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Spotlight On Violations Of International Humanitarian Law: The Role Of The Media

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Chapter Summary

Human rights abuses, war crimes, and impunity are the stuff of journalism for the simple reason that crime is news. The traditional watchdog function requires media to report on disregard for the law, especially if that is the attitude of a state or an institution supported by taxpayer's money. While International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) properly seeks to encourage observance by citing positive examples, the news media can properly put the spotlight on war crimes. In an effort to raise awareness of international humanitarian law, a group of reporters and law scholars, with the backing of the American University's Washington College of Law and its Department of Communications, organized the "Crimes of War Project". The project's aim is to educate the news media in the United States and abroad about humanitarian law.

Keywords: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); international humanitarian law; media; war crimes



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