"Raid Cross" helps Scouts explore the principles and rules of International Humanitarian Law
Millions of people throughout the world live in situations of armed conflict, including in countries where Scouting is present.
As the mission of Scouting is to contribute to the establishment of lasting peace, it is considered to be especially important to work closely with the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to underline the fact that "even in war there are limits". These limits are fixed by the Geneva Conventions, which define International Humanitarian Law (IHL).
For this reason, World Scouting signed a convention in April 2005 with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the National French and Belgian (French-speaking community) Red Cross Societies.
In the framework of this convention, a game based on role-play, and originally developed by the National French and Belgian (French-speaking community) Red Cross Societies, was field tested by different local-level Scout groups and also in the Global Development Village of the European Jamboree (EuroJam) last summer.
Raid Cross aims at developing an understanding of humanitarian issues, particularly the basic principles and norms of international humanitarian law (IHL), also called the law of armed conflict. The goal is to playfully practice the respect for other human beings under duress, that is, to treat an adversary fairly and humanely, just as IHL prescribes it. Raid Cross consists of seven fictitious situations to be role-played and is followed by a short debriefing session, in which the animators compare the youngsters' actual reactions with respective IHL norms. Each scenario has specific objectives:
- How to treat prisoners of war (PoW): view the issue through the eyes of a prisoner, a prison guard or an ICRC delegate. Persistence of rights for PoWs.
- Caring for the wounded: obligation to care for all wounded, prioritising the most sever cases.
- Artillery and legitimate targets: distinction between civilians and combatants, as well as between civilian and military objects (choice of weapons, principal of proportionality).
- Sniper and civilians: the difficulties of everyday life of civilians in times of armed conflict, distinction between civilians and combatants.
- Humanitarian assistance: discovery of humanitarian action.
- Head quarters: the difficulties and dilemmas of decision-making in the midst of a conflict.
- Trial or General Debriefing: the responsibility of individuals, who have violated IHL.
The aim of the cooperation between World Scouting and the components of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is to promote and make Raid Cross available for Scouts worldwide. Raid Cross answers the strategy of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement of promoting the respect for IHL among adolescents, who are potential future leasers in their communities. And last but not least, the goal is to obtain a greater recognition and practical understanding for the values and principles enshrined in IHL in situations of armed conflict and internal violence.