About the National implementation database

15-06-2010 Overview

The National implementation database provides documentation and brief commentaries concerning the implementation of international humanitarian law (IHL) at the national level.

Direct access to the National implementation database: www.icrc.org/ihl-nat


National implementation is essential to ensuring full compliance with IHL. The Intergovernmental Group of Experts on the Protection of War Victims, endorsed by the 26th International Red Cross and Red Crescent Conference (1995), recommended that measures be taken to promote the exchange of information on implementation measures.

To this end, the ICRC Advisory Service on IHL has created a computer database on national implementation measures. The plan of action adopted by the 27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (1999) calls on the ICRC to further develop this database (Resolution 1, Final goal 1.3, paragraph 14).


The areas covered by the database include: punishing violations of IHL; regulating the use of the red cross, red crescent and other emblems; ensuring respect for the legal guarantees of protected persons; dissemination and training; appointing qualified personnel; and identifying protected places and persons.


The content of the database is drawn from information available to the ICRC Advisory Service. It illustrates possible approaches to incorporating IHL in national legislation but does not seek to provide a comprehensive picture of the situation.
The database includes the texts of legal measures adopted by States. Such measures may take a variety of forms, including constitutional provisions, specific laws (e.g. Geneva Conventions Acts), parts of more general laws (e.g. criminal codes), regulations and decrees.

Relevant decisions of national courts are also included when available.

English is used throughout the database (apart from official texts in French and Spanish, which appear in the original language).

By the end of 2003, data had been incorporated for 98 States. The number of States represented will steadily increase over time.

Collecting information

To compile this database the ICRC relies on contributions from a network of experts with a knowledge both of IHL and of their national legal systems. All information obtained from these contributors is collected at ICRC headquarters in Geneva.

Any comments on the database are welcome and should be sent to:

International Committee of the Red Cross
Advisory Service on IHL
19, av. de la Paix
1202 Geneva

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