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  • Title: Transnational and Non-State Armed Groups Project
    Descriptive info: .. HOME.. |.. OVERVIEW OF INITIATIVE.. PUBLICATIONS.. EVENTS.. ABOUT THE PARTNERS.. Thematic Overview.. Non-state Armed Groups and the Changing Landscape of Warfare.. Non-state Armed Groups and International Law.. State Response to the Challenge of.. Non-State Armed Groups.. News.. Reports.. Statements.. Key Texts.. Additional Resources.. Case Studies.. This site is no longer updated regularly, but will remain freely accessible online for research purposes.. The Transnational and Non-State Armed Groups Project is an international and interdisciplinary initiative driven jointly by the Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research at Harvard University (HPCR) and the Graduate Institute on International Studies in Geneva (HEI).. The project aims to examine analytically the place of non-state armed groups within the context of armed conflict, and to identify strategic options as to the legal and policy implications of the contemporary role of these actors.. A key element of the project is a dedicated internet portal, uniquely designed to examine, through a multidisciplinary lens, such themes as.. Non-State Armed Groups and the Changing Landscape of Warfare.. ,.. Non-State Armed Groups and International Law.. , and.. Non-State Armed Groups and the Response of States.. To this  ...   Feature:.. IHL and Non-state Armed Groups.. Five Questions Series.. John Cerone on.. IHL and Non-state Armed Groups.. PDF.. Select Publications.. Engaging Nonstate Actors with International Humanitarian Law.. Marco Sassóli.. LINK.. Improving Compliance with International Humanitarian Law.. ICRC Expert Seminar (2003).. Relevance of International Humanitarian Law to Non-State Actors.. Bruges Colloquium.. Accountability of Armed Opposition Groups in International Law.. Liesbeth Zegveld.. Select Audio Clips.. Thomas Hammes on.. Changes in Warfare.. MP3.. Geneva Call.. list of resources.. To join our mailing list, or to contact us:.. email.. Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research.. Copyright ©2007.. www.. tagsproject.. org.. The Transnational and Non-State Armed Groups: Legal and Policy Challenges portal is a joint effort of the Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research (HPCR) at Harvard University and the Graduate Institute of International Studies (HEI).. The links and documents herein are selected due to their relevance and significance to academics, policymakers and practitioners alike.. These selections and contributions do not necessarily reflect the views of HPCR or HEI, nor are HPCR or HEI responsible for the content of the external publications and Internet sites linked to from this Portal..

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  • Title: Transnational and Non-State Armed Groups Project
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  • Title: Transnational and Non-State Armed Groups Project
    Descriptive info: Overview of the Initiative.. Non-state armed groups (NSAGs) have emerged in recent years as a central topic for policy-making due to the growing interactions between state and non-state entities at the regional and international level.. With the passing of the Cold War and increasing pressure toward democratization and the respect for human rights, states have been facing mounting pressure from civil society groups and multinational corporations both of whom challenge the preeminence of state institutions in the direction of public affairs.. At times, the non-state actors have turned violent, engaging in the use of military force to seek greater political influence in national and global affairs.. The rising importance of NSAGs is compounded overall by three factors: (i) the fragmentation of states at conflict, (ii) the privatization of warfare in which private entities and networks position themselves as security and military actors, and (iii) the globalization of political and security agendas.. These interrelated elements have, importantly, triggered the emergence of transnational NSAGs that move across boundaries and use global communication, transportation, and migration networks to seek global influence and increasingly undertake military operations against dominant states.. As compared to the role of NSAGs in previous decades, during which the armed groups were essentially using military force as an alternative means to democratic change to achieve political goals, most contemporary NSAGs are no longer modeled on political resistance movements whose modus operandi was primarily domestic and aimed at national liberation.. In many instances, the new groups represent ambitious political actors who already benefit from a significant level of regional or international legitimacy.. As such, many of these entities like Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTEE) in Sri Lanka, or the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarios de Colombia (FARC) in Colombia control territory and population the way traditional state would: ensuring public safety (oftentimes in an authoritarian fashion), offering public services (with varying degrees of success), and raising taxes.. In some instances, these groups have integrated part of the national governance structure of the state without renouncing their control over autonomous military power (e.. g.. , Hezbollah in.. Lebanon.. , Hamas in.. Palestine.. ).. Their goal, however, is no longer limited to taking over government or state institutions.. They often aim at the strategic transformation of regional and international affairs along ideological lines where the mainstay of their legitimacy resides (e.. , Maoist groups in.. Nepal.. The ascendancy of NSAGs alongside state actors represents a core challenge in terms of international law, and in particular international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law (IHRL).. These actors (empowered) rise is also a policy-making challenge for international agencies and governments.. Under the current Westphalian system, legitimacy of international actors resides essentially in their recognition by states as core member of the international system and as bearers of rights and obligations.. (The peace treaties signed on May 15 and October 24, 1648 in the German cities of Münster and Osnabrück, and which ended the Thirty Years War and the Eighty Years War are regarded generally as the markers of modern international relations.. The two conflicts had involved a number of continental European powers.. Germany.. France.. Spain.. Sweden.. Denmark.. , and The Netherlands.. The Peace of Westaphalia laid the central tenets of the nation-state system: fixed territorial boundaries, citizenry, national sovereignty, and national armies.. ).. The equality of member states and their commitment to the principles of the UN Charter in terms of peaceful coexistence and respect for human rights represents the core value of the international system.. Supra-state entities, such as the United Nations and its agencies, or sub-state private entities, such as the.. International Committee of the Red Cross.. (ICRC), may be recognized as derivative of state-granted mandates.. At all times, states remain in control of the international law and policy making processes.. Human rights law is being adjusted to ensure that states are held accountable for any unreasonable failure to protect rights from interference by certain non-state actors.. Furthermore, in some jurisdictions, human rights law is now applicable directly against non-state actors (in particular against the media and certain actors that are fulfilling a public function).. Non-state armed groups, and particularly those operating transnationally across boundaries, are challenging the utility of our focus on states.. Over the past years, they have been doing so increasingly.. The groups continued existence as military and social entities results from the inability of national state, sometimes for decades, to impose the prepotency of state institutions at the national level.. The ability of NSAGs to deploy state-like infrastructure in terms of public services (in health, education, law and order, and so forth) and the legitimacy they come to gain from these activities challenge directly the relevance of the state concerned as  ...   to assess changing nature of warfare and of the actors involved in violent conflicts.. This body of literature has begun to trace the rise of new forms of warfare and the emergence of new actors from organized drug cartels to religious fighters, to large-scale predatory gangs, to transnational armed groups.. It is argued that the violent non-linear, non-binary conflicts in which these groups are engaged do not map easily along the state-based parameters of traditional conflict studies and cannot be categorized easily under the existing system of state-based warfare.. The quantitative study of traditional armed conflict (for instance, the.. Correlates of War.. project started in 1963 by J.. David Singer at the University of Michigan) is still not quite certain how best to code contemporary conflicts such as that between Al Qaeda and the United States, or the more general United States-declared War on Terror.. This newer literature of qualitative analysis (e.. g, Herfried Münkler, 2003; Colin Gray, 2005; Richard H.. Shultz, Jr.. , and Andrea J.. Dew, 2006) seeks to carefully determine the answer to such questions beyond a post-Napoleonic period paradigm.. Other conflicts such as the regional conflicts in the Caucasus, the ongoing low-level violence in the.. Democratic Republic of the Congo.. , the resurging violence in.. Afghanistan.. or the recently-ended conflict in.. Sierra Leone.. pit the armed forces of failed and legitimate states against a bevy of non-state actors.. Where do these new wars fit in the calculus of the Westphalian international order, and what are the appropriate policy responses that can be adopted by states and the international community?.. These dilemmas are empirical in nature as they do not question per se specific legal concepts but question the extent to which current obligations that are otherwise clearly stated in existing treaty laws, are applicable to the post-9/11 conflicts.. As such, these policy challenges can only be resolved through privileged and informed discussions among informed actors on the means and methods to address the new balance of power involved in the new types of conflict, some of whom may include new legal tools in terms of treaty-making, or policy tools in terms of enforcement and cooperation mechanisms.. The present initiative seeks, therefore, to develop and deepen existing research into changes in the nature of armed conflict and the law that regulates armed conflict triggered by the increasingly prominent geopolitical role played by non-state, and, particularly transnational, armed groups.. Specifically, the purpose is to share research internationally on this topic of critical and growing importance to international security and stimulate further discussion among scholars and policy-makers in order to understand how the strategies employed by transnational and non-state armed groups, and the response by state actors, are changing the international political order.. The initiative seeks to understand three discrete strands of how transnational and non-state armed groups are at once evidencing and altering the nature of warfare, and how states are responding to these new developments:.. Metamorphosis of war.. How does violent conflict between states and transnational non-state armed groups differ from more traditional state-based warfare? What are the characteristics of asymmetric conflicts? What is the impact of such conflicts on the law of war? How are traditional notions of legal warfare, such as fighting according to the principles of distinction and proportionality, breaking down? What tactical patterns exist in the targeting of civilians, if any, and how can these be remedied?.. Limitations of the current law of war.. What means exist under the current law of war for regulating these asymmetric conflicts? How relevant to the monitoring and regulation of these conflicts is the legal definition of an armed conflict as delineated under international humanitarian law? In what respects (if any) do transnational and non-state armed groups heed the limitations on the means and methods of warfare set by the law of war?.. Strategic responses for compliance and international security.. What are the challenges that violent conflicts with transnational and non-state armed groups pose to the international community (including its humanitarian and development dimensions)? What diplomatic, military, and legal responses might be the most effective in coping with the challenges posed by transnational and non-state armed groups? What options exist for increasing compliance by transnational and non-state armed groups with the laws of armed conflict, and with humanitarian and human rights principles more generally?.. The backbone of this effort is aimed at outlining the current and future nature of armed conflict between states and transnational non-state armed groups, and exploring the different facets of the body of international law that regulates that warfare.. In both cases, the goal is to draw out the implications of and strategies for engaging transnational and non-state armed groups, in a diverse range of conflict contexts.. ______________________.. Feature.. PDF version of document available.. here..

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  • Title: Transnational and Non-State Armed Groups Project
    Descriptive info: Publications.. Al Qaeda, Armed Groups, and the Paradox of Engagement.. by Pablo Policzer (University of Calgary) and Ram Manikkalingam (University of Amsterdam).. PDF Version.. Non-state actors and the Resort to Violence: Terrorism and Insurgency Strategies Compared.. by Isabelle Duyvesteyn (Utrecht University).. The Private Security Industry, States, and the Lack of an International Response.. by Caroline Holmqvist (King s College).. Transnational Actors in Contemporary Conflicts: Hizbullah and its 2006 War with Israel.. by Judith Palmer Harik (Matn University).. Transnational Armed Groups and International Humanitarian Law.. by Marco Sassòli (University of Geneva).. Transnational and Non-State Actors and the New Landscape of War.. by Thomas X..  ...   Institute of International Studies), Keith Krause (Graduate Institute of International Studies), and Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou (Harvard University).. Features.. Warlordism and Terrorism: How to obscure an already confusing crisis? The Case of Somalia.. Roland Marchal.. The Strategy of Al Qaeda.. Joshua Geltzer.. 5 Questions Series.. John Cerone on IHL and NSAs.. PDF version.. Avril McDonald on PMCs.. Paul Gilbert on New Wars.. Audio Clips.. To listen to audio clips on related themes recorded during the Seminar on Transnational and Non-State Armed Groups in March 2007, please visit our.. events section.. Empowered.. Groups, Tested.. Laws and Policy.. Options.. Transnationality,.. Law and Warfare.. Nonlinearity.. of Engagement..

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  • Title: Non-State Armed Groups
    Descriptive info: Events.. Transnational and Non-State Actors:.. Legal and Policy Challenges.. March 2007.. A seminar on.. Transnational and Non-State Actors: Legal and Policy Challenges.. was convened against the background of the international and interdisciplinary initiative launched by the Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research at Harvard University and the Graduate Institute for International Studies in Geneva, which is aimed at developing and deepening research into how the increasingly prominent role played by transnational and non-state armed groups is changing the landscape of warfare and challenging traditional understandings of the laws and customs of war.. Held in March 2007 at Harvard University, and in coo.. peration with the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the seminar brought together a group of twenty-seven experts representing a multidisciplinary set of cross-cutting academics and policymakers.. Participants to the seminar were asked to organize their thoughts and intellectual exchanges on non-state armed groups and the contemporary landscape of war and law around three discrete strands of inquiry: the metamorphosis of war; the limitations of the current laws of war; and existing and potential strategic responses.. The aim of the seminar was to examine the recent and consequential rise of transnational and non-state armed groups (NSAGs) with a view to understanding analytically the place and role of these actors in the new context of conflict, and identifying options in relation to the legal and policy implications of these transformations.. In disaggregating the problem into these three different facets, the intent of the seminar was to map  ...   wars where non-state actors featured prominently such as those of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon.. Six papers were commissioned for the event, and are available through the publications section of the portal.. A full report discussing the themes examined during the seminar will be available in October 2007.. Seminar Audio Clips.. Eileen Babbitt.. on Negotiations with Non-State Armed Groups.. (.. 9 minutes.. Thomas Hammes.. on Changes in Warfare.. 5 minutes.. Caroline Holmqvist.. on the Services and Impact of the Private Security Industry.. 6 minutes.. Pablo Policzer.. on Al Qaeda, Peripheral Engagement, and Armed Groups Mechanisms.. 7 minutes.. Barry Posen.. on Transnational Armed Groups Challenges to International Security.. 12 minutes.. Richard Shultz.. on the Transformation of War.. Seminar Materials.. Seminar.. agenda.. To access the Seminar papers please visit the.. publications section.. Related Events.. Meeting the Challenges of Counter-insurgency and Stabilisation Operations.. Wilton Park.. March 2008.. Evolution, Revolution, or Same Old, Same Old? Reality Check on Security, Intelligence, Law Enforcement and Defense in 2007.. Canadian Association for Security and Intelligence Studies.. September 28-30, 2007.. Warfare in the Age of Non-State Actors: Implications for the U.. S.. Army.. Combat Studies Institute.. September 11-13, 2007.. Thirty Years On, 1977 Additional Protocols Still Relevant in Contemporary Armed Conflict.. June 2007.. Evolving Tactics of Terrorism?.. International Institute for Strategic Studies Forum.. July 6, 2006.. Can violent political extremists legitimately engage in the political process? Hamas as a case study.. Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism.. January 2006..

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  • Title: Transnational and Non-State Armed Groups Project
    Descriptive info: About the Partners.. HPCR.. The.. Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research (HPCR).. is an international research and policy program based at the Harvard School of Public Health.. The Program offers a multidisciplinary approach to new challenges in the field of humanitarian affairs.. Key sectors of activity include human security, conflict management, and International Humanitarian Law.. HPCR provides technical assistance and information support for international organizations engaged in conflict prevention and management.. The Program was established in August 2000 as a collaborative effort of the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), the Executive Office of the United Nations Secretary-General, and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.. HEI.. The.. Graduate Institute of International Studies.. is a world class research  ...   programs in these areas (the Center for International Humanitarian Law, and the Program in Strategic and International Security Studies).. THE PARTNERSHIP.. The collaboration between the Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research (HPCR) at Harvard University and the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva (HEI) makes it possible to draw upon the research capacities and local networks of both organizations, and foster collaboration and discussion of the project's core research areas among the relevant policy and academic communities around the world.. FUNDING.. This project is made possible in part through the generous funding of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).. For more information on the partners please visit their websites:.. HPCR website.. HEI website.. SDC website..

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  • Title: Non-State Armed Groups
    Descriptive info: Non-State Armed Groups.. Non-State Armed Groups and the Changing Landscape of Warfare.. Non-state armed groups have emerged in recent years as a matter of pressing importance for a number of diverse audiences, due to the growing interactions between state and non-state entities at the local, regional, and international level.. State and non-state actors are increasingly engaging in asymmetrical methods of warfare often with transnational support networks.. The resources on this portal outline the current and future nature of armed conflict between states and transnational and non-state armed groups.. Asymmetrical warfare.. Transnationality.. Terrorism.. The ascendancy of non-state armed groups alongside state actors represents a core challenge in terms of international law, both for international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law (IHRL).. This rise is also a policy-making  ...   Non-State Armed Groups.. International humanitarian law (IHL), specifically the Geneva Conventions and their protocols, are facing increasing challenges of application and enforcement.. As an institution created to preserve sovereignty, international peace and security, by and for states at a time when global power rested politically with these actors, the rise of transnational and non-state armed groups challenges the relevance of IHL as a normative model of law representing (protecting and giving rights to) global society.. As a tool to protect civilian populations during armed conflicts by requiring the distinction between civilians and combatants, and proportionate uses of force, IHL is challenged by the increasing use of asymmetrical warfare both by state and non-state actors, which blurs the lines of distinction and proportionality.. Security and Counter-Terrorism.. Engagement and Non-Engagement.. Extraterritoriality..

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  • Title: Non-State Armed Groups and the Changing Landscape of Warfare
    Descriptive info: State and non-state actors are increasingly engaging in asymmetrical methods of warfare.. Transnational support networks have enabled these conflicts, which have, at times, violated international law and incorporated elements of terrorism.. The resources on this portal outline the current and future nature of armed conflict between states and transnational non-state armed groups.. Asymmetrical Warfare.. Asymmetrical warfare is a type of armed conflict pitting two groups of differing capabilities and in which one group seeks to exploit the weaknesses of another group, often using unconventional methods, to achieve a strategic or psychological parity or victory against their opponent.. The term asymmetrical, originally meant to describe actors and their disparities, refers increasingly to the disproportionate effects brought about during complex warfare by parties using minimal resources for maximum impact.. Read More.. Asymmetrical Warfare.. Behind Mumbai.. Mumbai Terror Attacks.. Oil capture spotlights Somali pirates' reach.. Hindu Terror: A More Serious Threat.. Islamist Insurgents Take Somali Port City Without a Fight.. In response to the challenges and opportunities of globalization, there has been a proliferation of non-state organizations, networks, and movements that transcend traditional structures  ...   Narco-Dollars Financing Hezbollah’s Growing Establishment.. The Threat of Jihadist Terrorism in Germany.. India and Pakistan Address Terrorism Issues as Relations Deteriorate.. Due to its inherent political and subjective nature, there is yet no globally accepted formal definition of terrorism, nor does international law provide one.. While the United Nations have put forth a definition and many national governments have their own official definitions of terrorism, these vary greatly.. Terrorism has been described as a phenomenon, a tactic, a strategy, the peacetime equivalent of a war crime, a political judgment, and a challenge to a sociopolitical status quo.. There is general consensus that terrorism involves the use of or threat of violence against civilians for the purpose of creating fear amongst a wider audience and to influence the behavior of a government or organization.. Terrorism.. Marrying Prevention and Resiliency: Balancing Approaches to an Uncertain Terrorist Threat.. USA: Investigation, prosecution, remedy- Accountability for human rights violations in the 'war on terror'.. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1846 (2008) on the Situation in Somalia [S/RES/1846 (2008)].. The Need to Refine India’s Response to Terrorist Incidents..

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  • Title: Non-State Armed Groups and International Law
    Descriptive info: This rise is poses a policy dilemma for international agencies and governments, which under the Westphalian system maintain near exclusive legitimacy as the bearers of rights and obligations under international law.. Non-state armed groups, often operating transnationally across boundaries, are increasingly challenging this paradigm, particularly in regions where states have been unable or unwilling to fulfill their rights and obligations to their citizens.. By providing social services, non-state actors have established legitimacy among the population within which they operate, challenging the right of states to have a monopoly on the use of force.. International Humanitarian Law is limited in its ability to regulate these asymmetric engagements, as is International Human rights Law.. Yet a number of initiatives have been undertaken to promote compliance, on the part of all parties, to these laws by exploring the different facets of the body of international law that regulates warfare.. Challenges to International Humanitarian Law.. International Humanitarian Law (IHL), specifically the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their two Additional Protocols of 1977, are facing increasing pressures of robust application and enforcement in current conflicts.. As an institution created by and largely for states at a time when global power rested politically with these actors, the rise of transnational and non-state armed groups  ...   Non-state Actors and National and International Security.. Islamist De-Radicalization in Algeria: Successes and Failures.. Challenges to International Human Rights Law.. International Human Rights Law (IHRL) and its relationship to non-state actors is a point of increasing debate.. With the prominent role adopted by non-state actors in the international arena, there are concomitant calls for added compliance with international human rights law.. The legal, political, and operational challenges posed by compliance incentives for non-state actors are affected by interrelated issues such as legitimacy and democracy, and such complementary legal frameworks as international criminal law.. Compliance with International Law.. Given the existing legal frameworks of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, the proliferation of transnational and non-state armed groups, and the changed reality of modern warfare, international efforts continue to aim at regulating conflict environments by bringing all actors into compliance with existing rules.. While a potential update and reconstitution of key tenets of the laws of war has been considered (called for by some parties, resisted by others), conflict arises between self-preservation of the system and the development of new law.. The Guantánamo dilemma.. Fighting Terrorism Fairly and Effectively: Recommendations for President-Elect Barack Obama.. Workshop for Caribbean Countries on Countering Terrorism Financing.. Reducing Terrorism over the Long Term..

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  • Title: Non-State Armed Groups
    Descriptive info: In an effort to maintain national security, states have focused traditionally on safety, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and their power position.. Confronting non-state armed groups in order to achieve these aims has often required the adoption of extraterritorial measures in the name of security and counter-terrorism.. Engaging with non-state armed groups, whether diplomatically, politically, economically, legally, or militarily, has far-reaching implications as to the legitimacy of these groups, the current international order, and the preservation of peace and security.. Policymakers, lawyers, academics, and practitioners must explore options for increasing compliance by transnational and non-state armed groups with international law.. The ultimate goal being to draw out the implications of and strategies for engaging transnational and non-state armed groups, in a diverse range of conflict contexts.. Traditionally, international security has relied on a policy of deterrence, assuming actors are rational and have valuable interests.. This policy has been challenged by modern warfare and transnational and non-state actors whose non-linear strategies and ideological interests transcend conventional notions of security and counter-terrorism.. This section addresses the scope of security issues today, potential methods of increasing  ...   resolution of a conflict, or at least a decrease in the deleterious impact on civilians.. Often, engagement is undertaken carefully, confidentially, and with a great deal of consideration, while other times it is characterized by haste and incongruity.. This section reveals attempts to refine engagement protocol and discusses the broader implications of engaging with armed groups.. Engagement and Non-Engagement.. Combating international terrorism: New powers for the security council?.. Coming to terms with the Taliban-dominated insurgency.. States are increasingly exercising extraterritoriality, that is, applying their laws outside of their national territory in confronting transnational organizations and the extensive support networks that allow these and other non-state armed groups to thrive.. The context in which states do so is important as different legal frameworks apply in varying situations.. It is difficult to aver with certainty when extraterritoriality is legal, as such assessment depends on the level and scope of the armed conflict, whether consent has been expressed by the host state, the type of extraterritoriality exerted (such as targeted killings), and key applicable tenets of International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law.. Extraterritoriality..

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  • Title: Non-State Armed Groups and International Law
    Descriptive info: Links to thematically classified news articles.. Non-State Armed Groups and International Law.. State Response to the Challenge of Non-State Armed Groups..

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  • Archived pages: 868