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Ensuring IHL accountability

Ensuring IHL accountability
UN Human Rights Council meeting

As this course has canvassed, individuals and businesses can be held accountable under both criminal and civil law for violations of IHL. However, accountability for respecting IHL should also include internal processes within a business that deal with noncompliance with IHL, including violations committed by or against the business’s people.

An internal process should include a complaints and grievances mechanism that will investigate allegations of IHL violations. Business leaders ought to be trained to handle allegations of IHL violations including reporting, where appropriate, to relevant authorities. Evaluating security incidents through an IHL lens will also improve future security planning and management as well as due diligence processes.

Questions to consider

  • Has your business adopted a clear process that enables both business personnel and community members to report IHL violations alleged to have been committed by or against the company’s personnel or assets?
  • Does your business have internal processes that allow for violations of IHL to be investigated? If yes, can a remedy be provided?

Example of good or best practice

  • The business implements robust, internal processes that help them to investigate security incidents, including alleged IHL violations. The business adopts accountability mechanisms that address IHL non-compliance at all levels of the company, its stakeholders and third parties, including providing redress to people that may be the victims of IHL violations contributed to by the business’ activities.

Now it’s your turn

What is your assessment of the 7 indicators? If implemented, do you think they will ensure a company does no wrong in a conflict zone? What do you think some barriers for implementation may be? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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International Humanitarian Law for Business

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