Author Archive

By the slightest margin…the failure of two wires to cross, a nuclear explosion was averted

hiroshima_sml

On the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Louise Sarsfield Collins writes that accidental nuclear detonation is a much more pressing threat than nuclear war.   We all know that Japan was the first country the US dropped nuclear bombs on. What fewer people know is that the second country the US […]

A Menace That Never Goes Away

Decommissioned Munitions

By Louise Sarsfield Collins
Last month a cannon ball from the Spanish Armada washed up on a beach in Sligo. This munition dating from the 1500s was still intact although happily, without a cannon to fire it, not particularly dangerous to handle. It got me thinking however about more modern explosive remnants of war (ERW)…

Five Legal Provisions That Aid the Missing and Their Families

Serbia: The families of missing persons strive to make their voices heard. © ICRC

Serbia: The families of missing persons strive to make their voices heard. © ICRC

When people disappear in connection with armed conflict or other violence, their relatives endure terrible suffering as they struggle to find out what happened. Here are five examples of International Humanitarian Law that aid the missing and their families: 1. Renewing contact with family members Article 26 of Geneva Convention IV states that, each Party […]

International Humanitarian Law and Cyber Operations

A group of experts, professionals and students gathered last Wednesday evening, 27 March, in Dublin to discuss IHL and Cyber Operations – where something old meets something new.  The discussion was facilitated by Lt. Col. Jerry Lane, Irish Defence Forces but as always participants provided many lively and thought provoking comments throughout the evening. The […]

Protection of the Natural Environment during Armed Conflict

Thursday last, 10 January 2013 a group of students, experts, and professionals gathered in Dublin to discuss what protections, if any, are afforded to the natural environment during armed conflicts be they international or non-International in character. The discussion was facilitated by Dr Heike Spieker, German Red Cross and Ms Tara Smith, Irish Aid and […]

A Beginner’s Guide to IHL: part 3…Who exactly is protected?

Only one more day until the Irish Red Cross IHL Conference ‘Reporters Lives on the Line’ …time to address the all important question… Who exactly is protected by IHL? People who are protected by IHL include wounded and sick combatants who have essentially been removed from the fight, Prisoners of War, and civilians. As already mentioned civilians are […]

A Beginner’s Guide to IHL: part 2

As I prepare for this week’s Irish Red Cross IHL Conference ‘Reporters Lives on the Line’ I thought I’d address some of the most common question I comes across in my role as International Humanitarian Law Dissemination Officer with the Irish Red Cross. So, today we look at just how does IHL limit the effects of armed conflict and are […]

A Beginner’s Guide to IHL

As I prepare for this week’s Irish Red Cross IHL Conference ‘Reporters Lives on the Line’ I thought I’d address some of the most common question I comes across in my role as International Humanitarian Law Dissemination Officer with the Irish Red Cross… What is International Humanitarian Law aka IHL? Essentially, IHL demands that even wars have limits by […]

A Strong Arms Trade Treaty Will Save Lives

UN Member States are currently in New York to negotiate a treaty to regulate international transfers of conventional weapons. I previously blogged about the need for an effective arms trade treaty here and over the coming month will be watching the progress in New York and hopefully blogging some more on the issue.

International Day against Homophobia

There has been a lot in the news lately about the campaign across the globe for marriage equality.  In the United States, Barrack Obama recently said in an ABC interview that he personally believed that “same sex couples should be able to get married”.  Sadly, incidences of discrimination and even violence against LGBT people continue […]