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Bangladesh: law schools discuss including international humanitarian law in curricula

10-02-2012 News Release 12/26

Dhaka (ICRC) – Deans and department heads of the law faculties of 35 public and private universities in Bangladesh will meet today to discuss the inclusion of international humanitarian law in their curricula.

"Some Bangladeshi universities were already familiar with international humanitarian law, but many have now expressed interest in including the topic in their curricula," said Christoph Vogt, who heads the delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Bangladesh. "As Bangladesh acquires further expertise in this field, it will be able to participate more actively in international fora where humanitarian issues are debated."

The meeting will take place at the Faculty of Law of Dhaka University. It will be opened by the chairman of the University Grants Commission, Dr A. K. Azad Chowdhury.

Throughout the last decade, the ICRC has been promoting international humanitarian law among Bangladeshi academics. As most institutions of higher learning in the country do not have the resources to offer specialized courses on international humanitarian law, the ICRC has stepped in to provide training, distribute publications to university libraries, and sponsor moot-court competitions.

While all these activities have generated interest in humanitarian principles, the moots have also helped law students hone their oral-argument skills, sometimes in international competitions. Northern University, for example, the winning team in the 2011 national moot-court contest, went on to participate in a regional competition held in Nepal.

International humanitarian law is a set of rules intended to limit the effects of armed conflict. Its core principles were laid down in the Geneva Conventions of 1949, which Bangladesh ratified in 1972. The ICRC, in accordance with its mandate, spreads knowledge of international humanitarian law among the authorities, the armed and security forces, and academics.

For further information, please contact:
Wolde-Gabriel Saugeron, ICRC Dhaka, tel: +880 1730 312291
Onchita Shadman, ICRC Dhaka, tel: +880 2 8825686