Practice Relating to Rule 143. Dissemination of International Humanitarian Law among the Civilian Population
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states: “The distribution of AP II [1977 Additional Protocol II] and other rules on internal armed conflicts should take place as widely as possible.”
In its chapter on the prevention and punishment of war crimes, the manual provides: “The States which are parties to the conventions on the law of war should take all necessary steps to meet their obligations … These States should disseminate the conventions on the widest possible scale during peacetime”.
In an explanatory memorandum submitted to the Dutch Parliament in the context of the ratification procedure of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, both the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Defence expressed themselves in favour of information on IHL being given not only to soldiers, but also to a broader group of people. However, it was stressed that to support governmental activities in this field, non-governmental activities were also needed.