IRRC No. 293

Implementation of human rights and humanitarian law in situations of armed conflict

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Governments are principally responsible for the implementation of international human rights and humanitarian law during periods of armed conflict. During non-international armed conflicts, governments and armed opposition groups each bear responsibility for their obedience to those norms.International organizations can encourage the participants in armed conflicts to respect human rights and humanitarian law. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has long played a leading role in working for the application of humanitarian law during armed conflicts; it has also begun to refer to human rights law in situations of internal strife or tensions not covered by international humanitarian law. The United Nations General Assembly, the UN Commission on Human Rights, the International Court of Justice, and several other intergovernmental organizations have occasionally attempted to secure respect for human rights law during armed conflicts and have referred on an irregular basis to humanitarian law in such endeavors. The UN Security Council has almost exclusively used humanitarian law in its decisions.

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