Who we are

Geneva Call is a neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian organization working to improve the protection of civilians in armed conflict. We strengthen the respect for the law of armed conflict by armed non-State actors (ANSAs) and support local communities in their efforts to improve their own protection. During conflict, fighters must comply with the “rules of war” as enshrined in international humanitarian law (and the Geneva Conventions in particular). These rules set out the limits that the parties to conflict must abide by to limit the impact of war on civilian populations. Geneva Call engages ANSAs to encourage them to comply with the rules of war.

Since Geneva Call began its work nearly 20 years ago, we have developed a unique methodology to increase awareness of, and respect for, IHL for the protection of civilians in armed conflict. Geneva Call has a unique and unwavering mission to protect civilians. Whilst other organizations also work to improve awareness of humanitarian norms, Geneva Call is the only organization in the world focused exclusively on creating lasting behaviour change among ANSAs to promote the protection of civilians.

Geneva Call is one of the world’s leading organizations in the field of humanitarian engagement with ANSAs. Geneva Call is active in around 15 contexts worldwide, with offices in seven of them, and has developed a humanitarian engagement with over 150 ANSAs since the year 2000.

History

Key moments over the last twenty years

  • January 2019
    Geneva Call has engaged over 120 armed non-State actors since 2000

    More than 60 of them have signed at least one Deed of Commitment.

    Destruction of all remaining stockpiles of anti-personnel mines held by the Polisario Front

    The Polisario Front destroyed 2,485 stockpiled anti-personnel (AP) mines, bringing the total number destroyed to date to 20,493

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  • November 2018
    Launch of a new Deed of Commitment on protecting healthcare in armed conflict
  • October 2018
    Launch of the “Culture Under Fire” study on armed non-State actors and the protection of cultural heritage
  • June 2018
    Geneva Call adopts a new visual identity to reflect its broader and more international mission
  • January 2016
    First World Humanitarian Summit

    At the invitation of the United Nations, a delegation of Geneva Call participated in the World Humanitarian Summit

  • January 2014
    First demobilization of child soldiers

    Kurdish armed forces demobilize 149 child soldiers in Syria following their signature of the Deed of Commitment. This is the first demobilization of children thanks to the work of Geneva Call.

    Geneva Call at the United Nations Security Council

    Geneva Call addressed the United Nations Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Forces for the first time

  • January 2013
    Launch of "Fighter not Killer"

    The Fighter not Killer campaign is launched

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    New report published

    Geneva Call publishes a report on armed non-state actors and displacement in armed conflict

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  • January 2012
    Launch of a new Deed of Commitment

    Geneva Call launches the Deed of Commitment on the Prohibition of Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict and towards the Elimination of Gender Discrimination

    Geneva Call launches http://www.theirwords.org

    a unique online directory of commitments, policies and agreements made by ANSAs on issues related to international humanitarian law and human rights

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  • January 2010
    Geneva Call launches a second Deed of Commitment on the protection of children
  • January 2009
    Ban Ki-Moon praises the work of Geneva Call

    The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, mentioned Geneva Call’s work for the first time in the Report on the Protection of Civilians calling the Deed of Commitment a “successful example” of an initiative to seek to end the use of anti-personnel mines by armed groups

  • January 2005
    Geneva Call at the African Union

    Geneva Call was invited to present its mission and activities to the Peace and Security Council of the African Union

  • January 2004
    Geneva Call organises an unprecedented conference

    Geneva Call organized an unprecedented conference bringing together 32 combatant and ex-combatant women for a workshop to discuss their experiences within armed opposition groups and their potential roles in promoting humanitarian norms

  • January 2002
    Geneva Call organises a roundtable discussion

    During the Fourth Meeting of States Parties to the Ottawa, Geneva Call organised a roundtable discussion bringing together representatives of ANSAs who have signed a Deed of Commitment and government representatives

    First Geneva Call verification mission

    Geneva Call carries out its first verification mission (to the Philippines) to address compliance by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front with the Deed of Commitment for Adherence to a Total Ban on Anti-Personnel Mines and for Cooperation

  • January 2001
    First signature of a Deed of Commitment

    The Sudan People Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) is the first ANSA to sign the Deed of Commitment for Adherence to a Total Ban on Anti-Personnel Mines and for Cooperation in Mine Action

    The European Parliament votes to support NGOs working with ANSAs

    The European Parliament, following a proposal made by Geneva Call, voted unanimously to call on the international community to support the efforts made by specialised NGOs, such as Geneva Call, to engage ANSAs to ban landmines

  • January 2000
    Geneva Call is officially launched in Geneva

    The conference Engaging Non-State Actors in a Landmine Ban organized by the Swiss Campaign to Ban Landmines and other country chapters of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines is the opportunity to launch the new organization

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