IRRC No. 191

The Reunion of Families in Time of Armed Conflict

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The destruction of the unity and integrity of the family, the natural and fundamental group unit of society, according to Article 16 (3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, is one of the more tragic consequences of armed conflict. Likewise, in time of peace, the threat to family unity and integrity is one of the potent and inhuman forms of pressure exercised upon individual men and women by Governments in order to secure the regimentation of their peoples. It is salutary to recall, in this context, that one of the purposes of the Law of Nations is to give effect, through appropriate limitations and international supervision of the internal sovereignty of States, to the principle that the protection of human personality and of fundamental rights is the ultimate purpose of all Law, national and international.

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