Culture under fire : armed non-state actors and cultural heritage in wartime
[Marina Lostal, Kristin Hausler and Pascal Bongard]
Geneva : Geneva Call, October 2018
60 p. ; 30 cm
Bibliography: p. 60
This report presents the findings of a two-year long study conducted by Geneva Call on cultural heritage and armed non-state actors (ANSAs). It represents the most comprehensive research available on this topic to date. The report centres around three case studies—Iraq, Mali and Syria— and is based on information obtained through desk and field research, as well as interviews with leading specialized organizations. The study also incorporates the perspectives of ten selected ANSAs operating in these three countries and explores the reasons why certain ANSAs are willing to respect cultural heritage and others are not. The report commences with a thorough analysis of the current international legal framework protecting cultural heritage in armed conflict and its applicability to ANSAs. In addition, the report analyses the various attitudes of ANSAs towards cultural heritage. It then maps the responses of specialized organizations to the impact of ANSAs on cultural heritage and their level of engagement with these actors. The conclusion offers some recommendations and ways forward to enhace the protection of cultural heritage in non-international armed conflicts. In particular, it makes the case for an engagement-based approach.