The work of the Blue Shield is underpinned by international laws designed to protect tangible and intangible heritage in the event of armed conflict by recommending safeguarding measures during peacetime, regulating the conduct of armed forces during armed conflict, and – if necessary – enabling the prosecution of those responsible for its destruction. The Blue Shield works to promote not only national ratification of these laws, but also encourages measures to implement them, both in domestic legislation and in national practices across the globe.

The laws underpinning our work fall into three main sections:

In addition to promoting the protection of cultural property from armed conflict, the Blue Shield also works to combat the illicit trafficking of cultural property which frequently accompanies conflict. A number of international laws regulate trade in cultural property in order to prevent illicit trafficking. These laws cover all aspects of the trade, from shipping to sale to purchase.

Visit our section on Looting and Illicit Trafficking.