that regulate armed conflicts — does not set out effective monitoring, investigation and compliance mechanisms. This structural flaw prompts more and more victims of IHL violations to turn to other fora in order to facilitate implementation of IHL and/or obtain reparation for breaches thereof.
Such fora include United Nations human rights treaty bodies, human rights investigative mechanisms and regional human rights courts. Insofar as IHL and human rights are distinct academic and policy domains, this creates scope for the misapplication of IHL.
In response, this project seeks to strengthen the capacity of human rights mechanisms to take IHL into account in a comprehensive and efficacious manner when confronted with armed conflict situations.
Drawing on in-house staff and a pool of thematic experts, the project delivers support in two ways. First, it runs bespoke training sessions, including for judges and human rights practitioners. Second, it provides technical advice and assistance on how IHL is relevant to, applies or may have implications in specific cases (amicus curiae briefs, legal submissions and analysis of findings).
This work focuses on key thematic areas identified as posing some of the most serious and frequent threats and thus most likely to be addressed by human rights mechanisms: the right to food in armed conflict, protection of cultural property, environmental violations or the dangers to civilians posed by new military technologies