Webinar - The protection of civilians in Gaza: environmental injustice and human rights abuse

15h00-16h30 (CET) Registration link      
February, 1st 2024
6:07 pm
Zurich (+02:00)



The video recording of the event is available below.


The participants presentations are available below.

Ms Marie Schellens, Project Officer, PAX.

The webinar will address the protection of civilians in the armed conflict in Gaza under human rights law. It is today commonly accepted that human rights law continues to apply during armed conflicts. International human rights law and international humanitarian law share the goal of preserving the dignity and humanity of all. Over the years, the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council have considered that, in armed conflicts, parties to an armed conflict have legally binding obligations concerning the rights of persons affected by an armed conflict. Moreover, while not many data are still available, the armed conflict in Gaza will also have severe long-term environmental impacts turning Gaza into a wasteland. Scholars from various disciplines are also engaged in studying the reverberating impacts that are not directly or immediately caused by a military attack, but they are a product of it. These impacts can affect livelihoods, health or food sectors. In the last years, there have been also legal developments on urban warfare and the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflict such as the 2022 International Law Commission’s Draft Principles on the Protection of the Environment in relation to Armed Conflicts (ILC PERAC Principles) and the 2022 Political Declaration on Strengthening the Protection of Civilians from the Humanitarian Consequences Arising from the Use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas (EWIPA Declaration). 

The statements made by the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross emphasize the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza and that both the Palestinian and Israeli civilian populations must be protected in accordance with international humanitarian law and human rights law. The panellists will explore the role of human rights mechanisms such as the United Nations Special Procedures. Such mechanisms are a voice of the rights of the victims of the armed conflict in Gaza. The United Nations play a role to ensure that the rights of both Parties in the armed conflict are protected. An emblematic example are the current deliberations by the International Court of Justice, the main judicial body of the United Nations, in the case concerning the Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip (South Africa v. Israel).

Speakers will include:

  • Professor Pedro Arrojo-Agudo, United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights to water and sanitation.
  • Ms Marie Schellens, Project Officer, PAX.
  • Dr. Raji Sourani, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights.                                     
  • Professor Mark Zeitoun, Director General of the Geneva Water Hub. 

The event is organized in partnership with:






The event flyer is available below.