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Civilians are Protected Under GC IV 1949: The Illegality of Russian Filtration Camps under IHL

This piece examines the illegality of Russian filtration camps considering International Humanitarian Law (IHL). Filtration camps are set up by Russia for Ukrainian civilians implicated in Russia’s war against Ukraine. The illegality of such camps is to be presumed in IHL rules on civilian internment contained in Geneva Convention IV 1949 (GC IV). While IHL does not contain the term filtration, this does not signify that IHL allows the setting up and existence of such camps. Although IHL permits civilian internment in times of an International Armed Conflict (IAC), it does so under very specific and protective rules set out in GC IV. This contribution argues that IHL does not allow for filtration camps. Creating and maintaining such camps cannot be justified based upon IHL. A first question is how to define filtration. So far, what can be deduced from Russia’s practice is that filtration is a process intended to single out those civilians who can acculturate into Russian society, and remove those who won’t. This process is perilous for the…

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The Gender of Treaty Withdrawal: Lessons from the Istanbul Convention

In the early hours of 20 March 2021 the Turkish Official Gazette announced—in a one sentence statement that offered no explanation—that the President Erdoğan had decided to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, the Council of Europe treaty on preventing and combating violence against women. Two days later, the Communication Directorate of the President offered this justification: “The…

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Corporate accountability and Iranian drones in the Ukraine war: Could sanctions lead to prosecutions for international crimes?

Throughout the Ukraine conflict, allegations have been made against foreign businesses for providing various types of direct or indirect support for Russia’s military attacks. Most recently, firms were placed under US sanctions on 15 November 2022 for ‘the production or ongoing transfer to Russia of Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles used by Russia [in] devastating attacks…

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Two Weeks in Review, 7 November – 20 November

Javier García Olmedo and Lorenzo Gradoni offer insights on the recent events leading to the seizing of assets of AMIC Ukraine, by the Bureau of Economic Security of Ukraine…

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The Debate on the Debate on Xinjiang at the Human Rights Council: Three Framings

For all the nice talk about human rights and accountability, on 6 October 2022, a majority of States at the Human Rights Council (HRC) voted against even debating – let alone investigating – the findings of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on the situation in the Xinjiang, China. On…

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