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Customary IHL – helping to improve the protection of victims of armed conflict

The rules of customary international humanitarian law (IHL) improve the protection of victims of armed conflict, by complementing the safeguards provided by treaty law. The ICRC's head of project for customary law, Els Debuf, explains why customary IHL is so important and why the ICRC’s on-line Customary IHL Database, now four years old, is a vital tool for all those working on issues related to armed conflict and IHL.

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