The rules governing armed conflicts aim to protect the civilian population. Photo: Danish Defence.
International Humanitarian Law
When Denmark deploys out soldiers to an armed conflict somewhere in the world, there are a number of international rules to be observed. These rules are typically referred to as International Humanitarian Law. International Humanitarian Law is the body of international law that regulates the warring parties' conduct during an armed conflict and seeks to limit its effects to victims of the conflict.
International Humanitarian Law is found primarily in two set of rules:
The Geneva Conventions from 1949 was adopted in the aftermath of World War II. In the decades that followed, the world witnessed an increase in the number of non-international armed conflicts, and as a response two Additional Protocols were adopted in 1977. In 2005 a third Additional Protocol was adopted which created an additional emblem, the Red Crystal.
The Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols are the core of International Humanitarian Law. They specifically protect civilians and those who are no longer participating in the hostilities, such as wounded, sick and shipwrecked soldiers and prisoners of war.
The Hague Conventions consist of a range of conventions, adopted more that a 100 years ago. They were among the first formal statements of the laws of war and war crimes. However, they still regulate the means and methods of warfare.
Danish soldiers are educated in International Humanitarian Law to ensure compliance both within and outside of Denmark.
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