Exploring humanitarian law (EHL) provides teachers with daily opportunities to find out what their learners are learning and what misconceptions they may have. Active teaching methods, such as class discussion, small-group work, brainstorming and role playing all provide such opportunities.
Take five minutes at the end of class to have students write one or two sentence answers to the following questions:
- What did you learn today?
- What remaining questions do you have?
In each module, students are asked to carry out activities such as interviewing people, illustrating concepts with poems, plays or artwork and writing research papers on particular topics.
Keep a folder or portfolio for each student, containing written work, artwork, interviews and news clippings that he or she has contributed in class. Periodically go over the student’s work with him or her to monitor progress in understanding international humanitarian law (IHL).
Post samples of students’ work where all can see.
- What are some of the difficulties faced in implementing IHL? Give concrete examples.
- Describe the main judicial options for dealing with violations of IHL.
- Describe the main non-judicial options for dealing with violations of IHL.
- What responsibilities do commanders of armed forces or groups have for bringing alleged perpetrators to court?
- List some advantages that ‘hybrid’ courts may offer over purely national or purely international courts.
- What are the key aims of truth commissions?
- Uses concepts, such as bystander, combatant, dilemma or chain reaction and other terms in the EHL materials
- Gives concrete examples to back up points;
- Includes examples from a variety of sources, such as the news media, interviews, class discussion and outside reading.
- International criminal jurisdiction, International Committee of the Red Cross
- Prosecuting war criminals under international humanitarian law, International Committee of the Red Cross
- International justice, Amnesty International
- Nuremberg War Crimes Trials, Yale Law School
- International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
- International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
- International Criminal Court
- Special Court for Sierra Leone
- Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Trial Watch
- Timor-Leste: Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation
- Sierra Leone: The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
- Sierra Leone: Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report for the Children of Sierra Leone
- South Africa: Truth and Reconciliation Commission
- Argentina: National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons Report – Nunca Mas (Never Again)
- Peru: Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
- International Centre for Transitional Justice