Reporting Conflicts: International Humanitarian Law for Media Professionals

Enroll in this course for free on the Human Rights Campus!

Maintenant disponible en français | Ahora disponible en español | العربية

When covering armed conflict, it’s essential that media professionals understand the basic principles and rules of international humanitarian law (IHL) because these can provide a lens through which to analyse and report.

Features of the rapid e-course

In this course, you will learn about the principles and application of IHL, including how IHL is enforced, and which groups are afforded special protections. Frequent self-assessments reinforce the lessons and help you to measure your progress. Scenario-based assignments engage you to solve specific problems and point you to useful resources.

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).

Who should take this course

This free self-directed e-course is primarily meant for journalists and media professionals, but can be taken by anyone with an interest in the principles and application of IHL.



1. Why media professionals should know the laws of war

The laws of war and their enforcement

2. The Geneva Conventions
3. The principles and rules on the conduct of hostilities
4. Enforcement of IHL
5. IHL and groups afforded special protections
6. War crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide

Scenarios: Reporting on armed conflicts

7. Covering the ICC trial of William Ruto and Joshua Sang
8. Reporting on sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo
9. Documenting a civil war

Format of the course

This self-directed e-course can take between 1 and 2 hours to complete. Proceed at your own pace: complete it in a single sitting or spread your participation over time. The course can be accessed any time that is convenient. Passing a final test will earn you a certificate of completion.

Technical requirements

• Internet access
• The course is viewable in Flash, HTML5 or Apple iOS formats. Flash Player is free – get the most recent version here.