State Responsibility for Human Rights Violations Committed by Armed Non-State Actors in its Territory

As a general fact, a state is only responsible for its own acts. But there are exceptional circumstances in which the conduct of an Armed Non-State Actors (ANSA) will invoke a state's responsibility.

The author, Tatyana Eatwell, explores various scenarios, including situations where an ANSA operates independently of any state and controls territory. She acknowledges that these situations of de facto control over a territory by an ANSA give rise to a protection gap where victims of human rights violations committed by the ANSA are left without recourse to remedy.

The author, therefore, concludes that in situations of armed conflict, the state’s loss of control over part of its territory will give rise to a protection gap with respect to the substantive rights and freedoms guaranteed under international human rights law (IHRL), and not protected under IHL.

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