Confronting the challenge: armed opposition groups committing human rights atrocities : an inquiry into the international accountability of armed opposition groups for human rights atrocities committed in non-international armed conflicts

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Eijl, Renee : van
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The proliferation of armed opposition groups poses a serious challenge to the protection of basic human rights of civilians. Since these groups generally operate in the context of weak state structures where domestic law enforcement is lacking, it warrants consideration whether they can be held accountable under international law. It is controversial whether the relevant regimes of international humanitarian law and the law of human rights impose obligations on armed opposition groups directly, given the fact that they cannot become party to treaties and do not play a role in the formation of customary international law. While it is commonly agreed, however, that these groups are at least bound by international humanitarian law, practice shows that they generally fail to comply with their obligations and are rarely held accountable for violations. The existing international legal framework therefore does not effectively allow for direct accountability of armed opposition groups for human rights abuses. The protection of basic humanitarian standards in non-international armed conflicts requires further clarification of the status, obligations and rights of these groups and the development of international monitoring and enforcement mechanisms. Above all, it is time to create incentives for armed opposition groups to comply with their obligations and to actively engage these groups.
Second semester University: Ruhr-University Bochum
civil war, Sri Lanka, combatants and noncombatants, criminal liability, insurgency