Hostilities and Humanitarianism: How the Red Cross works under Rules of War

Imagine that you’re writing an essay for your history class, and you’re prompted to discuss the legal, moral, and humanitarian implications of war. Where do you start? As a Red Cross youth volunteer, you might have learned a bit about the International Services division of the American Red Cross, and you might have also heard the term “rules of war.” The essay is due in two days, so you’re glad that you can go back to some of your Red Cross resources to help write up the text. But where do you even begin to look?

The Online Training Centre on the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is a central location for e-learning tools on International Humanitarian Law (IHL) as well as other branches of the ICRC’s work. Besides that essay you have to write for your history class, your chapter’s IHL team might be looking for new recruits. The Online Training Centre can help you study up before you put your skills to the test. The best part is that the Online Training Centre has learning modules that are completely self-paced and free, so you can learn as quickly and as intensively as you prefer.


If you are interested in law or international relations, you can also use the learning modules as supplements to your classroom studies. The “Basic Rules and Principles of IHL” course is composed of 8 modules of total duration between three and five hours. The course is offered in English, Spanish, and French. You could even use this instruction as cultural supplements for your foreign language classes!

In fact, the gambit of learning is pretty wide. If you’re interested in medicine or health, you might consider completing the module “Health Care in Danger: The Legal Framework” through which you will learn about health care during times of conflict. If you are conducting research or are completing higher education studies, you might find the “How does law protect in war?” site useful. This link will also connect you to various IHL resource databases. In addition, the International Review of the Red Cross, a quarterly journal published by the ICRC and Cambridge University Press, can provide with you insightful editorials, essays, and articles on the implications of war. You can find the latest edition of the journal here.

As American Red Cross youth volunteers, we are all ambassadors for justice, humanitarianism, and aid. That is, we are all global ambassadors. And even though by now you have finished that paper for history class, we hope that you are still hungry for more knowledge. Don’t stop learning! There’s a whole world out there ready for your help and support.


To learn more about the Online Training Centre, click here.

To discover interesting learning modules, click here. Be sure to check out the “Related Pages” section on the right hand toolbar to get links to various ICRC informational and interactive webpages.

Visit the complete Resource Centre on the ICRC website to get access to articles, press releases, multimedia, and more.


– Kriyana Reddy, Field Relations Liaison

Category: Blog, News · Tags:

Comments are closed.

Volunteer Connection

Volunteer Connection