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Mindanao State University students debate on international humanitarian law

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ILIGAN CITY (ICRC/05 March) — Students from the three campuses of Mindanao State University displayed their knowledge on the international humanitarian law (IHL) during the first inter-campus IHL debate at MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology today.
The half-day debate held by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and MSU-IIT produced lively discussions from the six teams fielded by the General Santos, Marawi and Iligan MSU campuses, during deliberations on the relevance of IHL or the law of armed conflict.
“These bright students will in time be the country’s decision makers. So at an early stage, we want them to understand and appreciate the IHL, which upholds the measure of humanity in the midst of armed conflict.

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We want to bring the IHL closer to the youth,” said Julien Chalier, deputy head of the ICRC sub-delegation in Davao City.
Bringing the IHL to schools, added Chalier, would increase student awareness on the effects of armed conflicts; and impart the need to protect human dignity during war.

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Using the Australasian parliamentary format, two teams from each campus presented their cases based on an IHL topic while MSU professors, ICRC and PRC representatives judged their merits.

The two highest-scoring teams from the elimination rounds advanced to the final round, after which the judges declared the champion of the IHL School Debates.

The winning team and their campus library received trophies, student prizes and IHL books while the runner-up received secondary prizes and IHL books for their school library.
The IHL debate is the first in a series of student symposiums aimed at expanding appreciation of the IHL among undergraduates. Since 2005, the ICRC has worked with law students and law professors through the annual Moot Court competition on IHL.

Complementing the IHL debate, a five-day photo exhibit depicting the faces of war was launched yesterday at the MSU-IIT campus to give a firsthand look into the evolution of armed conflicts all over the world.

The “Humanity in War” exhibit traces the history of war and its humanitarian consequences from the American Civil War to modern-day conflicts.

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Beyond the sorrow and hardships, the exposition reflects the courage, hope and caring for others amidst the chaos and destruction caused by war.

The inspiring exhibit, which includes 40 photographs from the ICRC archives dating back to the 1860s, will be shown until 8 March 2010.(ICRC)

For further information, please contact:
Giuseppe Pogliari, ICRC communication delegate, 0908-8868683
Richard Cubita, ICRC dissemination field officer, 0920-9516566

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