Jillian Rafferty, Armed Conflict and Civilian Protection Initiative
Harvard Law School’s Armed Conflict and Civilian Protection Initiative (ACCPI) relaunched humanitariandisarmament.org this week. This site aims to increase public awareness of the humanitarian approach to governing weapons and serves as a hub of information for practitioners in the field.
In addition to having updated content and greater functionality, the new version of the website has responded to COVID-19 by initiating a series of blog posts reflecting on the pandemic’s effects on humanitarian disarmament and creating a new “COVID-19 and Disarmament” resources page.
Since its formation in 2018, the ACCPI has been a key player in humanitarian disarmament. Its inaugural conference brought global experts to campus to reflect on the state of the movement and strategize about the way forward. Since then, the ACCPI has not only created and maintained humanitariandisarmament.org, but also held a workshop for diplomats in Geneva, co-published and translated a primer on the topic, and promoted coordination among civil society leaders working on different weapons issues.
Humanitarian disarmament, the subject of this website, seeks to prevent and remediate arms-inflicted human suffering and environmental harm through the establishment and implementation of norms. Its advocates have helped drive the negotiation of four treaties, and the 1997 and 2017 Nobel Peace Prizes recognized their role in banning antipersonnel landmines and nuclear weapons.
The ACCPI has added a variety of exciting new features to the relaunched website. First and foremost is the introduction of an associated newsletter (sign up for it here), which highlights developments in humanitarian disarmament, recent blog posts, and other relevant material.
The site’s rebranded blog, Disarmament Dialogue, provides a forum for advocates and practitioners working in the humanitarian disarmament space to share their insights and analyses and to learn about key advances in the field. Over the past few weeks, Disarmament Dialogue posts have highlighted creative advocacy and community-building efforts in the wake of COVID-19 and examined the opportunities and challenges the pandemic presents for humanitarian disarmament work worldwide. The blog also features a monthly humanitarian disarmament update. (Check out March’s key developments here.)
The new-and-improved website includes a significantly expanded library of resources on humanitarian disarmament. The resources page offers easy access to core humanitarian disarmament documents, identifies secondary sources that examine humanitarian disarmament as a cross-cutting concept, and links to other organizations that work closely on disarmament issues. As noted above, the page has added a list of resources that explore the effects of the pandemic on humanitarian disarmament.
In the course of revamping the website, the ACCPI committed to ensuring the relaunched version is a fully accessible platform. The ACCPI retroactively modified existing website content and plans to maintain the accessibility of the website moving forward.
The ACCPI is interested in hearing about creative advocacy and community-building efforts in the time of COVID-19. We also welcome ideas for blog posts on humanitarian disarmament topics, suggested resources to add to our library, and any questions you may have. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.