About the People on War project
To mark the 50th anniversary of the modern Geneva Conventions
(on 12 August 1999), the ICRC launched its People on War project with the aim of
building greater respect for fundamental humanitarian principles. At centre
stage is a worldwide consultation giving the general public a chance to air
their views on the many facets of war. The idea was that civilians and
combatants alike would be able to share their experiences, express their
opinions on what basic rules should apply in war, discuss why those rules
sometimes break down and look at what the future holds.
With this in mind, the ICRC commissioned Greenberg Research,
Inc. to design a research programme that would enable people to be heard in the
most effective way possible. Under the guidance of Greenberg Research, ICRC
staff and Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers carried out this consultation in
12 countries (Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia, Colombia, El Salvador,
Georgia/Abkhazia, Israel, the occupied territories and the autonomous
territories, Lebanon, Nigeria, Philippines, Somalia and South Africa),
conducting in-depth, face-to-face interviews, group discussions and national
public opinion surveys. Surveys on the basis of a questionnaire only were
conducted in a further five countries (France, Russian Federation, Switzerland,
United Kingdom and United States) in order to reflect these people's perceptions
Greenberg Research analysts then prepared a series of Country
Reports on the basis of the findings. The reports open up this new, important
discourse to a wider audience, while remaining conscious of the need to protect
the safety of all those who participated.
By making this consultation public, the ICRC hopes to initiate a
local and international debate on the humanitarian aspects of war - a debate
that should be joined by the major political players, international and
non-governmental organizations and aid specialists.
Greenberg Research, Inc.
Greenberg Research is an opinion research firm that has worked
for over two decades to help organizations and leaders around the world advance
their goals in the face of rapid change. It specializes in using advanced
methods of opinion research - surveys, focus groups and in-depth interviews - to
help form strategies for political parties, corporations and non-governmental
Greenberg Research has extensive experience in Europe and the
United States, but also in the Middle East, Asia, southern Africa and Central
and South America. It has conducted research in war-torn, politically complex
and remote settings. In its work for corporations and non-governmental
organizations, it has explored a broad range of global issues, including
landmines, genetic engineering, climate change, race and gender relations, trade
and information technologies.
The opinions expressed in this report are not those of the
ICRC. The ICRC retained Greenberg Research, Inc. to design and oversee the
People on War consultation. Greenberg Research compiled and analysed the results
and is responsible for the content and interpretation.
ICRC, Geneva, December