This module introduces the idea that there are rules for behaviour in armed conflict that seek to protect victims and other vulnerable people. After exploring some of the complexities and potential threats to individuals that arise from an armed conflict, students propose rules for protecting life and human dignity. They study the basic provisions of international humanitarian law (IHL) and apply them to such issues as the recruitment or other use of children by armed forces or groups, and limits on certain weapons and methods of warfare.
Download PDFs of the entire module or of individual explorations here.
Exploration 2A: Limiting the devastation of war
Exploration 2B: Codes and traditions over time
Exploration 2C: Focus on child soldiers
Working with photos, a world map, a video, readings, and case studies, students come to understand the scope of suffering and other problems caused by the use of children as soldiers. They learn that the use of children by States or organised armed groups violates IHL.
Exploration 2D: Focus on weapons
Through using fact sheets, a video, a world map, and interviews, students come to understand why certain weapons that cannot discriminate and that cause unnecessary suffering are prohibited. Students also trace the consequences (the ripple effect) of landmine use and examine how public opinion and popular mobilisation can contribute to advancing IHL.
Exploration 2E: Widespread availability of weapons
In this new exploration, students study the problem of unregulated availability of small arms and light weapons around the world. They examine the impact of these weapons upon civilians, and proposals for coping with related problems.