United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Practice Relating to Rule 143. Dissemination of International Humanitarian Law among the Civilian Population
The UK Military Manual (1958) notes:
Under the 1949 [Geneva] Conventions the parties are bound, both in time of peace and in war, to disseminate the text of the Conventions in their countries and to include the study of them in their programmes … if possible (i.e
., according to the constitution of the country concerned) of civilian instruction.
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states:
16.2.1. Whilst ignorance of the law is not generally accepted as a defence, the first step to enforcement of the law of armed conflict must be to ensure as wide a knowledge of its terms as possible both within the armed forces and outside.
16.3. States are also required to disseminate the texts of the Geneva Conventions 1949 and the two Additional Protocols 1977 as widely as possible in peace and war so that the general population can learn about them.
16.3.1. The manner in which dissemination is done is left to the states themselves and may be by means of orders, courses of instructions, commentaries or manuals. … Any military or civilian authorities with responsibility for applying the conventions or protocol must be fully acquainted with the text.
16.4. Additional Protocol I also requires states to endeavour, with the assistance of their national red cross or red crescent societies, to train qualified persons “to facilitate the application of the Conventions and of this Protocol, and in particular the activities of the Protecting Powers.” The parties are encouraged to send lists of such qualified persons to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).