Protecting civilians in armed conflict


Geneva Call works in the following ways:

An inclusive and progressive approach to armed non-State actors (ANSAs)

Geneva Call engages ANSAs through what it calls an ‘inclusive’ approach whereby ANSAs have the opportunity – by signing Deeds of Commitment – to express their adherence to international humanitarian norms and to take ownership of these rules.

The approach is also ‘constructive’ in that it seeks to influence ANSAs through a sustained process of dialogue and advocacy rather than by coercive means such as ‘naming and shaming’.

When ANSAs are not prepared to commit to abide by international standards, Geneva Call pursues a step-by-step approach, seeking incremental improvements to reduce impact on civilian populations.

Education and training 

Geneva Call educates and trains ANSAs on the issues of sexual violence in armed conflict and gender discrimination; the protection of children in armed conflict; the Law of Armed Conflict; and obligations under international law related to landmines, improvised explosive devices and explosive remnants of war.

A set of modular tools supports the training. Developed with adult education specialists, these include presentations and practical exercises, and aim to address ANSAs’ practical concerns about implementing international standards in the contexts in which they operate.

Mobilizing and strengthening civil society

Civil society plays a role in self-protection from the impact of conflict, and in humanitarian advocacy towards ANSAs.

Through dialogue, partnership, awareness-raising and training, Geneva Call works with civil society actors to build their knowledge and capacity to advocate towards actors in their environment for greater respect of humanitarian norms.

Follow-up and monitoring 

Sustained follow-up after an ANSA has signed a Deed of Commitment is crucial. The signing does not in itself guarantee a better respect of humanitarian norms, but provides a useful tool to hold signatories publically accountable for their pledge.

Through monitoring and implementation support, Geneva Call seeks to ensure that ANSAs’ commitments translate into actual practice.

When appropriate, direct assistance may also be provided to communities and victims living in ANSA areas.

Strategy 2017-2019


Geneva Call
47 chemin de la chevillarde
CH-1224 Chêne-Bougeries
Tel : +41 22 879 10 50 - Fax : +41 22 879 10 51

Armed non-State actors

  • List of armed non-State actors who have signed one or several Deeds of Commitment see the table.