Applicable regulatory frameworks regarding human rights violations in conflicts

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Márquez Carrasco, Carmen
Abrisketa, Joana
Salmón, Elizabeth
Nagore Casas, María
Marinelli, Chiara
Zafra, Rita
Alamillos Sánchez, Rocío
García Martín, Laura
Íñigo Álvarez, Laura
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Work Package 10 (WP 10) ‘Human Rights Violations in Conflicts’, part of the FP7 research project ‘Fostering Human Rights Among European (External and Internal) Policies’ (FRAME) aims at providing a comprehensive assessment of the EU external policies in response to conflicts and crisis situations, exploring ways to prevent and overcome violence through the critical assessment of the instruments available to the EU to integrate human rights, humanitarian law and democracy/rule of law principles in these policies. The ultimate purpose of this Work Package is to contribute to the fostering of human rights in EU conflict-related policies. Departing from the idea that the legal framework of EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) integrates EU law and international law, this report will examine the concurrent application of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, and their interaction with other bodies of law that offer a framework for protection in situations of conflict and violent crisis. Hence the main goal of this report is to present and analyse the different international regulatory frameworks applicable to human rights violations with particular attention to vulnerabilities in conflict situations of inter- and intra-State violence. In FRAME Report D10.1 ‘Survey study on human rights violations in conflict-settings’ a comprehensive survey of the various patterns of human rights violations related to conflict and violent crisis situations was conducted, with a specific focus on the rights of vulnerable groups, as well as on the role of non-state actors as key players in the context of new forms of violence and war. As indicated in that study, human rights violations in conflict-settings represent clear evidence of the erosion of respect for humanitarian and human rights norms, which has aggravated the protection and assistance needs of refugees and other groups in conflict situations, and complicated the task of providing humanitarian assistance and increased the risks faced by humanitarian personnel. Confronted to this scenario this report studies and examines the relationship between the regulatory frameworks applicable in conflict situations: international human rights law (IHRL), humanitarian law (IHL) and the legal regime for humanitarian assistance, as well as international refugee law (IRL) and international criminal law (ICL). In many contemporary conflict settings key issues arise regarding the relationship between those legal frameworks. They mainly concern: a) the convergence and complementarity between IHRL and IHL; b) the interpretation of key rules for the protection of civilians like the civilian-combatant distinction or civilian and military objectives; c) the concept of protection from a IHL, IHRL and humanitarian assistance perspective. Specific analysis is developed on these questions, with a focus on vulnerable groups in society, which are particularly affected by armed conflict and violent crises (children, women, internally displaced persons, refugees). This report also focuses on the interplay of the international regulatory frameworks with ICL, that arises especially when violence takes a systematic and widespread dimension, amounting possibly to war crimes, crimes against humanity or even genocide. In particular, this study considers the cooperation with and support of the International Criminal Court (ICC) by the EU as part of a broader analysis of the relationship between the protection of human rights and promoting democracy and ICL and the extent to which the application of ICL contributes to the promotion of democracy in post-conflict scenarios. The role of truth, justice and reparation as integral components of any process of transition are also addressed.