Is the UN peacekeeper selection process flawed? The Open Society recently supported four reports on the vetting and selection of peacekeepers which have been published in June/ July 2014:-
India: tainting the UN’s blue helmets (NB:link broken – will be mended when fixed!)
Military Offensives free DRC villages (see end of article for audio interview with MONUSCO military spokesperson).
The latest edition of the International Review of the Red Cross on ‘Violence against Healthcare (1): the Problem and the Law’ could not be more topical in the light of the current conflicts in the Middle East.
Part I of this thematic issue (which can be found here) focuses on patterns of attacks against health care, based on results from health-related data collection and field studies. It also outlines the legal and ethical frameworks applicable to the provision of health care. Part II will focus on the legal, operational or policy measures that can be taken to improve access to medical care in volatile contexts.
The table of contents for part one are found below:-
- Editorial: Violence against health care – Giving in is not an option, , IRRC December No 889
Vincent Bernard, Editor-in-Chief
- Interview with Walter T. Gwenigale, Minister of Health and Social Welfare of the Republic of Liberia
In this interview, Minister Gwenigale explains how the armed conflict in Liberia impacted on the work of remotely-located Phebe hospital, on the needs of its patients and on the ability of the hospital staff to provide them with adequate medical care.
MAKING THE CASE
- Violence against health care: insights from Afghanistan, Somalia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo
This article explores the methodology and main findings of field studies conducted for the ICRC ’s Health Care in Danger project in Afghanistan, Somalia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo between 2010 and 2013. It discusses some of the actions that the ICRC takes in its health programmes to facilitate access to health care, and its approach to promoting better respect for the laws protecting it. It then suggests what more needs to be done to curb the violence.
- Making sense of apparent chaos: health-care provision in six country case studies
Enrico Pavignani, Markus Michael, Maurizio Murru, Mark E. Beesley and Peter S. Hill
This research examines the impact on health-care provision of advanced state failure and of the violence frequently associated with it, drawing from six country case studies.
- The role of health-related data in promoting the security of health care in armed conflict and other emergencies
Health-related data provide the basis of policy in many domains. By using a methodology specifically designed to gather data about any form of violence and its impact, violence affecting health-care personnel, health-care facilities, and the wounded and sick in these facilities can be quantified on an objective basis.
THE REGULATORY FRAMEWORK
- In conversation with the members of the National Permanent Roundtable for the Respect of the Medical Mission in Colombia
The Colombian National Permanent Roundtable for the Respect of the Medical Mission (hereinafter ‘the Roundtable’) is a platform launched in 2008 on the initiative of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection and the Emergency Control Centre of the Ministry of Health of Cundinamarca with the support of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Colombian Red Cross.
- The legal framework applicable to insecurity and violence affecting the delivery of health care in armed conflicts and other emergencies
Ensuring respect for, and protection of, the wounded and sick and delivery of health care to them were at the origin of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, as well as the development of international humanitarian law (IHL). In today’s armed conflicts and other emergencies, the problem is not the lack of existing international rules but the implementation of relevant IHL and international human rights law (IHRL) which form a complementary framework governing this issue.
- States’ obligations to mitigate the direct and indirect health consequences of non-international armed conflicts: complementarity of IHL and the right to health
This article analyses in detail how international humanitarian law (IHL) and the right to health complement each other in obliging states to mitigate the direct and indirect health consequences of non-international armed conflicts.
- A human rights approach to health care in conflict
Katherine H. A. Footer and Leonard S. Rubenstein
Attacks on and interference with health care services, providers, facilities, transports, and patients in situations of armed conflict, civil disturbance, and state repression pose enormous challenges to health care delivery in circumstances where it is most needed.
- Medical ethics in peacetime and wartime: the case for a better understanding.
Health-care workers face ethical dilemmas in their decision-making in every clinical intervention they make. In times of armed conflict the decisions may be different, and the circumstances can combine to raise ethical tensions. This article looks at the tensions in peacetime and in times of armed conflict and examines the types of cases that doctors and other health-care workers will face. It also discusses the common ethical decision-making framework and the role of communication within both clinical care and ethical analysis.
- Can the incidental killing of military doctors never be excessive?
BOOKS AND ARTICLES
- New publications in humanitarian action and the law
This selection is based on the new acquisitions of the ICRC Library and Public Archives.
Today the most recent update was published on the ICRC customary IHL database. The most recent update integrates practice up till the end of 2010 of the following countries: Bangladesh, Ireland, Nigeria, Peru, Sri Lanka, the United States of America and Zimbabwe. Practice from Guinea has been updated up till the end of 2011 and practice from Malaysia has been updated up till the end of 2012. Practice from the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda (ICTR) and the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has also been updated, up till the end of 2010.Practice in the Treaties and Other Instruments sections has been updated up till the end of 2011.
Over on the Intercross blog, the ICRC’s Head of Project for Customary Law, Els Debuf explains why customary IHL is so important despite the existence of so many treaties already covering armed conflict. The blog advertises the fact that next week it will feature a post by an Emory professor, who is involved in reasearching and collecting US practice, about the challenges that process entails.
A total breakdown of law and order and a reign of fear and terror have been inflicted by armed groups on the population of eastern Ukraine, according to a new report issued today by the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (see here for report).
Human Rights Watch: Unguided Rockets Killing Civilians in Ukraine
ICRC calls on all sides in Ukraine to respect international humanitarian law (and explicitly refers to the situation as a non-international armed conflict)
European Court Censures Poland Over C.I.A. Rendition Program. See here for the judgment in the Al-Nashiri case and here for the Husayn case, here for a commentary by Amnesty International, and here for a discussion by Ohlin on Opinio Juris.
Ohlin at Opinio Juris on Control Matters: Ukraine & Russia and the Downing of Flight 17
Statement High Commissioner Pillay at the Human Rights Council’s Special Session: Human Rights Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem
Post Essex Human Rights Centre blog “On Targeting in the Israel-Gaza Conflict”
Human Rights Watch: Civilian Toll of Iraqi Government Airstrikes