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IBA’s human-rights arm calls for Gaza ceasefire

02 Nov 2023 / human rights Print

IBA’s human-rights arm calls for Gaza ceasefire

The human-rights arm of the International Bar Association, the IBAHRI, has called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, and for the creation of humanitarian corridors and civilian safe havens.

The institute has also called called for the immediate and safe return of all hostages taken into Gaza.

Its statement came a day after the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court told the IBA’s annual conference that the court had a dedicated team “actively investigating” the situation in Gaza.


The organisation said that it had been closely monitoring events since what it described as the “atrocities” carried out by Hamas on 7 October.

It stressed that it had previously condemned Hamas’s actions and acknowledged Israel’s right to self-defence.

“The IBAHRI also understands the requirement for context, while not condoning actions or viewing in a vacuum,” it said, adding that its position on the situation in Israel and Gaza was premised on international law.

Proportionality principle

It said it wanted to “firmly” remind all parties to the conflict that the principle of proportionality applied to all uses of military force, irrespective of the rationale.

The IBAHRI added that the humanitarian-law principles of distinction – distinguishing between military and civilian objects – and proportionality were “sacred” and must be complied with at all times.

The institute stated that international human-rights law and international criminal law continued to apply in armed conflict.

‘Special respect’ for children

As well as calling for a ceasefire, the IBAHRI urged all parties to take appropriate steps to remove children from harm and called on the UN and the international community to support those efforts.

“The Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, are clear in calling for special respect, protection and care to be granted to children during armed conflict,” it said.

The institute also described the moving of people to South Gaza while air strikes continued in the same area as “wholly unjustifiable and reprehensible”.

It added that it was also “imperative” that the regular firing of Hamas rockets into Israel stopped.

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