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The ICRC Advisory Service on International Humanitarian Law

31-08-1997 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 319

 Fact sheets  


Becoming party to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, their Additional Protocols of 1977 and other treaties of international humanitarian law is but a State’s first step in complying with that law. It must be followed by action at the national level to ensure implementation of the different provisions. That action can take various forms ranging from the adoption of national laws and regulations to the location and appropriate marking of buildings and other objects protected by the humanitarian law.

As part of its assistance to States seeking to incorporate into their legislation the obligations arising from that law, the ICRC Advisory Service has prepared a series of fact sheets. These deal with a number of subjects relating to humanitarian law and are intended for any interested person, whether a lawyer or not. The sheets are not meant to furnish a scholarly discourse on the topics considered but rather to facilitate understanding by all concerned of the provisions of humanitarian law that require national measures in peacetime. They also discuss various means — such as national committees — by which implementation can be promoted and the role to be played by the National Societies.

The following fact sheets are now available:


—  What is International Humanitarian law?  —  Implementig International Humanitarian Law : from Law to Action  


 —    Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 for the Protection of War  


 —    Summary of Provisions of the 1980 UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW)  


 —    Penal Repression : Punishing War Crimes  


 —    The Protection of the Red Cross/Crescent emblem  


 —    The International Fact-Finding Commission  


 —    National Committees for the Implementation of International Humanitarian Law  


 —    Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Implementation of International Humanitarian Law : Guidelines for Action  


 —    Statute of the International Criminal Court  


There is also a fact sheet containing a bibliography of publications on the implementation of humanitarian law treaties.

The fact sheets are available in Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

To obtain them, write to:

Advisory Service on International Humanitarian Law

International Committee of the Red Cross

19, avenue de la Paix

1202 Geneva


Tel. ++41 22 734 60 01

Fax ++41 22 733 20 57


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 New publication  

 Committees or other national bodies for international humanitarian law, Report of the meeting of experts, Geneva, 23-25 October 1996, Cristina Pellandini ed., ICRC, Geneva, 1997.

This publication contains the proceedings of a meeting of experts on committees or other bodies for the national implementation of international humanitarian law, organized by the ICRC Advisory Service on International Humanitarian Law.

ICRC Advisory Service on

International Humanitarian Law