A four-day workshop focusing on International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and International Disaster Law (IDL) was launched yesterday in presence of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Human Rights and Institutional Reforms, Mr Maneesh Gobin, at the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre in Bell Village.
The Vice-President of the National Commission International Humanitarian Law of the Italian Red Cross, Ms A. Siena who is leading a seven-member delegation, was present.
In his keynote address, the Minister emphasised that Government, has at heart, the well-being of the Mauritian population and is working towards ensuring safety, saving lives, alleviating poverty as well as maintaining law and order. The Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects and the Firearms Act, are few examples of the several initiatives which have been taken to provide for the protection of civilians, he pointed out.
He underlined that the objective of the workshop is to promote the dissemination of information on IHL and IDL among important stakeholders such as police officers, prison officers, prosecutors, teachers, representatives of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Centre and volunteers of the Red Cross. He further pointed out that participants will learn to differentiate between International Criminal Law and IHL as well as find out on the regularity framework put in place for disaster-related operations.
Moreover, Minister Gobin underscored that the Mauritius Red Cross Society has over time evolved into a centre of excellence in the field of training, disseminating information and providing social assistance for the most vulnerable. He commended the role and activities of the Society in the Disaster preparedness and response while adding that it offers great support to various organisations during times of crisis.
For her part, the Vice-President of the National Commission International Humanitarian Law of the Italian Red Cross, Ms A. Siena, highlighted the importance of universality for the Red Cross movement to gain recognition worldwide. She pointed out that primary discussions were initiated, last year, between the Mauritius Red Cross Society and the National Commission International Humanitarian Law of the Italian Red Cross to strengthen their collaboration through training and capacity-building programmes. She also underpinned the role of the Red Cross in regrouping the youth and educate them about the importance of the voluntary service.
This initiative of the Mauritius Red Cross Society and the National Commission International Humanitarian Law of the Italian Red Cross, aims at familiarising participants on the basics of the IHL and its framework. It will also enable sharing of knowledge and ideas on the disaster risk management operations. The workshop, attended by some hundred participants, will be facilitated by the delegation from the National Commission International Humanitarian Law of the Italian Red Cross.

Source: Government of Mauritius