Philippines: Academic essay competition on international humanitarian law

The essay competition on International Humanitarian Law aims to encourage scholarship on IHL examined in the context of the Philippines by Filipino academics and practitioners.


The winner of the competition shall receive 30,000 Philippine peso. Second and third prizes may be awarded with Php 20,000 and Php 10,000 respectively.

Deadline for submissions

Deadline is on 30 October 2020. Winners shall be announced on 1 December 2020.

Competition regulations

  1. Competition is open to anyone as long as the essay submitted examines IHL in the context of the Philippines. Current and former employees of the ICRC are excluded from joining, except for those whose engagements with the ICRC were limited to internships.
  2. Essays shall be written in English with a maximum word count of 8,000 words, excluding footnotes and bibliography.
  3. Entries must be emailed to Essays shall be submitted in .docx and .pdf formats, with proper citation and bibliography. Deadline for submission is 11:59 pm of 30 October 2020.
  4. Criteria for judging shall be knowledge of the law (25 per cent); critical thinking and analysis (25 per cent); extent and use of research (25 per cent); and presentation (clarity and organization, grammar and citation) (25 per cent).
  5. Winners shall be informed via email on 1 December 2020. Winners will also be announced on the ICRC Philippines social media accounts. A public awarding ceremony may be held online sometime in December 2020.

The review committee may encourage the submission of certain high quality essays to the Asia Pacific Journal on IHL for consideration of its editorial board. The ICRC has the option to publish or share all submitted essays through other platforms online or offline.

Essays submitted to the 2020 Academic Essay Competition on International Humanitarian Law in the Philippines may be on any topic related to IHL as long as it is examined in the context of the Philippines. Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Protection of the wounded and sick and health care workers
  • Protection of civilians during urban battles
  • The application of the new Children in Situations of Armed Conflict Law and its challenges
  • Interaction between the domestic IHL law and other laws such as the provisions on rebellion under the Revised Penal Code, including issues with regard to prosecutions under these laws
  • IHL and Islamic law rules relating to a pandemic
  • The relevance or applicability of IHL to modern developments in warfare such as the use of drones (in Mindanao) and cyberattacks
  • Comparison and/or contrast of the legislative history of key domestic IHL-related laws
  • The analysis of landmark/key domestic jurisprudence related to IHL
  • The relevance or applicability of the Hague Convention and its Protocols on protection of cultural property to the Philippine context
  • Comparison and/or contrast of the Philippine ratification history/procedure of key IHL-related treaties
  • Analysis of the integration of IHL in Philippine academic curricula or the curricula of Philippine uniformed services
  • Analysis of protection of prisoners of war in the Philippines, in the aftermath of the Second World War
  • Limitations imposed by state regulations on humanitarian access and assistance
  • Applicability of the IHL framework to paramilitary forces

The winner of the competition will be announced in 1 December 2020 and shall receive the inaugural IHL Essay Competition of the Philippines award, with a prize money of PHP 30,000.


Poster: ICRC IHL essay writing contest

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