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Geneva Call’s 2014 annual report is now available

 
 
2014 was marked by an increase in the number and intensity of non-international armed conflicts in different contexts and countries. These conflicts are taking a dramatic toll on civilian populations, forcing families to leave their homes or children to enrol as fighters. More than ever, dialogue with armed non-State actors (ANSAs) is necessary for the protection of civilian populations from the effects of armed conflict.
 
In 2014, Geneva Call worked in 16 countries and territories, engaging with 52 ANSAs and encouraging them to move towards compliance with humanitarian norms.
Fourteen new Deeds of Commitment were signed by 8 ANSAs, leading to enhanced protection for civilians. Geneva Call also trained 801 political leaders, fighters, military instructors and representatives from local communities and authorities about broad international humanitarian norms.

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>> Download Geneva Call's 2014 Annual Report
 

Democratic Republic of Congo: a dialogue on the protection of civilians has started with two major armed movements
 

Following the establishment of first contacts last February, Geneva Call recently conducted a field visit to two major national and foreign armed movements operating in the Masisi and Walikale territories of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Both armed movements can muster several hundred combatants, and they conduct regular military operations in the area.
 
Despite dangerous security conditions and difficult logistics, Geneva Call’s representatives met with these armed movements’ highest representatives. They presented the organization to political leaders, military commanders and legal advisers and started a dialogue on the protection of civilians in times of conflict.

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Syria: Kurdish forces take further measures to stop the use of children in hostilities

Since the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) signed the Deed of Commitment protecting children in armed conflict in July 2014, Geneva Call has maintained a constant dialogue with them in order to monitor the situation. Following several allegations about the use of children in hostilities, particularly in a United Nations report on the Human Rights situation in Syria, Geneva Call recently conducted two field visits to the territories controlled by YPG-YPJ in Northeast Syria.

As already in the past, YPG-YPJ admitted to facing difficulties in implementing their commitment across all their units, however, they highlighted the efforts being made: “We control a huge area and we have to defend ourselves against ISIS attacks every day. Children often come voluntarily to join our ranks and our officers have the duty to refuse them. We sanctioned seven officers for recruiting and using children aged under 18 in hostilities”.

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Three new Board members

 

The Board of Geneva Call is pleased to welcome three new members: Lorella Bertani, member of the Geneva Bar and President of the Board of the “Grand Theatre” in Geneva; François Nordmann, former Swiss Ambassador to several countries; and Michel Veuthey, Vice-President of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law.

>> View Geneva Call's board members

Geneva Call’s programme coordinator in Colombia receives the Henry Dunant prize

 
On 11 May 2015, at a ceremony held in the Alabama Room, the national coordinator of Geneva Call’s programmes in Colombia and head of the NGO “Compromiso Humano”, Ms. Yolvi Lena Padilla Sepúlveda, was awarded the “Henry Dunant–Field Prize.”

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