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Exploring Humanitarian Law: A Guide for Teachers The Canadian Red Cross is mandated by the Geneva Conventions to build public understanding of the rules governing war, otherwise known as international humanitarian law, in order to protect human life and dignity. Since 2002, the Red Cross has addressed this responsibility with youth through a powerful program called Exploring Humanitarian Law, which offers a toolkit that educates students on the importance of ensuring the rights and protections of those impacted by war. A Critical Subject for Today’s Students Whether through personal experience or exposure from the news, students are affected by conflicts around the world and need the skills to understand the rules governing war and their impact on human life and dignity. The Canadian Red Cross Exploring Humanitarian Law (EHL) curriculum is a flexible toolkit of resources that gives teachers easy-to-use materials to help students understand how conflicts—at home and abroad—intersect with the rights and protections of those impacted. With 30 hours of activities that teachers can use as a whole or mixed and matched into their lessons, EHL helps students connect current events and real-life questions to the Image Source: ICRC classroom. Using high-quality primary source materials, including news accounts, photos and letters, students build analytical skills by exploring different perspectives on the rules of conflict while grappling with their effect on human life and dignity.

Aligned with Standards Aligned with the Ontario Secondary Curriculum, Exploring Humanitarian Law challenges students to investigate real situations and discuss some of the most important humanitarian questions facing us today - from the treatment of prisoners of war during the Revolutionary War to the establishment of international courts at Nuremburg, to the use of child soldiers in conflicts around the world. Exploring Humanitarian Law is designed to fit seamlessly into a wide variety of courses including social studies, history, law, literature, civics and gifted programs . Professional Development Exploring Humanitarian Law professional development workshops offer teachers the ability to learn how to best fit EHL resources into classes while earning professional development at the same time. Professional development is available for half-day workshops as well as 1, 2, and 3-day conferences . For more information, contact: or visit

EHL Letter to Teachers  

Exploring Humanitarian Law introductory letter.

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