A Legislative Proposal to Deter and Sanction the Use of Civilians as Human Shields under Canadian Law

Raoul Wallenberg Centre Endorses C-CAT Human Shields Proposal

Raoul Wallenberg Centre Endorses C-CAT Human Shields Proposal

The Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights is pleased to endorse the Canadian Coalition Against Terror’s (C-CAT) “Human Shields Project,” a legislative proposal to pursue justice and accountability regarding the use of civilians as human shields. 

Under international law – including the Geneva Convention and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court – the use of human shields is a war crime. Despite this clear and compelling prohibition, the pernicious practice is pervasively used by terrorist groups, the whole underpinned by a culture of impunity. 

Accordingly, in order to prevent and punish such atrocities, and promote human rights, the current international norms must be supplemented with effective national measures. As a leading liberal democracy anchored in the rule of law, Canada is uniquely placed to safeguard human security through such bold legislative action. This may also have a broad international resonance, inspiring parallel pursuits in other states.

C- CAT’s proposal is grounded in and guided by the best practices flowing from the rules-based international order and core multilateral alliances. Indeed, responding to NATO’s call to action on the matter would be as timely as it is important. Extended to all listed terrorist entities, and incorporating relevant rights and remedies, the proposed legislation is comprehensive and inclusive, and thereby has the capacity to be particularly effective. 

The Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights commends this Human Shields Project, which will protect human rights and promote human security, while challenging the cultures of criminality and impunity that threaten them. We encourage its adoption by the Canadian Parliament. 

The Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights

514.735.8778

info@rwchr.org

Justice, justice, shall you pursue.  C’est la justice, la justice, que tu poursuivras.


RELATED: A Legislative Proposal to Deter and Sanction the Use of Civilians as Human Shields under Canadian Law

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