Towards whom is a state responsible?
States have legal responsibilities both towards states and individuals according to different sources of international law.
States, other international entities and individuals enjoy rights and duties given to them by international law. When states violate their international obligations they may cause harm both to other states and to individuals. Therefore states have responsibilities:
Towards their own citizens, and people under their jurisdiction, based on human rights law.
Towards civilians, including occupied people, as well as combatants of the other party, during armed conflicts under international humanitarian law (IHL).
Towards other states, or international organizations (e.g. UN), based on general principles of international law, as well as specific bilateral and multilateral conventions that they have signed and ratified, including human rights and IHL treaties.
Towards the international community as a whole when it comes to very important rules, such as the prohibitions on genocide and torture.
Read more about international law
Read more about internaitonal humanitarian law
Read more about human rights law
Palestinan girls on their way to school in Ramallah, occupied Palestinian territory. Photo: Klas Palm.