What happens when the dream for a better and safer world turns into a reality fraught with violence and destruction?

When nations and armed groups fight to win ‘by any means’, we lose. When the rules of war are not respected, we all lose.

The ICRC calls on all states and other parties to an armed conflict to respect and ensure respect for International Humanitarian Law (IHL) — an obligation they must fulfil in all circumstances. The rules of war, or IHL, set out what can and cannot be done during an armed conflict.

The Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols are at the core of this law. They set out limits to war, offering protection to civilians, and parameters as to what is acceptable and what isn’t on the battlefield and beyond.