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2 J. Int'l Humanitarian Action 1 (2017)

handle is hein.journals/jinthuma2 and id is 1 raw text is: Buck Journal of International Humanitarian Action (2017) 2:5
DOI 10.1186/s41018-016-0016-6

Journal of International
Humanitarian Action

.    .                    .         - CrossMark
Displacement and dispossession: redefining                                            -
forced displacement and identifying when
forced displacement becomes pillage
under international humanitarian law
Kerrin Geoffrey Buck
Conflict-induced migration is arguably the most urgent humanitarian challenge today. A growing number of
people are forced from their homes each year. The dispossession of civilians by armed parties, furthermore, through
forced displacement has become a prevalent phenomenon. This article seeks to provide clarity to civilians,
humanitarians, and other stakeholders, attempting to reduce civilian vulnerability to forced displacement through
the application of international humanitarian law (IHL). While IHL prohibits forced displacement, pillage, and illegal
appropriation, a number of problems arise when we try to implement these laws in practice. Establishing the
illegality of an act of forced displacement, for example, may require legal analysis on a case-by-case basis.
Furthermore, whether appropriation by force due to military necessity is legal or illegal is unclear due to a
divergence between IHL treaty provisions and customary international humanitarian law (CIHL). In addition, when
forced displacement becomes illegal, appropriation or pillage is not defined. This paper views these problems from
a Humanitarian Protection perspective. The objective of the article is to provide practical criteria for stakeholders
aiming to apply the law in protection of civilians and their property.
Keywords: International humanitarian law, Forced displacement, Pillage, Illegal appropriation

It will suffice to mention that millions of human
beings were torn from their homes, separated from
their families (...) among whom there were a great
many women, children, old people and sick, (...)
thankfulness for the prohibition embodied in this
paragraph, which is intended to forbid such hateful
practices for all time (ICRC 1958 Commentaries
Art 49) (GC VI 1949).
The objective of this paper is to define international
humanitarian law (IHL) which can be applied to reduce
civilian vulnerability to forced displacement and illegal
appropriation or pillage through displacement. The paper
will, therefore, clarify the illegality of forced displacement
Correspondence: kerrinbuck@gmall.com
University College Dublin, Ballinatone, Greenan, Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow,

1 Springer Open

and identify when forced displacement becomes illegal
appropriation or pillage, under IHL. The paper will
achieve this through a research analysis which culminates
in legal findings. Finally, a number of recommendations
will be made for the application of these legal findings by
humanitarians and other stakeholders to reduce civilian
vulnerability to forced displacement and illegal appropri-
ation through displacement.
The paper includes analysis of the international crim-
inal and humanitarian law (ICHL) research of the El
Rosario International Law Clinic carried out for the
International Criminal Courts' (ICCs')-Office of Public
Council for Victims (OPCV). The research of the
concerns, the ordering of forced displacement (Old-
solo et al. 2016). This research is central to the find-
ings of the paper and provides the legal criteria that
those responsible for forced displacement during con-
flict are obligated to fulfil.

© The Author(s). 2017 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and
reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to
the Creative Commons license. and indicate if chanoes were made.

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