Training for the military

UNESCO-UNIFIL Training © UNESCO

The success of the 1954 Hague Convention and its two Protocols is largely dependent on the implementation of its provisions by military forces who are engaged in armed conflict. As the primary actors concerned with the conduct of hostilities and the stabilization of conflict zones, military forces play a crucial role in ensuring cultural property is respected, as well as protected from damage 

and destruction during times of war. For this reason, the  UNESCO Secretariat of the 1954 Hague Convention has developed, and continues to develop, several military training tools, publications, and resources which are designed to inform military forces of their obligations under the Convention and its Protocols. These materials also seek to provide these forces with the practical knowledge and tools necessary to respond to situations concerning the protection of cultural property when they arise.

There are also key provisions of the Convention and its two Protocols which expressly require States to engage their armed forces in the protection of cultural property:

Article 7 of the 1954 Convention provides for the obligation to introduce in time of peace into the military regulations or instructions such provisions as may ensure observance of the Convention to establish, within armed forces, services which secure respect for cultural property and to co-operate with the civilian authorities responsible for safeguarding it.

Article 25 provides that the High Contracting Parties have to disseminate the provisions of the Convention among the civilians.

Article 30 of the Second Protocol complements Articles 7 and 25 of the Hague Convention by providing for a wide range of obligations such as the communication, through the Director-General of UNESCO, of the laws and administrative provisions to ensure the application of the Second Protocol and the implementation of its provisions in the national legislations and within the relevant civilian and military authorities.

Practices at the national level: tools developed

The tools presented on this page are a small overview of existing national tools which can benefit to Member States at the international level as a sharing of information. Other tools will be presented when available.

  • Austria:
    Directive for the military protection of cultural property and the military safeguarding of cultural heritage EN | FR | German
  • Belgium:
    Cours pour Conseillers en Droit des Conflits Armés FR
  • Italy:
    Directive on the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict - 2012  EN
  • France:
    Handbook on the Protection of Cultural Heritage in the Event of Armed Conflict EN | FR
  • Switzerland: Basic Rules EN | FR
  • United States of America:
    Heritage Preservation - Soldier pocket guide: EN

UNESCO tools

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