International Humanitarian Law (IHL): Past Trends, Current Reflections, and the Future


An online panel series

The Canadian Red Cross and the University of Manitoba, Centre for Defence and Security Studies invite you to the J.W. Dafoe Political Studies Students’ Conference

IHL Poster
This conference will bring together experts from the field including academics, practitioners, and representatives from the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement to discuss International Humanitarian Law (IHL), past trends, current reflections and the future.

IHL is the branch of international law that seeks to limit the effects of armed conflict. It does this by protecting people who are not, or no longer, participating in hostilities and limiting the means and methods of war. Applicable during wartime, IHL places legal obligations on all parties to conflict.

IHL is one of the most important tools in place to prevent suffering during war, however challenges to implementation persist. Contemporary challenges to armed conflict include the urbanization of conflict, new weapons technology, and increasingly protracted situations of conflict. This conference will explore IHL—from development to current implementation—and the role of IHL in future conflicts.

The conference will be held online via Zoom from February 3 to February 11, 2022.

Please register for each event you are interested in attending below.
Please note: The Canadian Red Cross is committed to social inclusion. To help us measure our progress, we try to gather information about participant demographics. This information is for internal purposes and will not be shared with other organizations. If you are not comfortable sharing this information, feel free to select “prefer not to answer”.

Thursday, February 3, 2022, 10am CST: The Ins and Outs of IHL
Rules of war have been around since ancient times. However, it wasn’t until the end of the 19th century that the first international treaties regulating armed conflict were born. This panel will discuss the development of IHL, including the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols of 1977.
Tuesday, February 8, 2022, 6:00pm CST: The Status of IHL Today
In the seven decades since the signing of the Geneva Conventions, IHL has remained one of the most important tools available to reduce human suffering in war. However, noncompliance remains an intractable problem and the nature of warfare has changed. Join us to discuss IHL and its role in regulating contemporary armed conflict.
Friday, February 11, 2022, 12:00pm CST: The Future of IHL
Development of new technologies will shape the future of armed conflict, including means and methods such as autonomous weapons, armed drones, and cyber warfare. Will the rules of IHL be applicable and relevant in armed conflicts of tomorrow?