Our resource pages contain background information and publications on international humanitarian law (IHL). We share our knowledge on the law and its applicability in armed conflicts worldwide.

Our publications

We have years of experience in international humanitarian law and international human rights law. Through our publications, we share our knowledge and provide legal and policy advice. Find our legal briefs, fact sheets, expert opinions, and other publications on this page.

The sculpture 'Non-Violence' at the UN headquarters in New York.

Background information

International Law

International humanitarian law (IHL) is a branch of public international law. To fully understand how IHL works and operates, it is important to understand the basic structures, principles and rules of public international law.

Soldiers with a weapon passing a group of people along the way.


International Humanitarian Law

Rules of international humanitarian law (IHL) attempt in broad terms to regulate conflict in order to minimise human suffering. IHL reflects this constant balance between the military necessity arising in a state of war and the needs for humanitarian protection.

Photos (1 and 3): Peacekeepers during a patrol in order to protect civilians in DRC, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. MONUSCO/Abel Kavanagh and MONUSCO/Silvain Liechti.