Practice Relating to Rule 143. Dissemination of International Humanitarian Law among the Civilian Population
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides: “The instruction and dissemination of [IHL] are established as obligatory, so that the State has the duty to introduce it in its programmes of … civil instruction.”
The manual identifies the sectors of the public that should be targeted in priority: National Societies, universities, schools, medical circles, communication media, and the general public, particularly young people and teachers.
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “In both peacetime and wartime, States [must] … encourage the study of [the law of armed conflict] among the civilian population.”
The manual further states: “The law of armed conflict contains provisions making the teaching and dissemination of its rules compulsory. Consequently, States are under an obligation to incorporate them in their programmes of … civil instruction.”
Spain’s Royal Decree Establishing the Spanish IHL Commission (2007) states that this Commission is to “[p]rovide advice on the dissemination of … international humanitarian law … to … police forces, public officials, humanitarian organizations, legal and medical professionals, universities and educational centres, media and society in general.”
In 2008, in its written replies to the Human Rights Committee concerning its fifth periodic report, Spain stated with regard to the training given to law enforcement civil servants that “numerous courses are offered at the levels of lifelong learning, refresher training, further training and continuous training, including … [a] [c]ourse on international humanitarian law”.
In 2010, in its report to the UN General Assembly on the status of the 1977 Additional Protocols, Spain stated:
Higher studies in national defence cover such areas as peace, security, defence and military policy, and are designed not only for professionals in the armed forces but also those in public administration and members of society in general.
Every year the following courses are offered (as part of either advanced military training or higher studies in national defence) and incorporate aspects of the  Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols:
- Law of armed conflict
- General staff
- Observers for peacekeeping operations
- Peacekeeping operations
- Civil and military cooperation
- Civil and military cooperation for reservists.
[W]e must have a stronger policy for protecting children’s rights in peacekeeping operations. The recent serious allegations in the Central African Republic bear tragic witness to the importance of this. It is essential that personnel deployed in the field have adequate training in the rights of the child. Among the many steps needed, one could be to include child protection structures, including child protection focal points, in all missions and make pre-deployment training of peacekeepers in child protection mandatory. The coming United Nations Child Protection Training of Trainers Course that will be hosted by the Swedish Armed Forces this autumn will contribute to this.