We are members of the American Red Cross Club at Baker High School in Baldwinsville, NY, and this is our second year being involved with the IHL Action Campaign. We joined this program last year because it was a fun, Red Cross-related project for our club to do. Being an International Services program, we hadn’t done anything like it before. However, in the past two years, we’ve learned all about IHL, the rules of war, and have been able to make an impact in our school. IHL, which is the body of laws that define what is acceptable and what is illegal to do during times of war, should be respected by every country, but this is not always the case. It is important to learn about violations of IHL and teach others about them so that more people are educated and can stop these crimes. The best part about this program is Raid Cross, which is a set of simulations we participate in during the fall that teaches us about different topics of IHL, including prisoners of war, artillery on the battlefield, and the International Criminal Court.
For this year’s IHL Action Campaign, our team chose the topic of refugees to go along with our global studies class unit about refugees. Refugee Gabriel Bol Deng, a “Lost Boy” of Sudan, will be coming to our school to talk about his experience. The next day, we’ll hold our IHL Action Campaign in all of the global classes at our high school to reinforce what the students learned during Gabriel’s presentation. We’re really looking forward to teaching our classmates about refugees even more, especially as the topic relates to IHL. Since the simulations during Raid Cross were fun, we’re hoping the global studies classes have fun, too, but we also hope they leave the event having learned about refugees and their importance in our society.
*High school students in Baldwinsville, New York are planning their IHL Action Campaign to coincide with a refugee event at their school. The purpose of the IHL Action Campaign is for young people to teach their peers about the importance of IHL, as well as issues related to gender, refugees, and humanitarianism.