Resources

CHRCR has compiled a preliminary list of resources which examine the intersection between theories of and approaches to human rights and conflict resolution. We welcome the suggestion of articles, reports, books and other publications that should be added to the list.

To request an addition, please contact chrcr@tufts.edu.

Humanitarian Intervention


The International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, "The Responsibility to Protect" (2001).
The principle of humanitarian intervention is triggered when a conflict within a given state has threatened the protection of human rights to such a degree that the international community is pressed into action. This report asserts that embedded within sovereign powers is a duty to protect citizens, and when a government is violating that duty, it becomes the responsibility of other states to protect the endangered citizens. This responsibility has three elements: "First, to address both the root causes and direct causes of internal conflict and other man-made crises putting populations at risk. Second, to respond to situations of compelling human need with appropriate measures, which may include coercive measures like sanctions and international prosecution, and in extreme cases military intervention. Third, to provide, particularly after a military intervention, full assistance with recovery, reconstruction and reconciliation, addressing the causes of the harm the intervention was designed to halt or avert."

J.M. Diller, "Handbook On Human Rights In Situations Of Conflict" (1998).
The Handbook focuses on human rights in situations of escalating conflict. It is intended for use in monitoring, reporting, advocating, and acting on human rights situations before, during, or after armed conflict. It is a step-by-step "how-to" guide geared toward each actor involved in situations of conflict that have the intention of safeguarding human rights.

T.R. Gillespie, "Unwanted Responsibility: Humanitarian Military Intervention to Advance Human Rights", 18 Peace and Change 219 (1993).
Gillespie defends humanitarian intervention by the United Nations as a necessary means in certain international conflicts in order to defend human rights. He sees the international community failing, though, in their current ad hoc approach; he proposes instead to develop a normative doctrine and routinized organizational response for protecting human rights. Specifically, he proposes that the international community recast international legal principles in the model of the Common Heritage of Mankind so that the United Nations can become the guardian of human rights around the world. To that end, he recommends the UN form a Human Rights Council equal to the Security Council.

L. Mahony, & L. E. Eguren, "Unarmed Bodyguards: International Accompaniment For The Protection Of Human Rights" (1997).
This is the fuller exposition of Mahoney and Eguren's 1996 ICAR working paper #11. Inspired by the peace accords and cease-fire they experienced come to fruition in El Salvador, January 1992, Mahoney and Eguren set out to analytical test their hypothesis that human rights accompaniment deters violence during situations of conflict. They develop the experience of accompaniment volunteers who act as "unarmed bodyguards", hoping that their own selves will carry an international response if harmed, thereby preventing harm to be done to their protectees by regimes not willing to bring on international opprobrium. They see the human rights protector as single-handedly helping assuage violence.

Binaifer Nowrojee, "Recent Development: Joining Forces: United Nations and Regional Peacekeeping - Lessons from Liberia", 8 Harv. Hum. Rts. J. 129 (1995).
"The changing nature of war poses unique challenges for today's peacekeepers. While the post-Cold War era promises a decline in the likelihood of great-power conflicts, the upheaval is bringing to the fore previously suppressed tensions in places such as Somalia, Yugoslavia, and Liberia. These countries reflect the character of war in today's world -- internal conflicts fueled by political, ethnic, religious, and economic antagonisms no longer contained by Cold War politics. The casualties of these conflicts are predominantly civilian noncombatant. Increasingly, the United Nations is looking to bridge this gulf through cooperation with regional organizations in peacekeeping operations. Unless the U.N. actively monitors the growing involvement of these regional bodies, the danger exists that ill-prepared regional organizations could undermine such collective efforts. While regional bodies can play an important role in conflict resolution, it is imperative that the United Nations and regional organizations make a cautious examination of the merits and flaws of such arrangements."

J. Stremlau, "Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict, People in Peril: Human Rights, Humanitarian Action, and Preventing Deadly Conflict" (1998).
This report builds on a conference held in Geneva in February 1997 that addressed new approaches to help strengthen the linkage between humanitarian action and the prevention of deadly conflicts. After recounting the impossible choices deadly violence within a country pose to the world community, the author addresses the nature of complex humanitarian emergencies, specifically from the perspective of the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. He then summarizes the major humanitarian challenges that have confronted UNHCR in the past five years: northern Iraq, Bosnia, Somalia, Rwanda/Eastern Zaire, and areas controlled by the former Soviet Union. The conclusion is a look forward to how the international community can and should respond to complex emergencies in the future, including a nod to shifting responsibility toward regional and international involvement in preventing and resolving local conflicts.

Cedric Thornberry, "Peacekeeping, Peacemaking, and Human Rights", February 20 (1995).
After surveying a history of peacekeeping and the United Nations, the author describes some of the difficulties and advantages of modern peacekeeping, peacemaking and human rights, and about the connections which exist, or which should exist, amongst them.

United Nations, "Report Of The Panel On United Nations Peace Operations" (2000). 
This report by the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations headed by Lakhdar Brahimi outlines key recommendations for preventive action, peace-building, civilian agents and transnational civil operations, and concludes with an analysis of structural adjustments required for future effectiveness.

Ruth Wedgwood, "The Institute for Global Legal Studies Inaugural Colloquium: The UN and the Protection of Human Rights, Peacekeeping Operations and the Use of Force", Washington University Journal of Law & Policy (2001).
"The question of United Nations peacekeeping and the use of force might seem to be a specialized topic. However, it is at the root of much of the dissatisfaction with the performance of the United Nations (UN)-both inside and outside the organization. When one views the UN up close, in the field and in New York, much of the unsteadiness in discharging its missions stems from the organization's deep ambivalence about the proper use of force in international conflict resolution and its hobbled ability to muster efficacious force."