Parsing the Responsibility to Protect (The Mantle)

ImageWithin the last few decades, the international community has seen a growing number of intrastate conflicts, where the main target of violence is not an opposing army, but innocent civilians in the region.1 This shift has raised concerns among many, including the United Nations, about the need for the protection of civilians. As a result, an international commission was established in 2001 to address the growing need for the “internationalization of the human conscience.”2 No longer would the action or inaction of individual states suffice when it came to matters of the protection of civilians. In December of that same year, the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) published their report, “The Responsibility to Protect” (commonly referred to as “R2P”). This report soon became the flagship of the international effort for civilian protection, and a principle that set forth guidelines for how states ought to respond to atrocities aimed at civilian populations. Read more…

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