International humanitarian law

First Geneva Convention, 1949
Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field. Geneva, 12 August 1949.

First Geneva Convention

Second Geneva Convention, 1949
Convention (II) for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea. Geneva, 12 August 1949.

Second Geneva Convention

The Third Geneva Convention,12 August 1949
Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.

The Third Geneva Convention

Fourth Geneva Convention, 1949
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.

Fourth Geneva Convention

Supplement (protocols) Additional to the Geneva Conventions

Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field. Geneva, 12 August 1949.
This Convention represents the fourth version of the Geneva Convention on the wounded and sick after those adopted in 1864, 1906 and 1929. The fundamental principles as well as the division into chapters remained the same as in the preceding version with the exception of the new introductory chapter on general provisions. Changes were made especially in Chapter IV (personnel). Hitherto, medical personnel and chaplains falling into enemy hands had to be immediately repatriated. The 1949 Convention, taking account of changed conditions of warfare, provides that they may in certain circumstances be retained to care for prisoners of war. The provisions on medical equipment were correspondingly altered. In the chapter on medical transports it was provided that medical aircraft may in certain circumstances fly over neutral territory. Some clarifications were made as regards the article on the use of the emblem (Article 44).

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Convention (II) for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea. Geneva, 12 August 1949.

The present Convention replaced Hague Convention (X) of 1907 for the Adaptation to Maritime Warfare of the Principles of the Geneva Convention.
It contains 63 Articles whereas the 1907 Convention had only 28. This extension is mainly due to the fact that the present Convention is conceived as a complete and independent Convention whereas the 1907 Convention restricted itself to adapting to maritime warfare the principles of the Convention on the wounded and sick in land warfare. In its structure the 1949 Convention follows closely the provisions of Geneva Convention (I) of 1949.

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Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.
The present Convention replaced the Prisoners of War Convention of 1929. It contains 143 Articles whereas the 1929 Convention had only 97. It became necessary to revise the 1929 Convention on a number of points owing to the changes that had occurred in the conduct of warfare and the consequences thereof, as well as in the living condition of peoples. Experience had shown that the daily life of prisoners depended specifically on the interpretation given to the general regulations. Consequently, certain regulations were given a more explicit form which was lacking in the preceding provisions. Since the text of the Convention is to be posted in all prisoner of war camps (see Article 41) it has to be comprehensible not only to the authorities but also to the ordinary reader at any time. The categories of persons entitled to prisoner of war status were broadened in accordance with Conventions I and II. The conditions and places of captivity were more precisely defined, in particular with regard to the labour of prisoners of war, their financial resources, the relief they receive and the judicial proceedings instituted against them. The Convention establishes the principle that prisoners of war shall be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities (Article 118)

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Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.
The Geneva Conventions which were adopted before 1949 were concerned with combatants only, not with civilians. Some provisions concerning the protection of populations against the consequences of war and their protection in occupied territories are contained in the Regulations concerning the laws and customs of war on land, annexed to the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907. During World War I the Hague provisions proved to be insufficient in view of the dangers originating from air warfare and of the problems relating to the treatment of civilians in enemy territory and in occupied territories. The International Conferences of the Red Cross of the 1920’s took the first steps towards laying down supplementary rules for the protection of civilians in time of war.

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Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 1977.

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Annex I to Protocol Additional I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 : Regulations concerning identification, as amended on 30 November 1993.

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Annex I (to Protocol Additional I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949) : Regulations concerning identification, 6 June 1977

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Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II), 8 June 1977.

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Protocol additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Adoption of an Additional Distinctive Emblem (Protocol III), 8 December 2005

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