Exploration 3A: Extension Activities


Write a paper about the violation of international humanitarian law (IHL) that your class chose to work on as a group. In your paper evaluate some of the suggestions made by your class to prevent such violations or to limit their consequences.


Make drawings to illustrate the violation.


Make posters to promote the suggestions made by your class.

Chains of Consequences

Select a violation of IHL and make a diagram of the chains of consequences that the violation could create. Some consequences might result in many other chains of consequences.

Example from “Voices from war – 2″:

There are a lot of situations when soldiers changed uniforms for ordinary suits….


Conduct a debate on the following statement:

A law that is often broken is better than no law at all.

Assemble two teams – one to argue in favour of the statement and one to argue against it – and a team of judges. Teams should review their class notes and other useful resources, such as books, periodicals and the news (newspapers, radio, television). Each team should prepare the following:

  • A five-minute presentation
  • A list of points that they think the other team will make against their position
  • Their responses to those points
  • [The following ideas might be of help: the effect of often disrespecting laws, examples of laws other than IHL that are often broken yet valued, the history of the acceptance of laws over time, the value of a law as an ideal, the alternatives to law]

During the time allotted for planning, a third judging team should work out the criteria for judging the debate.

Conduct the debate.

At the conclusion of the debate, the judges should summarize the points they have heard. Then they should announce their decision and give reasons for it.

Then, discuss the following questions:

  • How do you think your debate applies to IHL?
  • Are there other examples of rules that are valued even though they are often broken?
  • [For example: religious laws, social customs]


Debate the pros and cons of this statement by a teacher in Nigeria:

Since there is a law that forbids the army from killing civilians, there should be a law that forbids civilians from helping the army.

While preparing your positions, consider the following points:

  • The consequences of your position
  • How to define what constitutes ‘helping’ soldiers