Protection gaps for civilian victims of political violence

This article begins by explaining why the United Nations’ civilian protection agenda is particularly relevant and important for Africa and why the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) might be said to be an African norm export to the rest of the world. Next, it traces the reasons for peace operations’ reluctance to use force. It then shows how the civilian protection agenda has tried to fill critical gaps in the existing normative architecture, with both R2P and the Protection of Civilians (POC) resulting from growing shame at the accumulating list of atrocities in which the international community stood by as passive onlookers. The fourth section discusses the merits of the R2P and POC norms in responding to the challenge of civilian protection. The final part notes that, despite these two valuable additions to the repertoire of the international community in dealing with atrocities perpetrated on civilians, there remain many gaps in the protection agenda, as shown in several recent cases. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]

Title: Protection gaps for civilian victims of political violence
Author: Thakur, Ramesh
Year: 2013
Periodical: South African Journal of International Affairs
Volume: 20
Issue: 3
Pages: 321-338
Language: English
Geographic term: Africa
External link: https://doi.org/10.1080/10220461.2013.841810
Abstract: This article begins by explaining why the United Nations’ civilian protection agenda is particularly relevant and important for Africa and why the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) might be said to be an African norm export to the rest of the world. Next, it traces the reasons for peace operations’ reluctance to use force. It then shows how the civilian protection agenda has tried to fill critical gaps in the existing normative architecture, with both R2P and the Protection of Civilians (POC) resulting from growing shame at the accumulating list of atrocities in which the international community stood by as passive onlookers. The fourth section discusses the merits of the R2P and POC norms in responding to the challenge of civilian protection. The final part notes that, despite these two valuable additions to the repertoire of the international community in dealing with atrocities perpetrated on civilians, there remain many gaps in the protection agenda, as shown in several recent cases. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]