Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

The Geneva Academy provides post-graduate education, conducts academic legal research and policy studies, and organizes training courses and expert meetings. We concentrate on branches of international law that relate to situations of armed conflict, protracted violence, and protection of human rights.

Established in 2007 by the Faculty of Law of the University of Geneva  and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, the Geneva Academy has acquired a global reputation for excellent teaching and research, and it attracts students of high quality to its master’s and training programmes. Our graduates are employed around the world, promoting and protecting International humanitarian law (IHL) and human rights (HR) in governments, NGOs, international organizations and academic institutions. The Geneva Academy thus contributes to the dissemination of legal knowledge in these crucial sectors.

Our scientific research focuses on clarifying IHL, strengthening human rights protection, and developing the areas of complementarity between IHL and international human rights law. In these areas, the Geneva Academy makes a specific contribution to policy development and debate, in government and among scholars and practitioners.

The Geneva Academy is a cosmopolitan community located in the heart of Geneva, an international city and humanitarian hub. Through close interaction with international organizations, NGOs, experts, and governments, we actively participate in global discussions of IHL, HR, international criminal law, and transitional justice.

Telephone: +41 (0) 22 908 44 88
Email: info@geneva-academy.ch
Villa Moynier - Rue de Lausanne 120B - CP 1063
1211 Geneva
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Policy and Research Papers

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.

To access the full paper State Responsibility for Human Rights Violations Committed by Armed Non-State Actors in its Territory, please follow the link provided.

Paper