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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Human Shields

Vera Rusinova

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 20 May 2024

Prisoners of war — Armed conflict — Geneva Conventions 1949 — Military objectives — Combatants — Military necessity — Peace keeping

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 

1 The term ‘human shields’ is used in international humanitarian law (‘IHL’) with respect to civilians or other protected persons, whose presence or movement is aimed or used to render military targets immune from military operations. The history of armed conflicts knows many examples of efforts to shield military targets with civilians, mostly women and children, with prisoners of war, or with members of peacekeeping forces, taking advantage of the proximity of their presence or moving to them with the purpose of harbouring, or directly using them in military...
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