Practice Relating to Rule 143. Dissemination of International Humanitarian Law among the Civilian Population
Colombia’s Basic Military Manual (1995) states that, before conflicts occur, there is an obligation “to adopt plans and programmes of dissemination and capacity building through which IHL is made known to … the civil society (… public servants, students and the community in general)”.
In a chapter dealing with the 1977 Additional Protocol II, the manual further states:
It is important to underline the obligation incumbent upon States to organize periodical and systematic instruction on the content of the Protocol, so that … civil society in general can apply and insist on respect for its norms.
Colombia’s Decree No. 138 (2005) states:
The Ministry for Social Protection must continue its programmes of disseminating international humanitarian law, in particular the norms that specifically concern the medical services, through the faculties of health science, the regional health bodies and through publications directed at the general public.
At the 27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in 1999, Colombia solemnly pledged to “promote and spread knowledge of international humanitarian law through training courses for all sectors of Colombian society and through general education programmes for trade schools, universities and schools”.
In 2004, in its third periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Colombia stated:
A learning strategy aimed at communities has been introduced to put human rights values at the centre of the response by civil society to violations. The aim is to ensure the continuity of programmes designed to promote, publicize and ensure respect for human rights and international humanitarian law.