International Humanitarian Law


International Humanitarian Law

International Humanitarian Law (IHL) (otherwise named as the Law of War or the Law of Armed Conflict) is a branch of the International Law. Its main aim is to humanize the warfare and alleviate the suffering of war victims. IHL is applied in international and inner armed conflicts. IHL consists of the so-called Geneva Law, which includes the standards of war victims protection and of the Hague Law (the law of Hague), including rules of means and methods of conducting a battle actions.

Main tasks:

  • Protection of civilians and those who have stopped taking part in military actions (the wounded and those, who were in captivity).
  • Regulation of warfare means and methods.

The Red Cross was the initiator of Geneva Conventions adopted in 1949 as well as their Additional Protocols in 1977 and 2005. These documents are considered to be the main instruments of the IHL. The Conventions that were signed and ratified by Ukraine are mandatory.

Sources of the International Humanitarian Law:

  • Geneva Convention (І) on the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field
  • Geneva Convention (ІІ) on the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea
  • Geneva Convention (ІІІ) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War
  • Geneva Convention (ІV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War
  • Additional protocol І, relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts
  • Additional protocol ІІ, relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts
  • Additional protocol ІІІ relating to the Adoption of an Additional Distinctive Emblem of Red Cross and Red Crescent