IRRC No. 53

The European Convention on Human Rights: A useful complement to the Geneva Conventions

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Although by the very nature of its mission the Red Cross is concerned primarily with man's suffering, its efforts to provide the utmost possible protection for the “victim” dovetail with the vast present-day movement for the international defence of human rights. There is nothing fortuitous in this. As a result particularly of the 1949 Conventions, the humanitarian principles underlying the work of the Red Cross have been incorporated in a body of law and the distinction between this “humanitarian” law and international law in general is becoming less and less marked. If humanitarian lawstill deserves a place to itself, this is due less to its intrinsic character than to themethods used to ensure its observance.

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