Red Cross and RMIT have worked together since 2017 to highlight the applicability of international humanitarian law to business operations in conflict-affected areas.
Our consultation with Australia’s corporate sector has found there is more businesses can do to understand and implement international humanitarian law. There is also a growing willingness within the corporate sector, and increasing advocacy from civil society, for businesses to do more in this respect.
Last October, the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights released a report clarifying the practical steps that States and businesses should take to prevent and address business-related human rights abuse in conflict and post-conflict contexts.
In a marked shift away from a focus solely on international human rights law, the report highlighted the importance and relevance of international humanitarian law to businesses. It identified international humanitarian law as the specialist body of law that applies during armed conflict and military occupation and recognised it as a binding legal framework on businesses whose activities are closely linked to an armed conflict.