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Protection of Civilians$
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Haidi Willmot, Ralph Mamiya, Scott Sheeran, and Marc Weller

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198729266

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198729266.001.0001

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Protection of Civilians under International Humanitarian Law

Protection of Civilians under International Humanitarian Law

Chapter:
(p.160) 7 Protection of Civilians under International Humanitarian Law
Source:
Protection of Civilians
Author(s):

Jamie A Williamson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198729266.003.0008

The chapter notes that sixty-five years after the adoption of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the number of civilian casualties remains alarmingly high in many armed conflicts. It concludes that too often belligerents seem to act with utter disregard for the protection of civilians, with many of the most egregious attacks against civilians committed by non-State actors. The chapter considers whether that state of affairs can be apportioned to the conceptual limitations of international humanitarian law, or whether it is simply a result of the challenges posed by the complex dynamics of many contemporary armed conflicts. It argues that improving the protection of civilians through compliance with international humanitarian law requires more integrated efforts by the international community, not only in preventing harm from occurring, but also to address the root causes of today’s humanitarian challenges.

Keywords:   Geneva Conventions, civilian casualties, armed conflict, belligerents, protection of civilians, international humanitarian law

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