SEAPAX to Host Seminars on International Humanitarian Law

Joanne Dufour (El Salvador ’72- ’73) will offer a weekly discussion series on International Humanitarian Law (IHL) for SEAPAX members and invited guests throughout the month of July. This series, developed in cooperation with the Seattle Red Cross, will pilot a new interactive IHL curriculum in advance of it community launch. Participants are invited to share personal experiences and perspectives. The program will begin on Sunday, July 1st, and run for five weeks.

Background: Humanitarian law is a body of international law that aims to protect the life and human dignity of all during armed conflict and to reduce and prevent the suffering and destruction that results from war. Nations party to the Geneva Conventions have a legal obligation to encourage the study of humanitarian law as widely as possible. These Conventions, together with the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, can be viewed as an integral part of the basic underpinnings of today’s society. International perspectives, and US government actions regarding each aspect of IHL will be addressed.

The training program is designed around five core modules, with each session being devoted to one of the modules. Sessions will alternate between Sunday and Monday evenings, 7-9 p.m. in two different locations, as follows:

  • Module 1 -SUNDAY, 7/1/07: The Humanitarian Perspective introduces the concept of bystanders, looks at examples of humanitarian acts and explores dilemmas faced by bystanders
  • Module 2 -MONDAY, 7/9/07: Limits in Armed Conflict looks at efforts to limit the devastation of warfare, examines codes over time and focuses on child soldiers and on anti-personnel landmines .
  • Module 3 -SUNDAY, 7/15/07: The Law in Action helps participants identify violations, views issues from the perspective of combatants, military responsibilities and examines My Lai as a case study
  • Module 4 -MONDAY, 7/23/07: Ensuring Justice discusses rationales for justice, and the evolution of international tribunals and the Geneva Conventions
  • Module 5 -SUNDAY, 7/29/07: Responding to the Consequences of War looks at needs that arise from the devastation of war, including planning a camp for displaced people, and focuses on protecting prisoners of war and restoring family links

Where & When: Sundays July 1st, 15th and 19th at the home of Jim and Joanne Dufour, 3406 SW Manning St. in West Seattle 98106, tel. 206-937-5724.
Mondays July 9th and 23rd will be at the home of Scott and Joana Ramos, 7303 23rd Avenue NE, Seattle 98115., tel. 206-229-2420.

Fee: There is no cost for this series but participants are asked to pay for materials provided [less than $2 per session] and bring some refreshments to share.

RSVP Required: Please contact Joanne at 206-937-5724 or by e-mail by noon on the Friday preceding each week’s meeting. It is important to respond so that sufficient copies of program materials will be available.

Who: SEAPAX members and friends are welcome to attend.

Note: Each module of the program is free-standing. Participants may choose to attend one, some, or all sessions.