“Safe areas”: The international legal framework

In recent years there have been repeated calls for the establishment of so-called "safe areas" to protect civilians from the effects of hostilities in a number of contexts. The present article presents the international law framework relevant to the establishment and operation of such areas: the provisions of international humanitarian law on protected zones; the rules regulating resort to armed force, Security Council authorization and mandates for the establishment of such areas by multinational forces in the absence of agreement between belligerents; and the refugee and international human rights issues raised by such zones.

About the author

Emanuela-Chiara Gillard
Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict

Emanuela-Chiara Gillard is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict at the University of Oxford. She is also a Research Fellow in the Individualisation of War Project at the European University Institute, and an Associate Fellow of the International Law Programme at Chatham House.