Syria/Region: Publication

Legal Brief: Forcible Recruitment of Adults

19 June 2019

The Diakonia International Humanitarian Law Centre in Lebanon has produced a legal brief which focuses on the forcible recruitment of adults by non-state armed groups in non-international armed conflict.

The legal brief highlights that non-state armed groups (NSAGs) are prohibited from forcibly recruiting adults in the context of a non-international armed conflict (NIAC). Such conduct amounts to an 'outrage upon personal dignity', contrary to Common Article 3(1)(c) of the four Geneva Conventions of 1949.

The scope of this prohibition would apply to all protected persons under Common Article 3, namely: "[p]ersons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed 'hors de combat' (out of combat) by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause."

Forcing such persons to engage in military-style operations without the legal protection of the state - and often against their state of nationality - causes sufficient humiliation and degradation so as to constitute an outrage upon personal dignity.

The full brief is available for download in the column to the right. The brief includes both an English and Arabic version.