Mass Starvation Expert Report

GRC and the World Peace Foundation Mass Starvation Expert Report

Global Rights Compliance and the World Peace Foundation drafted 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 Expert Report comprehends a legal policy paper, which is the first authoritative assessment of the crime of starvation and methods of accountability, as well as country case analysis on the use of starvation in Yemen, Syria and South Sudan. The Papers can be accessed here:


‘The Crime of Starvation and Methods of Prosecution and Accountability’ Legal Policy Paper

‘Accountability for Starvation Crimes: Yemen’ Policy Paper

‘Accountability for Starvation Crimes: Syria’ Policy Paper

‘Accountability for Starvation Crimes: South Sudan’ Policy Paper


The Expert Report is 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 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 consolidates the fragmented treatment of the crime of mass starvation and provides a cohesive framework for accountability and prosecutions in a range of jurisdictions.

The Report consist of three key areas of research:

  • A comprehensive review of existing International Humanitarian Law and International Criminal 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.