Exciting new collaboration between Bangor University Law School and Amnesty International offers Armed Conflict workshop

Bangor University is joining forces with Amnesty International to offer expert training in the protection of women and children in armed conflict.

This one day workshop, the first of its kind for Bangor University’s Law School and Amnesty International, combines academic and practical expertise to provide a unique insight into a topic that perplexes many members of the public.  Does Law have a role to play in protecting women and children in armed conflict?  What is that role?  If there is Law, why is there still such suffering and harm caused to women and children?

Taking place at Bangor University on Saturday 7th July, the workshop focuses on raising awareness of the challenges faced by women and children in armed conflict, and introduces the legal regime that exists to address these challenges, its strengths and weakness and addresses practical application of knowledge and strategies.

Bangor University’s Law School is rapidly developing a reputation in International Law, and now boasts several staff members who are expert in the area, while the Colwyn Bay group of Amnesty International UK has been recognized for its exceptional work during 2012. 

According to Professor Linton, “The violence and horror that we have seen on the television screens in Syria and Libya these last few months has happened so many times before, all over the world.  Civilians, including women and children, are unnecessarily harmed by armed conflict. Lives are destroyed in the short and long term, in physical and non-physical ways.  Right thinking people are justifiably appalled that atrocities can occur, escape sanction and keep occurring.  They often fault the law for this.  However, this is not about there being no law.  The problem is implementation, getting the law to work, which means getting the combatants and those who control them, to respect fundamental principles of humanity, and abide by the many different rules that exist to protect civilians, including women and children.  To do this, they do however have to know about the rules, and this is where there is a role for education and training.” 

Professor Linton also explained that the international community and international agencies such as the United Nations have a critical role to play.  “The problem of implementation at this level stems from many causes, such as global politics, reluctance to upset allies and ‘interfere’, and unwillingness to taken on the responsibilities of ‘doing something’. There are also, it has to be said, doubts about how far the international community can legally go in taking action in the face of atrocity.”

Commenting on the event, she said: “We at the Law School really value the opportunity to engage in this exciting collaboration with Amnesty International in reaching out to our community in north Wales. This workshop marks a new stage in the Law School’s engagement with our local community on humanitarian issues. Our vision is to develop a programme of engagement with students and the public on international issues, and contribute to the region’s vibrant and globally engaged community.”

The workshop is suitable for anyone interested in the humanitarian issues and the challenges of protection of the vulnerable in armed conflict, and offers participants the opportunity to interact with experts and like-minded people. The workshops cost £15.00 with some concessions available. For further information about the event, including the programme and how to register, please visit http://www.bangor.ac.uk/law/amnesty.php.en

Publication date: 25 June 2012