Do you ever stop and think about the ethical principles that should be practiced during warfare? Death is the very ugly side of war, but the unethical treatment of soldiers, prisoners of war and civilians is also a negative aspect that is not brought to light enough. We are all humans and deserve to be treated like one regardless of the situation. It is so important for people at war to engage in humanitarian principles to not make the horrors of war any worse than they already are. These humanitarian principles are at the core of the Red Cross mission.
Two International Humanitarian Law (IHL) youth teams from the Cincinnati Area Chapter of the American Red Cross have dedicated their time to teaching their peers about the rules everyone must follow in times of war to make it fair and ethical for all sides that are involved. The teams are comprised of eleven students from Walnut Hills High School, School for Creative and Performing Arts and Withrow High School, and two mentors from University of Cincinnati. These teams were invited to Washington, D.C. to attend the IHL Youth Symposium to receive their awards for winning the IHL youth Action Campaign competition.
The IHL teams were challenged with educating themselves and others that “Even Wars Have Limits.” Alyssa Thompson is a student at SCPA who took on this challenge. Her teammates and she came up with the idea to put on a dodge ball game at their school that simulated the rules of war. Her team did not just want to do another boring PowerPoint and thought this activity would be a good way to get students moving and interested.
Alyssa said, “I just want people to be aware it’s an ongoing issue. A lot don’t even know about it.” She said that this experience has made her pay more attention to the news and headlines because she now knows what is legal and illegal in warfare. It has really raised her awareness.
To learn more about the Red Cross and International Humanitarian Law, visit http://www.redcross.org/what-we-do/international-services/educating-future-humanitarians/international-humanitarian-law