Upholding Humanity in Warfare:International Humanitarian Law

  Oct 13, 2023

International Humanitarian Law (IHL)

What is International Humanitarian Law (IHL)?

It’s a set of rules seeking to limit the effects of armed conflict, protecting civilians and those who are no longer participating in hostilities.

Why is IHL important?

It aims to reduce suffering and protect the dignity of individuals affected by war and armed conflict.

Where is IHL derived from?

Primarily from the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols.

Who is bound by IHL?

Both state and non-state armed groups involved in a conflict must adhere to IHL.

What is the difference between IHL and Human Rights Law?

While both promote human rights, IHL applies during armed conflict, whereas Human Rights Law applies at all times.

What happens if IHL is violated?

Violations can lead to war crimes, and perpetrators can be held accountable in international or domestic courts.

How is IHL enforced?

Through national and international courts, as well as by states who can use mechanisms like diplomatic pressure.

What are the principles of IHL?

Distinction, proportionality, necessity, and the prohibition of unnecessary suffering.

Does IHL apply to non-international conflicts? Example?

Yes, certain rules of IHL, such as those prohibiting torture or targeting civilians, apply regardless of the conflict’s nature. For instance, even in a civil war within a country, parties involved must adhere to these rules.

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