The Banning of Anti-Personnel Landmines: The Legal Contribution of the International Committee of the Red Cross

By Louis Maresca; Stuart Maslen | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is perhaps best known for its work in the midst of armed conflict bringing aid and assistance to the injured and sick, prisoners of war and civilians a ffectedbythe fighting. Yet, the institution also has a long history of being closely involved in the development of international humanitarian law. It was the e fforts of the founder of the ICRC, Henry Dunant, which led to the adoption of the first humanitarian law treaty, the 1864 Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in Armies in the Field. Since that time the ICRC has continued to play an important role in the subsequent development of humanitarian law. It prepared the drafts which were the bases for the negotiations of the 1929 Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War, the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Additional Protocols adopted in 1977.1

The formal basis for the ICRC's role in this area is found in the Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. This movement, which is comprised of the ICRC, National Red Cross and Crescent Societies and their International Federation, and which works

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The full titles and dates of signature or adoption are: Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, signed at Geneva 27 July 1949; Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, signed at Geneva 12 August 1949; Convention (II) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of the Armed Forces at Sea, signed at Geneva 12 August Convention (III) Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, signed at Geneva 12 August 1949; Convention (IV) Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, signed at Geneva 12 August 1949; Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of the Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), adopted at Geneva 1 June 1977; Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of the Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II), adopted at Geneva 1 June 1977.

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