Miliary intervention remains a controversial part of human protection. Indispensable in some circumstances, military intervention confronts significant structural challenges which means that it is used only rarely and has the propensity for causing unintended negative consequences. In this essay, we examine the place of humanitarian intervention within the human protection regime. Focusing on the case of Libya, we argue that the UN Security Council has now accepted that the use force, even against a sovereign state, is a sometimes legitimate response to mass atrocities. But the Libya experience also raised three major challenges – challenges of regime change, accountability, and selectivity – that will have be addressed if military intervention is ever to become a legitimate part of international society’s anti-atrocities arsenal. First, we show how increased international activism after the Cold War helped put downwards pressure on the incidence of mass atrocities worldwide. Second, we explain why armed intervention remained a controversial and rarely employed instrument of human protection. Third, we argue that the UN Security Council’s decision to authorise armed intervention in Libya represented a significant development in the place of armed intervention as a tool of human protection. Finally, we examine the political consequences of the intervention and argue that these will need to be addressed in order to rebuild sufficient trust to allow future considerations of the use of force for humanitarian purposes.
Alex J. Bellamy and Stephen McLoughlin
Andrea L. Everett
The practice of humanitarian military action has changed markedly in the 21st century when compared with the 1990s. This essay explores three broad trends that have shaped this evolution. First, the UN has adopted the protection of civilians as a central element of its agenda and as a guiding principle for reforming its peace operations and its responses to atrocities such as genocide and ethnic cleansing. Second, major powers have played a central role as belligerents or patrons of belligerents in many of the worst conflicts of the last two decades. And third, the wealthy Western states with the greatest resources and military capabilities for ambitious humanitarian operations have substantially reduced their direct contributions to these missions. Together, these developments have shifted the balance of responsibility and effort for humanitarian military operations toward the UN and developing countries; constrained the ambitions of these missions; limited what they can accomplish and contributed to gaps between the expectations they create and the protection they are able to deliver; and discouraged meaningful action in response to many of the century’s most devastating conflicts.
Since the end of the Cold War, Iraq has faced three international interventions. While their humanitarian component was a secondary – and at times, arguable – factor, they all played a central role in normative debates on the extent to which states should protect populations from mass atrocities beyond their borders (and what that actually entails), making Iraq a central piece of the human protection puzzle. In addition to analysing how Iraq’s fate has played a key part in the development of human protection over the years, the article argues that France had a central role in both the interventions and the normative debates they generated, and investigates its role in depth. By doing so, it deepens our understanding of human protection, France’s foreign policy and Iraq’s development.
Pınar Gözen Ercan
Bringing into focus the two formal debates on the Responsibility to Protect that took place in 2009 and 2018, this article identifies the approaches of member states towards the humanitarian use of force by locating it in the UN’s deliberations on R2P. To this end, the article compares and contrasts country statements in order to trace states’ general approach towards humanitarian intervention on the basis of their reflections on R2P. Following from this, the article examines whether or not states’ approaches to humanitarian intervention have been transforming in the twenty-first century, and evaluates how the humanitarian use of force is perceived in relation to the R2P framework that was embraced by the member states of the UN General Assembly in 2005, and how this affects the future of R2P.
May Hermanus, Sizwe Phakathi, Nancy Coulson and Paul Stewart
Unresolved problems in South African mining, particularly on gold mines, are enmeshed within the system of production through mining methods and labour practices entrenched by apartheid. This system sets the parameters for, and hence limits and constrains, strategies designed to improve occupational health and safety. This chapter explores the achievements and limitations of statutory tripartism in mining as practiced under the Mine Health and Safety Act (mhsa), in the context of social dialogue in the National Economic and Labour Council (nedlac) and other statutory and non-statutory tripartite forums. The term statutory tripartism refers to the institutions and forums for social dialogue established in law. Non-statutory tripartism refers to ad hoc forums in which stakeholders deliberate on specific issues. Presented as a detailed case study in which issues are explored thematically, the chapter benefits from the experience of the lead authors in statutory mine health and safety structures. The authors reflect on the International Labour Organization’s (ilo) role to date and its future role, at a time when prospects for a broad social compact remain out of reach. While key discussions often take place outside of formally established tripartite structures, the ilo’s vision of authoritative social compacts and its institutional forms find expression in many settings. The ilo was important at critical junctures in the past and a continued role in championing social protection, inclusion and dialogue is foreseen. South Africans themselves must, however, find agreement on how best to address systemic issues. The practice of tripartism remains relevant to creating an inclusive and more equal society.
Stefano Bellucci and Eric E. Otenyo
For a coherent framework for understanding the future of work, there is a need to unify theories on the role of digitisation in any potential job losses. Is it possible that digitisation not only achieves efficiencies but also retains or creates jobs in selected sectors of African economies? With Africa’s population expected to reach 2 billion by 2050, can we be content with the fact that the impact of digitisation has been mostly discussed in the context of advanced economies? This chapter explores possible effects of digitisation in three economic sectors of African economies. Based on reviews of library, security, and entertainment sectors in selected countries, we interrogate the validity of the disappearing job theory, which is reinforced by the global digital revolution. This chapter is intended to fuel the ongoing discussions about the future of jobs in Africa and the role the International Labour Organization (ilo) might play in sustaining African jobs. Since digitisation in Africa has not yet reached the same level as the developed world, its impact is mostly positive in the selected sectors. However, there is a need to manage any unintended consequences of the emerging digitised workplace. Possible interventions by the ilo and support for Africa’s ability to cope with emerging changes are recommended.
Women in agriculture play a particularly important role in the economy. But their work—as peasants and as agricultural wage earners—their knowledge, their place in agricultural systems of production and their contribution to global prosperity have only been recognised in recent years, or still lack significant recognition. With changes in systems of production that are related to globalisation, the marginalisation and the workload of women in agriculture has often increased due to the perpetuation of an unequal sexual division of work in agriculture, and due to unequal access to the workforce and to agricultural inputs, technologies, credit schemes and land. One of the main constraints faced by female peasants and agricultural wage earners is the continuous and increasing reproductive work, which rests disproportionately on the most excluded women.
Juliette Alenda-Demoutiez, Abena Asomaning Antwi, Elvire Mendo and Zrampieu Sarah Ba
In West Africa, the right of access to universal social security is far from being respected. International institutions and African governments have been mobilising for several years to fight this phenomenon. In a role that has evolved over the years, the International Labour Organization (ilo) provides technical and financial support to countries in this regard. How and why does the ilo intervene in protecting the health of populations in West Africa? For this institutional study, the methodology is based on a literature review focused on the history of the role of the ilo in the protection of healthcare in West Africa, specifically in Ghana and Senegal. We show the ilo’s involvement since the 1990s for two main reasons: firstly, the lack of access to healthcare in countries with a specific labour form; secondly, the rejection of the idea of social protection by dominant players on the international scene, leading to criticism following the structural adjustment programmes. In the contexts of Ghana and Senegal, both of which have experienced transitions from community-based health mechanisms to universal health coverage, we explain that the ilo has several ways to intervene—technically, institutionally, and financially. An important outcome is the revelation that the vision of the ilo with regard to health protection is systemic, articulating alternative ways to address social protection for the informal economy compared to other international organisations. But this approach is understated considering the dire situation in Africa and the need to improve access to healthcare and progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.