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e-Learning: The basic rules and principles of IHL

Law and Conflict / Online learning 2 mins read

e-Learning: The basic rules and principles of IHL

The ICRC has recently updated its introductory e-learning course on IHL, featuring additional content, and improvements in the design, pedagogy and interface.

This e-learning course is designed for non-lawyers (such as humanitarian professionals, policy-makers and other professionals interested in the legal framework governing armed conflict).

It aims to provide a general introduction to international humanitarian law (IHL) across key topics. It is divided into 9 self-contained modules for a total duration of 5 hours:

(1) the origins of IHL
(2) the main sources of IHL
(3) conflict classification
(4) the protection of the wounded, shipwrecked and sick, and of medical personnel
(5) the protection of the civilian population
(6) the protection of detainees
(7) the conduct of hostilities
(8) the implementation of IHL
(9) international crimes.

At the outset, a quick test will help users build their individual learning path. Through regular “Knowledge Check” quizzes, users can assess their progress throughout each module. The “Resources” and “Glossary” sections provide additional content and references.

The e-learning is available to anyone as a self-paced course, and is provided free of charge. It will be hosted on Kaya Connect and – two major e-learning platforms for humanitarian professionals (accessible via – as well as on The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)’s Learning Platform.

The e-learning will be made available in French and Arabic by 2020.

We hope that humanitarian professionals will find this course useful in their practice.

For feedback or questions, please write to:


About the Training Centre

The ICRC Training Centre centralizes on-site training and e-learning modules on international humanitarian law (IHL) and other areas of the ICRC’s work. It reinforces the ICRC’s capacity to reach actors who have an influence on the fate of people affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence, be they arms carriers, civil servants, judges, lawyers, humanitarian practitioners, students, university professors or National Societies.

The online training modules are available to anyone as self-paced courses and are provided free of charge.

The Training Centre offers a modular approach. The foundation course on the basic rules and principles of IHL is complemented by a growing number of thematic modules on specific humanitarian issues.


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