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Over 100,000 United Nations uniformed peacekeeping personnel are deployed on missions with authority from the Security Council to protect civilians in conflict zones. Chapter VII of the UN Charter allows for the use of force on UN missions, but does not list the rules governing the use; they are found in either the jus in bello provisions of international humanitarian law (IHL) or the regulations on the use of force in international human rights law.
The UN Charter specifies that its provisions take precedence over all other international treaties. While the UN acknowledges the relevance of IHL to its missions, this book argues that the regulations of international human rights law usually provide more appropriate guidance. UN missions mandated to protect civilians have repeatedly failed to do so, and mechanisms need to be created to improve their accountability to those that they are responsible for protecting.