The Core Professional Training on Humanitarian Law and Policy – an intensive three-day program – serves as an opportunity for experienced humanitarian practitioners, policymakers, and others operating in or dealing with conflict settings to deepen their understanding of international humanitarian law (IHL) and other legal frameworks applicable in times of war, and to explore related policy and operational challenges.
Suitable for those both with and without prior legal training, the course covers the sources and development of IHL, key distinctions between international and non-international armed conflicts, the applicability of international human rights law in armed conflict, the obligations of State and non-State actors, implementation and enforcement of IHL, and the role of humanitarian actors in situations of armed conflict. Additional “flex sessions” respond to the interests and concerns of registrants and specific issues they are currently facing in their work.
Discussions, case studies, and exercises reinforce the learning objectives and connect theory with practice, exploring challenging issues that arise in humanitarian response settings, such as civilians participating in hostilities, the conduct of hostilities in urban settings, the use of certain weapons in highly populated areas, and the norms governing humanitarian access and assistance. Throughout the course, examples from contemporary conflicts illustrate the applicability of legal rules taking into account operational challenges faced by practitioners and highlighting how a deeper understanding of IHL contributes to a more effective protection and assistance work.
Participants in the Core Professional Training are also encouraged to participate in the two-day Thematic Workshops that directly follow in each location and focus in depth on specific issues of concern to humanitarian actors, building on the content of the core course. Alumni of previous editions of the Core Training are also encouraged to return for the Thematic Workshops, which are continuously updated based on the latest developments in the field.
Participants who want to prepare for the course are recommended to complete the PHAP Credentialing Program certification in International Legal Frameworks for Humanitarian Action (ILFHA).
The course is designed for mid- and senior-level staff of UN and other intergovernmental agencies, components of the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement, NGOs, and government agencies with direct or indirect experience of humanitarian action in situations of armed conflict. Others with relevant experience, including diplomats, military personnel, and journalists, are also encouraged to apply.
How to apply
Please use this application form to apply for the course.
The course is open to PHAP members and to non-members. PHAP members enjoy course fee discounts, as well as other benefits. If you are not yet a member of PHAP, you can apply for membership and the selected training simultaneously through the course application form.
PHAP members who have already attended five or more days of training courses offered by PHAP, HPCR, or HPCR International, may be eligible for our Returning Participant Discount Program.
Group discounts are available for agencies and employers wishing to send several staff to PHAP trainings. Please visit our fees and terms and conditions page or contact us directly.
Regular fees (for PHAP members) Non-member
Core Professional Training and Thematic Workshop (5 days) € 1500 € 1650
Core Professional Training only (3 days) € 990 € 1090
One Thematic Workshop only (2 days) (previous attendance at Core Professional Training required) € 690 € 760
Fees cover all training material, access to preparatory online course on the Essentials of International Humanitarian Law, and lunches and coffee breaks for the days of the training. Fees do not cover travel or accommodation costs.
PHAP offers a limited number of seats at a reduced fee, in accordance with the association’s Tuition Assistance Policy. Please read it carefully to check whether you are eligible and learn how to submit you request.