International Humanitarian Law

September 3, 2018

by: Annisa Rizqy & Aldo Andro

The world as we know was and is confronted repetitively with the cruelties of warfare . Groups, collectivities, tribes, states et al. have fought in human evolution over resources, land, religion, and political systems. Kolb and Hyde write that “War is perhaps the most ancient form of inter-group relationship.” Countless wars have occurred in modern world history or are still taking place: Yemen, Syria, Sri Lanka,– all countries visualize day after day the atrocities of wars and the suffering inflicted upon people; moreover, wars show the death and the destruction they bring as a result. Human beings interact and enter relations, those from hostile in nature to cooperative. All relations require minimum of regulation before humanity slips into anarchy; hence, one may say: “ubi societas”; where there is society, there must be rules; without rules, there is no social compact of any kind.
International humanitarian law for humanitarian reasons, to limit the effects of armed conflict. It protects persons who are not or are no longer participating in the hostilities and restricts the means and methods of warfare.

Violations of IHL include attacks against and ill-treatment of civilians, destruction of property, sexual violence and restricted access to health care and other essential services. IHL, in particular as codified in the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977, contains important provisions to prevent the displacement of people and for the protection of persons forced to flee.
The Fourth Geneva Convention (GCIV) deals specifically with the protection of civilian persons in times of war, including occupation. Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are part of the civilian population and therefore are entitled to receive the same protections as other civilians against the consequences of war. Additional Protocol I (API) supplements these protections in times of international armed conflicts, and Additional Protocol II (APII) in times of non-international armed conflicts. States have the responsibility to implement these protections in their domestic legal framework. And also, IHL has seven Fundamental rules which are the basis of the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols.

The existence of IHL is not supposed to prohibit nor stop the war, because war is unavoidable. therefore, IHL only regulate the guadlines of war, for example, IHL protects every combats or civillians from unecessary suffering, ensure their human rights the first fundamental for them that fall over to the enemies, protects refugees or internally displaced persons, and also protects the prisoner of wars that have to be treated right based on Geneva Convention III 1949. And prevent unlimited brutal wars.
The importance of The International Committee of the Red Cross is an impartial, neutral and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and internal violence and to provide them with assistance and has responsible for directing and coordinating the Movement’s international relief activities. It also promotes the importance of international humanitarian law and draws attention to universal humanitarian principles.

People will respect lives and human dignity during the conflict, if taught about the humanitarian law. Spreading awareness will also help us learn about the nature of humans, the complexity of humanitarianism. Teaching it in various institutes will also pique the interest of young minds about international conflicts and what’s going on in the world. This will ensure that the future generations are more educated about international issues and will work to maintain peace in the world.

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