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To serve and to protect: Human rights and humanitarian law for police and security forces

25-03-2014 Publication Ref. 0698

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Law enforcement officials play a key role in society, serving and protecting the people and upholding the law. That role is valid at all times, including during armed conflicts and other situations of violence. By engaging in dialogue with police and security forces about the law and their operations, the ICRC supports their efforts to incorporate the rules and standards of international law into their procedures.

For the past 20 years, the manual To Serve and To Protect has provided guidance for that dialogue. This updated version takes that successful endeavour a step further, using recent experience to explain the international rules and standards applicable to the law enforcement function and their practical implications for law enforcement work.

See also: 

International rules and standards for policing

This brochure intended for audiences involved in law-enforcement functions summarizes the main points of the manual To serve and to protect. It addresses the principles and rules of human rights and humanitarian law relevant to professional law enforcement in democratic contexts.


  • Copyright: ICRC
  • Release year: 2014
  • Edition: 2nd edition
  • Languages available: English, Spanish, Arabic, (French: out of stock)
  • Type of product: Book
  • Price: CHF 11.--
  • Reference: 0698

444 pp., 15.5 x 23 cm