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The international forum for exchange and dialogue on humanitarian law, policy and action

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This month's highlight

Closing of the first ICRC Research and Debate Cycle on New Technologies

The conference cycle "New Technologies and the Modern Battlespace: Humanitarian Perspectives" ended on June 24 with two public events: a webinar on Technological Innovation and Principled Humanitarian Action, and a panel on the Challenges of Increasingly Autonomous Weapons.

From March to June 2014, we hosted seven events in various locations across the globe, covering the various ways in which new technologies affect humanitarian law and action. After a first inaugural event, renowned experts and practitioners addressed the challenges posed by cyber warfare, autonomous weapons (in Washington, DC and in Boston), soldier enhancement techniques, and the impact on humanitarian action. See all podcasts & recordings, as well as interviews and reference publications on this page.

International Review of the Red Cross

PANEL DISCUSSIONS
Multinational operations and the law – Australia
On 28 May the Australia Mission held a special panel discussion to mark the upcoming edition of the International Review of the Red Cross dealing with multinational operations and the law. Moderated by Dr Mike Kelly AM, the event brought together experts from the humanitarian, military and legal fields including Group Captain Chris Hanna, director of operations and international law at the Department of Defence, Professor Tim McCormack, from the University of Melbourne, and Mariya Nikolova, the editor of the Review.
Listen to the recording, and watch the interview with Dr Mike Kelly.

New approaches to preventing IHL violations – Australia
The discussion addressed new approaches to understanding behaviour in armed conflict as well as cutting-edge training methods aimed at preventing violations of international humanitarian law (IHL). Speakers included the Editor-in-Chief of the International Review of the Red Cross, Vincent Bernard, the Head of ICRC’s Virtual Training Tools project, Christian Rouffaer, as well as Professor Dale Stephens from University of Adelaide, and Lieutenant Colonel Darleen Young from the Australian Defence College. Read the summary article.
Business, violence & conflict – London
The discussion, co-organized with the Institute for Human Rights and Business, launched an edition of the International Review of the Red Cross on business, violence and conflict. It gathered around 100 business people, government officials and civil society representatives to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London on June 17.
The panel focused on the value of multi-stakeholder initiatives in improving the conduct of firms and their employees working amid violence. Panelists included ICRC’s Claude Voillat, Seema Joshi of Amnesty International, Jan Klawitter of mining firm Anglo American, and Scott Jerbi of the Institute for Human Rights and Business. The event was introduced by Paul Arkwright, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Multilateral Policy Director and chaired by Hugo Slim of the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict.
Read the summary article.

Customary IHL Database

NEW UPDATE
Seven countries added to the ICRC's free online database
The ICRC's free online Customary IHL database has been updated with State practices of 11 countries (Afghanistan, Australia, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Israel, Mexico, Russian Federation, Spain, Venezuela and Viet Nam). The update relates to issues such as humanitarian principles, child soldiers, sexual violence, detention, violence aimed at spreading terror among the civilian population, access for humanitarian relief to civilians in need, the protection and transport of medical personnel, the improper use of internationally recognized emblems, the integration of IHL into the training and operations of armed forces and the prosecution of war crimes.  
Find out more about the database
Free online access

Workshops & Training

READY-TO-USE WORKSHOP
The legal framework applicable to health care in armed conflict
The ICRC has designed a half-day thematic workshop combining video, presentations, group work and plenary discussion aimed at addressing the legal framework applicable to health care in armed conflict. This workshop is primarily targeted at law professors who wish to discuss this important issue in their classroom. It is freely accessible on the ICRC website.
ONLINE TRAINING
Launch of the Online Training Centre
The Online Training Centre is a collection of e-learning tools on international humanitarian law and other areas of the ICRC's work. These online training courses are available to anyone and are provided free of charge. The themes covered include the basic rules and principles of IHL, the sources of law, human rights and IHL, protected persons and objects, means and methods of warfare, and international crimes. Available in French – English version coming soon.

Advisory Service

NEW RELEASES
Tools relating to prevention and punishment of serious IHL violations
1) A “tool kit on the repression of IHL violations” which includes 11 fact sheets dealing with various aspects linked to the criminal repression of war crimes and other relevant international crimes.
2) The English version of the report of the third universal meeting of national IHL committees on “Preventing and Repressing International Crimes, towards an “Integrated Approach” based on Domestic Practice.” The report, based primarily on national practice, offers a pragmatic approach to the prevention and suppression of international crimes, paying particular attention to the Statute of the International Criminal Court.
3) The fact sheet on the prohibition and punishment of torture and other forms of ill-treatment, exposing main States’ obligations with regard to both IHL and IHRL legal frameworks.
New fact sheets on weapon treaties
4) On the recent Arms Trade Treaty adopted on 2 April 2013.
5) Five revised fact-sheets on weapons conventions including, among others, the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions and the 1997 Anti-Personnel Mine-Ban Convention.

Updates on new legislation and case law around the world
6) The biannual update on national implementation of IHL related treaties covering the period from July to December 2013.

All these tools and many others can also be consulted on the website of the ICRC Advisory Service.
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