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Building respect for the law

In fulfilment of its mission to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and other situations of violence and to provide them with assistance, the ICRC seeks to ensure the respect of the rights of people affected. In that endeavour, it reminds authorities and other actors of their legal obligations enshrined in international humanitarian law and international human rights law. Read full overview.

Selected Topics

  • Dialogue with weapon bearers

    The ICRC maintains a dialogue with all weapon bearers so as to promote respect for the rules of IHL, notably to ensure protection for civilians, the wounded and prisoners, and to facilitate access for humanitarian aid.

  • Education and outreach

    Recognizing the importance of reaching out to tomorrow's decision-makers and opinion-leaders, the ICRC emphasizes IHL teaching at the university- and secondary-school levels.

  • 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.

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.

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