Geneva Calls strives to improve the protection of civilians during armed conflicts by engaging armed groups and de facto authorities (AGDAs) to respect international humanitarian norms– international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law (IHRL).

The possibility of humanitarian organizations engaging all parties to the conflict is provided for in Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. This work in no way changes the legal status of AGDAs.

Geneva Call undertakes this through the following steps:

Geneva Call regularly conducts a humanitarian engagement with AGDAs to raise their awareness on international humanitarian norms and convince them of the value of adhering to these norms.  This humanitarian engagement is complimented by training on the general rules of IHL, as well as on specific humanitarian norms, using tailor-made modular training.  The training includes presentations and practical exercises that aim to address AGDAs’ practical concerns about implementing international standards in the contexts in which they operate.

Geneva Call uses a range of tools, which are often complimentary to each other, to secure humanitarian commitments from AGDAs:

  • Deeds of Commitment A standardized unilateral declaration signed by the political and military leadership of the AGDAs and countersigned by Geneva Call (as the witness) and the Government of the Republic and Canton of Geneva (as the custodian). All the Deeds of Commitment mirror international standards on specific thematics and include both negative and positive obligations. Incorporated within the Deeds is a specific provision allowing Geneva Call to monitor compliance.
  • Unilateral Declarations – Public undertakings made by AGDAs in which they pledge to abide by humanitarian norms, either through general or specific rules.
  • Internal Rules & Regulations – Internal rules and regulations are put in place to control AGDA members’ behaviour and, in some cases, the civilian population living in areas under their control. They include codes of conduct, standing orders, military manuals, internal organizational documents, penal codes, decrees and legislation.
  • Bi-lateral or multi-lateral Agreements – Formal agreements concluded between parties to a conflict and/or humanitarian actors to respect humanitarian norms often, but not always, linked to peace processes.

Geneva Call follows-up each commitment made in a continuous manner. A plan is developed and regularly reviewed for each type of commitment with the AGDA that identifies the areas in which they require assistance or capacity building from Geneva Call, as well as measures they will take to implement their commitment within a specific timeframe (such as issuance of command orders, training, dissemination, disciplinary sanctions, etc.). When relevant, it will also include monitoring provisions, requesting the concerned AGDA to facilitate the access of Geneva Call and partners to certain areas.

Thanks to our field-based structures, Geneva Call monitors compliance with AGDA commitments. Information is collected by Geneva Call directly from field observations, as well as from the AGDAs themselves and other third parties. The results of compiled cross-checked information on adherence or violations of commitments are regularly discussed confidentially with the AGDA leadership.

Through regular reports shared with the AGDA leadership, Geneva Call encourages the AGDA to take appropriate remedial measures to address violations.

If the AGDA consistently refuses to address serious violations of its commitment, the violations continue, and all avenues for trying to address the violations have been exhausted, Geneva Call may consider suspending its dialogue with the AGDA and publicly reporting such violations.

Geneva Call interacts and conducts activities with other stakeholders, including governments, UN agencies, international NGOs and local organizations, in order to mobilize support for the engagement process. This facilitates access, security, implementation support, compliance monitoring, and overall support of the work.

List of armed groups and de facto authorities signatories to Geneva Call's Deeds of Commitment

Landmines & explosive weapons Child protection & education Sexual violence & gender discrimination Healthcare Other commitments

Arakan Rohingya National Organisation 2003 2003
CNF/CNA 2006 2014 2014
KNPP/KA 2012
Lahu Democratic Front 2007
National United Party of Arakan 2003
Pa'O Peoples Liberation Organisation 2007
KNU/KNLA 2013 2013

Conseil National pour la Défense de la Démocratie-Forces de Défense de la Démocratie 2003

APCLS 2016 2019 Unilateral declaration - 2019

KNF 2014
Kuki National Organisation (KNO) 2006 2015 2015
National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khole Kitovi (NSCN-KK) 2014 2014 2014
NSCN-IM 2003 2015
Zomi Re-unification organisation 2009 2016 2013

KDP-Iran 2010 2012 2012
Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan 2009 2012 2012
Komala Party of Kurdistan 2009 2012 2012
PAK 2015 2015 2015
PDKI 2007 2012 2012
PJAK 2010 2015
The Kurdistan Organization of the Communist Party of Iran 2009 2012 2012

KDP Peshmerga (80 Forces) Code of Conduct - 2018
Kurdistan Regional Government-Erbil 2002
Kurdistan Regional Government-Sulaimanyia 2002
Peshmerga under MOP (Ministry of Peshmerga) - KRG Code of Conduct - 2018
PUK Peshmerga (70 Forces) Code of Conduct - 2018
Sunni PMF (Nineveh Guards) under the commission in Baghdad Memorandum of Understanding - 2018

PLO/PNSF in Lebanon (includes Fatah, Popular Front, Democratic Front, etc) Unilateral Declaration - 2013
Tahaluf (Alliance of National Forces in Lebanon - includes Hamas, Islamic Jihad, PFLP-GC; etc) Unilateral Declaration - 2013

CMA 2022

RPM-M/RPA 2003

Banadiri 2002
Hiran Patriotic Alliance/Somalia Reconciliation and Restoration Council 2002
Jowhar Administration 2002
Juba Valley Alliance 2005
Puntland State of Somalia 2002
Rahanweyn Resistance Army/Somalia Reconciliation and Restoration Council ("Madobe") 2002
Rahanweyn Resistance Army/Somalia Reconciliation and Restoration Council ("Shatigudud") 2002
Somali African Muki Organization/ Somalia Reconciliation and Restoration Council/ Nakuru 2002
Somali National Front/ Somalia Reconciliation and Restoration Council 2002
Somali Patriotic Movement/ Somalia Reconciliation and Restoration Council ("Gabyow") 2002
Southern Somali National Movement/ BIREM 2002
Southern Somali National Movement/ Somalia National Army/ Somalia Reconciliation and Restoration Council 2002
Transitional National Government 2002
United Somali Congress/ North Mogadishu/ Somalia Reconciliation and Restoration Council 2002
United Somali Congress/ Somali Salvation Army 2002
United Somali Congress/ Somalia National Army/ Somalia Reconciliation and Restoration Council 2002
United Somali Congress/Somalia National Army/ Somalia Reconciliation and Restoration Council /Nakuru 2002

JEM 2012
SLM-AW 2014
SLM-MM 2014
SPLM-N 2013 2015
Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army 2001

Al-Jabha Al-Shamiya 2022 2022
Al Watan Liberation Movement/FSA 2017 2017
Brigade 51/FSA 2017 2017 2017
Brigade Al Hamza/FSA 2017 2017
Brigade Al Motassam 2017 2017 2017
Central Division/FSA 2019 2017 2017 2019
Division 23/FSA 2017 2017
Faylaq Al-Sham 2022 2022
First Coastal Division 2017 2017
FSA/Hazzm 2014 2014
FSA/ Union Force 21 2017 2017
SDF humanitarian declaration - 2016
YPG/YPJ - Autonomous Administration of North-East Syria (AANES) 2014 2014
Autonomous Administration of North-East Syria (AANES) 2014

HPG/PKK/KCK 2006 2013 2016 SVGD-2016

Polisario Front 2005

Southern Transition Council (STC) 2019 2019 2019

BRN 2020
Total 54 31 25 5 9
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