Protecting Animals Rights in Armed Conflicts from the Perspective of Islam and International Humanitarian Law

Document Type : Original Article


1 Associate Professor, Public&International law Department,Qom University

2 Associate Professor, Department of Private Law, Faculty of Law, Qom University


Nowadays, the effects and consequences of armed conflicts are not limited to human beings and they adversely affect the environment and many species of animals as well. Animals are considered to be the unknown and forgotten victims of armed conflicts. In international humanitarian law (IHL) this issue is largely ignored and there are only few rules that indirectly and ambiguously deal with the protection of animals during armed conflict. However, in the sources of Islamic law there are explicit rules and regulations that directly protect the rights of animals during the war. These rules fall into two different categories. First, those concerned with those animals which are used during the conflict as tools and methods of warfare and are regarded as part of military property and equipment. Second, those relating to animals that are not used in the conflict but are affected by the effects and consequences of the war similar to civilians and individuals who do not have a direct participation in hostilities. This study attempts to comparatively examine the relevant rules and principles in IHL and Islam. Based on the findings of the paper, it could be concluded that due to inadequacy and insufficiency of IHL concerning the protection of animal rights during armed conflicts, it appears to be necessary to develop new rules in this regard and employing the existing sources such as religious ones, including Islamic teachings, that are closely linked with ethical treatment of animals.


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