The IHL Action Campaign is an exciting American Red Cross youth program that aims to teach international humanitarian law (IHL) to young people through peer education. Since the program’s introduction in 2013, more than 400 youth volunteers have joined the IHL Action Campaign – and it continues to grow each year!
The IHL Action Campaign is led and designed by youth, for youth. Young people (ages 14-24) learn about IHL in an experiential way, then design and present campaigns to raise awareness about the importance of the rules of war and make a difference in their communities.
Outstanding IHL Action Campaigns receive special recognition of their work from the American Red Cross National Headquarters.
Watch this video to meet some of the amazing young people who have participated in the program since 2013:
Young people who took part in the program called it empowering and motivating, and they told us they learned important skills for their careers.
This is what they said:
Within the IHL Action Campaign program, Team Leaders are selected, trained, and supported by their local American Red Cross Chapters, with the assistance of National Headquarters. Their role is to educate their peers about IHL rules, principles, and values and to lead the planning of their Team’s IHL Action Campaign.
Team Leaders can be recruited from colleges, universities, high schools, or networks of young professionals under the age of 25. They can come from existing Red Cross Clubs or be new volunteers recruited through career or volunteer centers. College and university students may also be able to earn academic, internship, or service-learning credits for taking part in this program.
Young people create the format of their own IHL Action Campaigns. From flash mobs and simulations, to performances and board games, the campaigns are always interactive and engaging. Each year, the teams choose a different subtopic to focus on in their campaigns. Past subtopics have included child soldiers, gender, international justice, and refugees.
See what past IHL Action Campaign Teams have done:
Crossing Borders – Watch a video showing one IHL Action Campaign Team’s art exhibit to raise awareness about the challenges refugees face. Check out their entire YouTube playlist for interviews they conducted with refugees in their community.
Shed the Gender – Read about one IHL Action Campaign that shows the impact of gender stereotypes during armed conflict through an interactive game and social media campaign.
Tracing Their Footsteps – Watch a video showing how to combine two topics, gender and refugees, into one IHL Action Campaign.
Refugee Camp Simulation – Read about a refugee camp simulation created by an IHL Action Campaign Team that received statewide attention.
SOS (Save Our Services): Healthcare Under Attack – Watch a video of a simulation on health care in conflict areas hosted by one IHL Action Campaign Team.