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close this bookCountry Report South Africa - ICRC Worldwide Consultation on the Rules of War (International Committee of the Red Cross , 1999, 70 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAbout the People on War Project
View the documentCountry context
View the documentCountry methodology
View the documentExecutive summary
Open this folder and view contentsThe conflict over apartheid
Open this folder and view contentsExperiencing the conflict: horror and disruption
Open this folder and view contentsLimiting the scope of the conflict
Open this folder and view contentsCivilians and prisoners at risk
Open this folder and view contentsBreakdown of limits
Open this folder and view contentsGeneva Conventions and the rules of armed conflict
Open this folder and view contentsInternational and non-governmental institutions
View the documentLooking forward
View the documentAnnex 1: General methodology
View the documentAnnex 2: Questionnaire *

Annex 2: Questionnaire *

* This questionnaire is the standard one used in the 12 countries affected by conflict in the last decades. Some contextual questions were added for specific countries. These do not figure here, but are reflected in the findings presented in each Country Report.

Introduction

We are doing a series of interviews on [NAME OF COUNTRY] and would like your help with that. Would it be possible to ask a few questions to the person who is 18 years or older and whose birthday is [FIRST AFTER TODAY]? [IF NECESSARY: The interview will take about 30 minutes.] The questions are about your experiences and opinions on the [war/armed conflict] in [NAME OF COUNTRY OR REGION]. Your identity will remain absolutely confidential.

Let me begin by asking you some questions about yourself to make sure we are talking to all kinds of people. If you don’t want to answer, feel free to tell me so and we will move on to the next question.

1. What is your age? _____


[Don’t know/refused]

2. How many years of school have you had? __ years


[Don’t know/refused]

3. What is your current family situation?


Married (have a husband or wife)

Single

Live together with someone (in a permanent relationship)

Divorced (or separated)

Spouse of missing person

Widow(er)

[Don’t know/refused]

4. Do you have children? [FOLLOW UP IF “YES”] How many?


No children

Yes _____ children

5. What is your job now or are you not working?


Farmer

Manual worker

Skilled worker

Self-employed

Housewife/home care

Soldier (combatant)

Government employee

Private sector employee

Teacher/professor/intellectual

Pensioner/retired

Unemployed (but looking for work)

Unemployed (not looking for work)

Student

Other [SPECIFY]

[Don’t know/refused]

6. Let me ask about the war in [COUNTRY NAME]. Did the war take place in the area where you were living or did the war take place mainly somewhere else?


Area where you were living

® GO TO Q7


Somewhere else?

® GO TO Q8


Both [Volunteered response]

® GO TO Q8


[Don’t know/refused]?

® GO TO Q8

7. [IF “AREA WHERE YOU WERE LIVING” IN PREVIOUS QUESTION] Did you live in that area before the [war/armed conflict], move voluntarily, or were you forced to move? [PROBE IF RESPONDENT SAYS “THERE HAS ALWAYS BEEN ARMED CONFLICT”]


Live in same area

Moved voluntarily

Forced to move

[Don’t know/refused]

8. [ASK OF ALL RESPONDENTS] During the [war/armed conflict], did you ever find yourself in a situation of being a combatant and carrying a weapon?


Yes - combatant, carried weapon

No - not a combatant

[Don’t know/refused]

9. [ASK OF ALL RESPONDENTS] Is there anything that combatants should not be allowed to do in fighting their enemy? [PROBE AND WRITE ANSWERS AS FULLY AS POSSIBLE]

[IF NO RESPONSE, GO TO Q11]

10. [IF RESPONDENT GIVES ANY RESPONSE TO PREVIOUS QUESTION] Could you tell me the main reason why they should not do that? Is that because...? [READ AND ROTATE]


It’s wrong

® GO TO Q10a


It just causes too many problems

® GO TO Q10b


[Don’t know/refused]

® GO TO Q11

[FOLLOW UP IF MORE THAN ONE REASON SELECTED] Which would be the main reason?

10a. [IF “IT’S WRONG”] When you say, it’s wrong, is it primarily wrong because it is...? [READ AND ROTATE] [TWO RESPONSES ALLOWED]


Against your religion

Against your personal code

Against the law

Against what most people here believe

Against your culture

Against human rights

Other [SPECIFY]

[Don’t know/refused]

10b. [IF “IT JUST CAUSES TOO MANY PROBLEMS”] When you say, it just causes too many problems, are you thinking it...? [READ AND ROTATE] [TWO RESPONSES ALLOWED]


Produces too much hate and division

Causes too much psychological damage

Produces too much destruction

Causes too much physical suffering

Other [SPECIFY]

[Don’t know/refused]

11. Which two of these words best describe the war for you personally? [READ AND ROTATE]


Horrible

Disruptive

Humiliating

Exciting

Hateful

Challenging

Hopeful

Confusing

Uncertainty

Powerless

Remote

[Don’t know/refused]

Note: Version used in countries where there are no clear sides for most of the population; for countries where there are sides, half the surveys will be asked Version A (without sided wording) and half Version B (with sided wording).

12. Now I would like to ask you some general questions about how, in your view, combatants should behave in times of war.

Version A: When combatants attack to weaken the enemy, should they...? [READ AND ROTATE]

Version B: When combatants from your side attack to weaken the enemy, should they...? [READ AND ROTATE]


Attack enemy combatants and civilians

Attack enemy combatants and avoid civilians as much as possible

OR


Attack only enemy combatants and leave the civilians alone

[Don’t know/refused]

[FOLLOW-UP IF CONFUSION ABOUT YOUR/OTHER SIDE] Just imagine that there is a side in the conflict that you support more than any other side.

Note: in the next set of questions we will be randomly splitting the sample in two. Version 1 will be asked of one half and version 2 will be asked of the other half. If there are clear sides to the war, Version 1 coincides with Version A and Version 2 coincides with Version B. (This means there will always be two and exactly two versions of the questionnaire.)

Let me ask you about some things that combatants may do to weaken the enemy they are fighting against. Please tell me for each of these things whether it is okay or not okay to do it, to weaken the enemy.

13. Version 1: Attacking civilians who voluntarily gave food and shelter to enemy combatants. Would it be okay or not okay to attack them in order to weaken the enemy?

Version 2: Attacking civilians who were forced to give food and shelter to enemy combatants. Would it be okay or not okay to attack them in order to weaken the enemy?


Okay

Not okay

[Don’t know/refused]

14. Version 1: Attacking civilians who voluntarily transported ammunition for enemy combatants defending their town. Would it be okay or not okay to attack them to weaken the enemy?

Version 2: Attacking civilians who were forced to transport ammunition for enemy combatants defending their town. Would it be okay or not okay to attack them to weaken the enemy?


Okay

Not okay

[Don’t know/refused]

15. I will now describe some situations that may happen during a [war/armed conflict]. For each situation, I would like you to imagine that you are part of that situation. Tell me how you think you would behave if the decisions were completely up to you. Here comes the first imaginary situation.

Version 1: Would you save the life of a surrendering enemy combatant who killed a person close to you?


Would save

Would not save

[Don’t know/refused]

Version 2: Would you help a wounded enemy combatant who killed a person close to you?


Would help

Would not help

[Don’t know/refused]

Now I’m going to ask your opinion on some of the things combatants might do in times of [war/armed conflict].

16a. Version A: What about depriving the civilian population of food, medicine or water in order to weaken the enemy?

Version B: What about depriving the civilian population on the other side of food, medicine or water in order to weaken the enemy?

Is that wrong or just part of war?


Wrong

Part of war

Both [Volunteered response]

[Don’t know/refused]

16b. Version A: Are there any laws or rules that say you can’t do that, even if it would help weaken the enemy, or are there no laws or rules to stop that?

Version B: Are there any laws or rules that say you can’t do that, even if it would help your side weaken the enemy, or are there no laws or rules to stop that?


Laws - can’t do that

No laws

[Don’t know/refused]

17a. Version 1: What about attacking enemy combatants in populated villages or towns in order to weaken the enemy, knowing that many civilians would be killed?

Version 2: What about attacking enemy combatants in populated villages or towns in order to weaken the enemy, knowing that many women and children would be killed?

Is that wrong or just part of war?


Wrong

Part of war

Both [Volunteered response]

[Don’t know/refused]

17b. Version A: Are there any laws or rules that say you can’t do that, even if it would help weaken the enemy, or are there no laws or rules to stop that?

Version B: Are there any laws or rules that say you can’t do that, even if it would help your side weaken the enemy, or are there no laws or rules to stop that?


Laws - can’t do that

No laws

[Don’t know/refused]

18. [ASK ONLY IN WAR ZONES WHERE APPROPRIATE] What about attacking religious and historical monuments, in order to weaken the enemy. Is that wrong or just part of war?


Wrong

Part of war

Both [Volunteered response]

[Don’t know/refused]

19. [ASK ONLY IN WAR ZONES WHERE APPROPRIATE] What about taking civilian hostages in order to get something in exchange? Is that wrong or just part of war?


Wrong

Part of war

Both [Volunteered response]

[Don’t know/refused]

20. [ASK ONLY IN WAR ZONES WHERE APPROPRIATE] Now a question about the “protected areas”. Do you think that these “protected areas” are a good or a bad idea?


Good idea

Bad idea

[Don’t know/refused]

21. [ASK ONLY IN WAR ZONES WHERE APPROPRIATE] Did the “protected areas” make it better or worse for civilians during the war, or did they make no difference?


Better

Worse

No difference

[Don’t know/refused]

22. [ASK ONLY IN WAR ZONES WHERE APPROPRIATE] Version 1: Did the “Peace support operation” make it better or worse for civilians during the war, or didn’t it make any difference?

Version 2: Did the “Peace support operation” make it better or worse for you personally during the war, or didn’t it make any difference?


Better

Worse

No difference

[Don’t know/refused]

Version A: Let me ask you about some other things that might happen during war to weaken the enemy. Please tell me for each of these things whether it is okay or not okay to do it in order to weaken the enemy.

Version B: Let me ask you about some other things that your side might do to weaken the enemy during war. Please tell me for each of these things whether it is okay or not okay to do it in order to weaken the enemy.

23. First, are there types of weapons that should just never be used during war? [FOLLOW UP IF YES] What types of weapons would you think of? [CHECK RESPONSE BELOW] [DO NOT READ CHOICES] [MULTIPLE ANSWERS ALLOWED]


Landmines

Laser weapons

Napalm

Nuclear weapons

Chemical weapons

Cluster bombs

Other [SPECIFY]

No types of weapons allowed

[Don’t know/refused]

24. Version A: Combatants planting landmines to stop the movement of enemy combatants, even though civilians may step on them accidentally. Is it okay or not okay to do that if it would weaken the enemy?

Version B: Combatants on your side planting landmines to stop the movement of enemy combatants, even though civilians may step on them accidentally. Is it okay or not okay to do that if it would weaken the enemy?


Okay, if necessary

Not okay

[Don’t know/refused]

25. In war, combatants sometimes attack or hurt civilians, even though many people say it is not okay and maybe against the law. So please tell me why you think combatants attack civilians anyway. [PROBE AND WRITE ANSWERS AS FULLY AS POSSIBLE]

26. Which two of the following reasons best explain why combatants attack or hurt civilians, even though many people say it is not okay or maybe against the law. Is it because they...? [READ AND ROTATE RESPONSES] [FOLLOW-UP IF MORE THAN TWO REASONS SELECTED] Which would be the two main reasons?


Don’t care about the laws

Hate the other side so much

Are determined to win at any cost

Lose all sense during war

Are too young to make judgements

Don’t know the laws

Are often under the influence of alcohol or drugs

Are scared

Are told to do so

Know the other side is doing the same thing

[Don’t know/refused]

27a. Now let me ask you how captured combatants should be treated.

Version A: Must a captured enemy combatant be allowed to contact relatives, or doesn’t that have to be allowed?

Version B: Must your side allow a captured enemy combatant to contact relatives, or don’t you have to allow that?


Must allow

Don’t have to allow

[Don’t know/refused]

27b. Version A: Is it true that a captured enemy combatant cannot be subjected to torture to obtain important military information, or can captured combatants be subjected to torture?

Version B: Is it true that your side cannot subject a captured enemy combatant to torture to obtain important military information, or can you subject captured combatants to torture?


Cannot subject

Can subject

[Don’t know/refused]

27c. Version A: Must a captured enemy combatant be allowed a visit by a representative from an independent organization outside the prison or camp, or doesn’t that have to be allowed?

Version B: Must your side allow a captured enemy combatant to be visited by a representative from an independent organization from outside the prison or camp, or don’t you have to allow that?


Must allow

® GO TO Q27d


Don’t have to allow

® GO TO Q28


[Don’t know/refused]

® GO TO Q28

27d. [IF “MUST ALLOW”] Which of the following people should be allowed to visit captured enemy combatants...? [READ AND ROTATE RESPONSES] [ALLOW MULTIPLE RESPONSES]


International Committee of the Red Cross representatives

UN representatives

Human rights group representatives

Journalists

Religious clerics/ministers

Other [SPECIFY]

[Don’t know/refused]

Once again, I want you to imagine yourself in the following situations and tell me what you think you would do if the decisions were completely up to you.

28. Version A: If one side in the war is killing prisoners, would you approve the killing of prisoners by the other side or would you not approve it?

Version B: If the other side in the war is killing prisoners, would you approve the killing of prisoners by your side or would you not approve it?


Would approve

Would not approve

[Don’t know/refused]

[FOLLOW UP IF RESPONDENT PROTESTS] Just imagine you happen to find yourself in this situation.

29. In general, do you ever think that captured enemy combatants deserve to die?


Think deserve to die

No

[Don’t know/refused]

30. Now I’m going to ask you about your actual experiences during the war. Please tell me whether any of the following things happened to you personally or did not happen as a consequence of the [war/armed conflict] in [COUNTRY NAME]. [READ AND ROTATE ORDER]


Happened

Did not happen

Don’t know/refused

Forced to leave your home and live elsewhere




Imprisoned




Kidnapped or taken hostage




Tortured




Felt humiliated




Lost contact with a close relative




A member of your immediate family killed during the armed conflict (son, daughter, father, mother, brother, sister, grandmother, grandfather, grandchild)




Serious damage to your property




Wounded by the fighting




Combatants took food away




Had your house looted




Somebody you knew well was sexually assaulted by combatants




[READ LAST] Somebody you knew well was raped by combatants




31. [ASK ALL RESPONDENTS] Were you imprisoned by enemy combatants or were you living in an area that came under enemy control?

Imprisoned by enemy combatants

® GO TO Q32

Living in area under enemy control

® GO TO Q32

Both [Volunteered response]

® GO TO Q32

[Don’t know/refused]

® GO TO Q34

No response

® GO TO Q34

32. [ASK IF “IMPRISONED”, “LIVED UNDER ENEMY CONTROL”, OR BOTH] Please tell me whether any of the following happened while you were under enemy control. [READ AND ROTATE] Did that happen or not?

Happened

Did not happen

Don’t know/refused

You were personally mistreated




You were physically injured




You were treated correctly




[READ LAST] You had a contact with a representative from an independent organization to check on your well-being




33. [ASK ONLY IF CONTACT HAPPENED, OTHERWISE GO TO Q33] Which of the following people did you have contact with to check on your well-being? [READ AND ROTATE RESPONSES] [ALLOW MULTIPLE RESPONSES]


ICRC representatives

UN representatives

Human rights group representatives

Journalists

Religious clerics/ministers

Other [SPECIFY]

[Don’t know/refused]

34. Now let me ask you for your opinion about something else, about young people being combatants. At what age is a young person mature enough to be a combatant? [READ LIST UNTIL RESPONDENT CHOOSES AN ANSWER]


14 or under

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

Above 21

[Don’t know/refused]

35. During the war, did you support [have you supported] one of the sides or did you not support any side?


Supported a side

Did not support a side

[Don’t know/refused]

36. Let me ask you something very different. Have you ever heard of the Geneva Conventions?


Yes - heard


No - not heard

® GO TO Q38


[Don’t know/refused]

® GO TO Q38

37. [IF HEARD OF GENEVA CONVENTIONS] Could you tell me what the Geneva Conventions are about? [WRITE DOWN ANSWER AS FULLY AS POSSIBLE] [MARK APPROPRIATE RESPONSE]


Accurate [ANY REFERENCE TO LIMITS IN WAR]

Not accurate [NO REFERENCE TO LIMITS IN WAR]

38. Let me read you a statement about the Geneva Conventions:

The Geneva Conventions is a series of international treaties that impose limits in war by describing some rules of war. Most countries in the world have signed these treaties.

Do you think the existence of the Geneva Conventions prevents wars from getting worse or does it make no real difference?


Prevents ware from getting worse

No real difference

[Don’t know/refused]

39. Are you familiar with this? [SHOW RED CROSS OR RED CRESCENT] What does it stand for? [DO NOT READ RESPONSES]


Red Cross

Red Crescent

Red Cross and Red Crescent

Medical/Hospital

United Nations

Army

Other [SPECIFY]

[Don’t know/refused]

40. What kind of people or things does this symbol protect? [WRITE ANSWERS AS FULLY AS POSSIBLE]

41. Are there rules or laws that are so important that, if broken during war, the person who broke them should be punished?


Yes


No

® GO TO Q46


[Don’t know/Refused]

® GO TO Q46

42. [IF YES] So what kind of rules or laws are you thinking about? [PROBE AND WRITE ANSWERS AS FULLY AS POSSIBLE]

43. [IF RESPONDS TO PRIOR QUESTION, OTHERWISE GO TO Q46] What are these rules based on? [READ AND ROTATE] [ONE RESPONSE ONLY]


[Country name]’s laws

International law

Religious principles

The values people hold

Other [SPECIFY]

[Don’t know/refused]

44. If these rules are broken in war, who should be responsible for punishing the wrongdoers? [READ AND ROTATE] [ONE RESPONSE ONLY]


The government of [country name]

The [country name]’s courts

International criminal court

The military itself

The civilian population

Your own political leaders

Other [SPECIFY]

[Does not apply, rules are not broken]

[Don’t know/refused]

45. When the war is over, should people who have broken these rules...? [READ AND ROTATE] [ONE RESPONSE ONLY]


Be put on trial

Be exposed to the public but not be put on trial

Be forgotten when the war is over

Be forgiven after the war

Granted amnesty

[Don’t know/refused]

46. [ASK ALL RESPONDENTS] Let me ask what can be done if during the war civilian areas are attacked, towns or villages are cut off from food, water, medical supplies and electricity. To whom would you turn to get help or to be protected? [PROBE AND WRITE ANSWERS AS FULLY AS POSSIBLE]


[Can’t turn to anybody]

[Don’t know/refused]

47. I’m now going to describe different kinds of people and organizations. Please tell me which two of these have played the biggest role during the war to stop this. Here are the people and organizations: [READ AND ROTATE] [RECORD THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT RESPONSES] [FOLLOW UP WITH: Which two have played the biggest role?]


The military and combatants on your side [Version B]

The military and combatants of the other side [Version B]

The military and combatants [Version A]

Religious leaders

International humanitarian organizations

Journalists and the news media

The United Nations

The ICRC or Red Cross (or Red Crescent)

Government leaders

International criminal court

Other countries

[Nobody did anything]

[Don’t know/refused]

48. In the future, would you like to see more or less intervention from the international community to deal with these kinds of issues?


More intervention

Less intervention

[No intervention]

[Don’t know/refused]

49. Do you think the peace will last or do you think there will be more war in the future?


Peace will last

More war in future

[Both]

[Don’t know/refused]

50. One last question, what did you learn from the war that you think others should know? [PROBE AND WRITE ANSWERS AS FULLY AS POSSIBLE]

The ICRC’s mission

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an impartial, neutral and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and internal violence and to provide them with assistance. It directs and coordinates the international relief activities conducted by the Movement in situations of conflict. It also endeavours to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles. Established in 1863, the ICRC is at the origin of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

ICRC PUBLICATIONS
INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS/GENEVA

International Committee of the Red Cross
Campaign Unit
19, avenue de la Paix
CH-1211 Geneva
e-mail: warvoices.gva@icrc.org
Telephone: ++ 41 22 734 60 01
Telefax: ++ 41 22 733 20 57
Web site: www.onwar.org