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ICC broaden definition of war crime to include deliberate starvation of civilians

A Swiss proposal has been unanimously approved by the ICC’s 122 member states which will broaden the definition of war crimes to include the deliberate starvation of civilians. 

The proposal maintains that;

“Intentionally using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare by depriving them of objects indispensable to their survival, including wilfully impeding relief supplies”.

Speaking on the introduction of this measure, the Swiss Foreign Ministry stated;

“The majority of the over 800 million people who suffer from hunger every day live in conflict zones,”

Kevin Jon Heller, a professor of law at Amsterdam and Australian National University, has stated that if this would empower the UN Security Council’s referrals and could be used in the contexts of both Syria and Yemen.

During the genocide of Mullivaikkal, the Sri Lankan army also deliberately starved Tamil civilians by blocking access to food and medical aid to the north. They also repeatedly bombed civilian targets and marked hospitals in the no-fire zone.

Read the Swiss Info Chanel's reporting here and read Professor Heller's statement here.