The changing nature of armed conflict since the end of the Cold War and the events of September 11th presents challenges to the normative framework laid out in the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols. Humanitarians, the military and civil society face uncertainty on the edges of today’s armed conflict.
In order to tackle these challenges, the Liu Institute for Global Issues and the Canadian Red Cross have joined in a unique partnership combining their policy, legal and operational know-how to engage international and Canadian experts as well as academics in this research project. In this way, the project also aims to build Canadian policy capacity.
The research examines issues of compliance by non-state armed groups; the roles and responsibilities of private military companies; the growing situations of violence in large urban centers; the interplay between human rights law and international humanitarian law; and the blurring of boundaries between military, policing, development and humanitarian activities.
The Edges of Conflict project consists of three phases:
Phase I: Identifying Priority Areas, September 2007 – March 2008
Phase II: Researching & Debating Alternative Approaches, International Conference, March 2009 -- Papers presented at the conference have formed the edited volume Modern Warfare: Armed Groups, Private Militaries, Humanitarian Organizations, and the Law which is available from UBC Press.
Phase III: Development of policy papers and convening of independent experts,