Topics: Worldwide, International Humanitarian Law
May 03, 2013
Canadian Red Cross volunteer educates youth on international humanitarian law

International humanitarian law (IHL) is a body of law that works to safeguard the security and legal rights of people during times of armed conflict.

By prohibiting the use of certain weapons, attacks on vulnerable individuals and prisoners of war, as well as protecting non-combatants like children and medical staff, IHL helps preserve dignity and upholds the humanitarian ideals of the Geneva Conventions.

As an active charity organization, the Canadian Red Cross is committed to upholding the tenets of IHL and promoting the rights of people around the world to be treated humanely and with dignity.

Volunteer educates others on IHL
Volunteers with the Canadian Red Cross, like Toronto native Bernadette Maheandiran, are an integral part of educational programming both at home and abroad.

Bernadette began educating young people about the tenets of international humanitarian law when she was 15 years old. Now, she's 27 and a practicing lawyer, which has given her a greater sense of what international humanitarian law entails, as well as its importance.

Bernadette has taught in classrooms offering workshops that educate on the dangers of anti-personnel land mines. Throughout her experiences, she's valued her participation in the Canadian Red Cross' work abroad.

"(The Canadian) Red Cross keeps giving you these moments to inspire and be inspired in return, which is why I like volunteering for the organization," says Bernadette.

In 2010, Bernadette was one of two Canadian representatives who traveled to Oslo, Norway, to attend an international conference hosted by the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement on international humanitarian law. Today she serves on the Canadian Red Cross' International Advisory Committee for Ontario, which helps create engaging opportunities for youth.

Make a difference
The Canadian Red Cross strives to help people around the world who come from areas that have been impacted by armed conflict and civil unrest.

While emergencies and disasters can be sources of stress, with the much-needed resources provided by the Canadian Red Cross, people in need who have been affected by adversity can gain the skills and knowledge needed to overcome challenges.

With the help of Canadians like you, the Canadian Red Cross can continue to make a difference in people's lives. Please donate online or at your local office today to provide people with assistance when they need it most.