In this report on international humanitarian law (IHL) and the challenges of contemporary armed conflicts, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) sets out its views on a number of pressing humanitarian and legal issues. The ICRC has submitted a report like this one – the Challenges Report – to every International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent since 2003. The International Conference, which takes place every four years, brings together all the States party to the Geneva Conventions, all the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and the ICRC. The Challenges Report provides an overview of some of the challenges for IHL posed by contemporary armed conflicts, and outlines current or prospective ICRC action, positions, and areas of interest. One of its main aims is to stimulate reflection on all these matters.
The 2019 Challenges Report focuses on the following topics:
- urbanization of warfare
- new technologies of warfare
- the needs of civilians in increasingly long conflicts
- IHL and non-State armed groups
- terrorism, counterterrorism measures, and IHL
- climate, armed conflict, and the natural environment
- enhancing respect for IHL.