The achievement of the objectives of international security, peacekeeping operations and peace enforcement, like the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan after the initial invasions, and of unilateral security operations, like those in Chechnya, Lebanon and Gaza, is often threatened by high levels of civilian casualties and physical destruction. Much of this is legitimized under the laws of armed conflict, notably the principles of legitimate military objectives and collateral damage, but would be contrary to human rights standards. This article argues that the claim that the laws of armed conflict and human rights are complementary is misleading and that international and national security, peacekeeping and peace-enforcement operations designed to protect and promote human rights should in principle be conducted under human rights standards. It explains how this could be achieved for international operations conducted under the auspices of United Nations Security Council Resolutions and/or status-of-forces agreements.
- human rights