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Human Shields and the gendered civilian: The principle of distinction and gender biases in International Armed Conflicts
Swedish Defence University.
2021 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis has investigated the status of human shields in International Humanitarian Law (IHL) conventions regulating International Armed Conflicts (IAC). It has made an introduction starting with the history of human shields. Then it has noted the contemporary view of human shields. The IHL section has concluded that forced human shields are civilians and the attacking party in situations where forced shields are present need to make proper proportionality and precautions calculations. Voluntary shields are according to the ICRC interoperative guidance not civilians Directly Participating in Hostilities (DPH). Hence voluntary shields are still civilians and still protected and should be subjected to proper proportionality and precautions calculations. Other states have disagreed with this view and noted that voluntary shields are civilians DPH and hence lose their protection during the shielding act.

The theoretical section has noted that contemporary shield allegations is mostly involving women and children. Women are assumed be civilians in war due to gender biases connected to their sexual and reproductive rights. This makes the shield classification of women in contemporary conflicts more likely to be involuntary than voluntary.

This essay has included a case example of the Gaza Protest 2018. The case regards Razzan Al-Najjar who was classified as an involuntary shield by the Israelian Defense Force (IDF). I have argued that based on the situation, Al-Razzan was classified as an involuntary shield and not a voluntary one based on her gender.

The thesis is concluded with an aim and purpose section, discussing the ethics related to the question reached. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2021. , p. 29
Keywords [en]
Human shields, Gender studies, Great March of Return
National Category
Law and Society
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-10766OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-10766DiVA, id: diva2:1645999
Subject / course
International Law
Educational program
Swedish Defence University’s Bachelor Program
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2022-03-28 Created: 2022-03-21 Last updated: 2022-03-28Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • ieee
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  • Other style
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Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • text
  • asciidoc
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