The warring parties in the brutal four-year-old military conflict in Syria, which has claimed the lives of over 200,000 civilians and triggered “the greatest refugee crisis in modern times,” continue to break every single pledge held out to the United Nations.
The 47-member Human Rights Council (HRC), responding to a request by the newly-elected government in Colombo, has deferred the release of a key U.N. report on human rights violations and war crimes charges against the Sri Lankan armed forces and Tamil separatists who fought a devastating decades-long battle which ended in 2009.
More than 200 Darfurian women were reportedly raped by Sudanese troops in one brutal assault on a town in October 2014, with the conflict in war-torn Darfur escalating to new heights.
Sri Lanka’s newly-installed government, which has pledged to set up its own domestic tribunal to investigate war crimes charges, is seeking political and moral support both from the United States and the United Nations to stall a possible international investigation.
A new Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) beginning on Dec. 24 represents a historic moment in global efforts to keep weapons proliferation in check.
Nearly two dozen health, advocacy and faith groups are calling on President Barack Obama to take executive action clarifying that U.S. assistance can be used to fund abortion services for women and girls raped in the context of war and conflict.
On Oct. 14, Guatemala’s Court for High-Risk Crimes ruled that charges would be brought against two members of the Army for sexual slavery and domestic slavery against q’eqchís women in the military outpost of Sepur Zarco, and other serious crimes perpetrated in the framework of the government counterinsurgency policies during the armed conflict.
A federal jury here Wednesday convicted one former Blackwater contractor of murder and three of his colleagues of voluntary manslaughter in the deadly shootings of 14 unarmed civilians killed in Baghdad’s Nisour Square seven years ago.
With state support moving at an unprecedented pace, the Arms Trade Treaty will enter into force on Dec. 24, 2014, only 18 months after it was opened for signature.
Israel and its supporters abroad have parried accusations of indiscriminate destruction and mass killing of civilians in Gaza by arguing that they were consequences of strikes aimed at protecting Israeli civilians from rockets that were being launched from very near civilian structures.
The killings of hundreds of civilians, including scores of children, in Gaza – whose only fault was to have been born on the wrong side of the wall – was a major point of contention at the United Nations Human Rights Council at the end of July.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in a rare moment of political candour, lashed out at Israel last week, questioning its "respect for the principles of distinction and proportionality" - particularly in the context of the civilian death toll that kept rising to over 2,000 Palestinians, with more than 75 percent civilians.
I once asked Dan Berrigan, the great American anti-war activist, for some advice to me in my life as a peace activist. He replied “Pray and Resist”.
As the dust - and the gunpowder - settles after the month-long devastating conflict in Gaza, there were apparently no victors or vanquished.
United Nations officials and human rights organisations have characterised Israeli attacks on civilian targets during the IDF war on Gaza as violations of the laws of war.