RICR No. 853

International humanitarian law and the challenges of contemporary armed conflicts: Excerpt of the Report prepared by the International Committee of the Red Cross for the 28th International Conference ...

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Over thirty years ago the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) submitted a report on the reaffirmation and development of the laws and customs applicable in armed conflicts to the 21st International Conference of the Red Cross held in Istanbul. The purpose of that report was to identify legal issues that, in the ICRC's view, warranted a new effort to codify international humanitarian law (IHL). As is well known, almost a decade later, the texts of the two Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions were adopted and opened for signature and ratification. Additional Protocol I, among other things, codified rules on the conduct of hostilities, expanded the protection of certain categories of persons and included, among others, wars of national liberation within the scope of international armed conflict. Protocol II, although more ambitiously envisaged at the start, elaborated on the provisions of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and laid down basic safeguards that must be applied in non-international armed conflicts.

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