Donor Countries Pledge Billions at Syrian Conference in London

Donor Countries Pledge Billions at Syrian Conference in London

Earlier today at the Supporting Syria and the Region conference in London, nations pledged to give billions of dollars in aid to Syrians, 6 million of which are displaced within Syria and another 4 million refugees that are in other countries. Included in the pledges was a $601 million boost in humanitarian assistance from the United States, including $32 million for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). 

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Prevention in Practice: Teaching IHL in US Legal Academia

Prevention in Practice: Teaching IHL in US Legal Academia

Today we are sharing a piece by Kate Jastram, a professor at the University of California in Berkeley.  The article is a shortened version of a piece that she and Anne Quintin wrote for the International Review's issue on Generating Respect for the Law.  Their article discusses the progress of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) integration in US legal academia and charts a course forward.

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Even Wars Must Have Limits - An Op-Ed by ICRC's Director of Operations

Even Wars Must Have Limits - An Op-Ed by ICRC's Director of Operations

The Director of Operations of The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was recently in Washington D.C. for talks with U.S. officials on the ICRC's major humanitarian concerns in 2016. During his visit he also authored an opinion piece for CNN on five resolutions that those waging war and those with influence over global security can commit to that would truly make a difference in the year ahead.

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The Relationship Between Climate Change and Conflict

The Relationship Between Climate Change and Conflict

In December 2015, 190 countries were among 50,000 participants that came together in Paris to review the 1992 UN Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This convention set out a framework for action aimed at stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. In today's world, no discussion of climate change is complete without consideration for how the phenomenon affects people caught up in armed conflicts, many of whom are some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world. To raise awareness of this topic, 65 Red Cross Red Crescent Movement partners joined the discussions in Paris to talk about the relationship between climate change and conflict.

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No agreement by States on Mechanism to Strengthen Compliance with rules of War

No agreement by States on Mechanism to Strengthen Compliance with rules of War

After four years of extensive consultations, States have been unable to agree on a new mechanism proposed by the ICRC and the government of Switzerland to strengthen compliance with international humanitarian law (IHL). The decision was taken at the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, which draws to a close today in Geneva.

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On the Utility of Weapon Bans and Restrictions - Anti-personnel Mines, Cluster Munitions and Blinding Lasers

On the Utility of Weapon Bans and Restrictions - Anti-personnel Mines, Cluster Munitions and Blinding Lasers

A recent series of posts by distinguished legal scholar and Retired U.S. Air Force Major General Charles Dunlap on the Just Security blog raise interesting questions concerning the utility of banning specific types of weapons.  The ICRC takes this opportunity to outline its perspective, drawn from many decades of operational experience, on what the bans on anti-personnel mines, cluster munitions, and blinding lasers have meant for the victims of armed conflict.  

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Stop the violence. Protect health care.

Stop the violence. Protect health care.

In the last few months, a number of attacks against health-care workers, medical transports and facilities have taken place in several countries, like Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen to mention a few. These incidents are taking place in countries with fragile health-care systems that are already struggling to treat the numbers of people affected by the ongoing conflicts there. In some cases, the situation is made yet worse by the restrictions placed on aid workers, preventing them from getting to the people who need them.

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World at a turning point: Heads of UN and Red Cross issue joint warning

World at a turning point: Heads of UN and Red Cross issue joint warning

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, and the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer, have issued an unprecedented joint warning about the impact of today's conflicts on civilians and appealed for urgent and concrete action to address human suffering and insecurity.

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A Day in the Barrio: Washington DC meets Medellin

A Day in the Barrio: Washington DC meets Medellin

In September 2015, Andrea Harrison, Deputy Legal Advisor at the ICRC in Washington DC, had the opportunity to travel to Colombia and gain field exposure with our delegation there. Upon returning, she reflected on some of the activities our colleagues carry out in the country and their impact on society.  

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The Obligation to Prevent Violations of International Humanitarian Law

The Obligation to Prevent Violations of International Humanitarian Law

Contemporary armed conflicts – like those in Syria, South Sudan or Ukraine, to name but a few – illustrate how lack of respect for the law has become one of the biggest challenges facing IHL today. It is against this backdrop that the obligation to “respect and ensure respect” in all circumstances, enshrined in Common Article 1 to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, and Article 1 of the 1977 Additional Protocol, becomes of critical importance. In a recent article in the International Review of the Red Cross, we discussed this legal obligation in detail; this blogpost provides a snapshot of our argument.

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What You Need to Know about Aiding Civilians Trapped in Conflict

What You Need to Know about Aiding Civilians Trapped in Conflict

Consider the following dilemma. Thousands of people are trapped inside a city that is running out of food, water and other basic aid. An armed conflict has engulfed the broader country for years. Government military forces outside the city have blocked humanitarian convoys to this city for months to starve fighters inside. These were the types of scenarios and questions that more than thirty experts discussed at a closed door roundtable convened by the ICRC Washington delegation and InterAction this past April. The roundtable sought to identify what policymakers, militaries, humanitarians and other actors should consider as they contemplate interventions to protect and assist civilians` at-grave risk.

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Are the Geneva Conventions still relevant?

Are the Geneva Conventions still relevant?

Today marks the 66th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions.  On this occasion, we have chosen to re-post an article by Knut Dörmann, Head of the ICRC's Legal Division, in which he weighs in on the challenges facing the rules of war today and on the organization's ongoing efforts to ensure that the Conventions continue to stand the test of time.

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International Review- Reflections on Nuclear Weapons 70 Years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki

International Review- Reflections on Nuclear Weapons 70 Years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Today, August 6, 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and, three days later, Nagasaki. Earlier this year, ICRC President Peter Maurer and Tadateru Konoe, President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and of the Japanese Red Cross, visited Hiroshima together and later reflected on the human cost of nuclear weapons in an interview featured in an upcoming edition of the International Review of the Red Cross.

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Faith-based Organizations and Religious Leaders: Essential Partners in Humanitarian Action

Faith-based Organizations and Religious Leaders: Essential Partners in Humanitarian Action

Should the ICRC be talking to religious circles and, if so, how can the organization do it without compromising its neutral humanitarian mission? From Iraq to the Vatican, from Mexico to Jerusalem, from the Central African Republic to Bangladesh, the ICRC is engaging with religious leaders and faith-based organizations. The ICRC adviser for global affairs, Ronald Ofteringer, explains why it is essential to further enforce protection and respect for people and communities affected by conflict and violence.

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Opinion Piece: Rejecting Torture Is the Right Thing to Do

Opinion Piece: Rejecting Torture Is the Right Thing to Do

As today marks the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, we have chosen to re-post an opinion piece written by ICRC's President, Peter Maurer.  The piece was originally published in the Huffington Post in December 2014.

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The Battles of Gettysburg and Solferino: catalysts for change

The Battles of Gettysburg and Solferino: catalysts for change

Today we're re-posting an article written by the ICRC's Anna Nelson in 2013 about the Battle of Solferino, which took place on June 24, 1859. Anna examines the similarities between that bloody European clash and the Battle of Gettysburg, which occurred just a few years later here in the US. 

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