Sri Lanka. Sierra Leone. Kosovo. Rwanda. The Philippines. Chechnya. Somalia. Northern Ireland. Spain. Armed groups are active in numerous civil conflicts. Considered “terrorists” by some, and “liberation fighters” by others, there can be no doubt that such groups have been responsible for serious abuses of human rights. These abuses primarily affect civilians who are caught in the conflict, but they raise many concerns for organisations that work for peace, protect human rights, or provide humanitarian relief. Increasingly, those working in conflict situations, are faced with the problem of reducing or putting a stop to the abuses committed by armed groups. Human rights organisations, humanitarian relief workers, and staff with UN and other international agencies, are grappling with the issue of how to ensure armed groups (as well as states) respect international standards. What can be done to influence the behaviour of armed groups? What obstacles are faced by those who undertake them? What factors make an armed group more or less likely to respect human rights and humanitarian norms? Based on research in ten countries, an international meeting, and consultations in a number of countries, a report published in September 2000 discusses these questions. Ends and Means – human rights approaches to armed groups sets out a framework for analysing the problem of how to encourage armed groups to respect human rights. “…congratulations on a carefully worded, comprehensive and rich report. I look forward to circulating the final version to staff, and using this to adapt into analysis and advocacy strategies.” Nicola Reindorp, Policy Department, OXFAM, UK. “I have read it with great interest and would like to congratulate you on your work, which will be very useful.” Marion Haroff-Tavel, ICRC, Geneva, Switzerland. “We have read through the report and we have found it excellent.” Henry Odraa Raga, Executive Secretary, Fellowship of Reconciliation, (JYAK), Uganda