Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-559fc8cf4f-8sgpw Total loading time: 0.456 Render date: 2021-02-26T16:50:53.334Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": false, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true }

The International Committee of the Red Cross and the promotion of international humanitarian law: Looking back, looking forward

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 December 2015

Abstract

In a globalizing world marked by geopolitical upheaval, unprecedented threats to human security, new forms of violence and technological revolutions, particularly in the area of information technology, it is no simple task to raise awareness of international humanitarian law (IHL) applicable to armed conflict and ensure that warring parties comply with this body of law. This article traces the history of the International Committee of the Red Cross's (ICRC) work in promoting IHL from 1864 to the present, juxtaposing this history with important events in international relations and with the organization's (sometimes traumatizing) experiences that ultimately gave rise to innovative programmes. The article summarizes lively debates that took place at the ICRC around such topics as the place of ethics in the promotion of IHL, respect for cultural diversity in the various methods used to promote this body of law, and how much attention should be devoted to youth – as well as the most effective way to do so. The author concludes by sharing her personal views on the best way to promote IHL in the future by drawing on the lessons of the past.

Type
Integrating and implementing the law – the mandate and role of different actors
Copyright
Copyright © icrc 2015 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.

References

1 This image was borrowed from François Bugnion, The International Committee of the Red Cross and the Protection of War Victims, 2nd ed., ICRC, Geneva, 2000, p. 301.

2 In the past, the “promotion” of IHL referred to efforts undertaken to encourage States to ratify the treaties that they had signed or to adhere to them; the term has taken on a broader meaning over time. Some use it in place of the word “dissemination”, which is now considered a little old-fashioned. In this document, the promotion of IHL covers any action aimed at encouraging familiarity with, understanding of and respect for these rules and their spirit. Marion Harroff-Tavel, “Promoting Norms to Limit Violence in Crisis Situations: Challenges, Strategies and Alliances”, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 322, March 1998.

3 Implementation, a legal obligation of States, consists of transposing IHL into domestic law, for cases when international law is not directly applicable or to set out criminal sanctions in the event of violations. It may involve more than one government ministry.

4 The integration of IHL aims at creating mechanisms and proposing practical measures to ensure it is included in the training of armed forces and security forces and in the education of certain components of civil society, such as youth and academic circles. Because awareness of the law does not automatically lead to a change in behaviour and attitudes, practical guidelines must be given in order to put the law into practice. This terminology is no more than twenty years old. It is specific to the ICRC and, initially, was used mostly in the context of legal support provided to the army and police. Until recently, this type of work aimed at civil society was included in the meaning of the term “dissemination”.

5 “Dissemination is the spreading of knowledge of IHL and of the Principles and ideals of the Movement so that they may be understood, accepted and respected; it is also intended to facilitate humanitarian work.” The dissemination of IHL targets arms carriers as well as civil society. It is a legal obligation of States, which receive support from other entities, mainly the ICRC, the National Societies and the IFRC (the task of dissemination is included in their statutes to varying degrees). See ICRC and League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Promotion of International Humanitarian Law and of the Principles and Ideals of the Movement: Dissemination – Guidelines for the '90s, preparatory document for the 26th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, reprinted in International Review of the Red Cross, Vol. 32, No. 287, 1992, p. 175Google Scholar. This conference was postponed sine die – see Sandoz, Yves, “The 26th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent: Myth and Reality”, International Review of the Red Cross, Vol. 35, No. 305, 1995CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

6 Original French text: “Il serait bon que le Comité entretînt une agitation, si l'on peut s'exprimer ainsi, pour faire adopter nos vues par tout le monde, en haut et en bas, chez les souverains de l'Europe, comme dans les populations.” Transcript of the minutes of the first meeting of the International Committee for the Relief of Wounded Soldiers, 17 February 1863. English translation published in International Review of the Red Cross, No. 23, February 1963, pp. 6365Google Scholar. The French original text can be found in “Comité international de Secours aux Blessés, Commission spéciale de la Société en faveur des Militaires blessés durant les guerres, Séance de la Commission du 17 février 1863”, Procès-verbaux des séances du Comité international de la Croix-Rouge, 1863–1914, ed. Jean-François Pitteloud, with contributions from Caroline Barnes and Françoise Dubosson, Société Henry Dunant and ICRC, Geneva, 1999, p. 18.

7 ICRC translation. Original French text: “répandre autant que possible, spécialement parmi les soldats, la connaissance des articles de la Convention de Genève”. “Relativement à la guerre sur terre”, Resolution I, point 15, IIème Conférence internationale des gouvernements signataires de la Convention de Genève et des Sociétés et associations de secours aux militaires blessés et malades, Berlin, 22–27 April 1869, p. 248.

8 To make the content more readily accessible, Gustave Moynier prepared a commentary on the Geneva Convention: Droit des Gens – Etude sur la Convention de Genève pour l'amélioration du sort des militaires blessés dans les armées en campagne (1864 et 1868), Librairie de Joël Cherbuliez, Paris, 1870.

9 ICRC translation. Original French text: Moynier, Gustave, “Note sur la création d'une institution judiciaire internationale propre à prévenir et à réprimer les infractions à la Convention de Genève”, Bulletin International des Sociétés de Secours aux Militaires Blessés, Vol. 3, No. 11, 1872Google Scholar.

10 Pierre Boissier, History of the International Committee of the Red Cross: From Solferino to Tsushima, Henry Dunant Institute, Geneva, 1985, p. 307. Established by the imperial family in 1867, the Russian Red Cross Society was originally named the Society for the Care of Wounded and Sick Soldiers.

11 The Institute of International Law, founded in 1873, plays a role both in the ongoing development of international law by establishing general principles applicable to that discipline, and in the progressive codification of those principles.

12 Before sanctions can be applied, the infractions have to be defined and identical provisions have to be incorporated in States' criminal codes so that soldiers understand the risk of violating the law; that was Gustave Moynier's reasoning. P. Boissier, above note 10, p. 480.

13 The Laws of War on Land (Oxford Manual), adopted by the Institute of International Law at Oxford on 9 September 1880. See Dietrich Schindler and Jiri Toman (eds), The Laws of Armed Conflicts: A Collection of Conventions, Resolutions and Other Documents, Martinus Nijhoff, Boston, MA, and Leiden, 2004, pp. 35–48.

14 Ibid., p. 35.

Ibid

15 ICRC translation. Original French text: “répandre la connaissance de la Convention de Genève en leur sein ”. 4th International Conference of the Red Cross, Point VIII, “Mesures prises par les Sociétés pour répandre la connaissance de la Convention de Genève dans l'armée, dans les cercles particulièrement intéressés à son exécution et dans le grand public”, Karlsruhe, September 1887.

16 Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armies in the Field of 6 July 1906, Art. 26. Article 1 of Convention IV respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, signed at The Hague on 18 October 1907, only required the High Contracting Parties to give “instructions to their armed land forces which shall be in conformity with the Regulations respecting the laws and customs of war on land, annexed to the present Convention”. The Convention (X) for the Adaptation to Maritime Warfare of the Principles of the Geneva Convention, also signed at The Hague on 18 October 1907 and modelled on the 1906 Convention, was more restrictive in its Article 20: it called on the signing powers to take “the necessary measures for bringing the provisions of the present Convention to the knowledge of their naval forces, and especially of the members entitled thereunder to immunity, and for making them known to the public”.

17 André Durand, History of the International Committee of the Red Cross: From Sarajevo to Hiroshima, Henry Dunant Institute, Geneva, 1984, p. 49.

18 ICRC translation. Original French text: “s'engagent à faire une propagande intense pour créer dans tous les pays une opinion publique éclairée, connaissant la pleine impartialité de la Croix-Rouge”. “Civil War” (Resolution XIV, Xth International Conference, Geneva, 1921), Handbook of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, 14th ed., ICRC, Geneva, 2008, pp. 1139–1141. Resolution IX of the 14th International Red Cross Conference, held in Brussels in 1930, also implored the National Societies to “intensify their propaganda” (“intensifier leur propagande”). At the 15th International Red Cross Conference in Tokyo in 1934, the role of the League in this matter was set out in Resolution VII.

19 A. Durand, above note 17, pp. 132–133. Contacts with academia at this time were occasional and ad hoc. The first ICRC delegate assigned to work with academia was appointed in 1997.

20 Protected personnel are to be understood as “medical, administrative and transport staff and chaplains” (“sanitaires, personnel d'administration ou conducteur, aumôniers”), who must respect the Conventions in exchange for the privileges and immunity they enjoy. Paul Des Gouttes, Commentaire de la Convention de Genève du 27 juillet 1929, ICRC, Geneva, 1930, p. 193.

21 This backdrop included the economic depression of the early 1930s, the Chaco War (1932–35), the Second Italo-Ethiopian War (1935–36), the Spanish Civil War (1936–39), the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–39) and the annexation of Austria by Hitler (1938). The ICRC had serious financial problems in 1938.

22 “Enseignement à la jeunesse des principes de la Convention de Genève et de la Croix-Rouge”, Resolution IX, 15th International Conference of the Red Cross, Tokyo, 1934.

23 “Children's History of the Red Cross”, Resolution XXIII, 16th International Conference of the Red Cross, London, 1938.

24 ICRC translation. Original French text: “à l’étude de la législation de leur pays, comparée avec les autres législations nationales, aux fins d'attirer l'attention de leurs Gouvernements respectifs sur les lacunes éventuelles de leur législation”. “Recueil de textes relatifs à l'application de la Convention de Genève”, Resolution XL, 15th International Conference of the Red Cross, Tokyo, 1934.

25 “La Croix-Rouge éducatrice”, Resolution XXVI, 16th International Conference of the Red Cross, London, 1938.

26 One activity of the ICRC should be mentioned here: the legal assistance that it provided to prisoners of war who were subject to criminal sanctions in an effort to ensure they were accorded at least the minimum rights provided by the 1929 Convention. When it came to prosecuting violations of the law, the ICRC wanted to ensure that this was not done in a spirit of vengeance or reprisal.

27 Frédéric Siordet, Inter Arma Caritas: The Work of the International Committee of the Red Cross During the Second World War, Geneva, ICRC, 1973.

28 Jean-Georges Lossier, Fellowship: The Moral Significance of the Red Cross, Geneva, 1948.

29 ICRC translation. Original French text: “pour sa survie” and “au bord de la banqueroute”. Catherine Rey-Schyrr, De Yalta à Dien Bien Phu: Histoire du Comité international de la Croix-Rouge, 1945–1955, Georg, Geneva, 2007, Foreword by François Bugnion, pp. 7–9.

30 Geneva Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of 12 August 1949, 75 UNTS 31 (entered into force 21 October 1950) (GC I), Art. 47; Geneva Convention (II) for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea of 12 August 1949, 75 UNTS 85 (entered into force 21 October 1950) (GC II), Art. 48; Geneva Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of 12 August 1949, 75 UNTS 135 (entered into force 21 October 1950) (GC III), Art. 127; Geneva Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949, 75 UNTS 287 (entered into force 21 October 1950) (GC IV), Art. 144. The wording in the four articles is nearly identical. Article 127 of GC III adds that any “military or other authorities, who in time of war assume responsibilities in respect of prisoners of war, must possess the text of the Convention and be specially instructed as to its provisions”. The commentary on this article mentions the groups to be targeted for civilian instruction: National Societies, the press and law faculties. Article 144 of GC IV also mentions dissemination to police forces “who in time of war assume responsibilities in respect of protected persons”. The Commentary on this article states that the Red Cross has a significant role to play in the area of dissemination.

31 Jean Pictet (ed.), The Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949: Geneva Convention I for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field: Commentary, with contributions by Frédéric Siordet (collab.) et al., ICRC, Geneva, 1952, pp. 348–349.

32 GC I, Art. 49; GC II, Art. 50; GC III, Art. 129; GC IV, Art. 146.

33 F Bugnion, above note 1, pp. 1081–1083.

34 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly on 16 December 1966.

35 F. Bugnion, above note 1, pp. 719–724; Pilloud, Claude, “Reservations to the Geneva Conventions of 1949”, International Review of the Red Cross, Vol. 16, No. 180, 1976, p. 115Google Scholar.

36 “Young People and the Geneva Conventions”, Resolution XXIX, 19th International Conference of the Red Cross, New Delhi, 1957.

37 “Practical Means of Spreading Knowledge of the Geneva Conventions among Young People”, Resolution XXX, 19th International Conference of the Red Cross, New Delhi, 1957.

38 Statutes of the International Red Cross, adopted by the 18th International Conference of the Red Cross, Toronto, July–August 1952, Art. VI, para. 7.

39 Responsibility for teaching this course has been taken over by the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, which is jointly managed by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and the University of Geneva.

40 ICRC translation. Original French text: “huit ans après la fin du deuxième conflit mondial, il vivait encore selon une optique et avec une organisation qui lui avaient été imposés par les circonstances de la guerre ”. ICRC, “Rapport du groupe de travail No. I présenté à l'assemblée plénière du CICR”, 11 March 1954, Archives du Comité International de la Croix-Rouge, Microfilms, procès-verbaux, C 03.

41 Françoise Perret and François Bugnion, De Budapest à Saigon: Histoire du Comité international de la Croix-Rouge, 1956–1965, ICRC and Georg, Geneva, 2009, pp. 319–320.

42 Ibid., p. 548.

Ibid

43 On 26 August 1970, the first circular on dissemination was sent to the National Societies, suggesting that they take part in a global dissemination campaign and share their experiences with the ICRC. In January 1971, a first report on dissemination was sent to the National Societies, and on 30 March 1971 a questionnaire on university education in IHL was sent to the National Societies and universities. In 1972, a university curriculum on IHL and a dissemination action plan were sent to the National Societies, and the issue of dissemination was systematically included in the International Review of the Red Cross. In October 1976, the first IHL training course for National Society officials was given at the Henry Dunant Institute.

44 On 15 August 1972, the first memorandum on dissemination was sent to governments.

45 “Implementation and Dissemination of the Geneva Conventions”, Resolution XXI, 20th International Conference of the Red Cross, Vienna, 1965; “Dissemination of the Geneva Conventions”, Resolution IX, 21st International Conference of the Red Cross, Istanbul, 1969; “Implementation and Dissemination of the Geneva Conventions”, Resolution XII, 22nd International Conference of the Red Cross, Tehran, 1973.

46 Simone Delorenzi, Contending with the Impasse in International Humanitarian Action: ICRC Policy Since the End of the Cold War, ICRC, Geneva, 1999, pp. 22–23.

47 In 1968, Donald Tansley was appointed vice-president of the Canadian International Development Agency. From 1973 to 1975, he examined the role of the International Red Cross.

48 Donald D. Tansley, Final Report: An Agenda for Red Cross – Re-appraisal of the Role of the Red Cross, Henry Dunant Institute, Geneva, 1975, p. 23.

49 David P. Forsythe, Re-appraisal of the Role of the Red Cross, No. 1: Present Role of the Red Cross in Protection, ed. Joint Committee for the Reappraisal of the Role of the Red Cross, Henry Dunant Institute, Geneva, 1975, p. 49.

50 D. D. Tansley, above note 48, p. 69.

51 Ibid., p. 69.

Ibid

52 ICRC, The ICRC, The League and the Report on the Reappraisal of the Role of the Red Cross, Geneva, 1979, offprint regrouping content from several issues of the International Review of the Red Cross from No. 204, June 1978, to No. 208, February 1979.

53 Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, 1125 UNTS 3, 8 June 1977 (entered into force 7 December 1978) (AP I), Art. 83; Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts, 1125 UNTS 609, 8 June 1977 (entered into force 7 December 1978), Art. 19.

54 Draft Resolution CDDH/438 on the Dissemination of Knowledge of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts, Official Records of the Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts, Geneva (1974–1977), 55th plenary meeting, 7 June 1977, Vol. 7, p. 181.

55 AP I, Art. 80, para. 1.

56 AP I, Arts 6, 82, 87, 84.

57 Jean-Marie Henckaerts and Louise Doswald-Beck, Customary International Humanitarian Law, Vol. 1: Rules, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2005, Rules 141–143, pp. 500–508.

58 Sylvie-Stoyanka Junod, “La diffusion du droit international humanitaire”, in Christophe Swinarski (ed.), Studies and Essays on International Humanitarian Law and Red Cross Principles in Honour of Jean Pictet, ICRC and Martinus Nijhoff, Geneva, 1984, p. 365.

59 ICRC translation. Original French text: “dans le concept général des responsabilités de l'individu vis-à-vis de ses semblables”. 23rd International Conference of the Red Cross, Bucharest, “European Seminar on Dissemination of Knowledge of Geneva Conventions, Warsaw, 21–30 March 1977”, report presented by the ICRC and the Polish Red Cross, June 1977, p. 6-V.

60 Report of the 22nd International Conference of the Red Cross, Tehran, 8–15 November 1973, p. 71.

61 “Implementation and Dissemination of the Geneva Conventions”, Resolution XII, 22nd International Conference of the Red Cross, Tehran, 1973.

62 “Dissemination of Knowledge of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts and of the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross”, Resolution VII, 23rd International Conference of the Red Cross, Bucharest, 1977.

63 Jenny Griswold, “A Communication Campaign Designed to Solve a Critical Humanitarian Problem”, Case Study No. 1726, PR News, ISSN 0033-3697; ICRC, Red Cross Information in Areas of Conflict: Analysis of the Information Campaign in Southern Africa 1978–1980, Recommendations for Similar Activities in Africa in the Future, Geneva, 1981.

64 It is worth mentioning the Inter-American Seminar on State Security, Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, organized jointly by the ICRC and the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, in San José, Costa Rica, in 1982. It was attended by representatives of the military and of National Societies and by researchers specializing in human rights, from across the continent. The ICRC also took part in seminars in Bolivia, Uruguay, Peru, Chile and Venezuela.

65 Action plans for the periods 1978–1981, 1982–1985 and 1986–1990.

66 Details on what was done in the 1980s are contained in the guidelines for the 1990s.

67 ICRC, Commentary on the Additional Protocols of 8 June 1977 to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, Geneva, 1987.

68 For this, the focus was on organizing training seminars for civil servants and diplomatic staff in different parts of the world, including in Geneva and New York for accredited UN diplomats.

69 The ICRC and the Polish Red Cross began the Warsaw summer course on IHL in 1981; the ICRC and the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg started offering IHL seminars in 1982. The ICRC also ran conferences and produced publications.

70 Specialized publications were produced; the Medical Division, in cooperation with the University of Geneva and the World Health Organization, began the English-language course “Health Emergencies in Large Populations” in 1986; and in the field, training in first aid was provided to Afghan refugees on the border with Pakistan.

71 Article 9.3 of the Seville Agreement of 1997 on the Organization of the International Activities of the Components of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement confirmed the ICRC's “lead role” in this matter.

72 Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987.

73 This could be the minister of defence, the head of military training, the chief of staff, or commanders of major units (i.e., brigades or divisions).

74 Between 1975 and 1990, the ICRC organized eighty-eight national or regional seminars for the armed forces and participated in twenty courses of this type in San Remo; it also supported the production of teaching materials.

75 ICRC, Quinze ans d'activités opérationnelles du CICR en faveur des victimes de la guerre et des conflits armés, 1970–1985, internal document, 7 November 1985.

76 Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects, Geneva, 10 October 1980, Art. 6.

77 “Dissemination of Knowledge of International Humanitarian Law and of the Red Cross Principles and Ideals”, Resolution X, 24th International Conference of the Red Cross, Manila, 1981. “The Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions”, Resolution II; “Dissemination of International Humanitarian Law and the Principles and Ideals of the Movement in the Service of Peace”, Resolution IV; “National Measures to Implement International Humanitarian Law”, and Resolution V; “International Courses on Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts”, Resolution VI, 25th International Conference of the Red Cross, Geneva, 1986.

78 Jean-Jacques Surbeck, Co-ordination Among Interested International Organisations in the Field of Promotion, Dissemination and Implementation of International Humanitarian Law, 6th Round Table on Current Problems in International Humanitarian Law and Red Cross Symposium, San Remo, 5–8 September 1979, pp. 11–12.

79 Second Gulf War and second Intifada, internal conflicts in Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Nepal, Balkan and Caucasus conflicts, Rwanda genocide and conflicts in Somalia, the DRC and Guinea-Bissau, Chiapas revolt in Mexico, border conflict between Ecuador and Peru. The list, unfortunately, is long.

80 After the Nyamaropa murders in Rhodesia, the ICRC undertook a massive dissemination effort in Africa. Yet after the tragedies in Burundi and Chechnya, some ICRC officials wondered whether dissemination worked, as if it alone could be expected to safeguard delegates. Dissemination continued, however, to enjoy the full support of President Cornelio Sommaruga and interlocutors in government circles, who encouraged the ICRC to carry on its efforts.

81 ICRC and League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Promotion of International Humanitarian Law and of the Principles and Ideals of the Movement: Results of the World Campaign for the Protection of Victims of War, preparatory document for the 26th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, CD 5/2, C.I/5.1/1, Geneva, 1991. This conference was postponed sine die.

82 ICRC and League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, above note 5.

83 We would note, however, that the 1995 Conference adopted the Final Declaration of the International Conference for the Protection of War Victims of 1 September 1993, which encouraged the development of practical measures to promote the law in countries where government structures were falling apart. “International Humanitarian Law: From Law to Action. Report on the Follow-Up to the International Conference for the Protection of War Victims”, Resolution I, 26th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Geneva, 1995.

84 Kole Omotoso, with Foreword by Nelson Mandela, Woza Africa! Music Goes to War, J. Ball, Johannesburg, 1997.

85 Claudia F. Dary, El derecho internacional humanitario y el ordén juridico maya: Una perspectiva historico-cultural, FLACSO, Guatemala, 1997.

86 Baeriswyl, Édith and Aeschlimann, Alain, “Reflections on a Dissemination Operation in Burundi – Declaration for Standards of Humanitarian Conduct: Appeal for a Minimum of Humanity in a Situation of Internal Violence”, International Review of the Red Cross, Vol. 37, No. 319, 1997, p. 398CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

87 G. Chaves, ‘L'Approche interculturelle’ pour la promotion du droit international au CICR, ICRC internal study, 1998–1999. See also M. Harroff-Tavel, above note 2, pp. 5–20; Marion Harroff-Tavel, “Cultural Diversity and the Challenges it Poses for Humanitarian Practitioners”, African Yearbook on International Humanitarian Law, 2007; Domestici-Met, Marie-José, “Cent ans après la Haye, cinquante ans après Genève: Le droit international humanitaire au temps de la guerre civile”, Revue Internationale de la Croix-Rouge, No. 834, June 1999, pp. 277302CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

88 Harroff-Tavel, Marion, “Les défis de l'action humanitaire du CICR dans les conflits du Caucase et d'Asie centrale (1993–1996)”, Relations Internationales, No. 105, Spring 2001Google Scholar.

89 Hankins, Stéphane, “Promoting International Humanitarian Law in Higher Education and Universities in the Countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States”, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 319, July–August 1997, pp. 447450CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

90 Marco Sassòli, Antoine A. Bouvier and Anne Quintin, How Does Law Protect in War? Cases, Documents and Teaching Materials on Contemporary Practice in International Humanitarian Law, 3rd ed., ICRC, Geneva, March 2011.

91 The network was then expanded to include New Delhi, Pretoria, Harare, New York and Brussels (posts at the latter two locations began in the early 2000s). The network is currently made up of thirty-five delegates working with armed and police forces and gendarmeries.

92 The ICRC delegates in charge of these decentralized courses have considerably expanded the network of the San Remo Institute, bringing in officers (and in some cases former rebel commanders) from Africa (Uganda, Angola, Ethiopia), Asia (Vietnam) and Latin America. Since 2008, the ICRC has been providing technical support to help modernize the Institute's courses in terms of both content and methodology, with the help of other partners like the Swiss army.

93 For example, the principle of distinction between military objectives and civilians (or civilian objects) does not exist in human rights law. The concept of “proportionality” does exist in both bodies of law, but differs fundamentally in each.

94 Cees de Rover, To Serve and to Protect: Human Rights and Humanitarian Law for Police and Security Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1998. This practical training manual, which has been translated into several languages, was used by numerous countries as a model for the rules of engagement applicable to their police forces.

95 The 26th International Red Cross and Red Crescent Conference (Geneva, 1995) adopted these recommendations.

96 The Advisory Service on International Humanitarian Law engages in a number of activities in close collaboration with the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. It encourages States to adopt laws, rules and administrative provisions that could help them fulfil their obligations, such as prosecuting infractions, protecting the red cross and red crescent emblems and marking protected sites. It organizes seminars that promote contacts among ministries, armed forces, National Societies, universities, civil protection entities, etc. Following these seminars, the Advisory Service provides more specialized assistance to States that request it. The Advisory Service also prepares an annual report to describe its progress. For a fuller description of these obligations and of the Advisory Service's work, see Berman, Paul, “The ICRC's Advisory Service on International Humanitarian Law: The Challenge of National Implementation”, International Review of the Red Cross, Vol. 36, No. 312, 1996, pp. 338347CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

97 The results of this study were published in country reports and in a summary document, Greenberg Research, Inc., The People on War Report: ICRC Worldwide Consultation on the Rules of War, ICRC, Geneva, 1999.

98 Ibid., p. 19.

Ibid

99 Ipsos and ICRC, Our World. Views from the Field. Summary Report: Afghanistan, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Georgia, Haiti, Lebanon, Liberia and the Philippines, Geneva, 2009.

100 F. Bugnion, above note 1. This work is both theoretical and practical and takes a multidisciplinary approach (bringing together history, legal and political science). It is full of lessons on the relationship between the ICRC's work and IHL. The author's conclusions remain very valid today.

101 The critical situation in Darfur in particular restored interest in on-the-spot dissemination, with four Arabic-speaking operational communications delegates permanently assigned to the field starting in 2005. In 2010, however, following an internal restructuring, support activities for operational communications were sharply scaled back in favour of press-related actions.

102 Poretti, Michele, “Preventing Children from Joining Armed Groups”, Refugee Survey Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 4, 2008, pp. 123141CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

103 This research project was based on the People on War study, a survey of combatants in four of the ICRC's areas of operation, a questionnaire submitted to the majority of armed and security forces delegates and communications delegates, and a review of the literature. The study and the survey were carried out with researchers at the University of Geneva.

104 Jean-Jacques Frésard, The Roots of Behaviour in War: A Survey of the Literature, ICRC, Geneva, 2004, p. 110.

105 Blondel, Jean-Luc, “The Meaning of the Word ‘Humanitarian’ in Relation to the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent”, International Review of the Red Cross, Vol. 29, No. 273, 1989CrossRefGoogle Scholar. In the author's view, humanitarian work is driven by an ethic of dialogue.

106 However, according to a psychology book that appeared at that time, humanity and justice can be found in all traditions (most likely owing to their importance for the survival of the species). See Christopher Petersen and Martin E. P. Seligman, Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification, American Psychological Association and Oxford University Press, New York, 2004, pp. 33–52.

107 See Dale Stephens' criticism of the conclusions of “influence research” in this issue of the Review.

108 ICRC, The ICRC: Its Mission and Work, Geneva, March 2009, pp. 16–17.

109 Nathanson, Vivienne, “Medical Ethics in Peacetime and Wartime: The Case for a Better Understanding”, International Review of the Red Cross, Vol. 95, No. 889, 2013CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

110 “Reaffirmation and Implementation of International Humanitarian Law”, Resolution 3, 30th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Geneva, 26–30 November 2007.

111 “4-Year Action Plan for the Implementation of International Humanitarian Law”, Resolution 2, 31st International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Geneva, 2011.

112 This network includes armed forces, police, armed groups, and private military and security companies, which can be further divided into those that develop policy, those that give orders and those that carry out orders.

113 At the time, the ICRC adopted a strategy (2006–2010) aimed at improving the hiring, training and professional development of both local and expatriate communications staff.

114 The ICRC's strategy is built around a combination of modes of action: raising awareness of responsibility (persuasion, mobilization and denunciation), support and substitution (or direct provision of service). ICRC, above note 108, pp. 19–20.

115 Bangerter, Olivier, “Reasons Why Armed Groups Choose to Respect International Humanitarian Law or Not”, International Review of the Red Cross, Vol. 93, No. 882, 2011CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

116 Beliefs such as respecting the dignity of others, accepting difference, compassion in the face of suffering, non-exclusion, solidarity in distress and impartiality in providing a helping hand to ease the most grievous wounds. The fact that these beliefs are not shared by all individuals or groups does not undermine their acceptance by the broader community in any way.

117 ICRC translation. Original French text: “Il s'agit de susciter des réflexes humanitaires dans la lecture des événements, un sentiment de responsabilité par rapport à la détresse de l'autre, la capacité de viser des objectifs à sa portée et de les atteindre, plutôt que de céder à un sentiment d'impuissance. Il s'agit, en fin de compte, de donner aux individus l'aptitude de se déterminer moins en fonction de critères économiques que par rapport à l'inaliénable dignité de l’être humain.” Domestici-Met, Marie-José, “Cent ans après la Haye, cinquante ans après Genève: Le droit international humanitaire au temps de la guerre civile”, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 834, June 1999, p. 300CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Full text views reflects PDF downloads, PDFs sent to Google Drive, Dropbox and Kindle and HTML full text views.

Total number of HTML views: 30
Total number of PDF views: 189 *
View data table for this chart

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 26th February 2021. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

The International Committee of the Red Cross and the promotion of international humanitarian law: Looking back, looking forward
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

The International Committee of the Red Cross and the promotion of international humanitarian law: Looking back, looking forward
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

The International Committee of the Red Cross and the promotion of international humanitarian law: Looking back, looking forward
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *