A religious building with towers.
Mali/Sahel: News

Religious leaders and humanitarian norms in Mali

27 July 2021

At a workshop in Mali, the Centre helps to bring together religious leaders, scholars, and humanitarian actors to reinforce protection and generate greater respect for humanitarian norms.

Within the framework of the Generating Respect Project, the University of York in collaboration with Geneva Call and Diakonia International Humanitarian Law Centre are organising a reflection workshop on the influence of religious leaders on armed actors between 28 - 29 July 2021 in Bamako, Mali.

Led by the University of York, the research project “Generating Respect for Humanitarian Norms: The Influence of Religious Leaders on Parties to Armed Conflict” (The Generating Respect Project) focuses on Mali, Colombia, Libya, and Myanmar. Funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council and implemented in partnership with humanitarian organisations, the project seeks to contribute to engendering greater respect for international humanitarian standards by exploring the influence of religious leaders over state and non-state armed actors.

Armed conflicts in Mali are characterised by violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law with a considerable impact on civilians. These violations include, inter alia, indiscriminate attacks, the planting of improvised explosive devices on certain roads, and the obstruction of humanitarian access in certain localities. During the period 1 January to 31 March 2021, MINUSA documented “421 violations and abuses of international human rights law and/or international humanitarian law causing the death of 106 people including five children and six women”.

This workshop brings together religious leaders, scholars, and humanitarian actors to reflect on their experiences of humanitarian engagement with the aim of reinforcing the protection environment for civilians in Mali and generating greater respect for humanitarian norms.