Court Of Impeachment And War Crimes: The Geneva Conventions Source Page
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The Geneva Conventions Source Page


THE GENEVA CONVENTIONS

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THE GENEVA CONVENTIONS


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1-09-2006

The Geneva Conventions: the core of international humanitarian law

The Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols are international treaties that contain the most important rules limiting the barbarity of war. They protect people who do not take part in the fighting (civilians, medics, aid workers) and those who can no longer fight (wounded, sick and shipwrecked troops, prisoners of war). Links to selected resources.

The Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols are part of international humanitarian law – a whole system of legal safeguards that cover the way wars may be fought and the protection of individuals.

They specifically protect people who do not take part in the fighting (civilians, medics, chaplains, aid workers) and those who can no longer fight (wounded, sick and shipwrecked troops, prisoners of war).

The Conventions and their Protocols call for measures to be taken to prevent (or put an end to) what are known as "grave breaches"; those responsible for breaches must be punished.

The Geneva Conventions have been acceded to by 194 States and enjoy universal acceptance.

Key issues

The essential rules
Humanitarian law: your questions answered
The Geneva Conventions and the emblems
Who is bound by the Geneva Conventions?
Humanitarian law and human rights
How the founding of the ICRC led to the first Geneva Convention

Full documentation on International humanitarian law



30th Anniversary of Additional Protocols I and II

The Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols
(complete versions)

The first Geneva Convention of 1864 dealt exclusively with care for wounded soldiers; the law was later adapted to cover warfare at sea and prisoners of war.

In 1949 the Conventions were revised and expanded:

1st Convention
- wounded soldiers on the battlefield

2nd Convention
- wounded and shipwrecked at sea

3rd Convention
- prisoners of war

4th Convention
- civilians under enemy control

In 1977 two Additional Protocols were added:

1st Protocol
- international conflicts

2nd Protocol
- non-international conflicts

In 2005 Additional Protocol III was adopted:

3rd Protocol
- additional distinctive emblem

© 2008 International Committee of the Red Cross

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