Humanitarian Issues and
Agencies as Triggers for
International Military Action
|•||Murder and deliberate infliction of suffering on civilians, prisoners, and others;|
|•||Refusal of parties to a conflict to allow or assist humanitarian relief activities; and|
|•||Violence and threats of violence against humanitarian workers.|
In a few cases these types of humanitarian issues have been raised not in the context of an armed conflict but as a result of tyrannical government or a state of uncontrolled violence. However, in most cases these issues have arisen during armed conflicts (whether international or internal, or with elements of both). Thus they necessarily relate directly to the law of war. Security Council resolutions have in fact repeatedly condemned such actions by parties to conflicts as violations of international humanitarian law. In many cases the Security Council, or certain of its leading members, has then gone on to authorize or initiate the use of force in order to end a pattern of violations. In short, the law of war is acquiring a role as a trigger for military action.