This video screenshot depicts a man carrying a water jug as he walks in front of a destroyed building. The image is made up of an illustration
Syria/Region: News

Protection of Water in Non-International Armed Conflict

8 May 2024

Water is indispensable to the survival of the civilian population. Yet during armed conflicts, damaging or weaponizing water resources or infrastructure bears devastating impacts for civilians both during and in the aftermath of armed conflicts.

Non-State armed groups (NSAGs) operating in conflict settings can pose a threat to the protection of water resources. They may cause damage to infrastructure, divert water resources for military purposes, or impose restrictions on access to water. These actions can result in water scarcity and negatively impact the well-being and survival of local communities.

Under International Humanitarian Law (IHL), both State and NSAGs are obligated to protect civilians and refrain from weaponizing water. NSAGs must ensure access to water for civilians and collaborate with various actors for effective water management, considering gender dynamics and legal obligations. Safeguarding water resources is imperative to mitigate civilian suffering and uphold international law during armed conflicts.

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This video has been funded by ECHO.