Chemical weapons and the laws of war
An introduction to what chemical weapons are and how they fit within international humanitarian law (IHL).
- Lesson plan, Newsthink
- PSHE, Tutor time
- Conflict, Newsthink
Chemical weapons have been discussed a lot in the news recently, and it is likely that young people will have questions. These discussion activities aim to provide answers to these questions, and clarify what chemical weapons are and how they fit within international humanitarian law (IHL).
- understand the facts about what chemical weapons are and why they are banned.
- discuss why we have rules during conflict.
- consider why some of these rules are absolute or when there are exceptions.
- The facts
Learners watch a short video and learn the facts about chemical weapons.
- Why do we need rules?
Learners consider why the ban on chemical weapons is absolute and why we need rules during conflict.
- Absolutely absolute
Learners look at different areas that are prohibited under international humanitarian law and discuss whether the ban is absolute or not and why that might be.
- Teacher briefing on chemical weapons
Background information on chemical weapons for educators and answers to potential questions.
This resource was written by P J White of Alt62 and published in April 2018.
The image shows Syrian medical staff taking part in a training exercise to learn how to treat victims of chemical weapons attacks (©Reuters/Murad Sezer).