At the 26th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent held in December 1995, the parties committed to “move from law into action” through concrete steps while renewing their commitment to international humanitarian law. Practical measures to enhance respect for international humanitarian law were addressed with special attention on the needs of the civilian population and most vulnerable groups such as children and women. In particular, the Conference endorsed the conclusions of the January 1995 Meeting of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on the Protection of War Victims, most notably the Recommendations addressed to national authorities encouraging them to create National Committees on International Humanitarian Law, with the support of respective National Societies. National Committees are aimed at advising and assisting governments in implementing and disseminating international humanitarian law, while facilitating inter-ministerial and inter-departmental coordination and cooperation.
Prior to 1995, several countries had already established national bodies responsible for international humanitarian law with very positive results. Encouraged by favourable experiences and recognizing the advantages of having specific bodies in charge of promoting and coordinating the implementation of international humanitarian law at the national level, a number of states established national committees. Since 1995, there has been a considerable increase in the number of National Committees, which rose to more than 60 worldwide covering all continents.
The members of the Canadian National Committee for Humanitarian Law have created this Web site to provide information of its mandate, structure and activities, as well as to provide and exchange information and experiences related to international humanitarian law.