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Under Fire: Cultural Heritage and Armed Groups

Event Details

Time: 17.30-19.00 (Registration from 17.00)
Event followed by a drinks reception

Venue: British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5JP


Cultural heritage is often at risk of damage or destruction in situations of armed conflicts. Certain armed groups have sometimes intentionally destroyed cultural monuments, as an attempt to erase diversity or remove the links communities have with their past. In addition to intentional targeting, cultural sites are also at risk of being damaged or destroyed in the course of hostilities, as a result of their use for military purposes, for example. Furthermore, the breakdown in the rule of law arising from conflicts accentuates the risk of antiquities trafficking.

International humanitarian law (IHL) contains specific rules which obliges all parties to an armed conflict, including non-state armed groups, to respect cultural property. However, until recently, not a lot of attention has been paid to the applicability of those rules to non-state armed groups. Therefore, Geneva Call has engaged in a pioneering two-year study on armed groups and cultural heritage, in order to assess the rules applicable, as well as the role of those groups in the protection of cultural heritage more in general. This event will present the key findings of the study. It will be an opportunity to discuss the information obtained through desk and field research, including interviews with leading specialized organizations and with armed groups operating in Iraq, Mali, and Syria.


Charles Garraway, Essex University


  • Pascal Bongard, Geneva Call
  • Dr. Anne-Marie Carstens, Georgetown University
  • Kristin Hausler, British Institute of International and Comparative Law
  • Professor Peter Stone OBE, Newcastle University

Event convened by Kristin Hausler, Dorset Senior Research Fellow in Public International Law, British Institute of International and Comparative Law

Join in the conversation @BIICL #CultureUnderFire

Pricing and Registration

This event is free to attend however pre-registration is required.



If you have any queries, please contact the Events team.

CPD Information

This event offers the equivalent of 1.5 hours.

Photography and audio recording

Please note that our events may be photographed or audio recorded. These materials will be used for internal and external promotional purposes only by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. If you object to appearing in the photographs, please let our photographer know on the day. Alternatively, you can email BIICL Marketing Manager, Carmel Brown in advance of the event that you are attending.

Event Cancellation Policy

By registering for an event, you have confirmed that you have read and understood our event cancellation policy.

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