Australian Red Cross will examine ways to strengthen and prevent breaches of international humanitarian law, drawing together key military, humanitarian and legal experts from around the world at a Perth conference on November 5-6.
Key speakers at the two-day conference will include the Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Special Adviser to the International Criminal Court Professor, Tim McCormack, and Australian Red Cross Director of International Humanitarian Law & Movement Relations, Dr Phoebe Wynn-Pope.
Dr Wynn-Pope said the forum was a unique opportunity for key stakeholders to engage on the challenges that IHL faces in the 21st century.
“Over the past 150 years, the quest to establish and improve international humanitarian law has produced an impressive structure that successfully protects people in conflicts every day. The protection of wounded and sick combatants, the respect for medical personnel and facilities, and the creation of the protective emblems are just some of the important components of international humanitarian law,” she said.
“Unfortunately, international humanitarian law continues to be violated too frequently by both States and non-State armed groups. We continue to witness the execution of captured persons, of indiscriminate attacks affecting civilian populations, of hostage taking, of rape and other forms of sexual violence and of the killing of humanitarian workers. The sad list of atrocities goes on.”
“This conference is part of ongoing dialogue to improve compliance with international humanitarian law,” Dr Wynn-Pope said. “It is through collective wisdom that we can improve how international humanitarian law identifies, prevents and prosecutes violations. It is through engagement that we can reinforce respect of the laws of war.”
Source: Australian Red Cross