Geneva Convention (III)

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Geneva Convention (III)


Part I

General Provisions

Article 1

The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect
for the present Convention in all circumstances.

Article 2

In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peace time,
the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any
other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High
Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of

The Convention shall also apply to all cases of partial or total
occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party, even if the said
occupation meets with no armed resistance.

Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present
Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it
in their mutual relations. They shall furthermore be bound by the
Convention in relation to the said Power, if the latter accepts and
applies the provisions thereof.

Article 3

In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring
in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to
the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following

(1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members
of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors
de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall
in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse
distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth
or wealth, or any other similar criteria.
To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at
any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the
above-mentioned persons:

(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all
kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
(b) taking of hostages;
(c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating
and degrading treatment;
(d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions
without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly
constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which
are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

(2) The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.

An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of
the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to the conflict.

The Parties to the conflict should further endeavour to bring into force,
by means of special agreements, all or part of the Other provisions of
the present Convention.

The application of the preceding provisions shall not affect the legal
status of the Parties to the conflict.

Article 4

A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are
persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen
into the power of the enemy:

(1) Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict, as well as
members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed

(2) Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps,
including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a
Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own
territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such
militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance
movements, fulfil the following conditions:
(a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his
(b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a
(c) that of carrying arms openly;
(d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the
laws and customs of war.

(3) Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a
government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power.

(4) Persons who accompany the armed forces without actually being
members thereof, such as civilian members of military aircraft
crews, war correspondents, supply contractors, members of labour
units or of services responsible for the welfare of the armed
forces, provided that they have received authorization, from the
armed forces which they accompany, who shall provide them for that
purpose with an identity card similar to the annexed model.

(5) Members of crews, including masters, pilots and apprentices, of the
merchant marine and the crews of civil aircraft of the Parties to
the conflict, who do not benefit by more favourable treatment under
any Other provisions of international law.

(6) Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the
enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces,
without having had time to form themselves into regular armed
units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and
customs of war.

B. The following shall likewise be treated as prisoners of war under
the present Convention:

(1) Persons belonging, or having belonged, to the armed forces of the
occupied country , if the occupying Power considers it necessary by
reason of such allegiance to intern them, even though it has
originally liberated them while hostilities were going on outside
the territory it occupies, in particular where such persons have
made an unsuccessful attempt to rejoin the armed forces to which
they belong and which are engaged in combat, or where they fail to
comply with a summons made to them with a view to internment.

(2) The persons belonging to one of the categories enumerated in the
present Article, who have been received by neutral or
non-belligerent Powers on their territory and whom these Powers are
required to intern under international law, without prejudice to
any more favourable treatment which these Powers may choose to give
and with the exception of Articles 8, 10, 15, 30, fifth paragraph,
58-67, 92, 126 and, where diplomatic relations exist between the
Parties to the conflict and the neutral or non-belligerent Power
concerned, those Articles concerning the Protecting Power. Where
such diplomatic relations exist, the Parties to a conflict on whom
these persons depend shall be allowed to perform towards them the
functions of a Protecting Power as provided in the present
Convention, without prejudice to the functions which these Parties
normally exercise in conformity with diplomatic and consular usage
and Treaties .

C. This Article shall in no way affect the status of medical personnel
and chaplains as provided for in Article 33 of the present Convention.

Article 5

The present Convention shall apply to the persons referred to in Article
4 from the time they fall into the power of the enemy and until their
final release and repatriation.

Should any doubt arise as to whether persons, having committed a
belligerent act and having fallen into the hands of the enemy, belong to
any of the categories enumerated in Article 4, such persons shall enjoy
the protection of the present Convention until such time as their status
has been determined by a competent tribunal.

Article 6

In addition to the agreements expressly provided for in Articles 10, 23,
28, 33, 60, 65, 66, 67, 72, 73, 75, 109, 110, 118, 119, 122 and 132, the
High Contracting Parties may conclude other special agreements for all
matters concerning which they may deem it suitable to make separate
provision. No special agreement shall adversely affect the situation of
prisoners of war, as defined by the present Convention, nor restrict the
rights which it confers upon them.

Prisoners of war shall continue to have the benefit of such agreements as
long as the Convention is applicable to them, except where express
provisions to the contrary are contained in the aforesaid or in
subsequent agreements, or where more favourable measures have been taken
with regard to them by one or other of the Parties to the conflict.

Article 7

Prisoners of war may in no circumstances renounce in part or in entirety
the rights secured to them by the present Convention, and by the special
agreements referred to in the foregoing Article, if such there be.

Article 8

The present Convention shall be applied with the cooperation and under
the scrutiny of the Protecting Powers whose duty it is to safeguard the
interests of the Parties to the conflict. For this purpose, the
Protecting Powers may appoint, apart from their diplomatic or consular
staff, delegates from amongst their own nationals or the nationals of
other neutral Powers. The said delegates shall be subject to the approval
of the Power with which they are to carry out their duties.

The Parties to the conflict shall facilitate to the greatest extent
possible the task of the representatives or delegates of the Protecting

The representatives or delegates of the Protecting Powers shall not in
any case exceed their mission under the present Convention. They shall,
in particular, take account of the imperative necessities of security of
the State wherein they carry out their duties.




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