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Symposium: Humane Warfare in Theory & Practice

March 26 @ 20:00 - 22:00

Humane Warfare in Theory & Practice: How International Humanitarian Law Works

In a world where war remains a constant factor, we might not want to ask if it is possible avoid war altogether, but rather: how do we conduct warfare as ‘humanely’ as possible? To shed some light on that question, the SIB and the IHL Network of the Red Cross in Groningen are co-hosting a symposium about international humanitarian law (IHL) – the set of rules that define what can and cannot happen during war. Two experts will discuss several aspects of this topic: from the legal framework surrounding war to the practice of applying these rules in the field.

Jan Tijmen Ninck Blok is working as a legal advisor for the Humanitarian Law department of the Dutch Red Cross. Before entering his current occupation, he worked as a development officer for the United Nations in Sudan. 

Iris van Houwelingen was posted as a military doctor at the Turkish-Syrian border four years ago to defend a large city against potential missile attacks. She is now training to be a GP and working for the Dutch Veterans’ Institute. 

Jan and Iris will give an interactive presentation about IHL, with lots of room for your input, questions and discussion. The symposium will start with a background sketch of the law in war – its origins in the Geneva Conventions, its development since, and the role of the Red Cross in upholding IHL across the globe. Then, based on their personal experiences of working in conflict zones, our lecturers will speak about the practice of operating under IHL. How do you make the right choice when faced with a humanitarian dilemma?

This event is free and open to everyone.


March 26
20:00 - 22:00


Café De Troubadour
Peperstraat 19
Groningen, Groningen 9711PC Netherlands
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