IRRC No. 901

Strengthening compliance with IHL: The ICRC-Swiss initiative

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Lack of compliance with international humanitarian law (IHL), or insufficient observance of its rules, is probably the greatest current challenge to the continued credibility of this body of international law. The need to strengthen respect for IHL led the ICRC and Switzerland to facilitate unprecedented consultations among States between 2012 and 2015 focused, specifically, on improving the efficiency of mechanisms of compliance with IHL. This note outlines the background of the initiative and summarizes its course and outcome. Ongoing work in the current phase of the process, agreed to at the 32nd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent held in late 2015, is also very briefly indicated.

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