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 10 June 2021

On Civilian Harm

In ‘On Civilian Harm,’ we explore the ways in which civilians are negatively affected by violent conflict, offer tools and language to discuss the phenomenon, make practical recommendations for civilian harm mitigation and raise questions for further debate.

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Internship opportunities: apply now!
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Chapter 17 "On Civilian Harm": Conclusion. Towards a Shared Understanding of Civilian Harm.
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Chapter 16 "On Civilian Harm": Key Factors. Causing or Mitigating Harm
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Chapter 15 "On Civilian Harm": Perpetrators. Types, Intentions, Responsibility
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Chapter 14 "On Civilian Harm": Victims. The Human Cost of Violent Conflict
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"On Civilian Harm": Introduction
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PAX statement on Taliban taking over in Afghanistan
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Episode #2: In Search of Answers
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Book launch ‘On civilian harm’
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After Hawija: The way forward for the Dutch Ministry of Defense
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Episode #1: More than numbers
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Trailer: An introduction to the Civilian Protection Podcast
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Toward a shared understanding of civilian harm
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On Civilian Harm
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.