In partnership with the Essex University of Conflict Hub, CIVIC has developed a series of primers designed to identify key issues and findings, accompanied with recommendations, related to civilian harm in armed conflict.
In the first primer, “Investigations Into Civilian Harm in Armed Conflict,” the authors identify contemporary challenges and key issues related to investigations, and provide several recommendations to states for carrying out effective investigations.
Effective investigations into incidents of civilian harm in armed conflict are essential for establishing the legality of State actions and for ensuring accountability. They also serve as an essential stage in response to civilian harm for civilians themselves. While they cannot make up for the loss of a loved one or restore property, investigations can provide civilians with some answers about the cause and source of harm, recognition that harm has occurred, and open avenues for adequate reparations or amends.
In the second primer, “Amends and Reparations for Civilian Harm in Armed Conflict,” the authors provide an overview of the assistance states provide to civilians who have been harmed as a result of military operations.
It clarifies the distinction between amends, which are electively offered to civilians for harm (even if those operations were lawful), and reparations, which are provided by states for violations of law. The paper also identifies some of the key issues and controversies related to post-harm assistance and provides a summary of recommendations for states in the development of effective post-harm assistance policies.