Enforcing international humanitarian law through human rights bodies
Inducing compliance with international humanitarian law : lessons from the African Great Lakes Region
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2015
This chapter begins by shortly comparing the different human rights institutions enforcing the laws of war. It is suggested that human rights bodies as (quasi-)judicial bodies fill a gap left by the absence of an individual complaints procedure for violations of international humanitarian law. Still, the other bodies vested with the power to enforce this body of law, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), also perform important and unique functions. When taking a look at the merits, human rights bodies' findings on the laws of war at first sight tend to be rather cautious with regard to its application. Yet a closer look reveals that human rights bodies in some instances have transferred rules of international armed conflict to internal armed conflicts and introduced human rights standards, thereby furthering the notion of humanity in armed conflict situations. However, they have not yet solved all questions arising from the parallel application of the two bodies of law.