Online Side Event at the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council

About the author(s):

Andrea Farrés Jiménez is a qualified Spanish lawyer specialized in international humanitarian law, international security and arms control. She graduated from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in 2019 with a master’s in International Law. Her master’s thesis focused on the impact that new technologies and artificial intelligence have on IHL targeting principles. She worked as a legal expert for the Norwegian Refugee Council, the Spanish Permanent Mission in Switzerland and in The Netherlands, and the World Organization Against Torture, among other organizations. She has published on issues related to arms controls, gender, new technologies and the IHL targeting principles.

Friday, 5 March, 2021, 13:00-14:30 CEST.

The pervasiveness of armed non-State actors’ (ANSAs) involvement in armed conflict and other situations of violence worldwide highlights the importance of effectively implementing the existing international legal protections to safeguard the human dignity of individuals, as protected under International Human Rights Law (IHRL) and International Humanitarian Law (IHL) – irrespective of the status or character of the perpetrators.

The precise extent and content of the legal obligations of ANSAs under IHRL are subject to an evolving discussion among States, academics, civil society and corporate actors. Nonetheless, the international community – including international tribunals, UNGA, UNSC and UN human rights mechanisms – have repeatedly held ANSAs accountable for conduct harming the human rights of individuals and called on States to reaffirm and strengthen the international human rights obligations of ANSAs.

This online side-event to the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council follows a joint public statement just issued by a large group of United Nations Special Procedures Mandate Holders. Focusing on armed conflicts and other situations of violence, the joint statement highlights the far-reaching negative human rights impact of ANSAs on rights’ holders and provides recommendations to States and other stakeholders in view of safeguarding the human rights of individuals from transgression on the part of ANSAs.

Co-organized by the Geneva Academy, the Geneva Human Rights Platform, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights – mandates of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions – the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, it aims at:

  • Recalling human rights norms and standards, including jus cogens norms and non-derogable rights, which must be safeguarded against any perpetrator, including ANSAs regardless of their level of control, organisation or structure;
  • Taking stock of Special Procedures Mandate Holders’ recommendations and interpretation on ANSAs obligations under IHL and IHRL;
  • Identifying challenges in safeguarding human rights in situations of armed conflict and other situations of violence, including through formal and informal channels of engagement with ANSAs;
  • Providing recommendations to States and other stakeholders in view of safeguarding the human rights of individuals from transgressions on the part of ANSAs.

Online Participation and Registration:

Prior registration required through this link.

Please note that the number of attendees is limited and that virtual space will be attributed on a first-come-first-served basis.

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