Humanitarian Law and Policy Pathway

The Humanitarian Law and Policy Pathway is a central component of the Professional Development Program of PHAP. Building on over ten years of executive education experience of HPCR as PHAP’s academic partner, it has been designed to respond to a growing demand from professionals in the humanitarian sector for a clear and practical articulation of the applicable rules and policies guiding humanitarian assistance and protection in conflict situations. The orientation of the pathway is based on the recognition that individual professionals play a critical role in the implementation of international humanitarian and human rights norms through informed discussion within the humanitarian community and cogent arguments presented to parties to the conflict and other stakeholders. It also recognizes the scope and depth of experiences within the professional community from which it draws reflections on the challenges to humanitarian protection as well as guidance on potential avenues forward.  

To fulfill its educational mission, PHAP has put into place a distinct set of online and onsite tools to inform and stimulate discussions among its members on humanitarian law and policy. These include:

Online courses on the Essentials of IHL

The first step of a PDP pathway takes place on the PHAP main website which offers a series of 10 – 15 minutes online modules on humanitarian law and policy and additional online material that act as a gateway to the substantive domain covered by the pathway. These online sessions present clear definitions of key IHL concepts such as humanitarian access and review the main debates around the issues covered by the pathway. Each module ends with a short quiz to test the acquisition of knowledge of participants, in addition to a glossary of the main professional vocabulary and links to further reading material. The completion of the online course is recommended for preparing for PHAP onsite core professional training courses.

Onsite three-day core training

The second step of the pathway is centered on a three-day Core Professional Training on Humanitarian Law and Policy offered regularly by PHAP and its partners in various international locations. The curriculum of the Core Training is set around core issues and questions pertaining to the challenges of assisting and protecting of civilians in armed conflict with a number of flexible sessions to accommodate particular regional and thematic interests. The three-day training comprises expert lectures, case studies, and simulations. It concludes with an optional multiple choice exam. The completion of the Core Professional Training on Humanitarian Law and Policy is a requirement to attending any of the PHAP Thematic Workshops in the same pathway of humanitarian law and policy.

Onsite thematic workshops

The third step of the pathway is composed of a series of thematic workshops covering a large spectrum of challenges and sub-domains in humanitarian law and policy. These workshops last two days and invite interested members to engage in timely discussions around current challenges to humanitarian assistance and protection. There are no exam requirements at the conclusion of the workshops.


For more information on the Online Course on the Essentials of IHL, please click here.

For more information on the Core Professional Training on Humanitarian Law and Policy, please click here.

For more information on the various thematic workshops, please click here.

To access the PHAP Training Calendar, please click here.