International Committee of the Red Cross

Nigeria: Lecturers discuss research and study of international humanitarian law

News release 19 June 2018

Abuja (ICRC) – A three-day workshop on international humanitarian law (IHL), gathering close to 70 lecturers, was inaugurated in Abuja today. Organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in collaboration with the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), the workshop aims at enhancing the knowledge of IHL among participants and contributing to the academic debate on IHL in Nigeria.

"It is key that future decision-makers are well aware of the law that safeguards humanitarian values in times of war and protects the sick, the wounded and those detained in addition to civilians in general," said Eloi Fillion, the ICRC head of the delegation in Nigeria. "Academic teaching and research play a key role in interpreting the law in light of today's situation and ensuring that it is well known, understood and continues to serve its purposes in an ever-changing world."

In his opening remarks, Professor Adedeji Adekunle, Director General, NIALS, said, "We are very happy to collaborate with the ICRC for the third consecutive year to organise a debate on how IHL applies to today's battlefields." He added, "In any country affected by armed conflict, the dissemination of IHL is of fundamental importance."

This is the 15th edition of the IHL workshop organised by the ICRC in Nigeria, The participants will address a range of topics, including the protection of detainees under domestic and international law, protecting victims of sexual violence and the protection of access to and delivery of health care in contexts of conflict and violence.

The ICRC has been working on disseminating the rules of IHL, aiming to increase the protection of the wounded, sick, the detained and civilians in Nigeria over the last 30 years, in cooperation with academics, federal authorities and the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

The 20-year partnership between the ICRC and Nigerian universities has led to the teaching of IHL at both undergraduate and postgraduate level in 27 institutions of higher education. In 2017 alone, more than 450 lecturers and students received ICRC support for the teaching, research and study of IHL in Nigeria.

For further information, please contact:
Aleksandra Matijevic Mosimann, ICRC Abuja,
tel: +234 706 418 90 02 or +234 703 595 41 68