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ICRC Position Paper: ICRC engagement with non-state armed groups - Why, how, for what purpose, and other salient issues (March 2021)

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ICRC engagement with non-state armed groups

This position paper introduces the approach taken by the ICRC for humanitarian engagement with non-state armed groups

Humanitarian engagement with armed groups, including non-state armed groups (NSAGs) has long been a defining feature of the ICRC's work. In today's challenging environment the organization must more than ever pursue direct contact and dialogue with armed groups in order to alleviate the suffering of persons affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence.

The position paper outlines the main reasons for ICRC engagement with NSAGs, focussing on:

  • The features of today's NSAG environment
  • The legal basis for the ICRC's engagement
  • Access to civilians, and the acceptance of the ICRC in the NSAG environment
  • Building respect for international humanitarian law, protection dialogue and influencing behaviours
  • Some challenges to current NSAG engagement

The position paper is available here.