International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Delegation conducts seminar on International Humanitarian Law and Use of Force during situations of violence.
FORT BENNING, GA – Four delegates, members of the ICRC, converged with WHINSEC Human Rights instructors on October 12 & 13, here at the Institute. The purpose of their encounter was to further the education and training of WHINSEC HR instructors.
“As part of Democracy and Human Rights Program, we also focus on training our HR instructors to become better at teaching human rights. That is why the ICRC was here. Instead focusing on our students that come here to take our training, this particular group of ICRC delegates focused on teaching our instructors, so they can become better at teaching human rights,” said Toni Raimondo, Director of WHINSEC’s Center for Human Rights and Democracy.
The workshop concentrated on the International Standards governing the Use of Force in operations with the support of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The ICRC delegates presented the ICRC point of view on the international standards and guidance for the Use of Force during Other Situations of Violence.
The delegation representatives were; Mr. Pascal Andre Jacques Pinot, Mr. Michael Pymble, Mrs. Paola Andrea Garcia Betancur and Mr. Juan Alejandro Zakzuk. Each one of them brought substantial knowledge and professional experience to WHINSEC HR instructors, expanding their understanding of the Rule of Law and Use of Force.
Pinot, who has participated on previous workshops with WHINSEC, commented on this year’s event.
“It was an outstanding dynamic. The Center invited us, as in previous years, to come and present the norms and protocols that dictate the use of force during an armed conflict, or violent situation. Additionally to engage with the instructors on those subjects. We present ICRC view on the use of force; revisit the International Operational Law that dictates the use of force and the humanitarian consequences of an armed conflict and the use of force,” said Pinot.
He added, “This year’s group was very knowledgeable on the Use of Force, some are military lawyers. The dynamics developed during the discussions were extremely interesting; the ICRC brings its vision, its perception, and its concerns. The participants bring their experiences. And this interaction with folks who have experience on these type of missions, we all learn, we all win.”
First time attendant to the seminars, Washington DC ICRC Delegate Michael Pymble was impressed with the group dynamics.
“This course is fantastic, because it has such a wide range of backgrounds, specialties, and experience from a whole range of Latin American Police and Military Forces. As we moved through really interesting sessions, we saw a whole bunch of fascinating questions based on practical, real world operational experience and having the law meet up with the operational reality the people face out there,” said Pymble.
Costa Rican Police Commander and WHINSEC Partner Nation Instructor Juan Pablo Calvo Cuadra participated on the seminar.
The ICRC seminar strengthens the activities of Human Rights with respect to the International Humanitarian Law. It consolidates the principles and values which are vital throughout our Latin America countries. It was an extremely important, interesting course. There were exchanges, debates on concepts, on ideas, which are now clarified. The instructors were very knowledgeable on the concepts and provided the means for those exchanges to take place,” said Calvo.
“These new capabilities provide us the tools, upon our return to our countries to revise, and improve where necessary, our doctrine in regards to the Use of Force, and the International Humanitarian Law,” he added.
The workshop was instrumental in re-enforcing the doctrine that WHINSEC promotes on the use of force. Additionally, it brings other agencies, instrumental on the promotion and enforcement of international law, to our campus where we can collaborate more effectively with them. The International Committee of the Red Cross provided four delegates these instructors will be teaching human rights to all WHINSEC courses and to all WHINSEC students. We need to keep bringing the ICRC, as well as other agencies, that are instrumental in teaching human rights, rule of law, and democracy.