Most read reports
- Report of the Secretary-General on the situation concerning Western Sahara (S/2018/889) [EN/AR]
- Western Sahara Represented by ‘Shadow Republic’, Says Petitioner as Fourth Committee Continues Decolonization Discussion
- Rising Unrest in Sahel Spells Need to Resolve Long-Standing Western Sahara Dispute, Say Delegates as Fourth Committee Concludes Decolonization Debate
- Secretary-General Welcomes Decision by Morocco, Frente POLISARIO, Algeria, Mauritania to Participate in Meeting on Western Sahara
- Western Sahara: MINURSO, September 2018
2014 was marked by an increase in the number and intensity of non-international armed conflicts in different contexts and countries. These conflicts are taking a dramatic toll on civilian populations, forcing families to leave their homes or children to enrol as fighters. More than ever, dialogue with armed non-State actors (ANSAs) is necessary for the protection of civilian populations from the effects of armed conflict.
On 30 March, the Polisario Front destroyed a stockpile of anti-personnel (AP) mines in Tifariti, Western Sahara. The total number of destroyed AP mines still has to be confirmed. This is the fifth destruction since the Polisario Front decided to ban this weapon in 2005 by signing Geneva Call’s Deed of Commitment banning AP mines.
The recent War Report describes 27 on-going non-international armed conflicts in 24 States or territories, all involving armed non-State actors (ANSAs), most of them unequivocally subject to International Humanitarian Law (IHL). Violations of international humanitarian norms are widespread in all of these conflicts, with civilians consistently suffering the most. Many IHL violations – though not all – are committed by ANSAs.
This report was stimulated by a conference on armed non-State actors (ANSAs) and the protection of internally displaced people organized in 2011 jointly by Geneva Call and the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. The conference itself followed on from a special edition of Forced Migration Review magazine on ‘Armed non-state actors and displacement’.
Albert Camus, the French philosopher who was no stranger to insurgencies and resistance movements, warned that "good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding". The motivation behind In Their Words: Perspectives of Armed non-State Actors on the Protection of Children from the Effects of Armed Conflict is to help ensure that international efforts to protect children from the effects of armed conflict, and particularly the impact of armed non-State actors (NSAs), do not fall victim to such a prophecy.
Much has been accomplished …
- Over 4'318 AP mines destroyed
- 6 new signatories to the Deed of Commitment banning antipersonnel mines
- New humanitarian mine action activities launched in 5 signatory areas; all but one undertaken with INGO assistance
In writing this report, Geneva Call is mindful of the value it can add to the body of knowledge on the landmine situation in the world, particularly concerning anti-personnel (AP) mines. Many other well-established organizations also contribute actively to the eradication of the scourge of AP mines.