“Be a fighter, not a killer.” That is the main message of the multi-media campaign launched by Geneva Call in Iraq. Over the next few weeks, Geneva Call’s video and radio messages on the law of war will be broadcast intensively on some Iraqi television and radio channels, including Sunni, Shia and Kurdish media.
This will be supplemented by an online campaign on social networks via a new website, www.fighternotkiller.org. From this site, fighters from all parties to the conflict, as well as civilians, will be able to view and download Geneva Call’s thirty-second videos, mobile telephone application quiz and its illustrated booklets on humanitarian norms, the ban on antipersonnel mines and child protection or gender issues.
The campaign aims to develop a culture of respect and humanity in a country that has been faced with armed conflict since 2003. “Do not recruit children under 18”, “Do not take hostages or use human shields” or “Do not displace civilians” are some of the crucial messages conveyed by this campaign.
The campaign was presented last November at a conference in Erbil that gathered many political, military and civil society leaders alongside academics and diplomats.
In parallel to the “Fighter not Killer” campaign, Geneva Call has also planned an intensive programme of training on humanitarian norms in Iraq. These training sessions will be given to fighters and members of political parties, civil society organizations and journalists.
War crimes and violations of humanitarian norms are widespread in Iraq, and the civilian population is paying the highest toll, with more than 35 000 civilian casualties in 2014, according to the United Nations.
This programme has been developed with the support of the European Union in partnership with the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action.