The Core Professional Training on Humanitarian Law and Policy – an intensive three-day program – serves as an opportunity for experienced humanitarian practitioners, policymakers, and others operating in or dealing with conflict settings to deepen their understanding of international humanitarian law (IHL) and other legal frameworks applicable in times of war, and to explore related policy and operational challenges.
Suitable for those both with and without prior legal training, the course covers the sources and development of IHL, key distinctions between international and non-international armed conflicts, the applicability of international human rights law in armed conflict, the obligations of State and non-State actors, implementation and enforcement of IHL, and the role of humanitarian actors in situations of armed conflict. Additional “flex sessions” respond to the interests and concerns of registrants and specific issues they are currently facing in their work.
Discussions, case studies, and exercises reinforce the learning objectives and connect theory with practice, exploring challenging issues that arise in humanitarian response settings, such as civilians participating in hostilities, the conduct of hostilities in urban settings, the use of certain weapons in highly populated areas, and the norms governing humanitarian access and assistance. Throughout the course, examples from contemporary conflicts illustrate the applicability of legal rules taking into account operational challenges faced by practitioners and highlighting how a deeper understanding of IHL contributes to a more effective protection and assistance work.
Participants in the Core Professional Training are also encouraged to participate in the two-day Thematic Workshops that directly follow in each location and focus in depth on specific issues of concern to humanitarian actors, building on the content of the core course. Alumni of previous editions of the Core Training are also encouraged to return for the Thematic Workshops, which are continuously updated based on the latest developments in the field.
Participants who want to prepare for the course are recommended to complete the PHAP Credentialing Program certification in International Legal Frameworks for Humanitarian Action (ILFHA).