Protecting civilians in armed conflict


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The status of the Nagorno-Karabakh region remains the subject of a dispute between Azerbaijan and its ethnic Armenian majority, backed by neighbouring Armenia.

In the late 1980s, towards the end of Soviet rule, Azerbaijani troops and Armenian secessionists began a bloody war which left the territory in the hands of ethnic Armenians when a Russia-brokered ceasefire was agreed in 1994.  Nagorno-Karabakh declared itself an independent Republic but has not been recognized internationally.  Since the truce, a stalemate has prevailed. Negotiations have so far failed to resolve the conflict.

The fighting caused the death or displacement of thousands of civilians, and hundreds of landmine casualties. Nagorno-Karabakh and neighbouring territories are widely contaminated by landmines and other explosive remnants of war, particularly along the ceasefire line which was mined by both sides.


Geneva Call began to engage the de facto Nagorno-Karabakh authorities on the anti-personnel (AP) mine ban in 2006.

Geneva Call also explored ways to assist landmine victims and other persons with disabilities, and brought in the Swiss Foundation for Landmine Victims Aid to support a micro-credit project for landmine survivors lead by the Azerbaijan Campaign to Ban Landmines. Geneva Call also looked at ways to improve the protection of women and children in armed conflict.

Due to a lack of funding, activities were suspended in 2011.

Banning AP mines

In meetings with Geneva Call, Nagorno-Karabakh authorities indicated that they were not in a position to give up AP mines until the conflict with Azerbaijan was settled and all States in the region supported the ban.

Geneva Call lobbied parties to the conflict, and international actors engaged in conflict resolution efforts, for the inclusion of the AP mine ban in peace talks and negotiations. Activities also included advocacy for measures regulating landmine use.

In addition, Geneva Call supported local civil society in raising awareness of the AP mine issue and encouraged cooperation at the regional level among NGOs from both Government and de facto authority-controlled areas.

In 2007, Geneva Call organized a regional conference on mine-related issues in Kiev. More than 30 participants represented civil society and the de facto authorities of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabagh, and made recommendations which were shared with concerned regional stakeholders.

In 2011, a survey of the socio-economic needs of war victims and other persons with disabilities in South Caucasus was published by Geneva Call to support rehabilitation projects for landmine survivors conducted by local NGOs.

Main achievements

  • Geneva Call engaged the de facto Nagorno-Karabakh authorities and made them aware of the international AP mine ban norm.
  • Local civil society organizations received support in order to help develop their advocacy activities in the region.


In Azerbaijan , Geneva Call works or has worked with the following armed non-State actors:

Organization Active Thematic areas
Landmine ban Child protection Gender issues Humanitarian norms
de facto Nagorno-Karabakh authorities Yes
Click on the ticks to display the signed Deeds of Commitment

The ANSA is being engaged by Geneva Call on this thematic area


The ANSA was engaged by Geneva Call on this thematic area


The ANSA has signed the Deed of Commitment on this thematic area

  • is a directory of armed non-State actors commitments. Check out the documents concerning this country on

Related Medias

Strategy 2017-2019


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