"Humanitarian rights" : how to ensure respect for human rights and humanitarian law in armed conflicts
Research handbook on human rights and humanitarian law
Cheltenham ; Northampton : E. Elgar, 2013
This chapter intends to explore the challenges in the implementation of human rights and international humanitarian law (IHL in peace support operations in order to suggest legal approaches to ensure compliance of the law by belligerents. The implementation mechanisms of human rights and humanitarian law can be classified into three groups, that is, preventive measures to be taken in peacetime; mechanisms to ensure respect during armed conflicts; and mechanisms to repress violations post facto. Although, the twenty-first century is the century of prevention, the regime for the protection of human rights and IHL has largely been reactive and event driven in the face of specific threats or acts of repression, yet prevention is more effective and cheaper than reacting after the fact. Given that observance of the law in prospect is more worthwhile for the victims than punishment of perpetrators retrospect, this discussion examines the following issues: (a) how to ensure compliance of human rights and humanitarian law by the belligerents in an armed conflict; and (b) how to protect civilians in an on-going armed conflict by deterring potential perpetrators of violations. Since the challenges revolve around the implementation and enforcement of human rights and humanitarian law in the current legal regime, it is necessary to contextualize the problems at the outset.