1 December 2016 17:30 - 19:00

War in cities: Addressing the humanitarian challenges

About the event


On 1 December 2016, 17.30-19:00, the ICRC will officially launch the new Research and Debate Cycle on "War in Cities". On the occasion of the Universal Meeting of the IHL National Committees, the launch event will gather an international panel of experts at the CICG in Geneva to discuss ways in which national authorities and key humanitarian actors can encourage and reinforce the respect for international humanitarian law (IHL) in urban armed conflicts.

In an urbanizing world, armed conflict and violence has been urbanizing too. Tens of millions of the world's most vulnerable people live in increasingly unsafe and impoverished conditions because of conflict dominating the cities in which they live.

For the inhabitants of these cities, conflicts have pervasive effects on many aspects of life with visible consequences such as the dead and wounded and the invisible yet no less significant mental health impact on the population. The suffering of the civilian population is further increased by the frequently interrupted or inadequate provision of basic public services.

State authorities, armed forces and humanitarian actors have struggled to cope with the urbanization of conflict. What steps can be taken to better protect the civilian populations in urban centers and ensure continuity in provision of vital services in times of conflict? What are the specific challenges faced in urban warfare? Is IHL still adequate for the conflicts that take place in these settings?


  • Vincent Bernard, Head of the Law and Policy Forum and Editor in Chief of the International Review of the Red Cross, ICRC


  • Helen Durham, Director of International Law and Policy, ICRC


  • Valérie Petitpierre, Operations Coordinator for the Near and Middle East, ICRC
  • Eric Jensen, Associate Professor of Law, Brigham Young University
  • Robin Geiss, Professor of International Law and Security, University of Glasgow

The event will be followed by a cocktail reception.

Date & Time

1 December 2016 17:30 - 19:00

Venue address

Centre International de Conférences Genève (CICG)
Rue de Varembé 17, 1211 Geneva