When did the notion of human shielding begin to crystallize in the international political arena?
And although this military campaign presented its own specificities, the way the concept human shield was deployed throughout the fray helps reveal why the accusation of human shielding applies only to certain political actors; why only certain subjects can become human shields while others are excluded; and what is the foundational logic and political implications of these distinctions.
Human shielding refers to the use of persons protected by IHL, such as prisoners of war or civilians, to deter attacks on combatants or military sites.
While human shields have been used throughout history in order to protect both military and non-military targets, (1) it took the greater part of the 20th century for the legal category of human shielding to crystallize into its contemporary normative meaning.
While the Belgian case may have been one of the first instances whereby an enemy army was explicitly accused of using human shields by an official commission, during and after World War II human shielding was referred to more frequently.
6) More recently, the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court characterized human shielding as a war crime.
First, we are interested in all forms of human shielding, both voluntary and involuntary, particularly since the latter comprise the vast majority of human shields.
It also suggests that human shielding has a very pronounced spatial and architectural dimension.
Appropriating the same logic advanced by the liberal human rights NGOs, the anti-terrorism think-tank accused Israel's enemies of human shielding.
8) Hence, in order to understand how the phrase operated during Israel's war on Gaza it is vital to develop a critique of human shielding that is concomitantly a critique of both military and semiotic violence.