An analysis based on a Consultation hosted by the Rockefeller Foundation and the International Institute for Strategic Studies


This report is based on a one-day consultation attended by 35 experts with a broad range of experience in field missions with International Organizations and Non-governmental organizations in conflict zones experiencing significant human rights abuse of civilian populations. The objective of the consultation was to examine, informally, both intergovernmental and non-governmental experiments with medium to large-scale civilian unarmed monitoring in conflict situations, and whether expanding and improving the use of such monitoring missions could offer increased protection to civilian populations and moderate violent conflict. The participants in this meeting were mostly experts with field experience in these missions, as well as those who are actively engaged in seeking out ways to initiate new missions in ongoing conflicts. We hope that the conclusions of the meeting will contribute to the better use of this tool to protect civilians and reduce conflict.

This analysis, and the consultation upon which it is based, focuses on large-scale missions with extended ground presence, as opposed to shorter investigative monitoring visits by human rights NGOs or governmental bodies. Examples of such experiences include the human rights monitoring aspects of UN peacekeeping missions in El Salvador, Guatemala, Rwanda, Bosnia, East Timor and elsewhere, the OAS/UN civilian mission to Haiti, or OSCE experiences such as the KVM in Kosovo in 1999. On the NGO side we are looking at such ventures as the Ecumenical Monitoring Project for South Africa, the International Federation for East Timor’s referendum monitoring presence in 1999, the Ecumenical Accompaniment Project for Palestine and Israel currently being initiated by the World Council of Churches, the multi-institutional accompaniment of the return of Guatemalan refugees in the mid-1990s or the expanding long-term presence of Peace Brigades International in Colombia.

For the purpose of this paper, the term “unarmed monitoring” refers to a fundamentally civilian presence with a political rather than military impact. Although some of the operations studied may have had armed military personnel involved, they were not forceful armed interventions, and their effectiveness at protecting civilians on the ground was not dependent on the option of resorting to force.

The international community has recently witnessed a highly developed debate and analysis of the role of military intervention in conflicts and human rights crises, such as Bosnia, Kosovo, Sierra Leone and others. Comparatively little similar attention has been paid to the impact and effectiveness of the many unarmed missions that have sought to reduce violent conflict and human rights abuse. There are numerous possible explanations for the apparent low profile of this promising tactic: its efficacy is hard to prove; it is less dramatic and headline-grabbing than military efforts; it goes against widely-held stereotypes that violence can only be faced with violence. Nevertheless, such unarmed monitoring has become an important tool in conflict management and human rights protection, sometimes alongside other missions, sometimes in their absence. It deserves more concerted analysis and promotion.

The consultation consisted entirely of interactive discussion rather than formal presentations. The morning session was devoted to thematic analysis of five general areas of questions affecting all such field missions, each of  which were discussed in separate simultaneous break-out sessions. The afternoon was largely devoted to exploring two immediate situations in which new field projects were about to be launched: the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission consequent to the recently signed cease-agreement fire between the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam), and the Ecumenical Accompaniment Project in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), being launched by the World Council of Churches. The final plenary raised ideas for continuing the discussion and developing collaboration among the diverse institutions involved in these efforts.

Thematic Discussions

Why bother?

The initial question we faced was the most general: Does experience to date with large-scale protective unarmed missions suggest that such missions are necessary and successful, and that we should be strategizing how to improve and expand them? A positive answer to this question was suggested in the call to attend the consultation at all. Another positive signal can be seen in the enthusiastic interest that the invited experts showed in coming – the consultation was organized on very short notice, yet nearly every single invitee managed to rearrange their schedule to attend. This interest was further affirmed by the general atmosphere of the entire consultation, which was clearly positive and looking for solutions to overcome some of the current challenges this work faces.

Beyond these subjective measures, though, the initial plenary recognized that it is extremely difficult to measure the protective or preventive impact of a field presence. A number of subjective or partial measures were suggested, including:

a)      continued interest in the presence on the part of the conflicting parties

b)      any notable change in incidence of violence or abuse when presence in reduced or augmented.

c)      Direct statements or other diplomatic evidence of sensitivity to the presence on the part of potential perpetrators of abuse.

d)      Access to areas that were inaccessible before or without the presence.

e)      Other critically related dynamics, such as population movements. (For example, the KVM presence in Kosovo in 1998-1999 arguably staved off massive displacement during the cruel winter months, thus saving many lives.)

In many cases, an international human rights presence has accompanied a gradual reduction in conflict and an eventual peace accord and democratic transition. But it is next to impossible to isolate the many causal factors in order to attribute this change in part to the impact of the field presence itself.  There is nonetheless significant evidence and analysis suggesting that both large and small scale missions, by both IGOs and NGOs have played an important part in preventing attacks against civilian populations in conflict, as well as facilitating and encouraging ongoing peace processes (see selected bibliography). Although protection is usually difficult to prove, and never assured, it was a strong sense of the experts gathered at the consultation that unarmed field missions have had many important successes, will have more. They need to be taken seriously and perfected as an important tool for international conflict management and human rights protection.

1. Access, Diplomacy and Pressure

A large-scale international presence aimed at the protection of civilians needs to be “sold” effectively to the conflicting parties, especially if the sponsoring agency is an inter-governmental body. The mandate and packaging of the mission will always be a significant factor. Each party in conflict will have different reasons for wanting or not wanting the presence. In most cases, a strong message of impartiality will be a must, and the extent to which this message is deemed to be credible by the parties may be decisive.

We might think of these missions as having three overlapping rationales: 1) Political – such as supporting a resolution of the conflict and its causes, 2) Conflict reduction – reducing levels of violence, and 3) Civilian protection – preventing human rights abuses. States might for a variety of reasons be resistant to 1 and 3, but may be more amenable to 2. Thus the second approach might be the one to emphasize when approaching states. Likewise, to the extent that a state or its military are concerned about infringements of sovereignty, an unarmed mission can be “sold” as being far less threatening than an armed presence.

Resistance to access is also affected by institutional stereotypes or misunderstandings. Thus, important players inside the state may be concerned that any involvement of the UN will open them up to public scrutiny by all member states. There may be ways to lessen this resistance by demonstrating the variety of approaches different UN players can take in such a process. Similarly, sometimes even the most neutral and objective of INGOs are judged in the same basket with the most radical when a state is on the defensive against criticism.

The actual process of gaining access involves a complex array of incentives, diplomatic pressures, and potential sanctions in order to convince the parties that they have less to lose and more to gain by allowing the international field presence than by resisting it. Other regional players, envoys, and behind-the-scenes diplomacy can play a significant role. In more complex IGO missions, the combination of a monitoring presence with significant institution-building and/or development support can be an important carrot. If there is sufficient political will and international interest in the presence to back up these different carrots and sticks, then the parties can sometimes be persuaded to allow in a monitoring presence that will substantially constrain their actions against civilians. Nevertheless, there is still considerable doubt that conflicting parties can be constrained or forced to comply with human rights rules unless they have longer-term reasons to benefit from such a change of behavior. In other words, they need to see a benefit not only from the monitoring mission in the short-run, but also from the longer-term peace which such missions intend to support. A monitoring presence alone cannot sustain a politically untenable deal.

The process of gaining access might on the other hand involve a downplaying (or even undermining) of the eventual potential impact of the field mission. In others words, the parties may allow access only if they can be convinced that the presence will not actually constrain them in any tangible way, and that they will have significant control over the parameters of the presence. They may place severe conditions on the presence, such as preventing the monitoring presence from releasing public reports, or delimiting the size or geographic extension of the presence, or the range of issues the presence is mandated to observe. In some cases the resulting mission may be permanently crippled by such conditions. But in others the mission may be able to expand its impact once it gets established on the ground, despite the initial conditions.

This dilemma yields two possible approaches to access: one can make significant compromises simply to get a toehold on the ground for the human rights monitoring idea. Or one can try to hold out for a more ideal mission mandate, extending the negotiating process and upping the ante of carrots and sticks. Past experience might suggest that there are certain basic minimum thresholds of mandate, independence and manoeuvrability that a mission must have in order to be credible and effective, and that short of such thresholds there is increased risk that the mission (and its sponsoring agencies or nations) will be manipulated by the parties in their own interests. But unless the parties have something to lose if there is no monitoring mission, the sponsoring agencies may be in no position to loosen these conditions. In each case, the political context of the conflict will be a determining factor, but also the political identity of the agencies considering sponsoring the mission.

Frequently a monitoring project has been an outgrowth of a formal mediation process. This raises another dilemma: On the one hand the mediating body will have developed a good understanding of the needs of the conflicting parties and the agreements they have reached and is thus in a good position to insist upon compliance and support for the field mission. On the other hand, there are potential conflicts of interest if the mediator is doing the monitoring – something the parties themselves sometimes insist upon as a condition for access. The neutrality of the reporting of events by a good monitoring mission, for instance, could be deeply skewed by the mediator’s natural tendency to wish to avoid threatening the agreement by upsetting the parties. Conversely, the mediator’s good relationship with the parties could be adversely affected by the performance and output of the monitoring mission.

Access is also an important concern for NGO large-scale presences, but the parameters are quite different. NGO missions are generally not in the context of mediated agreements. [1] They may strive for impartiality, but rarely will both parties to a conflict be equally convinced of it, since the initial impetus for the NGO presence is nearly always a humanitarian concern for a specific population of victims. Since they are working outside of a political agreement, and without the international clout of an IGO and its member states, they are more vulnerable to expulsion at any time. On the other hand, NGOs have much lower thresholds for initiating a presence: they can start small and then grow. Or one group may start a presence, and then build a broad coalition of allies to augment it.

NGOs also have greater flexibility to enter and are often the only presence on the ground in conflicts where the UN or other IGOs have not gained access. For one thing, some NGOs are willing to enter a country quietly, perhaps without even transparently declaring their mission. Secondly, like an IGO, some NGOs combine a human rights presence with a development aid role, thus providing resources a state is interested in keeping. Thirdly, states are much more willing to dismiss an NGO presence at the outset as ineffective, and thus be less resistant to initial access – yet they are often hesitant to absorb the political costs consequent to expelling NGOs whose presence proves to have more impact than they initially expected. Furthermore, NGOs are often quite resilient in the face of expulsions.

Finally, the access question has regional and local ramifications. Often a formal monitoring project is allowed to operate in a country or a conflict, but only within specific geographic limitations. These limitations can prevent the mission from monitoring critical areas of human rights abuse, thus effectively allowing the armed parties to control the output or even compromise the impartiality of the monitoring process  The more informal NGO presences are sometimes in a position to risk going to areas that are off-limits to a formal presence. In some cases, though, states or security forces prevent NGO access to certain areas as well—or might grant access to a formal IGO monitoring operation but not to an NGO. In a long-term presence, different kinds of operation may have different options available to them to manoeuvre or negotiate for expanded geographical access within a conflict area or national territory.

2. Unpromising or Deteriorating Conflicts

Can an unarmed field mission protect civilians when the local players are escalating the conflict? The consultation had a number of experts with experience in such situations, such as Haiti in 1993, Kosovo in 1998 and early 1999, East Timor in August of 1999, or Colombia right now.

One difficulty with measuring protective impact is that the concept of protection has many definitions, and different missions have different emphases. At its most basic, it might simply mean keeping people alive and preventing attacks. But it can also include the upholding a variety of other human rights norms beyond the right to life. Protection can also have a more long-term political emphasis – thus advocacy or other influence over the political process can result in a more protected environment for civilians.

Whether an unarmed mission will protect civilians will depend significantly on the objectives and sensitivities of the armed actors, and the perceived ability of the mission to activate these sensitivities. The armed actors’ sense of impunity in particular will be a major factor, as they will be less sensitive to an international presence if they feel it will bring no negative consequences to their actions. If, however, they perceive the mission to be organically connected to sectors of the international community who can positively or negatively affect their prospects, they will be more sensitive, even in a context of escalation. Thus, a field mission and the international structure to which it is accountable need to have strategies in place for reducing the impunity of the armed actors, and diplomatic means of impressing upon them that there are political costs associated with their abuses.

Nevertheless, if an escalating military situation has an armed party against the wall, on the defensive, political concerns may take a back seat to immediate military security realities. The threat of international censure does not weigh in heavily when a group feels its immediate survival is at stake. Perhaps the most dangerous situation is when one of the armed parties believes it has nothing to lose, or seems completely impervious to outside influence. Other military factors that can impinge on the feasibility of the presence are the use of indiscriminate weaponry, or the destruction of communication lines between the mission and the outside world.

In any risky situation, an international field mission must not create false expectations of security in the population,  which might encourage people to take undue risks. Generally a large IGO mission builds up a high degree of credibility in the eyes of the population during its first six months or so–sometimes too high. An external human rights mission can unintentionally flag certain key contacts among the local population as leaders or “troublemakers” in the eyes of the armed players, putting them at greater risk than before. Clearly, if an international presence is putting local people in greater danger it becomes untenable and counter-productive – but determining when this line is crossed is a tough judgment call, for the same reasons already mentioned regarding the difficulty in measuring protective impact. If a mission decides its presence is no longer having a positive impact, and chooses to leave, it must nevertheless take all necessary precautions for the protection of those who were depending upon it, as well as for the protection of its local contacts and staff.

In these sorts of situations it is crucial that the mission have a clear structure of decision-making and accountability, and that the volunteers be well-trained to be objective even about the merits of their own presence. Good will and courage are positive attributes, but a field presence in an escalating conflict is not a place for heroes and saints. It must also be able to analyze a situation and know when it is time to leave. To do this it needs to keep a constant finger on the pulse of any and all objective and subjective indicators of the effectiveness of the presence, and of the dangers the mission may represent for the population. It should have alternative courses of actions for a variety of scenarios, including evacuation. And, perhaps above all, it needs capable people responsible for such decisions.

A monitoring mission must also recognize that one of its impacts is to give legitimacy to the armed groups or governments that allow it access – this after all is one of the benefits the parties perceive in the presence at the outset. When the situation deteriorates, the unarmed mission may find itself in the middle of a conflict in which the originally drawn-up rules and norms are being broken. But the parties are still benefiting from the legitimacy the mission’s presence gives them, a legitimacy that is no longer defensible. This transformation in turn can call into question the legitimacy of the mission itself.

As with the question of access, different types of institutions will face different limits and parameters in a deteriorating situation. An IGO mission predicated on a mediated agreement may be impossible to sustain once the agreement is derogated. IGO’s sometimes also face strenuous resistance from member states to sustaining an open-ended presence in an escalating conflict. Smaller organizations tend to stay longer.

3. Human Resources

IGO and NGO field missions share many similar challenges when it comes to human resources, including:

a)      difficulty recruiting the right mix of skills to match the needs on the ground, including language skills, leadership cadres, technical capacity and political analysis.

b)      Difficulty establishing common and consistent standards for recruitment.

c)      Inconsistent quality and consistency of training.

d)      Skill fade; the need for ongoing training and briefing.

The consultation noted that there has been considerable improvement in all these areas in recent years, and that there is potential for more collaboration between IGOs and NGOs. For instance, as more mission experience is built up, there is a growing cadre of experienced mission leaders, and with this experience comes a better capacity for predicting and planning the mix of personnel needed for such field missions. A number of countries have developed updated rosters of experienced and trained personnel for field missions, rosters which can be called upon for recruitment purposes as new missions arise. Some of these rosters may also be tapped by NGO missions. [2]

A related issue is the need for clear Codes of Conduct for field mission staff. Such Codes not only build unity and consistency within the mission, but can also improve the credibility of the mission to the local community as well as the outside world. Large-scale NGO efforts, which have often been organized on a coalition basis with multiple and diverse sponsoring agencies, have often had great difficulty uniting on a common code of conduct for field personnel or volunteers, if they have tried at all.

There are now a number of qualified training centers for international (IGO) peace missions. Many of these training centers are open also to NGO participation. UN mission personnel are taking such training courses more frequently, but it is voluntary, and still not a prerequisite for service.

Among NGOs doing human rights field presences, there has been an ad hoc process that has gotten gradually more systematic, in which newly-conceived NGO missions or coalitions are more and more frequently calling upon experienced NGO activists from prior missions to assist them with matters of training, selection criteria and codes of conduct. This is a considerable step forward from the past, when such efforts tended to arise spontaneously within a given regional crisis, with no taking advantage of historical memory or past experience in other regions. The presence at this consultation of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Project in Palestine and Israel is one example of this advance. Organizers of this yet-to-be-deployed effort were making a conscious and systematic attempt to take advantage of prior efforts and experience in this work before launching their own volunteers into a conflict situation.

4. Integrating with local people and organizations

As a general rule, close integration or collaboration with both the local population and the local government are seen to be positive and often necessary goals for a field mission, as long as such contact is deemed not to inhibit effectiveness or contradict the mandate. In particular, all large missions, whether IGO or NGO based, need to have some contact and relationship with the host government, even if the government is perceived to be the primary abuser of human rights. Such contact is essential both for the protection of the mission, and also in order to effectively communicate pressure for protection. A similar case can be made in some contexts for maintaining contact with significant non-state armed groups, for the sake of self-protection and potential avenues for pressure, although this will not always be possible or recommended. [3]

Close relationships with local civil society can also be crucial, both for building local trust in the mission, and for developing access to critical information about what is going on. Such access to information can be very important for the security of the mission itself, as well as basis for its external reporting. These relationships will be the basis for eventual institution-building within civil society towards the goal of establishing sustainable human rights support on a national level, independent of international presence.

But these two types of local integration are certainly not symmetrical. A formal IGO presence may benefit from the credibility and clout associated with good relationships with governmental authorities, but at the same time may be unable to extricate itself from “guilt by association” with abusive governments, or, as mentioned earlier, may face deliberate legal constraints or conditions imposed by such governments. In some cases the relationship with the government can itself have a constraining influence on the possibilities of building strong relationships with civil society. INGO’s on the other hand, may be constrained from developing a good relationship with governmental authorities due to their close pre-existing relationship with local civil society actors, or due to government resistance. Both kinds of relationships can be important, but they are not equally accessible to all kinds of field operations.

Close contact with government or with civil society groups can call into question the impartiality of the mission. The host government is often one of the armed parties responsible for abuses. “Civil society” is always an amalgam a many groups with diverse and even conflicting ideologies and objectives. It is not always easy for an international mission to know exactly who it is dealing with, or what the political implications of each connection might be. For an IGO presence, with a rigid mandate of “impartiality” such political alliances might seem particularly risky.

NGO missions will also face this problem. Even if their goal is one of solidarity and they are willing to forego an image of impartiality, they will still benefit from having contact with as broad a cross-section of civil society as possible, rather than limiting themselves to one faction or sector. Such a network of contacts will give them better access to information and a more objective basis upon which to analyze it, and will also allow them to project a more objective image to the outside world as well as the local population.

There are built-in dilemmas in these relationships. Sometimes a field mission’s credibility in local perceptions is dependent on its transparency, yet it may be functioning under a mandate imposed by the armed groups or government constraining it from releasing the information it gathers. In other cases, local civil society actors desire the closest possible solidarity from the international presence, yet the closer the international mission appears to be to a particular faction, the less it will be seen as impartial and internationally credible – and this credibility may be a key factor in the protection the presence intends to offer.

One suggestion for improving local relationships is to encourage international entities to make greater use of staff from other countries in the same region, who might share some of the cultural and political understandings of the locals, especially in situations where there may be strong opposition to or stereotypes towards Westerners based on colonial history or current perceptions of global power dynamics. Unfortunately there are often also strong opposition to or stereotypes towards people from neighboring countries, especially if these countries are in some way involved in the conflict.  This can complicate relationships in a different way. There are also a variety of ways in which international institutions can use and benefit from local staff—learning from them about the political situation and involving them in analysis and strategy rather than merely hiring locals for service roles.

With the rapid growth of national, regional, governmental and nongovernmental human rights institutions all over the world in the last decade, new possibilities for relationships and collaboration are constantly emerging. Perhaps in the future, local human rights groups can play a greater role in the design of international missions destined for their country, or in the recruitment, selection and training of the field personnel. Clearer institutional relationships may be developed between international missions and national governmental or nongovernmental human rights institutions.

This variety of possibilities can be combined with a long-term view. The importance of good local relationships is not merely for the benefit of the international field presence and its immediate objectives. There should also be attention paid to the way in which the international presence can help to strengthen local governmental and civil society institutions to sustain a strong human rights presence after the international mission leaves. This kind of institution-strengthening can only occur if solid mutual relationships are developed.

IGO – INGO relations in the field

INGO and IGO efforts in the field can be complementary and perhaps even collaborative, though within limits. NGOs are sometimes important sources of information and contacts for UN missions, not to mention sources of potential personnel. INGOs can benefit from the umbrella of protection that a UN presence offers on the ground, and more generally, linkage and collaboration among different kinds of agencies can improve the security coverage for all. NGOs with flexible mandates can sometimes get involved in important behind the scenes work that government organizations cannot publicly support, yet from which they may benefit. Sometimes IGOs actually farm out important tasks to INGO and NGO allies. This can be an efficient use of complimentary resources and skills, though it can also raise political concerns if, for instance, if the UN appears to be leaving fundamental aspects of its responsibility to the NGOs.

IGOs are often very concerned about the question of INGO impartiality, a concept which is always controversial and susceptible to a broad range of definitions in practice. A UN mission may prefer to work only with “impartial” NGOs, but it is not a cut-and-dry matter distinguishing which INGOs fit this criteria. In some cases, NGOs coming from a “solidarity” perspective make no claim to impartiality, yet they may be the most numerous international protective presence on the ground (e.g. right now in Chiapas, or in Central America in the 1980s). IGO’s also fear that some INGOs may be loose cannons whose behavior can be detrimental to other organizations on the ground.

One approach to this latter concern is the idea of cross-institutional codes of conduct. Such codes can give different organizations a standard for measuring each other’s behavior, and grounds upon which to communicate concerns. Individual agencies and missions should have their own Code of Conduct, perhaps a general one that spans many contexts and conflict situations. [4] But an inter-agency process of developing a particular code of conduct in a given conflict setting can be an important learning experience through which different kinds of agencies come to understand the mandates, constituencies and constraints faced by collegial organizations working in the same conflict. When organizations take such codes seriously, they can be integrated into training and orientation processes in a way that helps different organizations benefit from the experiences and lessons learned by others. Codes of conduct can also aid in transparency and communication between the agencies and the local community and government.

INGOs are also concerned about the “partiality” of inter-governmental missions, based on concerns about the political strings attached to missions by member states, as well as the necessarily close relationship with the host government. Similarly, some INGOs are closely tied to (and funded by) their home government, and while this tie may actually give them greater clout and ability to influence the parties, it also poses questions about their impartiality.

Case Discussions

The afternoon was spent discussing two very topical and difficult cases: Sri Lanka and Israel/ Palestine. In both conflicts, political developments have moved so quickly since the consultation that it will serve no purpose in this paper to go into the political details of the conversations. The consultation also operated with a commitment to confidentiality, meaning that in order to achieve an honest and critical approach which take advantage of the expertise in the room, we would not publicize any details or criticisms that might in any way negatively affect the development of these programs. However, some general ideas surfaced which can serve to illuminate future situations.

First and foremost, it was recognized that the most useful and exciting feature of this consultation was the timing and choice of cases, which allowed us to focus the significant expertise in the room on an analysis of imminent missions which were both still in the planning stages. It was suggested that this could be a powerful tool to use more systematically in the future. Any monitoring mission in the planning stage could benefit from a serious and critical analysis bringing together the kind of experts we had at this consultation, and perhaps arranging such independent consultations should be an important feature in mission planning. Such a process would of course have to respect the delicacy and confidentiality of any ongoing negotiating processes. But it should be possible to implement, since it is in no one’s interest that this perceived “delicacy” inhibit mission planners from learning lessons from past experiences.

Sri Lanka

The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) was the result of a mediating process facilitated by the Norwegian government between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which resulted in a cease-fire on February 23, 2002. At the time of the March 14, 2002 consultation the specific modes of implementation of the SLMM were still being defined, and a representative of the Norwegian Foreign Ministry attended to listen to the variety of expertise present. The consultation was able to bring together, unofficially, various Sri Lankan human rights activists, international NGO activists with direct work on Sri Lankan human rights, and UN mission experts with interest in the conflict.

Participants addressed concerns that the mission was fundamentally a limited cease-fire-monitoring operation. Its planned size was small, the geographic terrain of application limited, and the allowed processes for reporting or registering of complaints arguably insufficient. The SLMM had only a very limited mandate in the field of human rights, and particular concerns were raised about issues not specifically noted in the Mission’s mandate. These include the use of child soldiers, freedom of movement (beyond the specific provisions included in the Agreement in relation to LTTE members); freedom of association, and from arrest for exercise of lawful political rights; freedom of expression and of the press; and guarantees to enable displaced persons to return to their homes and carry on their economic activities. Nevertheless, there is some mention of human rights monitoring in the agreement, and this opens the door to some significant monitoring possibilities.

Despite these concerns, the general sense of the discussion was that the cease-fire agreement and the monitoring mission were limited but still important for civilian human rights protection, and they needed to be taken full advantage of in order to get the greatest possible benefit for the population. There was some concern that the monitoring (and its implicit possible protection of human rights) was vulnerable to the possible demise of the cease-fire, and given past experience in Sri Lanka this is a substantial vulnerability, although it is not necessarily the case that the monitoring mission would end if the peace process fell apart.

Participants brainstormed ideas of parallel processes that might complement the cease-fire agreement and SLMM. One option was to promote a separate and more coherent human rights agreement among the parties. Such an agreement might mean that greater political costs (such as the breakdown of the peace process) would be associated with human rights abuse. Or it might mean that some agreements related to human rights could be maintained even if the cease-fire broke down. This separate agreement could explicitly address some of the issues that are not mentioned in the current agreement, and could spell out processes for complaints, response and reporting, covering the entire national territory rather than specific military zones. It might also specify relationships between this process and existing human rights entities within the Sri Lankan system (including the national Human Rights Commission, the judiciary, local NGOs, etc.)

Another idea was to implement parallel monitoring operations by other international entities (IGO or INGO). Although there is the usual resistance on the part of the armed parties to UN involvement, there may be diplomatic ways of pressing on this resistance. The active involvement of Scandinavian countries already may create diplomatic openings for other kinds of IGO involvement.

On the NGO side, some sort of umbrella of internationals could create a monitoring presence which would help complement the SLMM. Tamils might face considerable inhibition and fear in approaching the government/LTTE-connected SLMM with complaints, but have an easier time dealing with an independent international NGO presence. An independent international presence could also encourage “national” monitoring by Sri Lanka organizations. Thus a linked network of national and international NGO presence could be an important method of monitoring as well as a crucial source of information for the SLMM. Right now there is a certain window of opportunity for such a presence, given the cease-fire, the government’s international sensitivity and its willingness to give out visas.

Subsequent to this consultation, Ian Martin carried out a fact-finding mission for the International Working Group on Sri Lanka, looking into possibilities for dealing effectively with the human rights situation there after the cease-fire. In talking with representatives from across the political spectrum, he encountered a strong belief “that attention now to human rights issues was entirely supportive of the peace process, and that any early tolerance of human rights abuses would threaten the process.” [5] His report’s comments on the possibilities for expanded international monitoring articulately expand on some of the discussion of the consultation, and are worth quoting here in detail:

“I consistently asked about the possible desirability of increasing the number of international monitors on the ground beyond those deployed by the SLMM. Most of my interlocutors felt that this was highly desirable. International personnel have a greater possibility of having a dissuasive effect on human rights abuses and may be more readily trusted than local monitors. Moreover, in view of the past experience it is likely to be some time before local monitors can be fully confident to operate freely on both sides of the line of control in former conflict zones. The confidence of local monitors and that of the local population is likely to be enhanced if there is an international presence.”

“There are a number of ways in which international human rights monitors could be associated with current or envisaged arrangements, beyond the SLMM. An official body, including the proposed parliamentary committee or the National Human Rights Commission, could invite such assistance, which could then be provided through an intergovernmental organization of which Sri Lanka is a member – the United Nations or the Commonwealth. In view of the reluctance of previous Sri Lankan governments to invite any expanded UN role, I asked about the acceptability of – for example – technical advice on human rights monitoring through the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and/or the use of UN Volunteers as human rights monitors. (UNVs have played such a role effectively elsewhere, and are already deployed in the work of UNICEF and UNHCR in Sri Lanka.) This was explicitly regarded as an acceptable possibility by the Prime Minister, who referred to the very different attitude of his government to the role of the UN, indicated by his request to the Secretary-General to send a UN needs assessment mission to Sri Lanka.

“A possible alternative approach would be to associate international monitors within the framework of a civil society monitoring network. This would build on the precedent set by the work of Sri Lanka civil society groups in election monitoring, where they have invited and organised international participation. In this case the international monitors might be organised through international NGOs – for example Peace Brigades International (PBI), which previously operated in Sri Lanka over many years.

“A number of interlocutors expressed the hope that the IWG could play a role in proposing arrangements for international monitors to appropriate international organisations, as soon as the different possibilities outlined above have taken shape, and the role of official bodies and civil society networks have been clarified.” [6]

As of this writing, a new non-governmental organization, called the Nonviolent Peace Force, is organizing the deployment of several teams of monitors to explicit respond to this perceived need for increased human rights protection during the transition. Debate continues in Sri Lanka regarding how to best protect human rights within the framework of the negotiations, the cease-fire and the SLMM. This debate is raising many of the same issues raised in the course of the March 14th consultation. Whatever solutions are found or attempted will further inform developing thinking about the potential impact of different kinds of monitoring presences in conflict zones.

Israel and Palestine

We were fortunate to have present representatives of the TIPH, the Temporary International Presence in Hebron, an independent joint effort of six governments which has been providing a substantial presence of well over 100 monitors in Hebron for several years as an outgrowth of the Oslo peace process. Representing the EAPPI (Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel) project currently being launched by the World Council of Churches were its Executive Coordinator and several members of its newly established advisory committee. We were also acutely aware of how the conflict in that region was so tragically holding back well-intentioned peace efforts: Monseigneur Maroun Lahham of Latin Patriarchate, Jerusalem, an invited Palestinian participant of the EAPPI planning process, was prevented from attending due to curfew limitations. A few days after our consultation, two members of the TIPH monitoring  mission were killed while on duty in Hebron. [7]

This discussion enabled us to look at two extremely different styles of international presence, and to consider some of what has been learned by TIPH in thinking about the upcoming deployment of EAPPI. The TIPH presence is based on a formal arrangement between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, through which what was previously one of the most vulnerable communities to political violence has had a large and extended monitoring presence. [8] The presence benefits from the agreement by having direct access to both sides’ authorities. Its reports go to both parties as well as to the six governments sponsoring the monitors. On the other hand, the formal agreement constrains the monitors from intervening in any way in the situation they monitor, even in cases where they directly witness abuses. It also requires that their monitoring reports remain confidential, with no public distribution.

The EAPPI project, on the other hand, is an international church-based mission responding to a direct call for help and solidarity from Palestinian churches in Jerusalem and other humanitarian, human rights and peace organizations in the Palestinian Occupied Territories and Israel. It benefits from no formal governmental approval, and will have no built-in channels of communication with governmental authorities unless it succeeds in building them itself. Although it will not have the kind of formal institutional support of sponsoring governments that TIPH can count on, different governments are financially supporting respective churches in their countries and facilitating their participation. Some of these same governments can be expected to be actively protective and supportive of their own citizens and church representatives in a conflict zone. WCC benefits from a global web of official governmental contacts and will build on the existing channels of communication with different authorities. [9]

As long as it is not formally expelled, EAPPI will have a free hand to report publicly on what it monitors, accompany church and humanitarian workers, threatened civilians as well as nonviolent protest actions, intervene where feasible in incidents witnessed, and actively lobby and advocate both nationally and internationally for human rights and peace in the region. This lobbying capacity, based on the significant global constituencies of the member churches of the World Council, may be one of its most substantial protective impacts in the region, given that the Israeli government is so resistant any formal intergovernmental role such as the UN, and yet still sensitive to international opinion, especially in the US.

Sponsors of a formal accord-based presence like TIPH (or SLMM, or many UN missions) are quick to point out that their monitoring cannot in itself enforce any behavior, and that the success of the agreements and the achievement of respect for human rights is entirely dependent on the will of armed parties. A project like EAPPI, in contrast, works from the assumption that the lack of such positive will on the part of the armed groups is exactly the problem they aim to address, by building up both internal and external pressure on the armed groups to change their behavior, while also supporting the development of nonviolent alternatives inside the society. EAPPI is framed within the broader Middle East policy of the World Council of Churches in the region, which is based on international humanitarian and human rights law, including UN resolutions. It is explicitly committed to lobbying internationally to pressure for an end to the illegal occupation of the territories by Israel. This naturally puts such a project in a more controversial and adversarial position. Even though the EAPPI will follow WCC policies to condemn all forms of violence including target assassinations, suicide bombings and military snipers, it may still be perceived by some to be a more controversial and adversarial program than the TIPH. The EAPPI is developing as a civilian advocacy and accompaniment program rather than a “third-party monitoring” exercise, through which the WCC and all its member churches and ecumenical partners will aim at advocating for the rights of the local churches, building awareness, changing public opinion and lobbying their governments and most importantly will work alongside Palestinians and Israelis who are advocating for a peaceful resolution of the conflict and an end to the occupation of Palestine. It  can legitimately claim to be impartial in the humanitarian sense of its commitment to the human rights of victimized civilians on all sides of the conflict. But this claim is unlikely to convince governmental or inter-governmental bodies of its political impartiality, given that it is advocating for a political solution supported by only one side in the conflict.

In this case of a profoundly asymmetric conflict where the established state dominates the terrain, the state is resistant to inviting in outside witnesses. A field presence can only sustain its presence if the state allows it. EAPPI may not function with explicit permission or invitation of the state of Israel, but its volunteers will only be able to stay in the territory if the state makes at least a tacit decision to tolerate its presence. TIPH, on the other hand, is explicitly invited, yet it functions with an awareness that elements within the Israeli system oppose its existence and want it out. Thus both presences, different as they are, face the dynamic that their political and protective effectiveness may be circumscribed by the risk of harassment, intimidation or expulsion.

Both also face the difficult reality of working as “outsiders” in a deeply polarized conflict. Outsiders are inevitably judged as being on one side or the other, and such judgments carry inherent and profound risks for the monitors themselves. These risks were made very clear when the two TIPH monitors were killed in March. The WCC may do its utmost to avoid any stereotyping of the EAPPI as “pro-Israeli” or “pro-Palestinian,” presenting itself as accompaniers of both Palestinians and Israelis who are committed to ending all forms of injustice and violence through non-violent means only. Nevertheless, EAPPI will be inevitably judged by some as “pro-Palestinian,” because it is clearly most closely linked with local indigenous Christians who are mainly Palestinian. The corresponding and mistaken inference that this makes it “anti-Israeli” is one that will put it in danger (although there may also be the opposite risk: that any western presence may be stereotyped as pro-Israeli.)

In TIPH’s case, it risks being “other-identified” by both sides: on the one hand the Oslo framework and the built-in constraints against intervention and public reporting can leave Palestinians feeling that the monitors are upholding the status quo, giving Israel a public relations benefit without offering real protection. On the other hand, any monitoring presence is usually felt to be more of a constraint on the dominant governing power, because even the confidential reporting to a small circle of government has an impact on the state’s image, and this creates animosity, especially within the security forces.

Finally, and most sadly, TIPH and EAPPI at this stage are both swimming against the tide of political momentum around them. Unlike the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, which is operating in the context of a peace process supported by both armed parties as well as the international community, these missions are facing a breakdown of peace processes, increasingly polarized armed groups and contradictory pressures from the international community – especially the United States. Neither operation is responsible for these problems, rather they must adjust to what we referred to in an earlier section as a “deteriorating or unpromising” conflict, with no simple exit strategy.

In facing these challenges, such operations will benefit from a mutual recognition of being in the same boat. Because the political ramifications and operations of the two presences are so different, there may be reason to maintain a safe distance from each other, and to respectfully recognize that such different mandates cannot work too closely together without contradiction. Nevertheless, they will have a great deal to offer each other in terms of experience, understanding of the situation on the ground, mutual support and even mutual protection, and should nurture a cooperative and respectful relationship in both directions, without compromising each other’s position.

One additional issue that arose in the plenary discussion was the relationship between monitoring and the media, especially in a conflict like Israel/Palestine that receives so much press attention. What do independent monitors add? On the one hand, good and objective monitoring can be an important resource for the media. Also, massive media coverage does not imply balanced or accurate coverage, and outside monitoring can provide some balance to the picture. Media reports are often not placed within a contextual framework of international law or human rights, while a monitoring operation can make sure that the facts on the ground are interpreted through these lenses.

Where do we go from here?

The lively experience of putting such capable heads together to look at two missions about to be fielded in conflict zones left no doubt that such a process ought to be systematically organized for any mission in its planning phase. A confidential meeting of experts who know both the region and the kind of operation being considered, where hard questions can be asked, and important lessons shared, cannot help but improve the planning and implementation of a new field mission. Any institution charged with mounting a field presence in a conflict ought to look for ways to build in such feedback and advice into their planning, in a way that will not compromise the political delicacy of the planning process, yet will allow the planners to take advantage of a substantial and growing field experience in these kinds of operations among a diverse set of organizations.

A second unique aspects of this consultation was the bringing together of both INGO and IGO activists to share field experience and wisdom, and this was generally appreciated. It was felt that additional gatherings of this sort, preferably longer ones, would be productive in furthering this process, and perhaps result in better collaboration in the future. The sharing of information and ideas is of course helpful, but with greater trust and connection this could go much further, including such possibilities as joint trainings, and confidential meetings to share analysis of specific conflict situations.

In more concrete terms, many specific suggestions arose during the day for improving the quality, professionalism and implementation of field operations, including taking advantage of the growing capacity for training and consulting in field monitoring operations. The need was noted for some sort of dependable method for retaining and transmitting historical memory and lessons learned from all the different kinds of missions that have been working towards similar goals of protecting civilians in conflict, even if this was not their sole or primary mandate. There are thus many other institutions who should also be included, and whose experiences could inform a process of improvement of the quality of all such field operations.

INGOs and IGOs could also share and collaborate more in research, analysis and evaluation, both of monitoring and human rights field presence in general and of particular conflicts or operations. Such collaborations would build relationships that could encourage more coordination in the field in conflict zones, where frequently there are many simultaneous operations reinventing the wheel. In addition, there are agencies in IGOs and in individual governments who are very interested in active involvement in human rights, democracy and governance in conflict and post-conflict situation, but who often lack field experience and connection and could benefit from such research and collaboration of field practitioners.

Thinking more ambitiously, clearly there is insufficient capacity both in the IGO and NGO communities to provide the scale of field presences that current conflicts in the world demand. IGOs are limited by political restraints and lack of resources. NGOs face an even greater lack of resources and also lack sufficient political clout to guarantee access and effectiveness. In the long run, we need to look for combinations that use the comparative advantages of the different institutions. There may be ways in which IGOs can more effectively support NGO operations with both political and resource support in situations where politics are preventing IGO involvement on the ground.  NGOs may be able to better use their political constituencies to lobby and advocate for more resources and more deployment of UN and other IGO missions on the ground where their presence is badly needed. Such collaboration will require an ongoing process of learning from each other’s experience, building alliances, and working together.

Appendix 1: Selected bibliography on unarmed human rights monitoring in conflict

Ewald, Jonas and Hakan Thorn, Peace Monitoring in South Africa: an evaluation of a cooperation between Swedish and South African organizations, Swedish UN Association, 1994.

Frohardt, Mark, Diane Paul and Larry Minear, Protecting Human Rights: The Challenge to Humanitarian Organizations, Occasional Paper #35, Thomas J. Watson Institute for International Studies, Providence, RI, 1999.

Henkin, Alice, ed. Honoring Human Rights and Keeping the Peace: Lessons from El Salvador, Cambodia and Haiti, The Aspen Institute, 1995.

Henkin, Alice, ed. Honoring Human Rights: From Peace to Justice, The Aspen Institute, 1999.

Kenny, Karen, When Needs are Rights: An Overview of UN Efforts to Integrate Human Rights in Humanitarian Action. Occasional Paper #38, Thomas J. Watson Institute for International Studies, Providence, RI, 2000.

Mahony, Liam and Luis Enrique Eguren, Unarmed Bodyguards: International Accompaniment for the Protection of Human Rights, Kumarian Press, West Hartford, 1997.

Martin, Ian, “A New Frontier: The Early Experience and Future of International Human Rights Field Operations,” Netherlands Human Rights Quarterly, Vol.16 No. 2, June 1998.

O’Neill, William G. “Gaining Compliance Without Force: Human Rights Field Operations,” in Chesterman, Simon, ed. Civilians in War, Lynne Reiner, Boulder, Colo. 2001.

Schirch, Lisa, Keeping the Peace: Exploring civilian alternatives in conflict prevention, Life and Peace Institute, Uppsala, Sweden, 1995.

Welchman, Lynn, “Consensual Intervention: A Case Study on the TIPH,” Background Paper for the Centre for International Human rights Enforcement, 1994.

Appendix 2: Consultation participants

Nomi Bar-Yaacov: Visiting Fellow, IISS, Junior Research Fellow at St. Antony’s College, Oxford. Expertise in Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Experience in United National Department of Political Affairs, UN field missions in Haiti, Guatemala. OSCE/OIDHR experience in in Albania, Bosnia, Serbia and Montenegro, and as a war crimes investigator in the Bosnian-Serb Republic.

Sandra Beidas: United Nations missions in Haiti and Angola. Formerly in the Americas Research Department at Amnesty International.

John Bevan: UN monitoring in Haiti, El Salvador and Guatemala and East Timor. Consultant to OHCHR in Angola (1998) and Equatorial Guinea (2001). Formerly worked for World University Service (NGO) and Amnesty International.

Paul Bonard, Protection Division, ICRC

Mark Brown, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Ecumenical Accompaniment Project

Dr. Kevin Clements: Secretary General of International Alert.

Radhika Coomaraswamy:

United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women and The Director of The International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Global Faculty of The New York University Law School.

Peter Cross: Project Coordinator for Southern Africa for Saferworld.

Marc DuBois: Humanitarian Affairs Department, Medecines Sans Frontiers (MSF)-Holland.

Luis Enrique Eguren, MD (Spain): Protection and Strategy Officer for the Colombia Project of Peace Brigades International since 1994. NGO field experience in El Salvador, Guatemala, Colombia and Sri Lanka.

Kaare Eltervaag: Senior Adviser/International co-ordinator for the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH), Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Section for Middle East Affairs. Worked on developing monitoring missions for Sri Lanka and the Nuba mountains, Sudan. OSCE missions in Kosovo, Vojvodina and Belgrade, including as Political Adviser to the Head of the OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission from October, 1998, and later Head of the OSCE Assessment Team to Kosovo, and Chef de Cabinet,  OSCE Mission to Kosovo.

Ms Salpy Eskidjian: World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Accompaniment Project in Palestine and Israel.

Ms. Somsri Hananuntasuk (Berger): Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL), Election Monitoring Program Coordinator. Organized missions to observe the elections in Asian countries i.e. Cambodia, Indonesia, E.Timor, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bangladesh, Malaysia, etc.

Elizabeth Hodgkin: Middle East Program, Amnesty International.

Margareta Ingelstam: Christian Council of Sweden, focus on education and training for work in conflict areas.

Dr. Floresca Karanasou: Quaker Peace & Social Witness, London. UD.Phil (Oriental Studies), University of Oxford, England, UK, 1992.

Saskia Kouwenberg:. August 1999 co-coordinated 135 independent observers of the International Federation for East Timor during the Timorese referendum and the destruction that followed.

Dr. Paul Lalor, International Institute for Strategic Studies, Middle East Research Fellow

Col. Christopher Langton: Head of the Defence Analysis Department, IISS and Editor, The Military Balance & Research Fellow for Russia and the CIS. Miltary experience in Northern Ireland, Russia and the CIS, including the countries of the South Caucasus and Central Asia. Was Deputy Commander and Chief Military Observer of UNOMIG.

Liam Mahony: Rockefeller Foundation consultant. NGO Field monitoring experience with Peace Brigades International in Guatemala and Haiti, and advisory roles in projects in El Salvador, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Colombia. Lecturer on human rights at Princeton University.

Priyanjali Malik : International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Ram Manikkalingam: Assistant director, Global Inclusion Program, Rockefeller Foundation. Individual Project Fellow by the Open Society Institute to write a book on a normative approach to democracy and ethnic conflict.  Ram was an activist in the Movement for Inter-Racial Justice and Equality in Sri Lanka,

Ian Martin: United Nations, most recently as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea 2000-2001. Previously Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for the East Timor Popular Consultation and Head of the UN Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) May-November 1999; Deputy High Representative for Human Rights in the Office of the High Representative (OHR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina 1998-99; Special Adviser to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Human Rights Field Operations 1998; Chief of the UN Human Rights Field Operation in Rwanda 1995-96; and Director for Human Rights of the UN/OAS International Civilian Mission in Haiti (MICIVIH) 1993 and 1994-5. He was Secretary-General of Amnesty International 1986-92, and prior to that Head of its Asia Region.

Ingrid Massage: Researcher on Sri Lanka and Nepal at Amnesty International.

Sandra Mitchell: Currently the OSCE Deputy Head of Mission in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.  Eight years experience in various Balkan missions including: Head of Mission International Rescue Committee Kosovo/Macedonia; Head of Human Rights for OSCE KVM/OMIK Missions in Kosovo (included work in Albania and Macedonia); Senior Legal Counsel for the OSCE Elections Appeals Sub-Commission in Bosnia and Herzegovina; Country Director for the International Human Rights Law Group in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

William O’Neill: Was Senior Advisor on Human Rights in the UN Mission in Kosovo (August 1999- March  2000), Chief of the UN Human Rights Field Operation in Rwanda in 1997 and was head of the Legal Department of the UN/OAS International Civilian Mission in Haiti in 1993-95.  He has worked in Afghanistan and Abkhazia/Georgia for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and conducted an assessment of the OSCE’s Human Rights Department in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He has designed and delivered training on peacekeeping for military, police, humanitarian and human rights officers from dozens of countries.   He previously served as the Deputy Director of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (1989-93).Visiting Research Fellow at the International Peace Academy in New York.

David Petrasek: Formerly, Research Director, International Council on Human Rights Policy. Currently Senior Director for Policy in the Secretary-General’s Office at Amnesty International

Liz Philipson: Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Studied and worked in and on Sri Lanka for 20 years.

P. Rajanayagam, Sri Lankan human rights activist.

Francesc Vendrell: Special Advisor to the Spanish Presidency of the European Union.  Prior to that served as Personal Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Afghanistan. He has extensive experience in setting up and running United Nations negotiating and monitoring missions.  These include experiences in El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Cambodia, Bougainville and Afghanistan.  He has also served in several critical posts within the UN in New York, including Director for Special Political Assignments and Director, Asia and Pacific Division.

Suriya Wickremasinghe, Nadesan Centre, Sri Lanka.

Kim Zander, Head of Staff Division, Temporary International Presence in Hebron.

[1] The return of Guatemalan refugees from Mexico (1993-1998) represents a significant exception, in which a signed agreement between the refugee representatives and the Guatemalan government explicitly set conditions allowing for a range of diverse NGO accompaniment and presence during the repatriation process.

[2] For three examples of organizations maintaining such rosters, see:
a) The Norwegian Resource Bank for Democracy and Human Rights, at,
b) The Canadian roster system, CANADEM is described at  This website also has a usefully detailed analytical article by Paul LaRose-Edwards and Christine Vincent, “Civilian Rosters and Civilian Deployments: CANADEM — history, procedures, and lessons-learned,” May, 2002..
c) Southern African Resource Bank for Democracy and Human Rights, SAFDEM, based in Zimbabwe (web address Email address

[3] For instance, clearly a mission like the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission would need to maintain open contact with the LTTE. But in a case like Colombia, an INGO decision regarding communication links with the FARC or the paramilitaries could have substantial negative security (as well as legal) implications, as well as complex political consequences in terms of how the mission would be viewed by other actors and the population.

[4] One example of a highly developed code of conduct for international work in conflict, developed by International Alert, can be found at: Although the scope of this Code is broader than the more focused field missions discussed in this paper, significant portions of it are directly relevant and instructive.

[5] “HUMAN RIGHTS IN SRI LANKA AFTER THE CEASEFIRE: Report of a visit on behalf of the International Working Group on Sri Lanka, 26 March – 3 April 2002,” Ian Martin, The International Working Group on Sri Lanka. Page.3. [For a copy of this report contact: :]

[6] Ibid. page 7.

[7] “Two TIPH Members Killed,” March 26, 2002 Press release, Temporary International Presence in Hebron,. (

[8] For more information see the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) web page:

[9] For up-to-date information on the work of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel, see:

Liam Mahony is a consultant to the Rockefeller Foundation’s Global Inclusion program. He also does human rights consulting, research and writing for the Center for Victims of Torture and the Collaborative for Development Action. He has done human rights field monitoring with Peace Brigades International in Guatemala and Haiti, with additional advisory roles in projects in El Salvador, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Colombia. Mr.Mahony lectures on human rights at Princeton University.

Mr. Mahony welcomes any feedback on this paper, at


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