Cultural property protection during armed conflict is an obligation under international humanitarian law (IHL). In addition to the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in Armed Conflict and its 2 Protocols, cultural property protection is an explicit part of the 1977 Additional Protocol I to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, and the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which includes destruction of historic monuments and religious buildings as war crimes. The Blue Shield has a role to play in debating the balance of military necessity (as defined in IHL) and humanity in each and every armed conflict, each one of which will be unique, not least in terms of the military means and methods employed.

Photo: The original document of the first Geneva Convention from 1864, on loan to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum in Geneva, Switzerland. Photo by Kevin Quinn, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Read more about Treaty Law and the 1954 Hague Convention in our Law Library

Read more about Customary Law, the Geneva Conventions, and Military Necessity in our Law Library