Special Workshops on Engaging Armed Groups in the Protection of Civilians

About the author(s):

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.

Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection (PHAP) and the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights are running thematic workshops on engaging armed groups in the protection of civilians in Amman, Bangkok and Nairobi in April, May and June 2014.

The dates and links are found below:-

Amman – 12/13 April 2014

Bangkok – 22/23 May 2014

Nairobi – 5/6 June 2014

The workshops are an opportunity for participants to deepen their knowledge and benefit from the Academy’s latest research on the topic while bringing in their own practitioner perspectives to help move the discussion forward.

The workshops focus on how to improve the protection of civilians and other protected persons through active engagement with non-state armed groups. Based on five years of research by staff at the Geneva Academy, the workshops address the why and how of engagement, taking into account law, policy, and security concerns. The workshops are conducted in a participatory manner with participants invited to share their experiences and concerns about working with armed groups. Participants will receive the Academy’s new Policy Briefing on engaging with armed groups to help with follow-up after the workshop.

Issues to be covered during the workshop include the following:

  • Motivations of armed groups and international law
  • ‘Rules of Engagement’ with armed groups
  • Risk assessment concerning engagement
  • Addressing core protection issues (targeting of attacks, sexual violence, child recruitment, choice of weapons, detention and trial by armed groups)

The agendas for the workshops are found here, here and here.

The two-day workshops complement the Core Professional Trainings on Humanitarian Law and Policy. Participants in the Thematic Workshops are expected to have completed the Core Professional Training in Humanitarian Law and Policy (or an equivalent multi-day training).



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1 thought on “Special Workshops on Engaging Armed Groups in the Protection of Civilians”

  1. Caterina Luciani

    Dear Katharine,

    I hope you are doing well. I just received the message below and wanted to thank you for sharing the information – we greatly appreciate that!



    —— Caterina Luciani caterinaluciani@gmail.com

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