Skip to main content


The failure of United Nations safe areas during the fall of Yugoslavia, at Srebrenica in particular, highlighted major limitations inherent to the safe area policies. Flaws in the mission mandate, the understandings of impartiality and neutrality, and in force deployments came together to critically limit the effectiveness of the safe area deployment. This paper aims to analyze the failures of Srebrenica to highlight changes which need to be made to create an effective safe zone policy in the future, one which is capable of offering robust and effective protection. At the same time this paper addresses issues of legitimacy, including the emerging norm of ‘Responsibility to Protect’ and the role of the General Assembly in legitimating action, to highlight the legitimacy of a robust safe zone policy informed from the failures of Srebrenica.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
18 Jul 2022
459 kB



  • Alternative title
    • Protection from Tragedy

  • Journal title
    • International Social Science Review

  • Volume
    • 91

  • Issue
    • 2

  • Date submitted

    18 July 2022

  • Keywords
  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Kyle Rapp is currently pursuing his Master of Science in Human Rights at the University College Dublin in Ireland. The research this article is based upon was conducted as part of his undergraduate thesis for Roberts Wesleyan College.