International humanitarian law
The role of New Zealand Red Cross in IHL
For IHL to be useful in times of war, it must be understood during times of peace. We promote knowledge and implementation of IHL in New Zealand to limit the impact of war on victims of armed conflict and prevent violations of IHL during armed conflict.
We organise a range of events to raise awareness of IHL. One of the main events each year is a moot competition for law students around New Zealand. Law students participate in a fictional war crimes trial and learn about IHL.
The New Zealand IHL Committee
The New Zealand IHL Committee supports the government to educate the public about IHL. The Committee's role is to advise the government on how to meet its international obligations relating to the dissemination of IHL.
The NZ IHL Committee includes people representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the New Zealand Defence Force, the New Zealand Police, academics who specialise in international law and people who represent humanitarian organisations.
We provide the Secretariat for the IHL Committee and we also facilitate communication between everyone involved.
Emblems of protection
The Red Cross, Red Crescent and Red Crystal are international emblems of protection during armed conflict. In any language they mean 'Don't shoot!' – this person, site, vehicle or equipment is not part of the fight, but is providing impartial humanitarian assistance.