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

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report 09 May 2022

Civilian harm reporting mechanisms

This report considers three case studies of currently existing civilian harm reporting mechanisms: set up by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM),  the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), and the United States Department of Defense (DoD). 

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PoC Week Event: Protecting the environment is protecting civilians
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PoC Week Event: Protection of Water and Water Infrastructure in Armed Conflicts
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Civil society statement on the Protection of Civilians in urban conflict (2022)
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Civilian harm reporting mechanisms
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PAX PoC Program annual report 2021
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The Dutch MoD announces policy changes regarding civilian harm
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The effects of the Dutch airstrike on Hawija
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After the strike
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الحويجة :أضرار مدنية بعد الضربة الجوية الهولندية 2015
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Episode #6: The Invasion of Ukraine
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Hawija report launch in Amsterdam (Netherlands)
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Hawija report launch in Erbil (Iraq)
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Civilian Harm in Ukraine
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PAX calls upon parties to the conflict in Ukraine to protect civilians
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.