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of the International Committee of the Red Cross

International humanitarian law

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  1. The Convention on Cluster Munitions: The First Ten Years
    PDF

    The Convention on Cluster Munitions: The First Ten Years

    This booklet summarizes the achievements made in the ten years since the Convention on Cluster Munitions was adopted.

    [Learn more]
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  2. Symbols of help, hope and humanity
    PDF

    Symbols of help, hope and humanity

    This short but dynamic comic is adapted from the video animation The red cross, red crescent and red crystal. What do they mean? In one word: ... [Learn more]

    Download the PDF Version
  3. International Expert Meeting Report: The Principle of Proportionality
    PDF

    International Expert Meeting Report: The Principle of Proportionality

    This report provides an account of the debates that took place during a meeting of international experts co-organized by the ICRC and Université Laval (Quebec) in June 2016 in Q... [Learn more]

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  4. Displaced in Cities : Experiencing and Responding to Urban Internal Displacement Outside Camps
    PDF

    Displaced in Cities : Experiencing and Responding to Urban Internal Displacement Outside Camps

    Internal displacement is an increasingly urban phenomenon. This is partly because in a quickly urbanizing world, when cities become sites of armed conflict and other violence, greater numbers ar... [Learn more]

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  5. The Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention: Twenty Years of Saving Lives and Limbs and Reducing Civilian Suffering
    PDF

    The Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention: Twenty Years of Saving Lives and Limbs and Reducing Civilian Suffering

    Twenty years after its adoption, the 1997 Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention has an impressive record of success. The Convention is saving lives and limbs and furthering the aspiration of a worl... [Learn more]

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  6. Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support
    PDF

    Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

    War and violence destroy communities and countries all over the world, and have a devastating impact on the mental health of millions of people. 

    [Learn more]
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  7. The Roots of Restraint in War - Executive Summary
    PDF

    The Roots of Restraint in War - Executive Summary

    The Roots of Restraint in War is an update of the 2004 Roots of Behaviour in War. Based on two years of research collaboration between the ICRC and six distinguished scholars, the repo... [Learn more]

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  8. The Roots of Restraint in War
    PDF

    The Roots of Restraint in War

    The Roots of Restraint in War is an update of the 2004 Roots of Behaviour in War. Based on two years of research collaboration between the ICRC and six distinguished scholars, the report identif... [Learn more]

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  9. Humanity in Action: Annual Review 2017
    PDF

    Humanity in Action: Annual Review 2017

    The annual review provides an at-a-glance guide to how we helped and protected victims of armed conflict and other violence in 2017. It provides facts and figures on our programmes around the wo... [Learn more]

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  10. Dignity and Safety in Restrictive Detention Regimes
    PDF

    Dignity and Safety in Restrictive Detention Regimes

    Detention is already a severe restriction of a person’s freedom. But some detainees are subject to even greater restrictions during their time in custody.

    [Learn more]
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  11. Ageing and Detention
    PDF

    Ageing and Detention

    Although all older people have the same basic needs, failure to meet these needs – and the additional needs that arise in detention – can have particularly severe consequences, and t... [Learn more]

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  12. Enhancing Protection in Armed Conflict through Domestic Law and Policy
    PDF

    Enhancing Protection in Armed Conflict through Domestic Law and Policy

    International humanitarian law (IHL) affords protection to people and property in armed conflict, but only if its rules are properly recognized, clearly understood and fully complied with, when ... [Learn more]

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  13. Engaging with People Affected by Armed Conflicts and Other Situations of Violence
    PDF

    Engaging with People Affected by Armed Conflicts and Other Situations of Violence

    This discussion paper is a response to the recognition that the nature of armed conflicts around the world is changing, that "digital disruption" is having an impact on the humanitaria... [Learn more]

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  14. Zaza the 14-Year-Old Child Soldier
    PDF

    Zaza the 14-Year-Old Child Soldier

    Presently the world faces the serious problem of, “Child Soldiers and Sexual Violence in the times of conflict.” A challenging Journal Comics by a Writer and a Manga Artist who found... [Learn more]

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  15. International Humanitarian Law
    PDF

    International Humanitarian Law

    An overview of international humanitarian law, in A2 poster format, presenting the key principles and articles of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols.

    [Learn more]
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  16. Passive Security - Technical Guidance for ICRC Premises in the Field
    PDF

    Passive Security - Technical Guidance for ICRC Premises in the Field

    In the field, the safety and security of humanitarian workers is a major concern, especially in conflict zones. To address it, passive security measures can be implemented to help mitigate the e... [Learn more]

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  17. Safer Access in my Daily Work
    PDF

    Safer Access in my Daily Work

    The Safer Access brochure is intended for National Society staff and volunteers. It contains practical information, set out in a concise and visual form, on what contribution every individual ca... [Learn more]

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  18. Security Survey for Health Facilities
    PDF

    Security Survey for Health Facilities

    Strengthening the security and preparedness of health-care facilities to withstand violence and attacks is key to ensuring people continue to have access to health care in conflict, or other eme... [Learn more]

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  19. Understanding the Arms Trade Treaty from a Humanitarian Perspective
    PDF

    Understanding the Arms Trade Treaty from a Humanitarian Perspective

    This publication provides an overview of the Arms Trade Treaty’s background, its object and purpose and its main requirements. 

    [Learn more]
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  20. Arms Transfer Decisions: Applying International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law Criteria ‒ a Practical Guide
    PDF

    Arms Transfer Decisions: Applying International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law Criteria ‒ a Practical Guide

    The ICRC’s Arms Transfer Decisions: Applying International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law Criteria ‒ a Practical Guide aims to assist States and concerned organization... [Learn more]

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  21. Missing Migrants and their Families - The ICRC's Recommendations to Policy-Makers
    PDF

    Missing Migrants and their Families - The ICRC's Recommendations to Policy-Makers

    This policy paper outlines key recommendations for policy-makers on ways to prevent migrants from going missing and, when they do, how to respond to the problem.

    [Learn more]
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  22. ICRC Rules on Personal Data Protection
    PDF

    ICRC Rules on Personal Data Protection

    Safeguarding the personal data of individuals, particularly in testing conditions, such as armed conflicts and other humanitarian emergencies, is an essential aspect of protecting people’s lives, t... [Learn more]
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  23. Handbook on Data Protection in Humanitarian Action
    PDF

    Handbook on Data Protection in Humanitarian Action

    This Handbook was published as part of the Brussels Privacy Hub and ICRC’s Data Protection in Humanitarian Action project. It is aimed at the staff of humanitarian organizations involved i... [Learn more]

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  24. 40th Anniversary of the 1977 Additional Protocols to the 1949 Geneva Conventions
    PDF

    40th Anniversary of the 1977 Additional Protocols to the 1949 Geneva Conventions

    This short report describes the impact that the Additional Protocols have had on norms, how they have shaped the practice of parties to conflict and why they remain relevant today, 40 years afte... [Learn more]

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  25. Acquiring and Analysing Data in Support of Evidence-based Decisions: A Guide for Humanitarian Work 
    PDF

    Acquiring and Analysing Data in Support of Evidence-based Decisions: A Guide for Humanitarian Work 

    Gathering and analysing data – to study the consequences of crises and carry out activities in response – is an essential element of humanitarian work. It helps to ensure the relevan... [Learn more]

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  26. I saw my city die: Voices from the front lines of urban conflict in Iraq, Syria and Yemen
    PDF

    I saw my city die: Voices from the front lines of urban conflict in Iraq, Syria and Yemen

    Urban wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen are amongst the deadliest conflicts of our time. People’s homes, their doorsteps, their streets, their schools and their hospitals are all part of the b... [Learn more]

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  27. The Convention on Cluster Munitions: A Treaty to End Decades of Civilian Suffering
    PDF

    The Convention on Cluster Munitions: A Treaty to End Decades of Civilian Suffering

    This brochure provides an overview of the cluster munitions problem, the main provisions of the Convention and the steps required to meet its commitments. [Learn more]
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  28. Tackling Weapon Contamination
    PDF

    Tackling Weapon Contamination

    Even after a conflict ends, landmines and other explosive remnants of war continue to kill and maim, block access to essential services and hinder reconciliation processes. This deadly problem h... [Learn more]

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  29. Humanity in Action - Annual Review 2016
    PDF

    Humanity in Action - Annual Review 2016

    The annual review describes how we helped and protected victims of armed conflict and other violence last year.

    [Learn more]
    Download the PDF Version
  30. Time to Act: Stopping Violence, Safeguarding Health Care
    PDF

    Time to Act: Stopping Violence, Safeguarding Health Care

    What can we do to prevent attacks against patients, health workers, hospitals and ambulances?

    [Learn more]
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  31. Customary International Humanitarian Law Database (flyer)
    PDF

    Customary International Humanitarian Law Database (flyer)

    The purpose of this flyer is to promote the ICRC's customary international humanitarian law (IHL) study and online database, where the full content of the study and regular practice updates are ... [Learn more]

    Download the PDF Version
  32. Sexual Violence in Detention
    PDF

    Sexual Violence in Detention

    In this document, the ICRC examines sexual violence specifically in relation to people deprived of their liberty.

    [Learn more]
    Download the PDF Version
  33. International Humanitarian Law - Handbook for Parliamentarians
    PDF

    International Humanitarian Law - Handbook for Parliamentarians

    This handbook is designed to familiarize parliamentarians with international humanitarian law and to heighten their awareness of the key role they can play in promoting its implementation, especial... [Learn more]
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  34. Translating the Kampala Convention into Practice
    PDF

    Translating the Kampala Convention into Practice

    Millions of people have been displaced within their own countries by armed conflict or violence. Addressing their needs and providing durable solutions to their plight is the primary responsibil... [Learn more]

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  35. Protracted Conflict and Humanitarian Action: Some Recent ICRC Experiences
    PDF

    Protracted Conflict and Humanitarian Action: Some Recent ICRC Experiences

    Protracted conflicts are a major cause of human suffering and can lead to long-term displacement, migration and development reversals. [Learn more]
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  36. People on War - Perspectives from 16 Countries
    PDF

    People on War - Perspectives from 16 Countries

    Is torture wrong or part of war? If the laws of war were better respected, would civilians flee their countries? Is attacking hospitals, ambulances and health-care workers wrong or part of war? [Learn more]
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  37. Expert Meeting: The Use of Force in Armed Conflicts
    PDF

    Expert Meeting: The Use of Force in Armed Conflicts

    The subject of this report is “Use of Force in Armed Conflicts: Interplay between the Conduct of Hostilities and Law Enforcement Paradigms.” [Learn more]
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  38. Decision-Making Process in Military Combat Operations
    PDF

    Decision-Making Process in Military Combat Operations

    This manual is intended to help decision makers create the necessary conditions for the respect of the law in the conduct of military combat operations. [Learn more]
    Download the PDF Version
  39. Management of Dead Bodies after Disasters: A Field Manual for First Responders
    PDF

    Management of Dead Bodies after Disasters: A Field Manual for First Responders

    Proper and dignified management of the dead in disasters is one of the three key pillars of humanitarian response and a fundamental factor in facilitating identification of the deceased and help... [Learn more]

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  40. Urban Violence and the ICRC's Humanitarian Response
    PDF

    Urban Violence and the ICRC's Humanitarian Response

    The destructive force of urban violence on people’s lives and livelihoods – and the suffering it causes – is a major concern of the ICRC in many countries in which it works aro... [Learn more]

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  41. IHL Bibliography 2015
    PDF

    IHL Bibliography 2015

    A compilation of the four quarterly IHL bibliographies issued by the ICRC Library during 2015. [Learn more]
    Download the PDF Version
  42. International Humanitarian Law: A Comprehensive Introduction
    PDF

    International Humanitarian Law: A Comprehensive Introduction

    "International Humanitarian Law: A Comprehensive Introduction" is an introductory handbook that aims to promote and strengthen knowledge of IHL among academics, weapon-bearers, humanitarian and ... [Learn more]

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  43. Autonomous Weapon Systems: Implications of Increasing Autonomy in the Critical Functions of Weapons
    PDF

    Autonomous Weapon Systems: Implications of Increasing Autonomy in the Critical Functions of Weapons

    The development of autonomous weapon systems raises the prospect of the loss of human control over weapons and the use of force.

    [Learn more]
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  44. Armed Violence and the New Urban Agenda: The ICRC's Recommendations for Habitat III
    PDF

    Armed Violence and the New Urban Agenda: The ICRC's Recommendations for Habitat III

    In many parts of the world, sustainable urban development is seriously hindered by armed conflict and chronic urban violence. 

    [Learn more]
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  45. To Serve and to Protect: Guide for Police Conduct and Behaviour (includes section on first aid)
    PDF

    To Serve and to Protect: Guide for Police Conduct and Behaviour (includes section on first aid)

    This pocket-sized booklet adopts a simple pictorial format and aims to raise awareness as to the duties, responsibilities and powers of police and security officials in their daily law-enforcement ... [Learn more]
    Download the PDF Version
  46. Red Cross and Red Crescent Emblems
    PDF

    Red Cross and Red Crescent Emblems

    This new leaflet is designed to help members of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement address misuse of the emblem. It explains the purpose of the emblems and why it is important... [Learn more]

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  47. To Serve and to Protect: Guide for Police Conduct and Behaviour
    PDF

    To Serve and to Protect: Guide for Police Conduct and Behaviour

    This pocket-sized booklet adopts a simple pictorial format and aims to raise awareness as to the duties, responsibilities and powers of police and security officials in their daily law-enforcement ... [Learn more]
    Download the PDF Version
  48. Emblems of Humanity
    PDF

    Emblems of Humanity

    This brochure explains the protective function of the emblems when displayed during armed conflict, as well as their use in peacetime by members of the International Red Cross and Red Cres... [Learn more]

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  49. Toolbox: Safeguarding the Provision of Health Care: Operational Practices and Relevant International Humanitarian Law concerning Armed Groups
    PDF

    Toolbox: Safeguarding the Provision of Health Care: Operational Practices and Relevant International Humanitarian Law concerning Armed Groups

    This toolbox contains ten case studies and a model unilateral declaration related to the protection of health care. It is meant for armed groups, or individuals or entities that engage with armed g... [Learn more]
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  50. Remembering the Shoah: The ICRC and the International Community's Efforts in Responding to Genocide and Protecting Civilians
    PDF

    Remembering the Shoah: The ICRC and the International Community's Efforts in Responding to Genocide and Protecting Civilians

    This booklet contains the proceedings of an event co-organized by the ICRC and the World Jewish Congress to mark 70 years since the end of the Shoah. [Learn more]
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