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IHL in domestic law

International humanitarian law  - Domestic law

For the treaties of IHL to be universally accepted, they must be formally adopted by all States through ratification or accession. States must then enact national legislation and take practical measures in order for the rules to be fully effective. The ICRC’s Advisory Service can help, by providing technical assistance and documentation. Read full overview

Selected Topics

  • Advisory service on international humanitarian law

    Promoting and implementing IHL is primarily the responsibility of States. The ICRC has always pressed for effective implementation and the Advisory Service on IHL exists to assist States to fulfil their obligations.

  • International humanitarian law  - Domestic law - National Committee National Committees for the implementation of IHL

    National Committees for the implementation of international humanitarian law (IHL) exist in many countries to advise and assist governments in implementing and spreading knowledge of IHL. Setting up such committees is the responsibility of States, but is supported by the ICRC as one of the means of ensuring effective application of IHL.


  • Various mechanisms and approaches for implementing international humanitarian law and protecting and assisting war victims

    This article presents an overview of the mechanisms for improving the lot of people affected by armed conflict. Some are anchored in international humanitarian law, but increasingly, multiple actors contribute to implementing this law outside its original implementation framework. This may result in different approaches to ensuring compliance with international humanitarian law: judicial recourse, public pressure on parties to a conflict, or even recommendations of the use of force. Nevertheless, humanitarian action unattached to any political agenda is often the only means of improving the situation of the victims of armed conflicts.

    30-06-2009 | International Review of the Red Cross | Toni Pfanner

  • The ICRC's Advisory Service on International Humanitarian Law: the challenge of national implementation

    Implementation is the major challenge facing international humanitarian law today. The problem of translating States' legal obligations into action is common to all areas of international law. There is however a particularly acute contrast between humanitarian law's highly developed rules, many of which enjoy nearly universal acceptance, and the repeated violations of those rules in conflicts around the world.

    30-06-1996 | International Review of the Red Cross | Paul Berman

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