Summer School on Human Rights and Humanitarian Actions in Present World

About project

Project objective and innovative character

European countries that are members of many international organizations such as UN, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the European Union are actively involved in various humanitarian efforts aimed at directly or indirectly to human rights. Most cases involving the armed forces outside their own country are based on the norms of Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations. Even in these cases, the international community is divided about the legitimacy of using force, as well as how it applies. The most well known and much discussed concept nowadays that is suppose to clearly define the conditions and forms of military intervention in a third country is the idea of "responsibility to protect".

This idea, which is to have a moral and legal justification for the  "Humanitarian intervention" raises serious doubts because of the difficulty of clearly defined situations requiring intervention, even if the relevant State "refuses or is unable to prevent or stop mass violations of human rights." Aside from the most problematic case in Iraq - one of the most discussed cases of recent years has been the intervention of NATO and the European Union in Kosovo, Chad, Darfur, Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya and protracted mission in Afghanistan. In each of these cases states that undertake to intervene was accused of improper response to actual problems in the region - too extensive nature of the intervention in the case of Kosovo, or too limited in terms, for example, the number of intervening units and narrow range of activities set out a UN mandate in other cases. The conflict in Libya indicates that the Western powers drew some lessons from previous failures, on the other hand, is still not clear how the international community should react to the situation in Syria and Iran which are very serious threats to security in the region and the world.

Notwithstanding the foregoing intervention units in each case are linked to different rules, especially when we take into consideration the  "Rules of Engagement". The questions that repeatedly arise in the context of contemporary asymmetric conflict are: to what extent the rules of international law correspond with the realities of complex social, economic or technological early twenty-first century and the nature of conflicts? How do various states answer to these questions?

Another problem we encountered with increasing frequency, is the difficulty to coordinate humanitarian activities and development of various structures present in the areas stricken by conflict. Objective of effective protection and promotion of the area affected by armed conflict is realized by many different international actors operating in the combat zone - mainly armed forces representing different states and supranational structures (such as the UN, UNHCR, WFP), but also various non-governmental organizations carrying humanitarian assistance to local communities.

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