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Annual Report: in 2015, Geneva Call engaged with 61 active armed non-State actors on the protection of civilians

In 2015, Geneva Call pursued its efforts to engage with armed non-State actors (ANSAs) in order to better protect civilian populations during armed conflict:
  • Geneva Call worked in 19 contexts, where it with 61 active ANSAs, encouraging them to move towards compliance with humanitarian norms
  • 1,537 leaders, fighters, training instructors and representatives from local communities or authorities attended 84 awareness raising sessions and training workshops
  • 5 ANSAs signed 8 Deeds of Commitment
Geneva Call accompanied and monitored the implementation of the Deeds of Commitment with each of the 31 signatory ANSAs still active in 2015

To read the report, please click here.

Democratic Republic of Congo: first steps towards greater respect for the civilian populations in North Kivu

Geneva Call is entering its second year of work in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The organization has recently observed concrete examples of improvements in respect for civilians by various armed groups with which it is in dialogue. In North Kivu, Geneva Call has initiated discussions with four active armed groups and during the past few months it has already trained more than 200 officers and combatants about Humanitarian Law, particularly on the rules governing child protection and prohibiting sexual violence.

In February 2016, following an attack on enemy forces, the Mai Mai armed group, Nduma Defense of Congo – Rénové announced that it had taken in members from enemy combatants’ families – mostly women and children – and had subsequently handed them over to a humanitarian organization specialized in civilian protection.  [...]

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Colombia: Geneva Call invited to support the demobilization of minors from the ranks of the FARC-EP


Geneva Call is pleased with the 15 May 2016 agreement between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP) regarding the demobilization of minors from FARC-EP camps.
As a part of this agreement, the parties to the conflict have invited Geneva Call to support, accompany and follow up on the process of reintegration into civilian life for the children and adolescents associated with or recruited by the FARC-EP.

This agreement came a few weeks before the conclusion of a “Bilateral and definitive cease-fire and cessation of hostilities agreement” on 22 June, in Havana, between the Colombian Government and the FARC-EP. [...]

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Training combatants and lawyers on the rules of war in northern Syria


In May 2016, Geneva Call’s partner organization, the AFAQ Academy, started a new series of training sessions for four Syrian armed movements active in the north of Syria. The First Coastal Division (FCD), present in the Lattakia countryside, the Failaq al-Sham brigade, active throughout Syria, and the Levant Front and the Noureddine Zenki Brigade, both operating in Aleppo, will participate in these training sessions on humanitarian norms.

In a first training session for about 15 military and civilian members of the FCD, AFAQ presented and explained Geneva Call’s 15 key rules of behaviour for fighters in an armed conflict. During that training, a religious leader from this movement addressed the issue of Islamic sources of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and Muslims' obligations to abide by it. [...]

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Burma/Myanmar: update of Geneva Call’s latest activities on gender equality and the prevention of sexual violence

Since 2012, Geneva Call has focussed on expanding and intensifying its gender work with armed non-State actors (ANSAs) involved in the protracted conflict in Burma/Myanmar. Geneva Call continues to support implementation measures and monitoring of the progress and compliance with respect to the Deed of Commitment signed by the Karen National Union (KNU) in 2013, in which it declared its intention to prohibit sexual violence and pursue gender equality.
In the midst of an intensive peace process, the KNU has faced challenges in disseminating the rules contained in the Deed of Commitment. In February, to help overcome this, Geneva Call – with KNU facilitation and in close co-operation with Save the Children – gave a training session on the Deed of Commitment for one of the Brigades in the KNU’s armed wing, the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA). The training session was the first of its kind to target 40 battalion-level officers within a single brigade.  [...]

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World Humanitarian Summit: “Upholding the norms that safeguard humanity”

At the invitation of the United Nations, a delegation of Geneva Call participated in the World Humanitarian Summit that took place in Istanbul, Turkey, from 23 to 24 May.

Geneva Call had the opportunity to address the high-level Leaders’ roundtable “Uphold the norms that safeguard humanity” which gathered Heads of State and Government as well as leaders of international and civil society organizations. During the roundtable, Geneva Call made six commitments to reinforce its engagement with armed non-State actors on the respect of international humanitarian and human rights law. (Read the full statement here) [...]

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