Norwegian soldiers lack training on int'l humanitarian law: survey

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-11 20:31:43|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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OSLO, April 11 (Xinhua) -- A recent survey has showed that fewer and fewer Norwegian soldiers have undergone training on international humanitarian law, news agency NTB reported Thursday.

The proportion of soldiers confirming that they underwent the training fell from 95 percent in 2013 to 68 percent last year, according to the "2018 Soldier Survey - Rules of War" conducted by the Norwegian Red Cross.

Meanwhile, just over 80 percent of interviewees believe that international law is relevant to theirs service, the survey showed.

Besides, the study showed that 18 percent of soldiers never train on topics related to the international humanitarian law of war as part of field exercises, while 48 percent said they rarely do it.

War rules should prevent and alleviate distress, especially for the civilian population, prisoners and health professionals. The Norwegian Red Cross has carried out independent investigations of the soldiers' level of knowledge in 2004, 2009, 2013 and 2018.

Bernt G. Apeland, secretary-general of the Norwegian Red Cross, expressed concern over the results.

"We should expect that Norwegian soldiers can do this far better," Apeland told NTB, reminding that Norway has a duty according to the Geneva Conventions to give soldiers training in the international humanitarian law.

On the other hand, 97 percent of the soldiers in Norwegian Navy responded that they have completed training or exercises. In addition, everyone who has served in Afghanistan has been trained in international humanitarian law.

Those who have served in the international operations have on average a higher proportion of correct responses than those who do not.

The soldiers show the best knowledge of the enemy warriors, while the level of knowledge is worst about international humanitarian law, the survey showed.