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The Canadian National Committee for Humanitarian Law (CNCHL)
International Humanitarian Law (IHL)
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The Canadian National Committee for Humanitarian Law (CNCHL)

NCHLs around the world

There are currently more than 60 National Committees for International Humanitarian Law (IHL) worldwide.

Launched by the ICRC Advisory Service, an online forum for worldwide National Committees aims at facilitating the exchange of information and contacts where National Committees, the ICRC and other specialists and organizations can discuss topics of interest and access documents relating to National Committees and IHL.

For access to this online forum for National Committees on IHL please click here.

Each National Committee has its own objectives, procedures, structure, composition and length of mandate. The exact scope of activities may also vary from one committee to the other. Yet, their purpose is common: to advise and assist the government in implementing and disseminating international humanitarian law. To this end, the ICRC created an Advisory Service on International Humanitarian Law with the aim of encouraging ratification of IHL treaties, promoting national implementation of IHL and collecting and facilitating the sharing of information on national implementation measures. The Advisory Service encourages states to set up National Committees and to assist them in their work, it has created Guiding Principles concerning the Status and Methods of Operation of National Bodies for the Implementation of Humanitarian Law. These include:

  • promoting , evaluating, proposing and monitoring national humanitarian legislation;
  • supporting and coordinating individuals and entities involved in matters relating to humanitarian law;
  • advising on international humanitarian law;
  • disseminating international humanitarian law to the military and civilian authorities responsible for the application of the law;
  • nvolving the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in their work on a regular basis;
  • communicating with other NCHLs and the ICRCs advisory service.

The Guiding Principles also establish common characteristics for each National Committee, notably promoting, advising on and coordinating all matters relating to the implementation of IHL at the national level, and compliance with and development IHL.

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