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Protecting rights in conflict situations and fragile states

Working papers

The concept of human rights has a range of potential applications in conflict situations and weak institutional environments. In conflict situations, wherever civilians are at risk, there is by definition an infringement of the individual’s right to personal security, and in most cases infringements of a number of other rights. Post-conflict situations and weak institutional environments are also defined largely by the state’s inability to meet the basic needs of its population. In this paper, two sets of questions will be examined concurrently: how rights can best be protected in conflict and post-conflict situations; and the extent to which a rights framework can help guide policy interventions in these contexts.This background paper for ODI's event series on Human Rights and Poverty Reduction investigates these issues.

Clare Lockhart