ICRC Q&A and lexicon on humanitarian access

02 September 2015

A considerable number of countries have been the theatre of armed conflicts – whether international or non-international – with all the devastation and suffering that this entails, chiefly among the civilian population. Indeed, civilians continue to be the primary victims of violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) committed by both State parties and non-State armed groups. Recurring violations in hostilities include deliberate and indiscriminate attacks against civilians, the destruction of infrastructure and goods indispensable to their survival, and the forcible displacement of the civilian population. All too frequently, civilians lack basic supplies and services, such as food, water and health care.