Human rights violations and armed groups—a legally grey area

With increasing frequency the United Nations accuses armed rebel groups in conflict areas of violating human rights but there is a considerable lack of clarity about the legal basis on which this is done. Holding parties to an armed conflict to account on the basis of international humanitarian law is uncontroversial but the holding them to account under human rights law raises a myriad of questions. A person must be called to account on legal grounds and in the case of armed groups these are often unclear. To create more clarity lawyer Katharine Fortin calls for the legal grounds to be linked to the territory that the armed rebels control and their level of organisation. She did PhD research into ‘armed groups and international human rights’ with funding from the Open Competition of NWO Social Sciences. She defended her thesis on 23 October at Utrecht University. —> Read More