Red Cross Brings Laws of War to Australia

Red Cross Australia recently hit the news with a series of ambient installations designed to raise public awareness of the international laws relating to torture, landmines and child soldiers. The Geneva Conventions provide aim to limit suffering and protect the vulnerable during times of armed conflict. While they are not always followed, these laws of war continue to save lives: of civilians including children, humanitarian workers and journalists, as well as the captured and wounded. Commuters in Melbourne and Sydney were introduced to simulated landmines, bloody chairs and cutout children in school uniforms holding guns. “Torture is never OK”. “Landmines don’t kill soldiers. That’s why they’re banned”. “Forcing children to fight in war is criminal”. “Even wars have laws”.

Red Cross child soldiers

Red Cross torture chairs
Red Cross land mines


The Red Cross Laws campaign was developed at The Fuel Agency, Australia, by executive creative director Rod Clausen, senior art director Ed Bechervaise, senior copywriters Simon Robins, Toby Blackler, account manager Mary Atley, designers Andre Ash, Rachel Corponi and Adam O’Neill.

  • RedHatMamas

    We saw this travesty when it was on display and were appalled. We felt violated, sick, and disgusted. Who wants to see the leftovers of torture on their way to work? Who wants to even imagine that their own children could take up arms, in schooltime?

  • Smiley

    I think this looks fantastic. Australians rarely need to think about the realities of war, unlike the citizens of many other countries. Asking “What if it happened in my country” challenges the “I don’t care” attitude that comes through in attitudes to overseas conflict.

  • Hata Glas

    In some ways, feeling violated, sick, disgusted is a healthy response. What needs to come next is doing something about it. And I don’t mean complaining to Red Cross. I mean supporting efforts to challenge abuses of international law. I hope that commuters were given some ways of responding on the day.