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Humanitarian Law, International

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Chapter Summary

International humanitarian law emerged after the Second World War in the framework of the law of armed conflicts. At the request of the 26th International Conference on the Red Cross and the Red Crescent movement in December 1995, the ICRC undertook a study on customary international humanitarian law. The main objective of the study was to fill some of the gaps in the treaty-based rules of international humanitarian law applicable in non-international armed conflicts which comprise the majority of armed conflicts in the world today. The study concludes that many of the fundamental principles and rules of international humanitarian law are customary in nature and that most are applicable in both international and non international armed conflicts. The International Committee of the Red Cross considers itself the guardian of international humanitarian law, and has elaborated its seven fundamental rules.

Keywords: armed conflicts; international humanitarian law; Red Cross; Second World War



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