1 June 2021
Collins Odhiambo is a Captain in the Kenyan Air Force where he is in charge of a squadron, overseeing its operations, management, training and administration.
He just completed a one-and-a-half-year assignment with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), where he coordinated and participated in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process. As such, he notably identified and analysed security, humanitarian, socio-economic, human rights and military developments that affect the protection of civilians. He also participated in human rights training programmes for national law enforcement officials, representatives of civil society and human rights non-governmental organizations.
Collins Odhiambo is currently enrolled in our Executive Master in International Law in Armed Conflict and follows the programme online.
After serving in the military and being posted to conflict and post-conflict regions, I realized that my work revolved around humanitarian activities and that I had to work closely with humanitarian organizations. To be effective and efficient in my work, I needed strong knowledge of the law of war and the syllabus of this programme offered me exactly what I needed.
This master’s programme is uniquely designed to make it easy – even for those like me who do not have a law background – to grasp its content. The programme surpassed my expectations, sharpened my knowledge and turned me into an international humanitarian law (IHL) teacher at my workplace.
I love the interactions with the lecturers and fellow participants, it is something one hardly experience even in physical classes. The hypothetical scenarios that are used in class are very relevant to the reality I meet in the field and I found myself referring to them in several instances.
When I decided to follow the programme online, I thought it was going to be easy, but I realized that it requires dedication just like in-class learning. The way classes are conducted in this programme allows for very close interaction between participants and this is what I enjoy the most since the distance learning option allows participants from different backgrounds to join.
I easily manage to follow the programme: the classes are all recorded and available on a platform, so participants can watch them any time. The amount of work and readings however require students to allocate a good amount of time and nobody should think it is easy just because it is part-time.
This programme will definitely make me more effective and efficient at work hence offer me professional growth. It will also expand my employment opportunities.
If someone is looking for an opportunity to learn IHL online, I would highly recommend this programme. It is well-tailored to meet contemporary situations.
In the new podcast series ‘Lethal Autonomous Weapons: 10 Things We Want to Know’ launched in July, Professor Paola Gaeta and her research team discuss with other experts the challenges and problems raised by lethal autonomous weapons (‘LAWS‘).
The UN Security Council and Common Article 1: Understanding the Role of Peacekeeping Operations in Ensuring Respect for IHL examines the applicability of article 1 common to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 – on the obligation to respect and ensure respect for IHL – to the UN, with a specific focus on peacekeeping operations.
UN Photo/Manuel Elias
This IHL Talk, co-organized with the International Peace Institute (IPI), aims at contrasting approaches to, and decision-making on, humanitarian affairs in the relevant multilateral fora in New York and Geneva.
Dr Helen Durham, Director of International Law and Policy at the ICRC, will address the legal, operational and political imperative of the international community continuing to work towards the application and implementation of IHL.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, reviews the origins of international criminal law, its relationship with the international legal order including the UN Security Council and its coexistence with national justice institutions. The scope of international crimes – genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression – is considered alongside initiatives to expand or add to these categories.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, analyses the main international and regional norms governing the international protection of refugees. It notably examines the sources of international refugee law, including the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, and their interaction with human rights law and international humanitarian law.
This project will explore humanitarian consequences and protection needs caused by the digitalization of armed conflicts and the extent to which these needs are addressed by international law, especially international humanitarian law.
The Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts project (RULAC) is a unique online portal that identifies and classifies all situations of armed violence that amount to an armed conflict under international humanitarian law (IHL). It is primarily a legal reference source for a broad audience, including non-specialists, interested in issues surrounding the classification of armed conflicts under IHL.