National Committees Seek to Strengthen Humanitarian Law

Posted on September 11, 2013

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Screen Shot 2013-09-12 at 10.35.14 AMThe International Committee of the Red Cross (“ICRC”) recently inaugurated its second conference of national committees in San Jose, Costa Rica. The purpose of the committee is to implement the international humanitarian law of the Americas.

As ICRC legal advisor for Latin America and the Caribbean Patrick Zahnd explains, “The conference is a unique forum for regular dialogue between States, government experts and academics about international humanitarian law. Ultimately, it’s about improving protection for people affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence.  It’s a chance to take stock of achievements in ratifying, integrating and promoting treaties of international humanitarian law, and to explore the difficulties that some countries are facing in that regard. It’s also an excellent opportunity to analyze emerging challenges and issues for the humanitarian sector and to discuss legal cooperation with the ICRC.”

Along with the protection of cultural property during armed conflict, the committee also plans to discuss the prosecution of war crimes, the humanitarian impact of certain weapons, the use of force in order to maintain law and order, and the legal needs of the relatives of citizens who turn up missing.

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