Welcome to the Website of the IHFFC












Dear visitor,


In order to secure the guarantees afforded to the victims of armed conflicts, Article 90 of the First Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 (AP I) provides for the establishment of an International Fact-Finding Commission. The IHFFC was subsequently established in 1991. It is a permanent body of 15 independent experts, acting in their personal capacity, elected by the States having made a declaration of recognition under Article 90 of AP I. The Commission's essential purpose is to contribute to implement and ensure respect for International Humanitarian Law (IHL) in armed conflict situations.


The Commission fulfills its mandate notably by:


· Enquiring into any facts alleged to be grave breaches or serious violations of IHL.


· Facilitating through its good offices the restoration of an attitude of respect for the Conventions and AP I.


· Reporting its findings to the States involved and making such recommendations as it deems appropriate.


In the fulfillment of its mandate, the Commission observes the principles of neutrality, independence, impartiality, and confidentiality.

In its capacity as the depositary of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, Switzerland runs the Secretariat of the Commission.


Each State which has recognized the competence of the Commission has the right to refer for investigation situations of armed conflict to the Commission on condition that all Parties involved have equally recognized the Commission's competence. A State Party to the First Additional Protocol may make a comprehensive declaration, thereby recognizing the Commission's competence, or it may consent to an investigation into the facts of a particular dispute. A comprehensive declaration can be made at any time.


Today, 76 States have made a comprehensive declaration under Article 90.


Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.


Yours sincerely,


Thilo Marauhn



The members of the Commission during the Annual Meeting in Geneva, 20-22 February 2017



News from the IHFFC

OSCE Special Monitoring Mission was not targeted, concludes Independent Forensic Investigation into tragic incident of 23 April 2017  [07/09/2017]
VIENNA, 7 September 2017 – The Independent Forensic Investigation (IFI) team today presented its report to the Permanent Council of the OSCE on the tragic incident of 23 April 2017, when an OSCE armoured vehicle was struck by an explosion resulting in the death of an OSCE paramedic. The IFI team was assembled and deployed by the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission at the request of the OSCE. [...]
International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission to lead an independent forensic investigation in Eastern Ukraine (Luhansk province)  [19/05/2017]
Bern/19.05.17 – The International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC) was asked by the OSCE to lead an independent forensic investigation in relation to the incident of 23 April 2017 that occurred in Pryshyb (Luhansk Province) and caused the death of a paramedic and the injury of two monitors of its Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM).

On 18 May 2017 the Secretary General of the OSCE Lamberto Zannier and the President of the IHFFC Thilo Marauhn signed a memorandum of understanding between the two organizations, followed by a distinct agreement relating to the incident. Based on the terms of reference agreed therein, the purpose of the independent forensic investigation is to establish the facts of the incident by conducting a post-blast scene forensic and technical assessment against the background of international humanitarian law. While the investigation will be guided by the applicable rules of international humanitarian law, criminal responsibility and accountability for the explosion is outside its scope.

Ambassador Alfredo Labbé (Chile), Vice-President of the IHFFC, will lead the investigation team. The other members of the team will be proposed by the IHFFC and selected by the team leader in consultation with the OSCE Secretary General.

The team will conduct its investigation confidentially and will report to the OSCE Secretary General only.
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IHFFC International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission
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