Stages of development of international humanitarian law on the protection of civilians during armed conflicts


  • Diana Protchenko


international humanitarian law, international treaties, armed conflict, protection of the civilian population, international protection of the civilian population in conditions of war, state protection of the civilian population in conditions of war.


International humanitarian law (IHL) is a branch of public international law that is applied during armed conflicts to limit the means and methods of conducting military operations.
This branch of law aims to protect the civilian population from the effects of armed conflict and those who have ceased to participate in hostilities. IHL is designed to limit the consequences of conflicts based on considerations of humanity.
The principle of humanity is the most general principle in international humanitarian law, it unites all provisions into a logically constructed system of norms that are applied during armed conflicts and are closely related to related fields of international law.
The article analyses the international regulation of the protection of the civilian population during armed conflicts. The main international acts on the protection of the civilian population during war are defined, primarily the Geneva Conventions on the Protection of War Victims.
Attention is focused on defining certain categories of persons who are unconditionally protected by the norms of international law.
It was concluded that the protection of the civilian population in the conditions of an armed conflict is a task not only of each of the states, but must also be regulated at the international level, which requires the development of new methods of protection. The position regarding the need to comply with court decisions on the protection of civilians during war with the principles of international humanitarian law, as well as the creation of more effective mechanisms for the protection of the civilian population during war, is substantiated.
The humanitarian basis of international law is immanently not characteristic of classical international law as a tool for regulating relations between states. And only in the 20th century, with the change in the essence of international law, with the accumulation of norms related to the protection of human rights, there are qualitative changes in international law, often called «modern», aimed at subordinating international law to humanistic principles. However, it was precisely in classical international law that two independent directions emerged that reflect the principles of humanity to the highest degree - «Geneva law» and «Hague law». In modern international law, they are part of the branch traditionally called «international humanitarian law». International humanitarian law aims to protect victims of armed conflicts.