The role of non-state actors in implementing the responsibility to protect
Human security and international law : the challenge of non-state actors
Cambridge [etc.] : Intersentia, 2014
The much-vaunted concept of a responsibility to protect (R2P) the civilian population from war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and ethnic cleansing - arguably the grossest attacks on individuals' human security - continues to centre around the responsibilities of States and the international community of States. However, non-State actors (NSAs) have a distinct role to play in discharging, or helping States and the international community to discharge, the R2P. In this respect, this chapter argues that armed opposition groups may also bear the duty of R2P, especially if they control a protion of a State's territory. Such groups are expected to protect the civilian population, implying that - as far as capacity and resources permit - they should contribute to the realisation of human security. Even when NSAs are not immediate R2P bearers, they may well have the capacity and the willingness to support the efforts of States and of the international community to protect civilian populations: NGOs may raise awareness as regards R2P or even actively mediate between the parties involved in violent conflict. Given the multiple R2P initiatives and responsibilities of NSAs, the obvious challenge is how to streamline the roles of non-governmental and inter-governmental actors.