19. October 2018

Camp Peira: a unique training course featuring  application of international humanitarian law

Camp Peira, a live simulation training course that aims to unfold the complex realities of a non-international armed conflict, took place from the 12th to the 14th of October in the Military Training Area Březina. The development of this unique concept is attributable to the long-term cooperation between the Czech army experts and the academics from both Palacky and Charles University that enabled the camp’s realization for the third time in a row.

Camp Peira provides a very special blending of both civilian and military subjects, where students do not assume the roles of figurants, but actually participate in the problem-solving issues in the roles of refugees, legal counsellors, UNHCR personnel or medical staff. This year’s edition was focused on the simulation of the crisis in Mali, which is the most deadly armed conflict of the present time, and one of the main goals of the exercise from the military perspective was to secure the base from insurgencies in the area, including a number of refugees seeking protection at the base. On the other hand, the students were impersonating very frightened local civilians fighting for their lives.

Dr. Faix, the Vice-Dean of the Law Faculty in Olomouc and one of the main organizers, emphasized that the project leads to practical application of legal skills in the area of international humanitarian and refugee law as well as to adoption of new competences. At the same time, students get a chance to imagine the complexity of such situation and even to experience it for a couple of days. As for the military, it is a real exercise which intends to prepare the soldiers for various situations as the Czech troops participating in Camp Peira will soon be deployed to Mali as a part of the EU mission. One thing is certain – there is no similar project in Europe that would bring the armed forces and civilians closer in an understanding of the other and it is an opportunity one should definitely not miss.