21st Century Armed Conflicts

Civil wars are no less devastating in their effects on civilians than inter-state wars. Not only States but also independent militias or insurgent groups frequently fail to prevent, minimize or remedy civilian harm. In this section you can study legal instruments, cases, reports and scholarship relating to this particular type of conflict and to the situation of civilians who suffer harm directly caused by it.

Area of Conflict:


The civil war that spiralled out of the 2011 uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's rule left an incredible hughe number of innocent civilians dead, injured or maimed. Violations of human rights and humanitarian law are widespread. The perpetrators must be held to account and justice must be done to the victims.


In response to the recurring conflict with militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in 2015, the Turkish government imposed curfews in various towns in Southeast Turkey and conducted military security operations that, for many Kurdish civilians, amounted to a violation of their rights under both domestic and international law. The Turkish government has prevented independent investigations into the alleged (human) rights infringements. Moreover the victims are essentially denied access to justice and reparations.