BTiP 2022, nr 3 – Artykuł 24

The legal status of civil defence organisation during armed conflict and belligerent occupation

Marcin Marcinko | Jagiellonian University in Kraków
ORCID 0000-0001-6495-9606

„Bezpieczeństwo. Teoria i Praktyka”, 3/2022, s. 323-335
DOI 10.48269/2451-0718-btip-2022-3-024
PDF: English

Abstract: Civil defence, whose main objective is the protection of the civilian population, is a component of the concept of society’s resilience, but in the provisions of international humanitarian law (regulating the conduct of parties fighting in an armed conflict), it is limited to the protection of civil defence organisations (such as a fire brigade) performing strictly defined humanitarian tasks, requiring thorough preparation and securing of appropriate resources. The state-parties to the conflict shall respect and protect civil defence organisations and personnel and military units designated to serve as civil defence on a permanent basis. Also, in the case of belligerent occupation, the occupying state is obliged to enable the implementation of these tasks by civil defence organisations of the occupied territory; in addition, the cases where it is permissible to seize buildings and equipment belonging to these organisations have been seriously limited. Thus, well-organised, efficient, and effective civil defence formations are an important element of the state’s defence system, which serves the population in danger, and its efficient and effective functioning can contribute significantly to building and strengthening the resilience of society in the conditions of armed conflict and belligerent occupation.
Key words: civil defence, protection of civilians, resilience, international humanitarian law, belligerent occupation