A civilian is a person who is not a member of an armed force. Unless they are openly carrying arms, civilians do not participate in armed conflict, and they are not considered combatants under the laws of war. However, they are not necessarily non-combatants, as there are certain situations when they are not.
Civilians have many differences, including their backgrounds, values, habits, and abilities. They can also be classified based on the profession or culture they belong to. There are several reasons why a person chooses to be a civilian, such as legal or cultural. The purpose of lumping civilians together is to contrast them with people who serve in uniform.
In the case of non-state armed groups, the ICRC also confirms that the ICRC may not consider them as civilians if they participate in hostilities for a limited period of time. This is because there is no universal definition of what constitutes a civilian. Therefore, it must be determined case-by-case.
In Colombia, civilians are defined as those who do not belong to the armed forces or armed opposition. According to the Colombian military manual, civilians are those who do not participate in hostilities. However, this definition is not very clear for armed opposition groups, as practice is inconsistent. Despite this, civilians are protected under international law.
Loss of civilian protection requires military forces to take reasonable steps to protect civilians from direct attack. This protection must be proportional to the military advantage that the attack is intended to produce. Furthermore, it must be proportional to the precaution taken. If the military is unable to identify a civilian, the protections of the civilian must be extended.
Civilians also bring different perspectives to national security policymaking. Their backgrounds in law, management, and social science make them well qualified to provide relevant insights. This diversity is valuable for the policy-making process. A civilian who has experience as a lawyer or politician may be more qualified to provide policy advice than a military officer.
President Franklin Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which gave many young people the opportunity to build the country and develop their skills. In addition to developing their skills, CCC participants also helped develop our nation’s infrastructure. The grandfather of Kail Kimball, for instance, worked on building the Appalachian Trail.
Civilians are employed by the PRPD on a temporary or permanent basis, in a paid or unpaid capacity. Civilian employees may also self-procure their HHG. However, they must make the necessary arrangements and pay for the move. This means that civilians are not police officers nor fire fighters.