International Law is gaining ever greater prominence in the national security sphere in Pakistan. Under the overarching umbrella of International Law, the key category of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) or the Law of Armed Conflict is of particular significance for Pakistan. IHL governs the conduct of armed conflict whether between States or States and Non-State Actors, as such it plays a significant role in regional dynamics in South Asia. With the precipitous U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, a hostile regional environment, and several other issues on the horizon, it is imperative that domestic capacity in IHL be enhanced.
As the guardian and promoter of IHL, the ICRC takes action to protect and assist victims of armed conflicts and other situations of violence, and to foster respect for the law. It does the latter, notably by spreading knowledge of IHL, by supporting its implementation at the domestic level, by monitoring respect for it and by reminding parties to conflicts of their obligations. The ICRC also plays an important role in the development of IHL.
In this regard, the Research Society of International Law (RSIL), as part of its on-going efforts to improve Pakistan’s indigenous international law capacity, organized a 2-day training workshop for policy makers on IHL. This workshop was organized in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross, recognized under the Geneva Conventions of 1949 as the custodians of IHL.
The workshop covered topics including:
- Introduction to IHL
- IHL and Pakistan
- IHL and International Human Rights Law
- The Direct Participation in Hostilities by Civilians and the Law of Occupation
- Enforcement of IHL
- Interactive Case Studies
The workshop was conducted in a participatory manner, allowing participants to engage with experts and discuss issues of contemporary significance.
video credit: ICRC Pakistan