40th Anniversary of the 1977 Additional Protocols to the 1949 Geneva Conventions

12 June 2020
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This short report describes the impact that the Additional Protocols have had on norms, how they have shaped the practice of parties to conflict and why they remain relevant today, 40 years after their adoption on 8 June 1977. The Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions were a landmark in the development of international humanitarian law. They strengthened the protection for victims of armed conflict, including civilians, in both international (Protocol I) and non-international (Protocol II) armed conflicts. They also placed limits on the way wars must be fought, giving parties to conflicts the means to strike a balance between humanity and military necessity.