Generations of children, like these in eastern Syria, have known nothing but violent conflict. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
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In 1859, a Swiss citizen, Henri Dunant, arrived in Solferino following a crucial battle in the Second Italian War of Independence.The subsequent Geneva Conventions constituted the basis for international humanitarian law, and the International Criminal Court -- established in 2002 and accepted by most of the world's states -- became the principal institution for enforcing it.Yet the Geneva Conventions and the ICC are constantly being undermined, often in novel ways. Countless people have simply disappeared, traumatizing families and communities. Generations of children have known nothing but violent conflict.To ignore the legal rights of any individual -- even one who has allegedly committed serious crimes -- is to repudiate the inherent worth of all humans.To this end, a new Principle of Humanity should be placed at the center of national and international policymaking.
Beirut’s bold step reinforced tolerance
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