• Send page

IHL and human rights

International humanitarian law and international human rights law are two distinct but complementary bodies of law. They are both concerned with the protection of the life, health and dignity of individuals. IHL applies in armed conflict while human rights law applies at all times, in peace and in war. Read full overview


  • The interplay between international humanitarian law and internationalhuman rights law in situations of armed conflict

    International human rights law and international humanitarian law are traditionally two distinct branches of law. Yet, developments in international and national jurisprudence and practice have led to the recognition that these two bodies of law not only share a common humanist ideal of dignity and integrity but overlap substantially in practice.

    26-12-2007 | International Law Forum, University of Jerusalem | Cordula Droege

  • Human rights obligations of non-state actors in conflict situations

    The author addresses the international obligations of belligerents, national liberation movements and insurgent entities, looks at the growing demands that such armed groups respect human rights norms and considers some of the options for holding private military companies accountable with regard to human rights abuses.

    30-09-2006 | International Review of the Red Cross | Andrew Clapham

Publications More publications

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

    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.

  • International rules and standards for policing

    This brochure intended for audiences involved in law-enforcement functions addresses the principles and rules of human rights and humanitarian law relevant to professional law enforcement in democratic contexts.