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6 Fundamental Guarantees

Robert McLaughlin

From: The Oxford Guide to International Humanitarian Law

Edited By: Ben Saul, Dapo Akande

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 16 July 2024

Freedom from slavery or forced labour — Principle of legality — Standards of treatment — Armed conflict — Conduct of hostilities

This chapter provides a background of the international humanitarian law (IHL) fundamental guarantees. The IHL fundamental guarantees is that body of rules, equally applicable in both forms of armed conflict, that deals with the treatment (and its consequences) of civilians, and of combatants/civilians who are not taking a direct part in hostilities (DPH)/organized armed groups (OAGs) who are hors de combat or otherwise under the control of an adversary belligerent party (and, in some cases, of their own party), when and whilst they remain under that control, and where no other more contextually specific rule of law of armed conflict (LOAC) applies to the treatment or consequence in question. The chapter then assesses a number of specific fundamental guarantees under two broad category headings. The first is humane treatment, which is itself an umbrella fundamental guarantee encompassing: violence to life; through other violent breaches of fundamental guarantees, such as torture and rape; to the proscriptions relating to degrading treatment. The second broad category is restriction of freedoms, focusing upon forced labour and slavery. Whilst this provides but a slim and selective assessment across the broad and still evolving concept of fundamental guarantees, it is hoped that it will nevertheless furnish some indication of the scope and content of this externally referencing, inclusive category of IHL rights and obligations.

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