Fighting violations of humanitarian law and setting up constructive dialogue with all parties to an armed conflict

About the author(s):

Katharine Fortin

Katharine Fortin is an Associate Professor at Utrecht University where she teaches IHL and IHRL. Before joining Utrecht University, she worked at the ICTY, ICC and Norton Rose Fulbright. She is the author of The Accountability of Armed Groups under Human Rights Law (Oxford University Press, 2017) which won the 2018 Lieber Prize. She has written widely about the framework of law that applies to armed groups in non-international armed conflicts and is one of the editors of the Armed Groups and International Law blog.

In this short ICRC video on fighting violations of humanitarian law made available on 19th March 2014, Pierre Krähenbühl talks about some of the challenges the ICRC faces in setting up a constructive dialogue with all parties to an armed conflict. He talks about how the ICRC deals with the fragmentation of armed groups in modern non-international armed conflict and says that the ICRC’s efforts to influence armed groups to change their behaviour are  ‘painstaking, sometimes dangerous and highly challenging”. During the interview, the former ICRC director of operations gives an insight into how the ICRC sits down in face-to-face dialogue with armed groups and tries to identify the issues reflected in international humanitarian law that will most resonate with them.

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