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Protecting individuals from war, violence and arbitrary treatment, and promoting peace, democracy and human rights are priorities of Swiss foreign policy. Ensuring coherence in specific policy areas, particularly education, science, space, health, the environment, sustainable development, energy and transport; coordination with specialised departments and safeguarding of foreign policy interests.

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Diplomats represent the interests of their own country in the host state. Approximately countries have accredited an ambassador to Switzerland. Map of Bern with locations and the structure and responsibilities of the FDFA's administrative units. International humanitarian law applies in armed conflict situations. It regulates the conduct of hostilities and protects the victims of armed conflicts. It is applicable to all types of international and non-international armed conflicts, regardless of the legitimacy of the use of force or its cause.

In a situation of armed conflict, including occupation, all parties, whether state forces or non-state armed groups, must respect international humanitarian law:. Not only the parties to a conflict, but also all individuals participating in an armed conflict, must comply with international humanitarian law.


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As a rule, grave breaches of international humanitarian law are war crimes. Examples of war crimes include:. In the event of grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, every state has a duty to either prosecute the suspected perpetrators in a criminal court or to hand them over to another state or an international criminal tribunal for prosecution principle of aut dedere aut judicare.

International Institute of Humanitarian Law, Sanremo. Humanitarian Access in situations of armed conflict: Practitioners' Manual.

INVESTIGATING IN SITUATIONS OF ARMED CONFLICT: Law, Policy and Good Practice

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  • Conduct of Hostilities: General Principles?
  • Development and Cooperation Swiss commitment to sustainable global development to reduce poverty and global risks; focus on fragile and conflict-affected countries; development cooperation, cooperation with Eastern Europe and Swiss Humanitarian Aid implement concrete projects. Peace and human rights Protecting individuals from war, violence and arbitrary treatment, and promoting peace, democracy and human rights are priorities of Swiss foreign policy.

    Sustainability, environment, energy, health, education, science, transports and space Ensuring coherence in specific policy areas, particularly education, science, space, health, the environment, sustainable development, energy and transport; coordination with specialised departments and safeguarding of foreign policy interests. Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic. Fiji Finland France. Accordingly, this section offers a brief review of the principal national, foreign, and international institutions — whether judicial or quasi-judicial — that are currently available to victims of internal armed conflicts.

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    National Judicial and Quasi-Judicial Institutions. There are at least five potential types of national proceedings that victims should consider: i. A third possible option is to bring an action before a national immigration tribunal for the denaturalization or deportation of someone alleged to have breached the relevant provisions of IHL or IHRL.

    These commissions sometimes have the ability to recommend or establish sanctions for individuals found to have committed violations of IHRL or IHL during a prior internal armed conflict. Foreign Judicial and Quasi-Judicial Institutions. The national institutions of foreign countries represent another useful forum for redress of violations of IHRL and IHL, particularly where an accused has fled the national jurisdiction. There are at least three relevant types of proceedings to be considered in this regard: i.

    Regarding criminal prosecutions, victims may be able to invoke IHRL and to a lesser extent IHL in a foreign court against an accused by relying on the principle of universal jurisdiction. International Judicial and Quasi-Judicial Institutions. With regard to international criminal jurisdiction for individual violations of IHRL and IHL committed in the course of internal armed conflicts, the most promising development is the adoption of the Rome Statute and the prospect of a permanent ICC.

    Therefore, for those victims who are not in a position to avail themselves of the jurisdiction of the ICTY and ICTR, the next best option for some form of international redress is the UN human rights system. The purpose of this paper was to attempt to clarify the normative and institutional interplay between IHRL and IHL in the context of internal armed conflicts. This involved an analysis of the different types of conflict recognized under international law, an examination of the applicable IHL and IHRL norms that apply in the context of internal armed conflicts, and a review of the principal institutions available to victims who choose to seek redress for IHL and IHRL violations committed in the context of such conflicts.

    Unfortunately, there remains a very wide discrepancy between the scale of abuses being perpetrated in situations of internal armed conflict, and the underlying promise of IHRL and IHL standards.

    Ambiguity in the Conduct of Hostilities - Just Security

    Bridging that gap in the twenty-first century will certainly require creativity and intelligence — but more importantly it will require a renewed effort to uphold the established standards of IHRL. For it is only by vigilantly upholding the standards of IHRL that war and all its accompanying evils can ever hope to be prevented.

    GAOR, thirty-fourth session, Supp. GAOR, forty-fourth session, Supp. GAOR, twenty-first session, Supp. GAOR, thirty-ninth session, Supp. Notes [1] See, e. Source: ICRC website www. Previous attempts to address this issue include: i. UN Security Council Resolution stressing that human rights must be respected by all the parties to a conflict , which was welcomed by the UN General Assembly under Resolution , and has often been recalled and reaffirmed; and ii.

    For example, a government may legitimately impose restrictions on freedom of movement in an environ in which riots are occurring without actually violating the right to freedom of movement of affected persons. However, such restrictions are in general only permissible to the extent that they are i. Some IHRL treaties also contain derogation clauses which permit states to temporarily derogate from i.

    However, treaties containing derogation clauses typically list several rights that cannot be suspended even in times of emergency. It should be noted, however, that different legal norms would apply in a state that is not party to Protocol I, since the Geneva Conventions do not cover wars of national liberation. Thus, Common Article 3 appears to establish a threshold for application that is lower than that found in Protocol II. For an analysis of the conditions of application of Common Article 3, see paragraphs of the ICJ decision in Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua Nicaragua v.

    United States of America , I. Among other things, the ICTY Appeals Chamber provided useful clarifications regarding the appropriate geographic and temporal frames of reference for internal armed conflicts. Another such exception is Article 4 of the Torture Convention. However, these examples are the exceptions that prove the rule. Also, needless to say, if and when the ICC comes into being, the Rome Statute which codifies, supplements, and criminalizes much of Protocol II in its Article 8 2 c-f will provide an additional source of IHL protection in the context of internal armed conflicts.

    Reports , at 22, and its decision in Military Activities, supra note 10, at GAOR, 44th session, Supp.

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    Some have argued that this stipulation means that states that have ratified IHL treaties such as the Geneva Conventions would be precluded in circumstances of armed conflict from suspending rights whose enjoyment is guaranteed by such IHL treaties. Although this reasoning is persuasive, state practice does not appear to support this interpretation.

    In Tadic , at paras. Second, as noted earlier, the Genocide Convention and the Torture Convention already apply both to state and non-state actors. Although Carillo does not believe that these two obstacles are insurmountable, his own review of both the debates and the empirical data on various country situations, makes clear that his is a minority viewpoint.

    For example, victims may find that claims based on IHRL or IHL norms may fail because such norms do not take priority in the face of conflicting norms of national law, or because domestic law does not permit them to be directly invoked by or on behalf of victims in the first place. For an overview of the results of various such commissions, see i. This Article was famously invoked in the recent Pinochet proceedings.

    See Regina v. Bow Street Metro. Stipendiary Magistrate, ex parte Pinochet Ugarte, [] 2 W. Regrettably, no treaty exists that would oblige states to extradite alleged perpetrators of crimes against humanity. The reader should note that although the United States has the most developed system for pursuing civil redress for IHRL and IHL violations, the legal systems of other countries particularly countries based on the civil law tradition are starting to be tested for similar purposes.

    General Assembly and the U.