The Geneva conventions of 1949 and their additional protocols of 1977 and 2005 are the principal treaties governing the humane treatment of civilians, aid to and protection of the victims of armed conflict. In order to secure the guarantees provided by these instruments, it is essential that the states implement their provisions fully. Implementation requires the states to adopt a number of internal laws and regulations. They must, for example, establish rules on the punishment of violations, the use and protection of the Red Cross, Red Crescent and the Red Crystal Emblems for protected persons. In addition, the states are obliged to spread knowledge of the conventions and protocols as widely as possible. Owning to the broad range of issues associated with these responsibilities, comprehensive Implementation of the rules of international Humanitarian law requires coordination and support from all the government bodies concerned. The implementation of international humanitarian law rules represent the attitude of State Parties to comply with the provisions of international humanitarian law either as hard or soft law. This paper looks at the provisions of these instruments vis-à-vis their implementation by States and concludes that States should by their different internal mechanisms and individual efforts comply with these instruments in good faith as demanded by Article 2(2) & (6) of the UN Charter. This is because implementation is key when it comes to fulfilment of the set purpose of any international instrument aimed at maintaining peace and security of any State or region of the world.
Authors: Rufus Olu Olaoluwa