Australia: Challenges for IHL in a changing world

27 July 2016

Whether it's civilians starving under extreme siege conditions, or doctors and nurses killed by indiscriminate aerial bombardment, the daily news from today's conflict zones paints a devastating portrait of widespread violations of international humanitarian law (IHL). Against this backdrop of suffering, it is tempting to conclude that IHL - the set of rules intended to protect civilians in wartime - is under threat.

In this podcast, international law expert Professor Marco Sassòli of the University of Geneva joins Netta Goussac, ICRC Regional Legal Adviser for the Pacific, to discuss his perspectives on the challenges for IHL in a changing world. Discussion questions include:

  • How can we ensure a minimum of humanity in profoundly inhumane situations?
  • Why should fighters respect their enemies, as well as their friends?
  • What can Australia do to contribute to strengthening global respect for IHL?

Drawing on decades of experience as a delegate with the ICRC, and as a renowned academic, Professor Sassòli shares his insights on how the international community can work towards rebuilding respect for the law and ensuring better protection for civilians caught up in 21st century conflict situations.

Listen to the podcast on Soundcloud.