International services


International humanitarian law is a phối of rules that seek to lớn limit the effects of armed conflict. It protects people who are not or are no longer participating in hostilities và restricts the means và methods of warfare.

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IHL is based on a number of treaties, in particular the Geneva Conventions of 1949 & their Additional Protocols, & a series of other instruments.

Treaties, States Parties and Commentaries

Customary international law consists of rules that come from "a general practice accepted as law" và that exist independent of treaty law.

Customary IHL database


Understanding & responding to lớn challenges lớn IHL brought on by contemporary conflicts.

Direct participation in hostilities


New technologies & IHL

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IHL protects a wide range of people during armed conflict.


Wounded, sick, và shipwrecked

Prisoners of war & detainees

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IHL governs the choice of weapons & prohibits or restricts the use of certain weapons.

Explosive weapons in populated areas

Nuclear weapons

Review of new weapons

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IHL aims khổng lồ strike a balance between legitimate military objectives and the humanitarian objective of reducing suffering, particularly among civilians.

Methods and means of warfare

Cyber warfare

Cultural property

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The red cross, red crescent và red crystal emblems are a visible manifestation of the protection accorded tomilitary medical services và relief workers in armed conflicts.

Emblems of humanity

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When violations of IHL occur, States are under obligation to prosecute offenders. Domestic courts therefore play an important role in the enforcement of IHL. In addition to lớn national jurisdictions, violations of IHL can also be prosecuted by various international criminal tribunals.

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International Criminal Tribunals

Domestic courts

Other mechanism

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For IHL treaties khổng lồ be universally accepted, all States must adopt them and then enact legislation and take practical measures in order for the rules to be fully effective. The’s Advisory Service can help, by providing assistance and documentation. national implementation database

National Committees


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IHL và other legal regimes are complementary in armed conflicts.

Human rights

Refugee law

Jus ad bellum

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For IHL to effectively regulate the behaviour of warring parties, there is a need for both adequate rules & actual respect for those rules.

Strengthening IHL protecting detainees

Strengthening compliance with IHL(2012-2015)

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The first in a series of updated Commentaries to the 1949 Geneva Conventions & their 1977 Additional Protocols, published online by the & in print by Cambridge University Press.

Protection considerations in the law of naval warfare: The Second Geneva Convention and the role of the

View all publicationsLibrary và research servicesThe library and Research Service offers over 140,000documents on IHL và the"s work

Promoting và implementing IHL is primarily the responsibility of States và the Advisory Service on IHL assist them to lớn fulfil their obligations.

The emphasize IHL teaching in secondary schools và universities, khổng lồ reach tomorrow"s decision-makers and opinion-leaders.

A wealth of resources connecting international humanitarian law with the policies that guide humanitarian action.

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The helps those affected by armed conflict & promotes compliance with international humanitarian law. Read more about what we do và who we are.