Enhancing the security of civilians in conflict

Notifications, evacuations, humanitarian corridors, suspensions of hostilities and other humanitarian arrangements
Research paper Updated 30 April 2024 Published 24 April 2024 ISBN: 978 1 78413 603 1 DOI: 10.55317/9781784136031
Ukrainian soldiers helping an elderly woman and other people to cross a destroyed bridge in the city of Irpin

The desire to alleviate human suffering in conflict situations often leads to calls to establish arrangements to provide some security for civilians caught up in hostilities and to facilitate humanitarian response efforts.

This paper discusses six types of humanitarian arrangements that have been established or called for in recent conflicts: humanitarian notifications, evacuations, humanitarian corridors, suspensions of hostilities, protected zones and no-fly zones.

Some of the arrangements are interconnected, and need to be established in conjunction with one another. For an evacuation to take place safely, for instance, there also needs to be a safe route for people to travel, along with a suspension of hostilities.

For each humanitarian arrangement, the relevant international law is outlined, recurring operational challenges are identified, and recommendations are made for good practice. The concluding chapter of the paper makes some overarching points and recommendations applicable to all the arrangements.