Photo: Johannes Ode
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Civilian Harm

Protecting civilians requires understanding how people are harmed by the actions of military actors. PAX researches the immediate and long-term impacts of the use of force, and advocates for measures to better mitigate and respond to civilian harm.

Understanding the direct and reverberating effects of conflict
Civilian harm mitigation is a legal, moral and military-strategic imperative. PAX enables states, armed forces and others to better monitor and respond to civilian harm. In addition to immediate casualties, the damage to physical infrastructure, basic services and mental health reflects the true impacts of conflict.

PAX’s approach includes:
– Research into the global effects of conflict
– Advocacy linking civilian and academic experts with policymakers and military
– Training military actors to prevent or mitigate civilian harm

For more information, see PAX’s Protection in Practice project.

Photo: Johannes Ode

Latest publications about this topic

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report 23 November 2022

Assessing US and Dutch advances in building new CHM policies

In November 2022, we brought together a range of experts and stakeholders to discuss people-centered approaches to security in our annual Protection of Civilians Conference. This report presents the key takeaways and recommendations from the 2022 PoC Conference session on the CHMR-AP and Roadmap processes.

podcast
#9 (S2E3): A Landmark Declaration on Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas
news
New report: Civilian harm from US airstrikes in Somalia. An appropriate military strategy?
report
'It is too much to kill three or four Al Shabaab': Civilian perceptions on Al Shabaab and harm from US airstrikes in Jubbaland, Somalia
report
Assessing US and Dutch advances in building new CHM policies
podcast
Episode #8 (S2E2): Conflict, Climate, and the Environment, Part I: Ukraine
report
Briefing Note: Conflict-Related Environmental Damage in Ukraine
report
PAX en Airwars briefing voor het Nederlandse parlement
podcast
Episode #7 (S2E1): Made in the USA: Arms Sales and Civilian Harm
news
Het nieuwe VS burgerslachtofferbeleid: 5 lessen voor Nederland
news
New US civilian harm policy: 5 takeaways for the Netherlands
event
2022 - PAX Protection of Civilians Conference
news
Larger budget for armed forces should include fund for civilian harm
news
Civil Society Recommendations for the U.S. Civilian Harm Mitigation and Response Action Plan (CHMRAP)
report
Civil Society Guidance for the Civilian Harm Mitigation and Response Action Plan (CHMRAP)
Satellite Images by Azmat Khan (NYT)

Hawija research

Understanding how civilians are harmed by violent conflict is vital for protection. As such, we study the long-term effects of civilian harm in Hawija, Iraq.

In partnership with Al-Ghad League for Woman and Child Care and Utrecht University, we study the long-term effects of civilian harm from the June 2015 Dutch airstrike in Hawija.

On Civilian Harm

How are civilians negatively affected by conflict? And how can we reduce both immediate and long-term suffering? We address these questions in our book ‘On Civilian Harm’.

We tend to discuss the impact of conflict on civilians in terms of the wounded and the dead. Yet, civilians experience many other negative effects from violence. ‘On civilian harm’ offers a realistic representation of these experiences.