Geneva Digital Atlas

Humanitarian Protection

As the birthplace of the Geneva Conventions, Geneva has nurtured the most established humanitarian ecosystem in the world. International law lawyers, mediation experts, conflict researchers, and aid workers convene in Geneva to address pressing humanitarian concerns during armed conflicts. As the face of warfare and military activities change with the evolution of digital technologies, humanitarian actors must adapt, too. 

The rise of hybrid warfare, involving both cyber and physical attacks, prompted the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to propose the concept of a ‘digital emblem’. Just as the distinct emblems under international humanitarian law (IHL) marked on humanitarian facilities protect them from being targeted during an armed conflict, the digital emblem denotes the digital infrastructure crucial to humanitarian operations that should not be targeted by malicious cyber operations. 

In addition, the ICRC curated the Digital Dilemmas immersive experience, available both as a website and a VR experience. It guides users through dangerous AI applications in armed conflicts, from swaying public opinion via deep-faked propaganda to being integrated into lethal autonomous weapons or other military systems. 

On the mediation side, prominent actors include the CyberPeace Institute, which co-developed the Digital Risk Management E-Learning Platform for Mediators; the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD), which co-produced the Digital Mediation Toolkit; and the ICT for Peace Foundation (ICT4Peace), which established the ICT4Peace Academy to raise awareness about cyber diplomacy and peacebuilding. Many such actors, including DiploFoundation (Diplo), are also part of the CyberMediation Network (CMN) led by the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (UNDPPA). The CMN meets quarterly to discuss common challenges and facilitates the sharing of best practices for mediators on the ground in dealing with mis/disinformation campaigns, malicious cyber operations, attacks on digital infrastructure, etc.

No actors found with the specified criteria.