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In recent decades, armed conflict has blighted the lives of millions of civilians. Serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law are common in many armed conflicts. In certain circumstances, some of these violations may even constitute genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity.
Warfare is a phenomenon in constant change, so international human rights law and international humanitarian law must adjust constantly to avoid gaps in the protection they provide. International human rights law and international humanitarian law share the goal of preserving the dignity and humanity of all.
A key thematic pillar of OHCHR’s Management Plan is to work to prevent human rights violations in situations of conflict and insecurity.
UN Human Rights works in the field to monitor how human rights principles and international humanitarian law obligations are being respected. We investigate complaints about alleged human rights violations and work with experts in the treaty bodies and special procedures to identify and prevent these violations in the future.
We also support United Nations fact-finding missions to assist States in addressing violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.
Much work is done in other sections to investigate ways to ensure the human rights of those in conflict situations are protected, for example:
Photo credit: © UNICEF/UN0330632/Anmar