History

The聽International Institute of Humanitarian Law is an independent, “non-profit, humanitarian association having social values as its objectives鈥, founded in 1970 in Sanremo, Italy.
Its headquarters are situated in the wonderful Villa Ormond.

The main purpose of the Institute is to聽promote international humanitarian law聽and related subjects.
According to the Statutes, the Institute takes initiatives and carries out activities of a practical and multidisciplinary character, in particular, by organising courses, training programmes and advanced studies in the fields of international humanitarian law, international human rights law, refugee law and many related issues, as well as by promoting dialogue with a view to fostering better respect and implementation of international law through the organisation of international conferences, multilateral meetings and seminars involving scholars and practitioners.

Thanks to its specific, well-tested experience, the Institute has earned an聽international reputation as a centre of excellence in the field of training, research, and the dissemination of all aspects of international humanitarian law and many related subjects.

Considering the aims it pursues, the Institute works in close collaboration with the most important international organisations dedicated to the humanitarian cause, including the聽International Committee of the Red Cross聽(ICRC), the聽United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees聽(UNHCR), and the聽International Organization for Migration (IOM). Furthermore, it has close operational relationships with, among others, institutions like the European Union,聽UNESCO,聽NATO, the聽Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie聽and the聽International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

In September 2020, the International Institute of Humanitarian Law celebrates its 50th anniversary.

The Institute was established in Sanremo on聽26 September 1970聽as 鈥渁n independent, non-profit, humanitarian organization鈥 by a group of international lawyers to provide an international forum dedicated to humanitarian issues.

Since then the Institute has shown a constant commitment and growing enthusiasm in spreading fundamental humanitarian principles to all corners of the earth with the mission to promote dissemination, application and the development of international humanitarian law, refugee law, migration law and human rights.

Over the years, thanks to its commitment and to the eagerness of all the persons engaged in its activities, the Institute has earned the international reputation of being centre of excellence in the field of training, research and dissemination in humanitarian law and related topics, regularly organizing training programmes and international meetings of experts.

Ever since it was created, the Institute has drawn particular attention to current trends and developments in humanitarian law and related subjects, by organizing an annual international gathering that takes place in Sanremo. This event has become known in the world as the 鈥Sanremo Round Table鈥.

Since 1976, the Institute, in collaboration with the聽ICRC, several governments and other relevant organizations, has designed and offered specific training programmes open to military and civilians, with the aim of聽fostering the development of knowledge of international humanitarian law. These programmes focus on delivering practical and experience-based instruction, supported by exercises and case studies thus reinforcing the participant鈥檚 understanding. The programmes also ensure a unique environment offering a diverse, challenging and stimulating international perspective where participants from all over the world can exchange views.

Since 1982, the Institute has worked in close co-operation with the聽UNHCR聽and later on with the聽IOM, offering high level training on refugee and migration law to support the capacity of government and civil society officials and to increase the knowledge and skills of the participants, by developing a greater level of awareness of the law through an interactive environment enhanced by the global experience of the teaching staff and participants.

During these聽50 years of very intense activity聽the Institute has also provided an undoubted contribution to the field of research by publishing different texts, essays, as well as the proceedings of its Round Tables, and by drafting a number of handbooks聽and manuals which have become works of reference on a global scale.

The 50th anniversary of the Institute

Fifty years of international meetings and intense training activity have created what has universally become known as the 鈥humanitarian dialogue in the spirit of Sanremo鈥, attracting more than聽20.000 participants, representing nearly all the nations in the world.

To celebrate the important milestone, the Institute organised a series of innovative online events, with the main aim of involving its alumni, currently active practitioners and future professionals of the international humanitarian law, refugee law and international human rights law areas. This, by developing an high-level dialogue focused on the forthcoming challenges of these branches of international law.

Considering the 2020 peculiar global situation related to the Covid-19 pandemic, the events were held online in the form of webinars and virtual conferences. Being able to meet the challenges caused by the worldwide outbreak, the Institute was able to engage, through these special events, around 1200 attendees.

50th anniversary concluding virtual event on Current challenges of children protection in armed conflict

The event intended to conclude the year of celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Sanremo Institute by addressing the topical issue of children鈥檚 extremely vulnerable conditions in areas affected by armed conflict, forced displacement.

READ MORE
1st Sanremo Lecture on International Humanitarian Law on ``Why is International Humanitarian Law Respected or Violated? An Open Agenda``

The 1st edition of the “Sanremo Lectures on IHL” was organised on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Institute with the contribution of Professor Michael Bothe and Professor Fausto Pocar, Honorary President of the Institute.

READ MORE
``Aspectos actuales del DIH: una visi贸n global`` Evento acad茅mico en homenaje al IIHL en sus 50 a帽os de compromiso humanitario

The first webinar on the IIHL virtual platform was held on 27th and 28th August 2020. The event was sponsored by the IIHL teaching staff of the Spanish and Portuguese courses, in honour of the Institute鈥檚 50th anniversary, and it dealt with 鈥淐urrent aspects of IHL: a global vision鈥.

2nd Sanremo Lecture on International Humanitarian Law on ``The Evolving Concept of War within a Framework of International Law``

The 2nd edition of the “Sanremo Lectures on IHL” was organised in November 2021 with the contribution of Professor Mary Ellen O鈥機onnell. The lecture was introduced by Professor Edoardo Greppi, President of the Institute, and Professor Gabriella Venturini, Member of the Council.

READ MORE