The ICRC and Humanitarian Law

The ICRC is the international neutral organization which ensures humanitarian protection and help for victims of military and other armed conflicted. It is based on the Geneva Conventions of 1949. One of the main purpose of the ICRC is to promote international humanitarian law and implement it into in national law.

The ICRC is mandated by the United States through the Geneva Conventions and Protocols to guard international humanitarian law. The ICRC cultivates through participating in consultations adopting of news rules. Additionally, ICRC provides consultations in order to clarify the existing rules. The ICRC prepares reports for the International Conference aimed at strengthening legal protection of detained people.

The ICRC has made contribution into the customary international humanitarian law. Thus, in 2005 the ICRC has identified about 161 rules which strengthen victim protection.  In 2008 there was an agreement of 17 countries to the “Montreux Document” which ensures respect of IHL and human rights law by private military and security companies (

The ICRC fulfills the function of the university community and law practitioner through cases documents and teaching materials on contemporary practice in Humanitarian law.  The ICRC renders information on IHL.

The international humanitarian law can be briefly defined as a set of rules aimed at limiting the effects of armed conflict. International humanitarian law is also known as the law of war and it has to secure protection of people who are not taking part in hostilities. As a part of international law it is contained in treaties, conventions and agreements between the states. International humanitarian law is applied to armed conflicts as a part of international law set from the United Nations Charter.

As far as funding and financial status of the ICRC is concerned it is necessary to stress that its budget has increased. The 2010 budget of the ICRC equals 1156 million Swiss francs (ICRC. 1 Dec 2009).

It is necessary to point out that the ICRC has many delegates in over fifty countries. But more than a half of delegations are in Africa. The annual budget which is over $ 550 million comes mainly from the United States, The European Union, Switzerland and Scandinavian countries.

The payment is generally received through donations. The budget of the ICRC of the year 2009 comprised 998.9 million Swiss Francs. The budget increase of the year 2009 was about 6,9%. The internal budget grew by 4,4% in comparison with the year 2008. It should be stressed that the average increase is connected with the missions in Africa (ICRC. 1 Dec 2009).

The conclusion can be drawn that there is a direct correlation between introduction of humanitarian law and fiscal matter of ICRC. One can state that the increase of the ICRC delegations in Africa leads to the budget increase of this international organization. 

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