Humanitarian law Law and Legal Definition

Humanitarian law refers to the body of law dealing with armed conflict or law of war and their effects. It mainly aims at protecting persons, minimizing destruction, loss of life, and unnecessary human suffering in armed conflicts. It also defines the conduct and responsibilities of hostile nations, neutral nations, and individuals engaged in warfare.

Humanitarian law is generally based upon the Geneva Conventions. It also contains provisions from the Hague Conventions, treaties, case law, and customary international law. Humanitarian law is also called International humanitarian law (IHL), laws of war, laws and customs of war, or law of armed conflict.