Global Rights Compliance and the World Peace Foundation are currently drafting a comprehensive Expert Report on mass starvation containing a detailed analysis of real-life (conflict) case studies designed to provide an authoritative assessment of the prospects of accountability based on a review of the most relevant and probative documentation/information. The final report will be published in early 2019.
The Report will be the first authoritative assessment of the potential for prosecuting mass starvation as a violation of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law using International Criminal Law (‘ICL’) and/or national jurisdictions. The Expert Report seeks to emphasise work on, and prosecution of, mass starvation, in furtherance of UN Security Council Resolution S/RES/2417 (‘UNSC 2417), which stresses that the fight against impunity can be strengthened through the work on, and prosecution of, genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other egregious crimes in national and international criminal justice systems, ad hoc and mixed tribunals as well as specialized chambers in national tribunals. In addition to public condemnation of the use of starvation of civilians as a method of warfare, accountability is also critical. The Expert Report will consolidate the fragmented treatment of the crime of mass starvation and provide a cohesive framework for accountability and prosecutions in a range of jurisdictions.
It will consist of three key areas of research:
- A comprehensive review of existing International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law as it relates to starvation, identifying potential mechanisms for pursing legal cases based on existing law and analysing gaps in the law and strategies for developing it;
- A detailed desk review of open source materials to assess support for accountability, including documentation of evidence for potential cases of starvation arising from the selected target situations; and
- Background and summaries for additional country case studies that help further elaborate and add nuance to the Expert Report’s discussion of the limits and potential for applying international law in cases of deprivation and starvation.
Ahead of the publication of the Expert Report, a short briefing report will be produced and circulated during select events and outreach outlining the Expert Report’s findings, next steps for accountability, and the development of UNSC 2417.