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EU Guidelines: Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law

By Council of the European Union / European Union, on 1 January 2009

An integral part of our Human Rights Policy is a series of Guidelines on issues of importance to the Union. These Guidelines are practical tools to help EU representations in the field better advance our policy. The first Guideline, on the Death Penalty, was elaborated in 1998. It was followed by six others focussed on Torture, Dialogues with Third Countries, Children Affected by Armed Conflict, Human Rights Defenders, the Rights of the Child and Violence Against Women. The first five Guidelines were published as a brochure four years ago; this new edition adds those Guidelines adopted since then. In preparation for publishing this booklet, all of the older Guidelines underwent a review and renovation to reflect changes both in the Union and the external environment that have taken place since 2005. There is one other innovation in the edition you hold in your hands: for the first time, we have included a guideline developed in 2005 by Member State legal experts on the topic of International Humanitarian Law. Because of the explosive growth of operations and missions conducted under the European Security and Defence Policy and as a result of our conviction that counterterrorism be conducted within the framework of international law, the Guideline on IHL is growing in importance.