Promoting the Teaching of IHL in Universities: Overview, Successes and Challenges of the ICRC’s Approach

05 November 2018


According to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, States have to include the study of those texts within their programmes of military and civil instruction. What role do universities play in that regard? How has the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) supported the teaching of international humanitarian law (IHL) during the past decades? For which results and with which challenges? With which recommendations and questions for years ahead? This piece endeavors to provide an overview of the ICRC's experience in promoting the teaching of IHL in academia worldwide.

Etienne Kuster
is Adviser for relations with academic circles at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), where he oversees and supports the ICRC's worldwide interactions with academic institutions for the promotion of law and humanitarian action, develops IHL teaching tools, organizes academic events, and represents the ICRC towards the academic community.

Credit: This article was originally published in Dražan Djukić and Niccolò Pons (Eds.), "The Companion to International Humanitarian Law", International Humanitarian Law Series, Vol. 55, Brill, 2018, pp. 3-38, available at: (consulted 12.10.2018)