The Independent Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission: Has the ‘Sleeping Beauty’ Awoken?

 The Independent Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission: Has the ‘Sleeping Beauty’ Awoken?

In 2015, the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (the Commission) received a great deal of attention after Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) called for an independent investigation following the destruction of its trauma centre in Kunduz by U.S. airstrikes. The BBC and The New York Times mentioned the possibility of an enquiry by the Commission. In a blog post at the time, Catherine Harwood wondered whether the ‘Sleeping Beauty’—an expression first coined by Professor Frits Kalshoven to describe Commission’s lack of activity since its creation—would awake soon.

Read More

International Review of the Red Cross: Call for Papers for 150th Anniversary Edition

International Review of the Red Cross: Call for Papers for 150th Anniversary Edition

n 2019, the Review will celebrate its 150th anniversary. To mark the occasion, the journal will publish a special edition exploring how the journal reflects the evolution of warfare and humanitarian action over the past century and a half. Authors are invited to send submissions to the Review's editorial team, preferably in the form of a Word document, at review@icrc.org. The deadline for submissions is April 30, 2018. Additional guidelines for authors available here.

Read More

ICRC Maintains Field Presence, Local Engagement Despite Insecurity in Conflict Situations

ICRC Maintains Field Presence, Local Engagement Despite Insecurity in Conflict Situations

A recent article in the Guardian highlighted findings from Presence and Proximity: To Stay and Deliver, Five Years On, a follow up study to OCHA's 2011  To Stay and Deliver. The former study collected and documented humanitarian organizations’ good practices in deploying and delivering relief in highly insecure environments. Presence and Proximity, which is based on interviews with 2,000 humanitarian workers showed that aid agencies often relied on local groups to carry out work in conflicts zones, distancing their own staff from the dangers on the ground. The study found the majority of humanitarian agencies evacuated when violence erupted and if they returned when the situation stabilized, many agencies then focused their aid efforts on more stable areas. However the report did acknowledge that certain organizations, including the ICRC and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), have maintained a major field presence regardless of insecurity through consistent engagement at a local level.

Read More

International Review of the Red Cross: Call for Papers on Protracted Armed Conflict

International Review of the Red Cross: Call for Papers on Protracted Armed Conflict

Protracted armed conflicts are characterized by their longevity, intractability and mutability. This is not a new phenomenon, but some particular trends seen in today's protracted conflicts, such as emerging technologies, pervasive media coverage, and so on, are specific to our times. The International Review is now seeking papers on the topic of protracted conflicts. The deadline for submissions is November 31, 2017.  

Read More

Mélange du Mercredi/I Saw My City Die

Mélange du Mercredi/I Saw My City Die

Welcome to Mélange du Mercredi (Wednesday Mix). Each week, we highlight one of the latest and greatest in reading, film and other scholarly resources, focusing on a variety of issues pertaining to international humanitarian law. This week, we are featuring the ICRC's latest report, I Saw My City Die: Voices from the Front Lines of Urban Conflict in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. As always, if you have suggestions, or would like to submit a post on something you feel our readers will also enjoy, we're happy to include them. Just email Editor Niki Clark

Read More

What You Need to Know About Urban War

What You Need to Know About Urban War

“I Saw My City Die,” a new report released today captures the experience of civilians living in cities impacted by devastating urban wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. The report includes testimony from civilians in Mosul, Taiz and Aleppo – three cities that have been subject to intense fighting – as well as some powerful statistics that illustrate the deadly nature of urban war in the Middle East. Through some analysis of statistics, the report clearly shows that modern urban wars can be far more deadly for civilians than when wars take place in more rural areas.

Read More

New Report - When War Moves to Cities: Protection of Civilians in Urban Areas

New Report - When War Moves to Cities: Protection of Civilians in Urban Areas

Today, the ICRC and InterAction released the outcome report of a roundtable discussion titled "When War Moves to Cities: Protection of Civilians in Urban Areas." The report draws attention to humanitarian challenges specific to urban warfare, notably the protection of civilians, civilian infrastructure, and essential services vulnerable to disruption, such as electricity, water and sanitation.

Read More

Mélange du Mercredi: Tackling Weapon Contamination

Mélange du Mercredi: Tackling Weapon Contamination

Welcome to Mélange du Mercredi (Wednesday Mix). Each week, we highlight one of the latest and greatest in reading, film and other scholarly resources, focusing on a variety of issues pertaining to international humanitarian law. As always, if you have suggestions, or would like to submit a post on something you feel our readers will also enjoy, we're happy to include them. Just email Editor Niki Clark

Read More

Mélange du Mercredi/Humanitarian Work Psychology & the Global Development Agenda

Mélange du Mercredi/Humanitarian Work Psychology & the Global Development Agenda

Welcome to Mélange du Mercredi (Wednesday Mix). Each week, we highlight one of the latest and greatest in reading, film and other scholarly resources, focusing on a variety of issues pertaining to international humanitarian law. This week, reviewers Ashley J. Hoffmanand Drew B. Mallory look at Humanitarian Work Psychology & the Global Development Agenda. As always, if you have suggestions, or would like to submit a post on something you feel our readers will also enjoy, we're happy to include them. Just email Editor Niki Clark

Read More

Call for Papers: 2nd Annual “Revisiting the Role of International Law in National Security” workshop

Call for Papers: 2nd Annual “Revisiting the Role of International Law in National Security” workshop

Many conversations in the U.S. about situations of armed conflict – within civil society, academia, and the U.S. government – center on “national security law,” often drawing primarily from domestic law and military perspectives.  International law is sometimes set aside in these discussions.   This workshop aims to draw the international legal aspects of armed conflicts to the forefront of national security discussions. The workshop is calling for abstracts or draft of an article for discussion, a small number of which will be selected for discussion at the workshop.  

Read More

New Law & Policy E-Briefing on Nuclear Weapons Available from ICRC

New Law & Policy E-Briefing on Nuclear Weapons Available from ICRC

Following the launch of the most recent edition of the International Review focused on the human costs of nuclear weapons, the ICRC has released a Law & Policy e-briefing on the same topic. The e-briefing is a great resource filled with interactive graphics, audio interviews, photographs and panoramics of the immediate aftermath of the atomic bombings and read the testimony of victims who survived. In addition, the e-briefing shows what international humanitarian law (IHL) has to say about nuclear weapons, and how the discussion on nuclear weapons has been reframed from one of deterrence theory and military strategy to one focused on the profound and long-lasting humanitarian consequences that the use of these weapons would have. 

Read More

Upcoming ICRC Event at UC Berkeley: Stopping War Crimes Before They Happen

Upcoming ICRC Event at UC Berkeley: Stopping War Crimes Before They Happen

The ICRC is co-sponsoring an event on March 28, 2016 with the American Red Cross, the American Society for International Law’s Lieber Society, the Berkeley Center for the Study of Law and Society and the Berkeley Human Rights Center. The event aims to answer questions on generating greater respect for International Humanitarian Law.

Read More

International Review Series: Unpacking the principle of humanity - Tensions and implications

International Review Series: Unpacking the principle of humanity - Tensions and implications

Humanity is at once the most universally and uncritically accepted humanitarian principle. It is not, however, without controversy. This International Review article from mid-February explores this inherent tension.

Read More

Roots of Behaviour in War: ICRC Seeks Researchers

Roots of Behaviour in War: ICRC Seeks Researchers

The ICRC is bringing together a group of researchers to identify sources of influence on the formation of 'norms of restraint' in armed conflict within State armed forces and non-State armed groups. We will select each researcher on the basis of a proposal and on the capacity of the researcher to conduct research with two groups of arms bearers of a specified type.

Read More

International Review Series- Rewired Warfare: Rethinking the Law of Cyber Attack

International Review Series- Rewired Warfare: Rethinking the Law of Cyber Attack

In October, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) released a new edition of the International Review of the Red Cross titled Scope of the Law in Armed Conflict. This week we are highlighting an article from this issue titled Rewired Warfare: Rethinking the Law of Cyber Attack, by Michael Schmitt.  The article discusses the applicability of international humanitarian law on cyber, particularly the interpretation of the rules governing cyber 'attacks'. 

Read More

International Review Series: Interview with Brigadier General Richard C. Gross

International Review Series: Interview with Brigadier General Richard C. Gross

This week we are highlighting an interview with Brigadier General Richard C. "Rich" Gross, Former US Army Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  This interview is from the Scope of the Law in Armed Conflict issue, which broadly discusses where, when and to whom International Humanitarian Law (IHL) applies. In the interview, Brigadier General Gross discusses the role that IHL plays in his then position, current trends in armed conflicts, standards of detention and more.

Read More