Update for ICRC Customary IHL Database

About the author(s):

Katharine Fortin is an Associate Professor at Utrecht University where she teaches IHL and IHRL. Before joining Utrecht University, she worked at the ICTY, ICC and Norton Rose Fulbright. She is the author of The Accountability of Armed Groups under Human Rights Law (Oxford University Press, 2017) which won the 2018 Lieber Prize. She has written widely about the framework of law that applies to armed groups in non-international armed conflicts and is one of the editors of the Armed Groups and International Law blog.

Yesterday, the ICRC made available on its online Customary IHL database an update of State practice of 23 countries relating to armed conflicts and humanitarian issues such as the distinction between combatants and civilians, the use of certain weapons, the protection of internally displaced persons, the legal framework for internment and detention in armed conflict, recruitment of child soldiers, and serious violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) that amount to war crimes.

According to the ICRC news release, the following countries were included in the update: Argentina, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Djibouti, El Salvador, Guatemala, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Serbia, the former State of Serbia and Montenegro, Senegal, Spain, Switzerland, Uruguay, and Viet Nam.

According to the ICRC, further updates of both national and international practice covering the period 2008-2010 will be issued throughout 2013 and 2014.

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