After Dusk They Came: International Responsibility of States in Relation to Human Rights Violations Committed by Rebel Groups

  • Marek Jan Wasiński


Violent activities undertaken by insurgent movements more than often involve human rights violations, thus provoking questions on the scope of resulting international accountability of states involved. Under general international law, the conduct of private entities is not attributable to a state unless there exists a particular factual relationship between a sovereign and members of an insurgent group. Two dramatic events of 2014, which is the Chibok abduction in Nigeria and the downing of the MH17 plane in Ukraine, serve as a background for a detailed analysis of the jurisprudence of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights and the European Court of Human Rights. It leads to the conclusion that during armed conflicts (be it of international or non-international character), individuals and entire communities should be protected by territorial states from insurgent movements. Moreover, contrary to a prima facie intuition, the positive obligation of a state remains in force even within territories seized and effectively governed by a rebel group that is neither controlled nor supported in any form by a territorial sovereign.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marek Jan Wasiński
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Public International Law and International RelationsUniversity of ŁódźŁódźPoland

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