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International Humanitarian Law
DISSEMINATION OF INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW (IHL)

The signed and ratified by almost all UN member states Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977 whose initiator, guardian and promoter is the ICRC, are among the few international treaties containing the explicit requirement for their content to be made widely known.

Being the only institution in the country to consistently contribute to the dissemination of international humanitarian values, our National Society accentuates on efforts to make the population of Bulgaria be aware of, respect and support the fundamental principles of the Movement and the basic norms of IHL and human rights law, with a view to achieving a better understanding amongst people and a firm aptitude for preventing violence, human suffering and intolerance.

Supported by ICRC and the Federation, in this regard BRC provides and produces various manuals, brochures, specialized magazine supplements, video films and other materials and strives at consolidating its network of staff and volunteering disseminators in the country as well as its IHL Youth Club. BRC regularly organizes courses on IHL, human rights law and the Movement''s principles, history and activities for a multitude of audiences - basically for military officers, law enforcement officials, Red Cross personnel and volunteers, media representatives, university students and medical circles. Having in mind the country''s economic crisis and the general decrease of interethnic tolerance in the Balkans, we are hoping to attract external resources for accomplishing our regional plans for dissemination, especially in the ethnically mixed areas, which require expanded preventive action, popularizing work and campaigning, combined with holding cultural events.

With a view to promoting the basis and support for conducting and publicizing dissemination and fund-raising initiatives, the National Society has concluded a series of cooperation agreements with relevant governmental agencies such as the ministries of defense, interior and education and the national civil defense and refugees'' bodies, including provisions on our role in conflict and man-made disaster preparedness and possible victim protection. BRC also systematically assists the efforts of the international organizations and the Bulgarian government for improving the existing international humanitarian legal instruments, establishing national mechanisms for their application and organizing media campaigns in relation to ICRC/Federation appeals and the numerous world-wide breaches of the norms of humanity, including the use of indiscriminate weapons and methods of warfare and the involvement of children in activities of military character.