26. Implementation, enforcement and accountability – breach of international humanitarian law


Learning outcome

After completing this activity, the student will be familiar with the responsibility/liability of individuals and collective actors in case of international humanitarian law breach. Student will understand matter-of-fact differences between particular types of breach of international humanitarian law.


Read the short ICRC article, "Civilians protected under international humanitarian law", the fictional case study below, assess whether it meets all the conditions to be considered a breach of international humanitarian law and answer the related questions.


There are different types of breaches of international humanitarian law; all of them are connected with violations of human rights of the individuals in times of armed conflict. Read about the definition of crimes against humanity, war crimes, collateral damage, crimes against peace and genocide.

Take quiz

Question 11 pts

Case: The humanitarian intervention was approved by the UNSC resolution. It involves due atrocities within the territory of sovereign state also proportional bombing of the combatant’s facilities. Within one coordinated bombing the building in the historical city centre, which was not labelled as the medical facility, became the target of bombing. Later the humanitarian community notified that the building was used as the hospital for the first necessary surgery by NGO – Médecins Sans Frontières and approximately 40 civilians and 15 members of medical staff were killed and another 50 were injured.

Can the bombing of the historical city centre building, the location of a non-labelled hospital, be considered as a breach of international humanitarian law?

Question 21 pts

Can you identify the responsibility of concrete actor in the above-mentioned case of bombing?

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