The Starvation Team present at the 5th bi-annual International Humanitarian Studies Association conference in The Hague
Understanding the basic principles of the crime of starvation and related offences will enable humanitarian actors on the ground to adequately assess the obstacles they may face when delivering aid in conflict zones. The panel will assess the unique role of humanitarians, particularly those with a principle témoignage mandate and the protections afforded to them under Additional Protocols I and II (Article 70 and 28, respectively) of the Geneva Conventions when providing humanitarian relief (with a specific focus on the delivery of foodstuffs). They will explore how to document and investigate whether warring parties are unlawfully impeding aid supplies or whether the obstacles facing humanitarian actors cross the threshold into criminal conduct. Finally, the panellists will consider the range of accountability forums available including international, national and domestic prosecutions, as encouraged by the landmark United Nations Security Council (‘UNSC’) Resolution 2417. UNSC 2417 unanimously passed in May 2018 and highlights the link between armed conflict and food insecurity, noting that starvation of civilians, as a method of warfare may constitute a war crime.