HPG - Influencing States’ Policy and Practice on the Protection of Civilians

This Briefing Note explores the current practice of international humanitarian organisations in seeking to influence states on their policy and practice regarding the protection of civilians in armed conflict. It considers what factors are inhibiting and enabling these organisations’ influence on states, and sets out suggestions for how to increase influence in this regard.

The research for this Briefing Note focused on key Western states in Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, and on engagement at global, rather than crisis, level. This focus was necessary due to considerations of time and scope. But the findings of this research also offer relevant lessons for engaging states beyond this narrow group, and at crisis and regional levels.