Segerstrom High School students in Orange County, CA share their thoughts about International Humanitarian Law and the IHL Action Campaign.
What have you learned about IHL & International Justice?
Throughout the course of just about a month or two, I have learned an incredible amount of information that I would never have known without such a program. Well first of all, IHL stands for International Humanitarian Law. Events that have inspired IHL/International Justice to arise are cases such as the Nuremberg Trials. From research I have done with my team, I have learned that the International Criminal Court (ICC) is governed by the Rome Statute, which has no statute of limitations, meaning that no matter how long ago the war crime was committed, one could still be prosecuted regardless of time.
What I found incredibly interesting is that the United States is not ratified under the Rome Statute because our government wants our citizens to be tried under our courts and our law system rather than an international tribunal court (it’s like the League of Nations all over again.) However, the US does strongly support the ICC and their prosecution of cases that advance the United States interests and values.
What did you think about the Raid Cross simulation?
Raid Cross was definitely one of my favorite parts of IHL only because it opened my eyes through stimulations. It is more hands on and resonant when you actually experience something mild but similar to what people live on a day-to-day basis in other countries. The trainings we completed with our Team Leaders really got us to be more open-minded and consider all possible options out there, to explore that gray matter that many people don’t like diving into because black and white makes things so much easier.
Why do you think IHL is important?
Why is IHL important? Might as well ask me why breathing is important. IHL provides some sort of closure for victims of war crimes and sets limits on wars, which is so crucial in times like these when we have terrible offenses to humanity occurring – sex trafficking, child soldiers, landmines, the list can go on and on. It brings other nations and their situations up to our attention since many Americans tend to live in a safe little bubble, often distracted by social media and networking. IHL ensures there is justice for all everywhere and contributes to the protection of human rights.
Are there any other IHL topics that you are inspired to learn more about?
I’ve always been interested in landmines or the after effects of war. I remember landmines striking an impact on me (not literally) but it caught my attention when I realized that more civilians are harmed after a war than soldiers. This occurs because 90% of landmine victims end up being innocent civilians in the wrong place, at the wrong time.