The Institute is officially recognized by the United Nations as a nongovernmental organization having consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and operational relations with UNESCO. It also holds consultative status with the Council of Europe and has collaborated with various regional organizations. The Institute has a liaison office in Geneva where these contacts are further developed.
For more than thirty years the Institute has acted as a forum for reflection, discussion, exchanges of views and experiences, and research into new approaches in the field of humanitarian law, human rights and refugee law.
The Institute offers military courses, refugee law courses, round tables and summer courses, and also internships dedicated to study, research and possible involvement in the preparation of its work.