20 November 2022 - 26 November 2022

Indonesia: Senior Workshop on International Rules governing Military Operations - SWIRMO

About the event

Indonesia hosts 15th edition of SWIRMO

Indonesia hosts the 15th edition of the Senior Workshop on International Rules governing Military Operations (SWIRMO) from 20–26 November 2022. This is the first time in a decade that SWIRMO is organized in South-East Asia. The event is jointly organized in Bali by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) and will be attended by more than 90 senior military officers from around 80 countries.

What is SWIRMO?

SWIRMO is an annual event hosted by the ICRC in partnership with a national defence force. It is a workshop for senior military officers, ranking from colonel to brigadier-general with recent command or staff experience in an operational environment around the world, to share views and experiences on the international legal framework applicable to modern military operations.

The workshop provides participants with the tools necessary to integrate those laws into the most relevant aspects of their national doctrine, education, field training and military disciplinary systems, encouraging legally compliant behaviour across the entire spectrum of military operations.

What are the main objectives of the workshop?

SWIRMO seeks to ensure that international humanitarian law (IHL or the law of armed conflict), which is the legal framework that protects those who are not or no longer participating in hostilities and restricts the means and methods of warfare, and the internationally recognized standards and principles governing the use of force in law enforcement operations are better integrated into military institutions. We cannot ignore the fact that today many people protected by IHL and/or human rights law are affected by armed conflicts or other violence. This is a central theme that the ICRC emphasizes during SWIRMO. By bringing together military officers from across the world, SWIRMO aims to showcase not only that the law allows for the use of exceptional powers in conflict, but also that it provides useful guidance for personnel at all levels, in all situations.

By bringing together senior operational officers to focus on the application of the law of armed conflict and human rights law in operational contexts, participants benefit from a unique dynamic where experiences can be shared in an international environment, allowing them to broaden their views.

Why is the ICRC interested in the rules governing military operations?

One of the ICRC's mandates defined in the four 1949 Geneva Conventions is to promote knowledge of IHL applicable in armed conflict. As part of our mission to protect the lives and dignity of those facing humanitarian challenges during war and other situations of violence (OSV) and to assist them, we seek to ensure respect for their rights, safety and protection. This includes maintaining dialogue with armed forces to make sure that all ranks know and apply IHL and other relevant bodies of law in their operations and facilitate humanitarian action for those who are affected by conflict.

In OSV, which do not reach the threshold of an armed conflict, it is human rights law that protects people and their property. We also promote internationally recognized standards and principles governing the use of force in law enforcement operations in order to respect the lives and dignity of all.

What is covered in the workshop?

SWIRMO has been designed to promote better understanding and application of IHL in operational planning, in a complex and rapidly evolving environment. The course will include reference to contemporary issues such as working with military partners, modern technology, and future trends in warfare. Much of the course will focus on core IHL principles such as distinction, precaution and proportionality. The participants will be discussing decision-making processes and the adaptability and relevance of the rules of engagement, as well as finding the right balance between humanity and military necessity throughout an operation.

Date & Time

20 November 2022 - 26 November 2022

Venue address

Grand Hyatt Hotel, Bali, Indonesia