IRRC No. 270

States' entitlement to take action to enforce international humanitarian law

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The ultimate purpose of dissemination of and compliance with international humanitarian law (IHL) is to mitigate the effects of armed conflict and provide the best possible protection for its victims. At the same time, IHL fosters wider acceptance of the ideals of humanity and peace between peoples. The relationship between IHL, the struggle for peace and the prohibition of the use of force is becoming ever clearer as the realization grows that lasting peace, development and peaceful international co-operation can be achieved only on the basis of compliance with international law and respect for human life and dignity.

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