Making the Convention more operational:
1999 Second Protocol

Criminal acts committed against cultural property in the course of the many conflicts that took place in 1980s and 1990s highlighted the need to update and strengthen aspects of the implementation of the 1954 Hague Convention. A review of the Convention was initiated in 1991 to draw up a new agreement to improve the Convention, taking account of the experience gained from recent conflicts and the development of international humanitarian and cultural property protection law since 1954. Consequently, a Second Protocol to the Hague Convention was adopted at a Diplomatic Conference held at The Hague in March 1999.

 What is new in the Second Protocol?

The Second Protocol aims to complement and expand the provisions of the 1954 Hague Convention:

  • It creates a new category of “enhanced protection” – for cultural property of the greatest importance for humanity;
  • It increases the reactiveness of the Convention, by defining sanctions to be imposed for serious violations with respect to cultural property and defines the conditions in which individual criminal responsibility shall apply;
  • It establishes a twelve-member Intergovernmental Committee to oversee the implementation of the Second Protocol and de facto the Convention.

The Second Protocol does not replace the 1954 Hague Convention; it complements it. The adoption of the Second Protocol created a second level of protection: beyond the basic level under the 1954 Hague Convention for its States Parties, a higher level of protection exists under the Second Protocol for its States Parties.


  • Other linguistic versions:

  • Rules of procedure:
    • Meeting of the High Contracting Parties:
    • States Parties to the 2nd Protocol:
      EN FR
    • Meeting of the Committee:
  • Financial Regulations of the Special Account for the Second Protocol to the Hague Convention of 1954 for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict : EN FR