Exploring Humanitarian Law


Exploring Humanitarian Law educator trainings, hosted by the Canadian Red Cross, are held all across Canada for high school teachers. These workshops are designed for both new and current classroom teachers, Bachelor of Education students and professors, and other education professionals.


The session will introduce Exploring Humanitarian Law materials and concepts in the classroom and increase teacher understanding of the main principles of International Humanitarian Law. International humanitarian law, also known as the law of armed conflict, is the body of wartime rules that protect people who are not or are no longer participating in hostilities and restricts the means and methods of war. International humanitarian law aims to protect the civilian population during armed conflict and to ensure its survival. As a result, it also seeks to protect the natural environment without which human life is impossible. The session will look at explorations and modules from the ICRC Exploring Humanitarian Law toolkit, Canada and Conflict Toolkit, and online resource ForcedToFight.ca. This session will be faciliated by local teacher champions, along with Canadian Red Cross staff.


Workshop participant learn to implement classroom lessons and activities dealing with issues relating to global conflict, bystanders, human rights, international law, refugees, child soldiers, gender-based violence and attacks on civilians, hospitals and schools.


At the end of the session, participants will have a general introduction to International Humanitarian Law and will be provided with access to resources that can be used in classroom. They will also be invited to attend and participate in future workshops of this nature hosted by the Canadian Red Cross, including full day workshops and webinars.


Suggested Agenda

Introduction to Exploring Humanitarian Law – 10 min


  • What is Exploring Humanitarian Law (EHL)?

  • Overview of EHL Toolkits-outline the modules

  • Explain the focus of the workshop




Module 1: The Humanitarian Perspective – 10 min


  • Exploration 1B: Looking at Humanitarian Acts

  • Brave shopkeeper story-Discussion (Brave Shopkeeper Handout)




Module 2: Limits in Armed Conflict – 10 min


  • Exploration 2A: Limiting the Devastation of War

  • Rules of IHL in a Nutshell (Watch video)

  • What should the rules of war be? – Group Activity & Discussion (Photo Collage Handout)



Module 3: Limits in Armed Conflict – 10 min


  • Exploration 3A: Which rule of IHL was violated?-Group Activity & Discussion (*Voices of War Handout)



Module 4: Dealing with Violations – 10 min


  • What should be done when the law has been broken? Discussion



Module 5: Responding to the Consequences of Armed Conflict – 10 min


  • Watch EHL: Student video - Forced from home (4min) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8VcYwD6U40

  • Exploration 5A: Needs that result from Armed Conflict

    • Have each student choose one photo from “Photo collage 2A” and make a list of the needs of the people in that picture. Discuss as a group.





















































Target Audience

The content is for students aged 13 – 18. The material complements academic subjects such as global issues, social studies, history, law, and language arts.


W07 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

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  • Karyn Stone


    Karyn Stone works for the Canadian Red Cross as International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Coordinator in Western Canada. Prior to joining the Canadian Red Cross, she worked for Geneva Call in Myanmar, promoting respect for international humanitarian norms and principles. She previously worked for global child rights network in Thailand, ECPAT International, supporting civil society organisations in their efforts to combat violence against children. She has also worked for a number of community-based organisations in Manitoba and has been active on several volunteer boards and committees in Canada. Karyn has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Manitoba.



  • To be confirmed