New TRW Publication – Toxic Harm: humanitarian and environmental concerns from military-origin contamination

New TRW Publication – Toxic Harm: humanitarian and environmental concerns from military-origin contamination

By Dr Mohamed Ghalaieny. A discussion paper reviewing the problem of toxic pollution from conflict and military activities, presented with an analysis of: existing concerns, methods of study, current legal and environmental controls and their deficiencies and suggested areas for future work. It concludes with a methodology for the assessment and hazard ranking of substances from military activities. The executive summary is presented below, and the full text can be downloaded from here.   Executive Summary Introduction This paper introduces concerns over civilian and environmental harm stemming from the release […]

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Workshop Report: Exploring a legal framework for Toxic Remnants of War.

Workshop Report: Exploring a legal framework for Toxic Remnants of War.

In June 2012 the TRW project held a legal workshop at the Free University of Berlin, Germany. This post introduces a summary report on the workshop and provides links to some of the presentations made. The congregation of experts in international, humanitarian and environmental law aimed to examine the current legal protection for the environment from the chronic effects of war and conflict and to explore the phrasing of a legal approach on TRW. Such an approach seeks to consider the use, health impact and environmental behaviour of a range […]

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Toxic Remnants of War: Update on Berlin Legal Workshop and US Meetings

Toxic Remnants of War: Update on Berlin Legal Workshop and US Meetings

This is the first post on the Toxics Blog in several weeks as it has been a particularly busy period for the TRW Project. The period began with the legal workshop in Berlin, which aimed to review the state of legal protection for the environment in times of conflict. Following Berlin, we conducted a series of meetings in the US: meeting with states and NGOs on the fringes of the Arm’s Trade Treaty negotiations in New York, and later a series of meetings with NGOs in Washington DC. More prosaically, […]

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Defining the TRW legal framework – first thoughts

Defining the TRW legal framework – first thoughts

By Prof. Manfred Mohr, Alexander Stöcker and Katharina Rieniets. The emerging concept of Toxic Remnants of War (TRW) is a relatively new addition to the broader field of humanitarian disarmament. It has developed out of concern for the lasting environmental damage and chronic health effects caused by toxic substances from munitions and military activities during armed conflict. TRW is a matter of environmental protection, which itself is subject to various branches of law – as opposed to a specific treaty. Legal provisions pertaining to the environment are likely to be […]

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The ICRC and recent developments in the protection of the environment during conflict

The ICRC and recent developments in the protection of the environment during conflict

In 2008, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) began a process of reflection to: ‘determine whether, and to what extent, international humanitarian law (IHL) as it exists today continues to provide an appropriate response to the humanitarian problems arising in armed conflicts.’ After analysing the nature of contemporary conflict and the applicability of existing legal frameworks, the ICRC then consulted with states on its findings to gauge the level of support for each thematic area under the heading of strengthening legal protection for the victims of armed conflicts. […]

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Introducing the Toxic Remnants of War Project

Introducing the Toxic Remnants of War Project

The rapid development of military technology has led to a wide variety of substances being employed in offensive and defensive roles in contemporary conflict. Simultaneously, a move towards asymmetric warfare has seen civilian populations and infrastructure bearing the brunt of armed violence in recent years. Efforts are underway to reduce the impact of this shift, with the indiscriminate use of explosive and incendiary weapons under increasingly close scrutiny – but one element of civilian protection that has not been explored in great detail is the health burden stemming from the […]

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