Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



We tend to view concern with the protection of civilians as a relatively recent development within the Security Council: a product of the late 20th century genocides and ethnic cleansing campaigns in Rwanda and the Balkans. But while it is indeed true that the Council’s first thematic resolution directly addressing “protection of civilians” was not passed until 1999—and also true, unfortunately, that Security Council civilian protection efforts have yet to move beyond the sporadic and inconsistent—the Council has always concerned itself with civilian protection. Indeed, the history of the Security Council itself (as well as the history of the United Nations as a whole) is in many ways inextricably interwoven with concerns about the protection of civilians during armed conflicts.

Publication Citation

Rosa Brooks, Civilians and Armed Conflict, in THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL IN THE AGE OF HUMAN RIGHTS, (Jared Genser & Bruno Ugarte, eds., New York: Cambridge University Press (2014))