Starvation in Non-International Armed Conflict Applicable International Humanitarian Law, Practice and Options for Development

  • Roma Rudra
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  • Roma Rudra

    International Criminal Lawyer with Advanced Master’s in Public International Law (Specialization in International Criminal Law) Leiden Law School, Leiden University, Netherlands

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Instances of Armed conflict have been recorded since time immemorial. The use of arms or force to resolve disputes has been resorted to repeatedly, when other means of resolution have failed. When States resort to armed conflict in pursuit of a political or military objective, they are obliged to provide protection to the civilian population. Failure to do so leads to death, injury, destruction of property and complete disruption of political, social and economic systems which are essential to maintain peace. International Humanitarian Law (IHL) is a branch of International Law that is made applicable for acts undertaken during an armed conflict. It must be applied evenly to all parties involved in the conflict. However, it is observed that there are numerous situations that become apparent, during the conflict itself or on investigation once hostilities have ended, that one or more parties might have not respected their obligations, leading to a violation of IHL. Since time in memorial, Starvation has been used as a means of warfare. In view of widespread employment of this prohibited method of warfare, there is a need to reconsider the existing IHL provisions. This paper seeks to study the provisions of the IHL prohibiting the use of starvation as a method of warfare in a Non-International Armed Conflict. In addition to that, the paper refers to the corresponding provisions of International Human Rights Law (IHRL) and International Criminal Law (ICL) made applicable for a Non-International Armed Conflict. It identifies lacunas in the existing legal framework and suggests possible changes that may be put in place to help achieve effective protection against starvation during a conflict. Lastly, the paper intends to elaborate on the understanding of applicability of Common Article 3 alongside customary practices, while addressing the use of Starvation as a means of warfare.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 4, Issue 4, Page 2775 - 2789


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