IRRC No. 905

Adoption of the Additional Protocols of 8 June 1977: A milestone in the development of international humanitarian law

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On 8 June 1977, the Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts adopted two Protocols Additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions. This was the result of nearly ten years of intensive and delicate negotiations. Additional Protocol I protects the victims of international armed conflicts, while Additional Protocol II protects the victims of non-international armed conflicts. These Protocols, which do not replace but supplement the 1949 Geneva Conventions, updated both the law protecting war victims and the law on the conduct of hostilities. This article commemorates the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the 1977 Additional Protocols.

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