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International Humanitarian Law Guide

This research guide provides a general introduction to researching international humanitarian law.

International Organizations Working in International Humanitarian Law

International Organizations Working in International Humanitarian Law

International Committee of the Red Cross
The most significant institution in enforcing humanitarian law, the ICRC is an independent organization with the legal mandate, among others, to insure compliance with the Geneva Conventions and other provisions of IHL and to protect civilians and prisoners of war during conflicts. The website offers a wide array of pertinent treaties and customary law, along with annual reports and other publications.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
The UNHCR is charged with the protection of refugees. It coordinates relief efforts and fosters opportunities for both asylum and repatriation. The Resources tab offers access to a variety of reports, statistics, maps and research papers.

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
The OCHA is the organization responsible for coordinating humanitarian efforts around the world. The OCHA Humanitarian Reports discuss specific locations where humanitarian crises are occurring, while the Publications and Information Products page offers access to policy briefs, evaluations and other publications.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
The OHCHR webpage is a portal to international human rights efforts, and it connects to a wide range of materials on the whole range of human rights, including those issues that overlap with humanitarian rights such as torture and the use of mercenaries. The website’s Human Rights Bodies tab is a gateway to the major human rights organizations, while the Publications page offers a range of reports, fact sheets and other materials on human rights issues.

Directory of UN Resources on Gender and Women's Issues: Women and Armed Conflict
An initiative of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), this webpage links to a number of reports and Security Council resolutions related to the increasing victimization of women in areas of armed conflict. For instance, the tab Women of the World: Regions and Countries offers an array of reports grouped by region, while the International Instruments and Treaty Bodies page lists the key treaties and agreements that bear on women’s rights.