Protecting civilians in armed conflict
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FIGHTER, NOT KILLER: A mobile application to raise awareness of the law of war among armed groups

19th May 2015 | all countries - all thematics

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Can a hospital be targeted if the enemy is inside and targeting you? Can you enrol young people as combatants without being sure they are 18? Can you pretend to surrender in order to attack your enemy by surprise? These are the types of questions—and they sometimes involve complex answers—that many combatants in armed groups might ask themselves in conflict areas. Geneva Call’s new mobile application quiz – called Fighter, not Killer- is available in English, French and Arabic and provides the answers to these questions in a simple yet meticulous way.

Download “Fighter not Killer” for free

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Two years ago, Geneva Call launched a video campaign to raise awareness of the law of war (international humanitarian law) among the Syrian opposition. Today, it is launching a mobile phone application, available on both iPhones and Android phones, in order to raise awareness of the law of war among combatants, commanders, officers, political leaders and civilian populations.

The quiz has two levels of difficulty and 28 scenarios. Users are faced with true-to-life situations and questions related to war tactics, assisting the wounded, the use of certain weapons, child protection or the conduct of hostilities. If they answer correctly, users can access Commander Level; here they will be confronted with more intricate scenarios, but they will receive a certificate of achievement if they are successful.

Disseminating the law of war to warring parties, and in particular to armed groups, is essential to ensuring the protection of civilian populations during conflicts. However, this remains a major challenge as the members of these armed groups have rarely received a basic training, have varying levels of education and are located in remote areas. This application will try, at least partially, to overcome these difficulties.

“In order for armed groups to respect the law of war, it is vital that they learn about it and appropriate its tenets. This mobile application is a tool—alongside our illustrated booklets and videos—that will complement our dialogue and training in the field. It will lead to an even broader dissemination of the rules that protect civilians in conflict,” added Elisabeth Decrey Warner, Geneva Call’s President.