International Conference for Young Researchers on
International Humanitarian Law
70 Years of Geneva Conventions: Time to Reflect on Achievements and Plan for Future Developments
21-23 November 2019
Call for applications
The Russian-Armenian University (RAU) in cooperation with the Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Armenia (ICRC) is pleased to announce the call for participation in the 12thInternational Conference for Young Researchers on International Humanitarian Law, which will be held from 21 to 23 November 2019 in Yerevan, Republic of Armenia. The Conference is a unique international platform for the discussion of contemporary issues and perspectives related to IHL development among young scholars. Since 2007, the geography of the Conference has grown having hosted participants fromArgentina, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Czech Republic, Georgia, Estonia, Hungary, Ireland, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, Sweden, Tajikistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA, Armenia and other states.
Each year the participants of the Conference along with seasoned national and international experts of law are offered a vibrant platform to share views on a range of issues related to IHL development and implementation. With this the Conference undoubtedly makes an effective contribution to the whole process of reaffirmation and development of IHL. On one hand, the young participants get a chance to be heard by the renowned professionals and on the other, they engage in an open discussion over different opinions and views. The Conference provides a unique opportunity for the alumni to become a part of an established international network of legal professionals from all over the world. Finally, the Conference is a unique cultural experience thanks to visiting beautiful and hospitable Armenia and meeting the old and new friends.
Check out the Facebook page of the Conference at,
Young researchers in the field of IHL under the age of 35 are invited to take part in the by submitting a research paperstrictly within the scope of the announced conference topics presented below (not being limited by sub-topics).
The Organizing Committee will also consider applications for the maximum of three positions of moderators of one of below mentioned sections. There is no maximum age requirement for the applicants applying for the position of moderator.
The APPLICATION PACKAGE should be sent to and be comprised of:
  1. A paper abstract stating, among others, author’s original thesis, objectives and conclusions with a maximum of 1000 words. If selected, the participant will have to present the full version of the paper (up to 4500 words prior to the Conference according to Annex 2). THIS IS NOT REQUIRED FOR THE APPLICANTS APPLYING FOR THE POSITION OF MODERATOR.
  2. Duly completed application form (application form can also be downloaded from the following web site,
  3. Professional resume also stating IHL-related research (if any) and academic interests.
  4. English language proficiency certificate (IELTS, TOEFL, etc.). In case of absence of such a certificate the Organizing Committee reserves the right to conduct an interview with the applicant via Skype to check his/her English language proficiency.
Applicants applying for the position of a moderator should also submit a short motivation letter (maximum 500 words) describing their previous experience in IHL and reasons for their willingness to be a moderator for one of the sections listed below.
The deadline for submitting the application package is October 20, 2019 at 23:00 (GMT + 4:00). Applicants will be selected on a competitive basis. The selection results will be announced on October 25, 2019. The selected applicants will receive an official invitation letter, including the details of the program and venue.
The Organizing Committee will cover the costs of accommodation, meals, local transportation of the participants and provide the participants with necessary materials during the Conference days. Please note that round-trip travel expenses are to be covered by the participants of the Conference.



  • Possible aspects and venue to review, without being limited to -
  • Can religious leaders play a role in enhancing compliance with IHL?
  • Building environment for IHL compliance and religion
  • Religion values and restraint in armed conflicts
  • Respect for the dead under Islamic law: Considerations for humanitarian forensics
  • Other aspects


  • Possible aspects and venue to review, without being limited to -
  • Protection of migrants and displaced under IHL
  • Migration and displacement as vectors to sustainable peace
  • Can violence and IHL violations trigger the displacement processes?
  • International organisations and agencies approaches to displacement and migration – diversities and commonalities
  • Migration and displacement and data protection challenges
  • Other issues


  • Possible aspects and venue to review, without being limited to -
  • Principle of proportionality in conduct of hostilities
  • Perfidy
  • Precautions under the law governing the conduct of hostilities
  • Reviewing the legality of new weapons, means and methods of warfare
  • Protecting environment in IHL
  • Other issues


  • Possible aspects and venue to review, without being limited to -
  • How Context Dictates Reconciliation as an Aim of Transitional Justice
  • A Participatory Process: Reconciliation as an Outcome of Transitional Justice
  • Transitional Justice Mechanisms as an Obstacle to Reconciliation
  • On Solid Ground: Building Sustainable Peace and Development After Massive Human Rights Violations


  • Possible aspects and venue to review, without being limited to -
  • Definition of human control
  • Artificial intelligence in warfare: risks and opportunities for IHL compliance?
  • Frontiers of artificial intelligence and conflict
  • The (im)possibility of meaningful human control for lethal autonomous weapon systems
  • The impact of gender and race bias in AI
  • Machine autonomy and the constant care obligation
  • Autonomous weapon systems: An ethical basis for human control?
  • Other issues


  • Possible aspects and venue to review, without being limited to -
  • Fighting in urban areas: Legal and operational challenges
  • Use of heavy explosive weapons in populated areas and why it should be avoided: humanitarian, legal and policy considerations
  • Besieging cities and humanitarian access: how to accommodate humanitarian needs, legal obligations and operational constraints?
  • Precautions when carrying out attacks in cities
  • Identifying military objectives in cities
  • Protecting civilians living in cities against the effects of hostilities
  • How to work towards reducing the human cost of the use of explosive weapons in populated areas?
  • Other issues


  • Possible aspects and venue to review, without being limited to -
  • Achievements and challenges of the Convention
  • Victim assistance
  • Civil society and implementation of the Convention
  • Risk education and protection of civilians
  • Integrating a gender perspective in mine action
  • Other issues


  • Possible aspects and venue to review, without being limited to -
  • National security and the right to liberty in armed conflict: the legality and limits of security detention in international humanitarian law
  • Transfer of detainees in multinational non-international armed conflicts: implementing the principle of non-refoulement, an impossible task?
  • Cost of detention for the families of the detainees
  • ICRC action and challenges related to detention
  • Detention by non-state armed groups: legal issues and practical challenges
  • Legal basis and grounds for detention in multinational non-international armed conflicts
  • Other issues
You will be able to download the Conference program starting from 19 November at: 
The working language of the Conference is English. 
The opening will take place at the Grand Hall of the Russian-Armenian University on 21 November 2019 at 10:30 am.



"I have been fortunate to take part in three conferences and I would do it again in a heartbeat. The interesting presentations, the excellent organization and the social events make the conferences an unforgettable experience".
Katerina Pitsoli
Swansea University & Université Grenoble Alpe
“Yerevan Conference on IHL for me is a unique event in the region. The most impressive thing is that this event puts together people from different part of the world united by genuine interest to International Humanitarian Law. Here you have a possibility to meet again people with whom you became acquainted thanks to such significant IHL events as Pictet and Martens Competition. Moreover, the organizers of the conference do all their best to create friendly atmosphere as well as show unforgettable hospitality.
The value of the conference becomes obvious when you see how many people return to it from year to year. For instance, I participated in the conference three times in a raw and hope to come back again.
Dear organizing committee, thank you for such incredible unforgettable event!”
Mariya Milashevskaya
International University "MITSO"
"I visited International Conference for Young Researchers on International Humanitarian Law for the first time in 2016 while being just a visitor and since then I was struggling to achieve my next goal - to participate there as a panelist. Fortunately, in the next year I was a lucky one to go to Yerevan and take part in this great event. During my first presence at RAU I was really surprised by the quality of the organization and statuses of the experts moderating sessions. In 2017 being panelist I had breakfasts everyday with François Bugnion - one of the co-drafters of Additional protocols to GCs. That was a life changing experience. I met a lot of super interesting people who are also "addicted" to IHL as I am. I really look forward to join Yerevan international conference on IHL the next year.”
Iuliia Emtseva
American University of Central Asia
"Despite our advanced and highly developed society, today´s world faces a lot of human rights abuses, in particular, in modern armed conflicts. I consider our generation´s task to solves those issues. In that sense, the IHL Conference is a quite cozy conference that allows developing a fruitful debate and poses new challenges around the international humanitarian law. Further, the conference is an environment will help attendees to met a lot of people awesome from all around the globe!”
Priscilla Coria Palomino
Pontificial Catholic University at Peru
“Each time I have attended the IHL Conference for Young Researchers in Yerevan I have found it extremely rewarding. As an invited expert I have I have had the opportunity to share my own research and knowledge, and in exchange I have heard some of the best research that exists anywhere on current IHL issues. The subjects of the papers presented as well as their quality have been truly memorable, making the IHL Conference a rich showcase of relevant material for IHL scholars and practitioners. Certainly it has been that for me! This is also surely due to the breadth of countries and perspectives that are represented. But it is really more than that, because an international conference of such integrity also reflects the efforts of its organizers, to whom I am personally grateful. The Russian-Armenian University is an excellent venue, and the welcoming atmosphere of Yerevan itself is a real bonus.”
Michael J. Strauss
Professor of International Law, Centre d’Etudes Diplomatiques et Stratégiques, Paris, France
When we were just thinking about the Yerevan Conference with our co-organizers Russian-Armenian University, we were thinking to provide the young researchers and experts the platform to voice their opinions on IHL and various issues on IHL development and provide them opportunity to exchange those opinions with like-minded people. So that was our idea. I think the idea worked beautifully for the last 10 years and developed and started to be prosper and be also famous. Than is why we are having participants on annual basis coming from all over the world. And this is really a pleasure to see, to observe and to participate. The Conference is not only about IHL, but also about friendship, about Yerevan and about new experiences and, for those who know, about singing too. From all my heart I wish the conference to be as famous, as known and as warm and hospitable for the years and years to come. Happy birthday Yerevan Conference
Anastasia Kushleyko
ICRC Regional Legal Adviser for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Moscow Regional Delegation
I think the Conference is an excellent idea and initiative, because people from all around the region and also from other places in the world meet and, the time I was there, they were incredibly motivated to discuss the great challenges of IHL and their motivation was also demonstrated by the fact that they paid for their travel to Yerevan.
Marco Sassoli
Director of the Department of International Law and International Organization at the University of Geneva.