Diakonia - People change the world

About Diakonia International Humanitarian Law Centre

The Diakonia International Humanitarian Law Centre engages in the global promotion for the respect of international humanitarian law. We believe that through promoting respect of basic legal standards in the most challenging of circumstances we can contribute to generating an environment where people and their communities can eventually live side by side, in peace and with their basic rights fully respected.

Why we work on international humanitarian law
As an organisation with a long history and track record of promoting human rights across the world, engaging on the complementary and specific legal framework regulating armed conflict (IHL) provides Diakonia with a more holistic basis for promoting respect of human dignity under all situations and circumstances.

Our legal engagement on IHL and IHRL is guided by the notion that all people are entitled to certain protection under international law which must be respected at all times. By prompting compliance with and enforcement of these basic legal standards before, during and after armed conflict, we strive to generate an environment whereby people and their communities can eventually live side by side, in peace and with their basic rights fully respected.

Experience and expertise
Diakonia has over 10 years’ experience with IHL capacity building and advocacy. This work started in 2004 when the International Humanitarian Law Resource Centre (IHLRC) was created in the Diakonia Regional Middle East Office in Jerusalem with the mandate to raise awareness of issues pertaining to IHL in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The IHLRC has evolved into a well-respected Centre in IHL since then, catering to local civil society and international community in this context.

New Desks
Following the success of the IHLRC, coupled with the current global erosion of the respect for IHL and international human rights law (IHRL), Diakonia has expanded its work by creating a Global IHL Programme. We have seen the potential for this type of engagement and how it can make a difference in one of the most politicised conflicts in the world and we are confident that our flexible, responsive and creative approach can foster respect for international humanitarian law in other contexts.
The Programme’s first phase entails IHL Resource Desks for Lebanon and Mali, alongside the international desk in Stockholm, while the second phase will explore establishing desks in Myanmar, Somalia and Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Programme has been designed to harness and reproduce Diakonia’s key strengths: local presence; stable and accountable programme management; strong networks and specialized knowledge of international humanitarian law. It builds on the experience of the IHLRC in Jerusalem and the Head Office in Stockholm.

The International IHL Resource Desk
The International IHL Resource Desk based in Stockholm has been designed to coordinate the activities of our desks in Jerusalem, Mali and Lebanon and in addition be a resource for a range of actors working mainly in Sweden and Europe. The international desk will be able to provide advice, trainings and guidance on issues relating to IHL and IHRL both in regards to the work in our three desks, but where possible give broad advice in regards to conflict related legal issues on a global level.