The ICRC’s Humanitarian Law & Policy blog welcomes submissions from contributors committed to energizing the debate about international humanitarian law and humanitarian action.
Submitting a post
We encourage you to adhere to the following drafting guidelines:
Length. Posts should be from 1,500 to 1,800 words (unless discussed otherwise with the editors).
Style and structure. This is one of the most important factors for a successful post. Please see the recommendations below on “Writing a post”.
Bio. Please provide a short bio (max 100 words), providing your current function and affiliation, as well as a photo for our Contributors page.
Submission. Please submit your post as a Word document, along with your CV, to our Editor-in-Chief, Elizabeth Rushing at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Writing a post (guidelines)
Blogs are a unique space to get your point across in a succinct, timely and relevant manner. To maximize the effectiveness of your blog post, we recommend taking the following points into consideration while writing:
✓ Title. This is crucial. Immediately identify what your post is about in a clear and concise manner. Your title determines whether someone will read your post. It appears in email subject-headings, google searches and social media shares. It should be short, clear and interesting—about 40–80 characters, and no more than 110 characters.
✓ Abstract. This is flagging you and your point to the reader. Italicized, it is typically composed of two paragraphs: the first ‘lays the groundwork’: what is the situation/backdrop of your argument? The second paragraph includes your name, affiliation, and key takeaway.
✓ First Paragraph (lede). What is your point? Why should someone read this? State your main point and grab the reader’s attention right away. This is your opportunity to explain to a very busy audience why they should take the time to read your post. Essentially, your conclusion comes first.
✓ Format. Use short paragraphs, meaningful sub-headings and avoid long sentences. You want the post to be as clear as possible for your audience, while still maintaining depth. If your post contains more than a single main point, consider using section breaks with titles or submitting a series of posts on the same topic.
✓ Body. Write clearly, concisely and engagingly while supporting your argument with evidence and nuances.
✓ Hyperlinks / Footnotes. When stating facts or mentioning other thinkers, cite the source. Please use hyperlinks whenever possible and footnotes only if necessary.
Our blog speaks to specialized audiences who are concerned with international humanitarian law and humanitarian action issues. Readers span across the globe and include government lawyers, policy-makers, members of the diplomatic community, academics, armed actors, think tanks, NGOs, IGOs, practitioners within the ICRC and the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, as well as other interested parties.
Our editorial policy
A submission should fall within the scope of the blog’s subject matter and be in a style suited to the blog’s audience. It should be rigorous, evidence-based, engaging and newsworthy.
A submission should not:
- Have the primary purpose of undermining the ICRC and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement,
- Contain claims or information which could risk the safety of ICRC personnel or operations in the field,
- Have the primary purpose of denunciating a party to the conflict.
All blog contributors are expected to take note and follow the blog’s editorial policy. The editorial team reserves the right to reject a submission if it falls outside of the blog’s editorial line.
Our review & editing process
Review. All submissions are reviewed for quality and clarity and should be in line with our editorial policy. This review is carried out by in-house and external subject-matter experts, depending on the post.
Editing. Once a post is accepted, our editorial team may provide language, content and structural edits to enhance readability and make it consistent with our editorial guidelines. Once edited, we will send you back your post to check. We ask that you leave any changes or comments in tracked changes. Due to the timely nature of a blog post, our team editorial team may ask you to approve edits quickly. On rare occasions, further edits may be made after publication.
We encourage you to join in and share your voice in the comments section of blog posts, on social media and through other channels. While we value honesty and different perspectives, we reserve the right to reject comments that contain:
- Offensive statements against a culture, race, religion or gender;
- Abusive language, anger, hate, violence or pornography;
- Personal information (other than yours), such as names, addresses or phone numbers;
- Disparaging or threatening comments about the ICRC and our staff;
- Third party marketing, including links to third party websites;
- Comment lacking relevance to the subject matter
To ensure that this is respected, the editorial team receives comments before they appear under an article.
Posts and discussion on the Humanitarian Law & Policy blog may not be interpreted as positioning the ICRC in any way, nor does its content amount to formal policy or doctrine, unless specifically indicated.
All material in Humanitarian Law & Policy is published under the following license: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)