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Title: Hostages and human rights : towards a victim-centred approach?
Author: Galani, Sofia
ISNI:       0000 0004 6059 375X
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis explores the human rights gaps in the protection of hostages. Terrorist and pirate hostage-taking has been increasingly victimising innocent persons, but their human rights are still overlooked. This thesis shows that the international community has adopted a number of measures against hostage-taking, including mechanisms for the effective prosecution of the alleged hostage-takers. However, it is shown that these mechanisms can contribute to the protection of the human rights of hostage-takers, but not of their victims. Therefore, it is argued that the responses of States to hostage-taking lack a victim's focus that could recognise and protect the human rights of hostages. The current legal framework in relation to human rights protection for hostages is also examined. The primary objective of this thesis is to critically assess whether sufficient mechanisms exist under international law to bridge the gaps in human rights protection that have arisen by State responses to hostage taking. It is argued that jurisdiction in public international law and State responsibility, as a legal basis to safeguard the human rights of hostages, are inadequate. Therefore, this thesis examines how the existing human rights framework could offer protection to the human rights of hostages. It is shown that the development of international human rights law has imposed obligations on States to protect the human rights of hostages within their territory, and respect the human rights of hostages when they seek they release within or beyond their territory. In light of these developments, it is explained how States should respond to hostage-taking in a human rights compliant way. This thesis concludes that States have human rights obligations towards hostages and it is time that States start ensured that those obligations are fulfilled.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available