By Kristen Vodak
Photo by Anna Kultin
Classrooms normally reserved for first aid and CPR training were repurposed for war simulations and a mock international criminal court. On Friday, November 18 the Red Cross International Services Department hosted the highly interactive “Raid Cross” – a program developed by the Red Cross to help provide young people a framework to interpret violence in the media and to understand these situations from a humanitarian point of view.
“By learning the laws of armed conflict, people are more aware of their rights and also the rights of others which must be respected in times of armed conflict, which will hopefully promote more tolerance and peace,” explained Krista Schilling, the event moderator and Red Cross International Services Program Manager.
Participants and volunteers took on the roles of civilians, soldiers, prisoners, and humanitarian workers in order to experience the different challenges that arise during the simulation.
“This class was very interesting! I had no idea that the Red Cross was so directly involved in humanitarian law, right on the front lines,” said Raid Cross participant Don Robertson. Post simulation debriefing sessions were filled with questions and deliberations as participants reflected on the importance of, but also the complicated nature of International Humanitarian Law.
“Prior to participating in this exercise I had little understanding of international humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions. The experience gave me a better understanding of these issues and how important they are,” reflected volunteer Lucia Scordamaglia after the Raid Cross event.
Learn more at http://www.redcross.org/humanityinwar/raid-cross