Twelve issues: What States can do to improve respect for IHL in 2022. Credits: ICRC / Abdulmonan Eassa

Twelve issues: What States can do to improve respect for IHL in 2022

At the European Humanitarian Forum, the ICRC shares a snapshot of 12 selected issues arising in relation to the international humanitarian law (IHL) applicable in today's armed conflicts and outlines five key efforts that are currently the focus of the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Article 21 March 2022 Belgium

Its purpose is to help states identify, discuss and ultimately address some of the most pressing issues related to the protection of people affected by armed conflict.

Events in early 2022 have taken an alarming turn. The international armed conflicts have given rise to a type and scale of organized violence that states have long committed themselves to banishing.

First and foremost, efforts must go toward restoring peace and preventing escalation. In parallel to the effort to restore peace in all parts of the world affected by armed conflicts, states must also pursue a different but equally worthy and urgent purpose: they must address the unprecedented needs generated by the world's numerous ongoing humanitarian crises, whatever their cause.

The ICRC therefore takes this opportunity to draw the attention of all states to the specific humanitarian challenges stemming from armed conflicts and to urge states to take the action necessary to overcome them. The urgency and importance of this work could not be more apparent.

Armed conflicts continue to affect every region of the world, with each one giving rise to unique humanitarian problems and potentially signaling new trends. There is reason to be concerned about a resurgence of armed conflict between states after decades of predominantly non-international armed conflict.