Future themes of the International Review of the Red Cross 2012 - 2014
The following list of topics indicates areas of reflection, debate and critical analysis for contributions to the Review. Within the parameters of the journal’s aim, topics may be examined from a historical, legal, political, military-security, psycho-sociological or humanitarian perspective, taking either a general or a regional approach. The points of interest mentioned below by no means exhaust the various subjects that could be addressed in relation to the future themes.
Each theme is accompanied by the foreseen publication date and deadline for submission. For further information a see also our Guidelines for authors.
Business, violence and conflict (autumn 2012)
Deadline for submission: end of May 2012
Business enterprises are increasingly considered as potential actors of influence in conflict or post-conflict situations – and they do themselves increasingly recognize this influence. As a direct consequence, business enterprises are increasingly deemed part of the problem, as well as part of the solution in many crisis situations.
Indeed, in most places where they operate, ICRC delegates encounter business operations in their working environment. It is evident that business is increasingly imposing itself as a presence and a weight in conflict situations. In addition, humanitarian actors are becoming more aware of the necessity to grasp their complex interaction with local war economies, not only for operational reasons, but also conceptually and strategically. Finally, governments, businesses themselves and civil society are more active in managing the potential (negative as well as positive) impacts of business on society, especially in situations of armed conflicts and violence. Many initiatives of different scope and beadth try to address this question. Some of these initiatives specifically addressing issues related to conflict are likely to bear a long-term influence on the context in which businesses operate in conflict environments.
Over the past few years, the ICRC has been following closely such initiatives and the debates surrounding them. The year 2012 is a crucial one in this regard as it will be the first year after the conclusion of the UN work led by John Ruggie (Special Rapporteur of the Secretary-General on human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises) - hence the first opportunity to test the results of his work in practice.
In producing an issue on "Business and Conflict", the Review aims to delve deep into these debates, to provide an overview of some of these initiatives, and to produce an insightful and relevant contribution to the discussions surrounding the role of business in conflict.
The following topics could be analysed:
- Legal obligations of business entities and business representatives under IHL
- International criminal law and business activities
- The 'Ruggie Framework' and its Guiding Principles - their meaning for, and impact on business
- The concept of 'due diligence' for businesses operating in conflict areas
- The regulation of the activities of Private Military & Security Companies
- Conflict minerals and resources
- Large-scale land acquisitions and conflict
- Business enterprises as humanitarian actors
- Multistakeholders' (voluntary) initiatives
- Corporate Social Responsibility
- Business enterprises and non-State actors
Health care in danger: Respect for the medical mission (winter 2012)
Deadline for submission: end of July 2012
At the very foundation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is the care of the wounded and sick in war. Health care personnel, health-care infrastructure and ambulances are targeted. Patients have suffered unnecessary delays at checkpoints. Access to hospitals has been denied. Patients have been removed and then have disappeared from health care by military or law enforcement personnel. Both buildings and ambulances have been appropriated and misused. Many such incidents constitute violations of international humanitarian law and/or human rights law.
The Review endeavours to cover the following topics:
- Facts and figures. Study on Health Care in Danger
- Respect for the medical mission
- The protection of the wounded and the sick
- The use of the emblem by the military
- Impartiality of medical mission
ICRC: 150 Years of humanitarian action (spring 2013)
Deadline for submissions: end of October 2012
Over its history, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has evolved greatly in terms of organisation, structures and modes of action. In recent decades, the organisation has developed tremendously in a fast changing environment. On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the ICRC, this edition will focus on the role that the organisation is playing in today's humanitarian crises.
The aim of this edition is to place recent developments in their broader historical perspective, to discuss the unique position of the organisation in the humanitarian world and in international relations, and to give external actors a chance to share their views on the organisation.
The following aspects could be covered:
- External perspectives on the ICRC from various stakeholders
- Modes of action (incl. confidentiality) in the internet age
- The Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross
- Turning points in the history of the organisation
- Interpretation of ICRC's mission and evolving scope of action
Multinational operations (summer 2013)
Deadline for submissions: end of March 2013
The protection of civilians is now considered to be a task inherent in all international military missions. The scope of peacekeeping operations is no longer limited to and indeed goes well beyond classic activities such as supervising and maintaining cease-fires, observing borders, or acting as a buffer between belligerents. The range of possible assignments includes protection of the civilian population, distributing information about human rights and humanitarian law and collecting data on violations thereof, or providing assistance for war victims. However, the fact that military and humanitarian components coexist within international operations is not unproblematic. Military operations go beyond purely humanitarian objectives and encompass political aims, whereas humanitarian action, by its very nature, can never be coercive. This issue of the Review tries to shed light on these problematic aspects.
The following topics could be covered:
- Are states at war when they engage in "peace" operations?
- Interoperability and complexity of legal regimes (IHL/HRL, etc.)
- Regional peacekeeping missions
- Accountability for peacekeeping troops
- Coordination with humanitarian actors
Generating Respect for the Law (automn 2013)
Deadline for submissions: end of April 2013
Dissemination and implementation of IHL are obligations of states parties to the Geneva Conventions and is seen as an important mechanism to ensure the respect of IHL. The international community and civil society organisations have placed increasing emphasis on prevention measures, which are perceived as more cost-effective than remedial measures. Prevention, together with protection, assistance and cooperation, is also a central component of the ICRC’s work. However, measuring the direct impact of prevention activities on behavioural change is extremely difficult.
This edition of the Review will analyse the range of measures that can be employed to ensure respect of the law, and will explore possible ways of measuring prevention work..
The following topics could be analysed:
- New mechanisms to implement IHL
- Behaviour studies
- From dissemination to engagement
- Measuring results
- Success stories of implementation of IHL
- Engagement of youth
- Strengthening the rule of law
1914 - 2014: The evolution of warfare (spring 2014)
Deadline for submissions: end of September 2013
On the occasion of the Centennial of The Great War, the heritage of this first World War on the law and on humanitarian action will be explored. The Review will also look at the evolution of the battlefields from then until today and will take this opportunity to look at armed violence in the world 100 years later.
Possible aspects covered may include:
- Means and methods of warfare then and today
- The consequences of the war on the law and on humanitarian action / a new international order
- The ethics of violence: The perception of violence and war at the time and today (casualties)
- The ICRC during WWI
- The emergence of the POWs phenomenon
- Civilians in warfare
- The state of conflicts in the world today