Relative to the
Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, 12 August
The undersigned Plenipotentiaries of the Governments represented at
the Diplomatic Conference held at Geneva from April 21 to August 12,
1949, for the purpose of establishing a Convention for the Protection
of Civilian Persons in Time of War, have agreed as follows:
Part I. General Provisions
Art. 1. The High Contracting Parties undertake to
respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all
Art. 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 them.
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.
Art. 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 provisions:
(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
(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
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.
Art. 4. Persons protected by the Convention are those
who, at a given moment and in any manner whatsoever, find themselves,
in case of a conflict or occupation, in the hands of a Party to the
conflict or Occupying Power of which they are not nationals.
Nationals of a State which is not bound by the Convention are not
protected by it. Nationals of a neutral State who find themselves in
the territory of a belligerent State, and nationals of a
co-belligerent State, shall not be regarded as protected persons while
the State of which they are nationals has normal diplomatic
representation in the State in whose hands they are.
The provisions of Part II are, however, wider in application, as
defined in Article 13.
Persons protected by the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of
the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of
12 August 1949, or by the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of
the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces
at Sea of 12 August 1949, or by the Geneva Convention relative to the
Treatment of Prisoners of War of 12 August 1949, shall not be
considered as protected persons within the meaning of the present
Art. 5 Where in the territory of a Party to the
conflict, the latter is satisfied that an individual protected person
is definitely suspected of or engaged in activities hostile to the
security of the State, such individual person shall not be entitled to
claim such rights and privileges under the present Convention as
would, if exercised in the favour of such individual person, be
prejudicial to the security of such State.
Where in occupied territory an individual protected person is
detained as a spy or saboteur, or as a person under definite suspicion
of activity hostile to the security of the Occupying Power, such
person shall, in those cases where absolute military security so
requires, be regarded as having forfeited rights of communication
under the present Convention.
In each case, such persons shall nevertheless be treated with
humanity and, in case of trial, shall not be deprived of the rights of
fair and regular trial prescribed by the present Convention. They
shall also be granted the full rights and privileges of a protected
person under the present Convention at the earliest date consistent
with the security of the State or Occupying Power, as the case may
Art. 6. The present Convention shall apply from the
outset of any conflict or occupation mentioned in Article 2.
In the territory of Parties to the conflict, the application of the
present Convention shall cease on the general close of military
In the case of occupied territory, the application of the present
Convention shall cease one year after the general close of military
operations; however, the Occupying Power shall be bound, for the
duration of the occupation, to the extent that such Power exercises
the functions of government in such territory, by the provisions of
the following Articles of the present Convention: 1 to 12, 27, 29 to
34, 47, 49, 51, 52, 53, 59, 61 to 77, 143.
Protected persons whose release, repatriation or re-establishment
may take place after such dates shall meanwhile continue to benefit by
the present Convention.
Art. 7. In addition to the agreements expressly
provided for in Articles 11, 14, 15, 17, 36, 108, 109, 132, 133 and
149, 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 protected persons, as defined by the present
Convention, not restrict the rights which it confers upon them.
Protected persons 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.
Art. 8. Protected persons 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.
Art. 9. 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
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
Art. 10. The provisions of the present Convention
constitute no obstacle to the humanitarian activities which the
International Committee of the Red Cross or any other impartial
humanitarian organization may, subject to the consent of the Parties
to the conflict concerned, undertake for the protection of civilian
persons and for their relief.
Art. 11. The High Contracting Parties may at any
time agree to entrust to an international organization which offers
all guarantees of impartiality and efficacy the duties incumbent on
the Protecting Powers by virtue of the present Convention.
When persons protected by the present Convention do not benefit or
cease to benefit, no matter for what reason, by the activities of a
Protecting Power or of an organization provided for in the first
paragraph above, the Detaining Power shall request a neutral State, or
such an organization, to undertake the functions performed under the
present Convention by a Protecting Power designated by the Parties to
If protection cannot be arranged accordingly, the Detaining Power
shall request or shall accept, subject to the provisions of this
Article, the offer of the services of a humanitarian organization,
such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, to assume the
humanitarian functions performed by Protecting Powers under the
Any neutral Power or any organization invited by the Power
concerned or offering itself for these purposes, shall be required to
act with a sense of responsibility towards the Party to the conflict
on which persons protected by the present Convention depend, and shall
be required to furnish sufficient assurances that it is in a position
to undertake the appropriate functions and to discharge them
No derogation from the preceding provisions shall be made by
special agreements between Powers one of which is restricted, even
temporarily, in its freedom to negotiate with the other Power or its
allies by reason of military events, more particularly where the
whole, or a substantial part, of the territory of the said Power is
Whenever in the present Convention mention is made of a Protecting
Power, such mention applies to substitute organizations in the sense
of the present Article.
The provisions of this Article shall extend and be adapted to cases
of nationals of a neutral State who are in occupied territory or who
find themselves in the territory of a belligerent State in which the
State of which they are nationals has not normal diplomatic
Art. 12. In cases where they deem it advisable in
the interest of protected persons, particularly in cases of
disagreement between the Parties to the conflict as to the application
or interpretation of the provisions of the present Convention, the
Protecting Powers shall lend their good offices with a view to
settling the disagreement.
For this purpose, each of the Protecting Powers may, either at the
invitation of one Party or on its own initiative, propose to the
Parties to the conflict a meeting of their representatives, and in
particular of the authorities responsible for protected persons,
possibly on neutral territory suitably chosen. The Parties to the
conflict shall be bound to give effect to the proposals made to them
for this purpose. The Protecting Powers may, if necessary, propose for
approval by the Parties to the conflict a person belonging to a
neutral Power, or delegated by the International Committee of the Red
Cross, who shall be invited to take part in such a meeting.
Part II. General Protection of Populations Against Certain
Consequences of War
Art. 13. The provisions of Part II cover the whole
of the populations of the countries in conflict, without any adverse
distinction based, in particular, on race, nationality, religion or
political opinion, and are intended to alleviate the sufferings caused
Art. 14. In time of peace, the High Contracting
Parties and, after the outbreak of hostilities, the Parties thereto,
may establish in their own territory and, if the need arises, in
occupied areas, hospital and safety zones and localities so organized
as to protect from the effects of war, wounded, sick and aged persons,
children under fifteen, expectant mothers and mothers of children
Upon the outbreak and during the course of hostilities, the Parties
concerned may conclude agreements on mutual recognition of the zones
and localities they have created. They may for this purpose implement
the provisions of the Draft Agreement annexed to the present
Convention, with such amendments as they may consider necessary.
The Protecting Powers and the International Committee of the Red
Cross are invited to lend their good offices in order to facilitate
the institution and recognition of these hospital and safety zones and
Art. 15. Any Party to the conflict may, either
direct or through a neutral State or some humanitarian organization,
propose to the adverse Party to establish, in the regions where
fighting is taking place, neutralized zones intended to shelter from
the effects of war the following persons, without distinction:
(a) wounded and sick combatants or non-combatants; (b) civilian
persons who take no part in hostilities, and who, while they reside in
the zones, perform no work of a military character.
When the Parties concerned have agreed upon the geographical
position, administration, food supply and supervision of the proposed
neutralized zone, a written agreement shall be concluded and signed by
the representatives of the Parties to the conflict. The agreement
shall fix the beginning and the duration of the neutralization of the
Art. 16. The wounded and sick, as well as the
infirm, and expectant mothers, shall be the object of particular
protection and respect.
As far as military considerations allow, each Party to the conflict
shall facilitate the steps taken to search for the killed and wounded,
to assist the shipwrecked and other persons exposed to grave danger,
and to protect them against pillage and ill-treatment.
Art. 17. The Parties to the conflict shall endeavour
to conclude local agreements for the removal from besieged or
encircled areas, of wounded, sick, infirm, and aged persons, children
and maternity cases, and for the passage of ministers of all
religions, medical personnel and medical equipment on their way to
Art. 18. Civilian hospitals organized to give care
to the wounded and sick, the infirm and maternity cases, may in no
circumstances be the object of attack but shall at all times be
respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict.
States which are Parties to a conflict shall provide all civilian
hospitals with certificates showing that they are civilian hospitals
and that the buildings which they occupy are not used for any purpose
which would deprive these hospitals of protection in accordance with
Civilian hospitals shall be marked by means of the emblem provided
for in Article 38 of the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the
Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of 12
August 1949, but only if so authorized by the State.
The Parties to the conflict shall, in so far as military
considerations permit, take the necessary steps to make the
distinctive emblems indicating civilian hospitals clearly visible to
the enemy land, air and naval forces in order to obviate the
possibility of any hostile action.
In view of the dangers to which hospitals may be exposed by being
close to military objectives, it is recommended that such hospitals be
situated as far as possible from such objectives.
Art. 19. The protection to which civilian hospitals
are entitled shall not cease unless they are used to commit, outside
their humanitarian duties, acts harmful to the enemy. Protection may,
however, cease only after due warning has been given, naming, in all
appropriate cases, a reasonable time limit and after such warning has
The fact that sick or wounded members of the armed forces are
nursed in these hospitals, or the presence of small arms and
ammunition taken from such combatants and not yet been handed to the
proper service, shall not be considered to be acts harmful to the
Art. 20. Persons regularly and solely engaged in the
operation and administration of civilian hospitals, including the
personnel engaged in the search for, removal and transporting of and
caring for wounded and sick civilians, the infirm and maternity cases
shall be respected and protected.
In occupied territory and in zones of military operations, the
above personnel shall be recognizable by means of an identity card
certifying their status, bearing the photograph of the holder and
embossed with the stamp of the responsible authority, and also by
means of a stamped, water-resistant armlet which they shall wear on
the left arm while carrying out their duties. This armlet shall be
issued by the State and shall bear the emblem provided for in Article
38 of the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of
the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of 12 August
Other personnel who are engaged in the operation and administration
of civilian hospitals shall be entitled to respect and protection and
to wear the armlet, as provided in and under the conditions prescribed
in this Article, while they are employed on such duties. The identity
card shall state the duties on which they are employed.
The management of each hospital shall at all times hold at the
disposal of the competent national or occupying authorities an
up-to-date list of such personnel.
Art. 21. Convoys of vehicles or hospital trains on
land or specially provided vessels on sea, conveying wounded and sick
civilians, the infirm and maternity cases, shall be respected and
protected in the same manner as the hospitals provided for in Article
18, and shall be marked, with the consent of the State, by the display
of the distinctive emblem provided for in Article 38 of the Geneva
Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and
Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of 12 August 1949.
Art.22. Aircraft exclusively employed for the
removal of wounded and sick civilians, the infirm and maternity cases
or for the transport of medical personnel and equipment, shall not be
attacked, but shall be respected while flying at heights, times and on
routes specifically agreed upon between all the Parties to the
They may be marked with the distinctive emblem provided for in
Article 38 of the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the
Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of 12
Unless agreed otherwise, flights over enemy or enemy occupied
territory are prohibited.
Such aircraft shall obey every summons to land. In the event of a
landing thus imposed, the aircraft with its occupants may continue its
flight after examination, if any.
Art. 23. Each High Contracting Party shall allow the
free passage of all consignments of medical and hospital stores and
objects necessary for religious worship intended only for civilians of
another High Contracting Party, even if the latter is its adversary.
It shall likewise permit the free passage of all consignments of
essential foodstuffs, clothing and tonics intended for children under
fifteen, expectant mothers and maternity cases.
The obligation of a High Contracting Party to allow the free
passage of the consignments indicated in the preceding paragraph is
subject to the condition that this Party is satisfied that there are
no serious reasons for fearing:
(a) that the consignments may be diverted from their destination,
(b) that the control may not be effective, or (c) that a definite
advantage may accrue to the military efforts or economy of the enemy
through the substitution of the above-mentioned consignments for goods
which would otherwise be provided or produced by the enemy or through
the release of such material, services or facilities as would
otherwise be required for the production of such goods.
The Power which allows the passage of the consignments indicated in
the first paragraph of this Article may make such permission
conditional on the distribution to the persons benefited thereby being
made under the local supervision of the Protecting Powers.
Such consignments shall be forwarded as rapidly as possible, and
the Power which permits their free passage shall have the right to
prescribe the technical arrangements under which such passage is
Art.24. The Parties to the conflict shall take the
necessary measures to ensure that children under fifteen, who are
orphaned or are separated from their families as a result of the war,
are not left to their own resources, and that their maintenance, the
exercise of their religion and their education are facilitated in all
circumstances. Their education shall, as far as possible, be entrusted
to persons of a similar cultural tradition.
The Parties to the conflict shall facilitate the reception of such
children in a neutral country for the duration of the conflict with
the consent of the Protecting Power, if any, and under due safeguards
for the observance of the principles stated in the first
They shall, furthermore, endeavour to arrange for all children
under twelve to be identified by the wearing of identity discs, or by
some other means.
Art. 25. All persons in the territory of a Party to
the conflict, or in a territory occupied by it, shall be enabled to
give news of a strictly personal nature to members of their families,
wherever they may be, and to receive news from them. This
correspondence shall be forwarded speedily and without undue
If, as a result of circumstances, it becomes difficult or
impossible to exchange family correspondence by the ordinary post, the
Parties to the conflict concerned shall apply to a neutral
intermediary, such as the Central Agency provided for in Article 140,
and shall decide in consultation with it how to ensure the fulfillment
of their obligations under the best possible conditions, in particular
with the cooperation of the National Red Cross (Red Crescent, Red Lion
and Sun) Societies.
If the Parties to the conflict deem it necessary to restrict family
correspondence, such restrictions shall be confined to the compulsory
use of standard forms containing twenty-five freely chosen words, and
to the limitation of the number of these forms despatched to one each
Art. 26. Each Party to the conflict shall facilitate
enquiries made by members of families dispersed owing to the war, with
the object of renewing contact with one another and of meeting, if
possible. It shall encourage, in particular, the work of organizations
engaged on this task provided they are acceptable to it and conform to
its security regulations.
Part III. Status and Treatment of Protected Persons
Section I. Provisions common to the territories of the parties
to the conflict and to occupied territories
Art. 27. Protected persons are entitled, in all
circumstances, to respect for their persons, their honour, their
family rights, their religious convictions and practices, and their
manners and customs. They shall at all times be humanely treated, and
shall be protected especially against all acts of violence or threats
thereof and against insults and public curiosity.
Women shall be especially protected against any attack on their
honour, in particular against rape, enforced prostitution, or any form
of indecent assault.
Without prejudice to the provisions relating to their state of
health, age and sex, all protected persons shall be treated with the
same consideration by the Party to the conflict in whose power they
are, without any adverse distinction based, in particular, on race,
religion or political opinion.
However, the Parties to the conflict may take such measures of
control and security in regard to protected persons as may be
necessary as a result of the war.
Art. 28. The presence of a protected person may not
be used to render certain points or areas immune from military
Art. 29. The Party to the conflict in whose hands
protected persons may be, is responsible for the treatment accorded to
them by its agents, irrespective of any individual responsibility
which may be incurred.
Art. 30. Protected persons shall have every facility
for making application to the Protecting Powers, the International
Committee of the Red Cross, the National Red Cross (Red Crescent, Red
Lion and Sun) Society of the country where they may be, as well as to
any organization that might assist them.
These several organizations shall be granted all facilities for
that purpose by the authorities, within the bounds set by military or
Apart from the visits of the delegates of the Protecting Powers and
of the International Committee of the Red Cross, provided for by
Article 143, the Detaining or Occupying Powers shall facilitate, as
much as possible, visits to protected persons by the representatives
of other organizations whose object is to give spiritual aid or
material relief to such persons.
Art. 31. No physical or moral coercion shall be
exercised against protected persons, in particular to obtain
information from them or from third parties.
Art. 32. The High Contracting Parties specifically
agree that each of them is prohibited from taking any measure of such
a character as to cause the physical suffering or extermination of
protected persons in their hands. This prohibition applies not only to
murder, torture, corporal punishments, mutilation and medical or
scientific experiments not necessitated by the medical treatment of a
protected person, but also to any other measures of brutality whether
applied by civilian or military agents.
Art. 33. No protected person may be punished for an
offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties
and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are
Pillage is prohibited.
Reprisals against protected persons and their property are
Art. 34. The taking of hostages is
Section II. Aliens in the territory of a party to the
Art. 35. All protected persons who may desire to
leave the territory at the outset of, or during a conflict, shall be
entitled to do so, unless their departure is contrary to the national
interests of the State. The applications of such persons to leave
shall be decided in accordance with regularly established procedures
and the decision shall be taken as rapidly as possible. Those persons
permitted to leave may provide themselves with the necessary funds for
their journey and take with them a reasonable amount of their effects
and articles of personal use.
If any such person is refused permission to leave the territory, he
shall be entitled to have refusal reconsidered, as soon as possible by
an appropriate court or administrative board designated by the
Detaining Power for that purpose.
Upon request, representatives of the Protecting Power shall, unless
reasons of security prevent it, or the persons concerned object, be
furnished with the reasons for refusal of any request for permission
to leave the territory and be given, as expeditiously as possible, the
names of all persons who have been denied permission to leave.
Art. 36. Departures permitted under the foregoing
Article shall be carried out in satisfactory conditions as regards
safety, hygiene, sanitation and food. All costs in connection
therewith, from the point of exit in the territory of the Detaining
Power, shall be borne by the country of destination, or, in the case
of accommodation in a neutral country, by the Power whose nationals
are benefited. The practical details of such movements may, if
necessary, be settled by special agreements between the Powers
The foregoing shall not prejudice such special agreements as may be
concluded between Parties to the conflict concerning the exchange and
repatriation of their nationals in enemy hands.
Art. 37. Protected persons who are confined pending
proceedings or serving a sentence involving loss of liberty, shall
during their confinement be humanely treated.
As soon as they are released, they may ask to leave the territory
in conformity with the foregoing Articles.
Art. 38. With the exception of special measures
authorized by the present Convention, in particularly by Article 27
and 41 thereof, the situation of protected persons shall continue to
be regulated, in principle, by the provisions concerning aliens in
time of peace. In any case, the following rights shall be granted to
(1) they shall be enabled to receive the individual or collective
relief that may be sent to them. (2) they shall, if their state of
health so requires, receive medical attention and hospital treatment
to the same extent as the nationals of the State concerned. (3) they
shall be allowed to practise their religion and to receive spiritual
assistance from ministers of their faith. (4) if they reside in an
area particularly exposed to the dangers of war, they shall be
authorized to move from that area to the same extent as the nationals
of the State concerned. (5) children under fifteen years, pregnant
women and mothers of children under seven years shall benefit by any
preferential treatment to the same extent as the nationals of the
Art. 39. Protected persons who, as a result of the
war, have lost their gainful employment, shall be granted the
opportunity to find paid employment. That opportunity shall, subject
to security considerations and to the provisions of Article 40, be
equal to that enjoyed by the nationals of the Power in whose territory
Where a Party to the conflict applies to a protected person methods
of control which result in his being unable to support himself, and
especially if such a person is prevented for reasons of security from
finding paid employment on reasonable conditions, the said Party shall
ensure his support and that of his dependents.
Protected persons may in any case receive allowances from their
home country, the Protecting Power, or the relief societies referred
to in Article 30.
Art. 40. Protected persons may be compelled to work
only to the same extent as nationals of the Party to the conflict in
whose territory they are.
If protected persons are of enemy nationality, they may only be
compelled to do work which is normally necessary to ensure the
feeding, sheltering, clothing, transport and health of human beings
and which is not directly related to the conduct of military
In the cases mentioned in the two preceding paragraphs, protected
persons compelled to work shall have the benefit of the same working
conditions and of the same safeguards as national workers in
particular as regards wages, hours of labour, clothing and equipment,
previous training and compensation for occupational accidents and
If the above provisions are infringed, protected persons shall be
allowed to exercise their right of complaint in accordance with
Art. 41. Should the Power, in whose hands protected
persons may be, consider the measures of control mentioned in the
present Convention to be inadequate, it may not have recourse to any
other measure of control more severe than that of assigned residence
or internment, in accordance with the provisions of Articles 42 and
In applying the provisions of Article 39, second paragraph, to the
cases of persons required to leave their usual places of residence by
virtue of a decision placing them in assigned residence, by virtue of
a decision placing them in assigned residence, elsewhere, the
Detaining Power shall be guided as closely as possible by the
standards of welfare set forth in Part III, Section IV of this
Art. 42. The internment or placing in assigned
residence of protected persons may be ordered only if the security of
the Detaining Power makes it absolutely necessary.
If any person, acting through the representatives of the Protecting
Power, voluntarily demands internment, and if his situation renders
this step necessary, he shall be interned by the Power in whose hands
he may be.
Art. 43. Any protected person who has been interned
or placed in assigned residence shall be entitled to have such action
reconsidered as soon as possible by an appropriate court or
administrative board designated by the Detaining Power for that
purpose. If the internment or placing in assigned residence is
maintained, the court or administrative board shall periodically, and
at least twice yearly, give consideration to his or her case, with a
view to the favourable amendment of the initial decision, if
Unless the protected persons concerned object, the Detaining Power
shall, as rapidly as possible, give the Protecting Power the names of
any protected persons who have been interned or subjected to assigned
residence, or who have been released from internment or assigned
residence. The decisions of the courts or boards mentioned in the
first paragraph of the present Article shall also, subject to the same
conditions, be notified as rapidly as possible to the Protecting
Art. 44. In applying the measures of control
mentioned in the present Convention, the Detaining Power shall not
treat as enemy aliens exclusively on the basis of their nationality de
jure of an enemy State, refugees who do not, in fact, enjoy the
protection of any government.
Art. 45. Protected persons shall not be transferred
to a Power which is not a party to the Convention.
This provision shall in no way constitute an obstacle to the
repatriation of protected persons, or to their return to their country
of residence after the cessation of hostilities.
Protected persons may be transferred by the Detaining Power only to
a Power which is a party to the present Convention and after the
Detaining Power has satisfied itself of the willingness and ability of
such transferee Power to apply the present Convention. If protected
persons are transferred under such circumstances, responsibility for
the application of the present Convention rests on the Power accepting
them, while they are in its custody. Nevertheless, if that Power fails
to carry out the provisions of the present Convention in any important
respect, the Power by which the protected persons were transferred
shall, upon being so notified by the Protecting Power, take effective
measures to correct the situation or shall request the return of the
protected persons. Such request must be complied with.
In no circumstances shall a protected person be transferred to a
country where he or she may have reason to fear persecution for his or
her political opinions or religious beliefs.
The provisions of this Article do not constitute an obstacle to the
extradition, in pursuance of extradition treaties concluded before the
outbreak of hostilities, of protected persons accused of offences
against ordinary criminal law.
Art. 46. In so far as they have not been previously
withdrawn, restrictive measures taken regarding protected persons
shall be cancelled as soon as possible after the close of
Restrictive measures affecting their property shall be cancelled,
in accordance with the law of the Detaining Power, as soon as possible
after the close of hostilities.
Section III. Occupied territories
Art. 47. Protected persons who are in occupied
territory shall not be deprived, in any case or in any manner
whatsoever, of the benefits of the present Convention by any change
introduced, as the result of the occupation of a territory, into the
institutions or government of the said territory, nor by any agreement
concluded between the authorities of the occupied territories and the
Occupying Power, nor by any annexation by the latter of the whole or
part of the occupied territory.
Art. 48. Protected persons who are not nationals of
the Power whose territory is occupied, may avail themselves of the
right to leave the territory subject to the provisions of Article 35,
and decisions thereon shall be taken according to the procedure which
the Occupying Power shall establish in accordance with the said
Art. 49. Individual or mass forcible transfers, as
well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to
the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country,
occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.
Nevertheless, the Occupying Power may undertake total or partial
evacuation of a given area if the security of the population or
imperative military reasons so demand. Such evacuations may not
involve the displacement of protected persons outside the bounds of
the occupied territory except when for material reasons it is
impossible to avoid such displacement. Persons thus evacuated shall be
transferred back to their homes as soon as hostilities in the area in
question have ceased.
The Occupying Power undertaking such transfers or evacuations shall
ensure, to the greatest practicable extent, that proper accommodation
is provided to receive the protected persons, that the removals are
effected in satisfactory conditions of hygiene, health, safety and
nutrition, and that members of the same family are not separated.
The Protecting Power shall be informed of any transfers and
evacuations as soon as they have taken place.
The Occupying Power shall not detain protected persons in an area
particularly exposed to the dangers of war unless the security of the
population or imperative military reasons so demand.
The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own
civilian population into the territory it occupies.
Art. 50. The Occupying Power shall, with the
cooperation of the national and local authorities, facilitate the
proper working of all institutions devoted to the care and education
The Occupying Power shall take all necessary steps to facilitate
the identification of children and the registration of their
parentage. It may not, in any case, change their personal status, nor
enlist them in formations or organizations subordinate to it.
Should the local institutions be inadequate for the purpose, the
Occupying Power shall make arrangements for the maintenance and
education, if possible by persons of their own nationality, language
and religion, of children who are orphaned or separated from their
parents as a result of the war and who cannot be adequately cared for
by a near relative or friend.
A special section of the Bureau set up in accordance with Article
136 shall be responsible for taking all necessary steps to identify
children whose identity is in doubt. Particulars of their parents or
other near relatives should always be recorded if available.
The Occupying Power shall not hinder the application of any
preferential measures in regard to food, medical care and protection
against the effects of war which may have been adopted prior to the
occupation in favour of children under fifteen years, expectant
mothers, and mothers of children under seven years.
Art. 51. The Occupying Power may not compel
protected persons to serve in its armed or auxiliary forces. No
pressure or propaganda which aims at securing voluntary enlistment is
The Occupying Power may not compel protected persons to work unless
they are over eighteen years of age, and then only on work which is
necessary either for the needs of the army of occupation, or for the
public utility services, or for the feeding, sheltering, clothing,
transportation or health of the population of the occupied country.
Protected persons may not be compelled to undertake any work which
would involve them in the obligation of taking part in military
operations. The Occupying Power may not compel protected persons to
employ forcible means to ensure the security of the installations
where they are performing compulsory labour.
The work shall be carried out only in the occupied territory where
the persons whose services have been requisitioned are. Every such
person shall, so far as possible, be kept in his usual place of
employment. Workers shall be paid a fair wage and the work shall be
proportionate to their physical and intellectual capacities. The
legislation in force in the occupied country concerning working
conditions, and safeguards as regards, in particular, such matters as
wages, hours of work, equipment, preliminary training and compensation
for occupational accidents and diseases, shall be applicable to the
protected persons assigned to the work referred to in this
In no case shall requisition of labour lead to a mobilization of
workers in an organization of a military or semi-military
Art. 52. No contract, agreement or regulation shall
impair the right of any worker, whether voluntary or not and wherever
he may be, to apply to the representatives of the Protecting Power in
order to request the said Power's intervention.
All measures aiming at creating unemployment or at restricting the
opportunities offered to workers in an occupied territory, in order to
induce them to work for the Occupying Power, are prohibited.
Art. 53. Any destruction by the Occupying Power of
real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to
private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities, or
to social or cooperative organizations, is prohibited, except where
such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military
Art. 54. The Occupying Power may not alter the
status of public officials or judges in the occupied territories, or
in any way apply sanctions to or take any measures of coercion or
discrimination against them, should they abstain from fulfilling their
functions for reasons of conscience.
This prohibition does not prejudice the application of the second
paragraph of Article 51. It does not affect the right of the Occupying
Power to remove public officials from their posts.
Art. 55. To the fullest extent of the means
available to it, the Occupying Power has the duty of ensuring the food
and medical supplies of the population; it should, in particular,
bring in the necessary foodstuffs, medical stores and other articles
if the resources of the occupied territory are inadequate.
The Occupying Power may not requisition foodstuffs, articles or
medical supplies available in the occupied territory, except for use
by the occupation forces and administration personnel, and then only
if the requirements of the civilian population have been taken into
account. Subject to the provisions of other international Conventions,
the Occupying Power shall make arrangements to ensure that fair value
is paid for any requisitioned goods.
The Protecting Power shall, at any time, be at liberty to verify
the state of the food and medical supplies in occupied territories,
except where temporary restrictions are made necessary by imperative
Art. 56. To the fullest extent of the means
available to it, the public Occupying Power has the duty of ensuring
and maintaining, with the cooperation of national and local
authorities, the medical and hospital establishments and services,
public health and hygiene in the occupied territory, with particular
reference to the adoption and application of the prophylactic and
preventive measures necessary to combat the spread of contagious
diseases and epidemics. Medical personnel of all categories shall be
allowed to carry out their duties.
If new hospitals are set up in occupied territory and if the
competent organs of the occupied State are not operating there, the
occupying authorities shall, if necessary, grant them the recognition
provided for in Article 18. In similar circumstances, the occupying
authorities shall also grant recognition to hospital personnel and
transport vehicles under the provisions of Articles 20 and 21.
In adopting measures of health and hygiene and in their
implementation, the Occupying Power shall take into consideration the
moral and ethical susceptibilities of the population of the occupied
Art. 57. The Occupying Power may requisition
civilian hospitals of hospitals only temporarily and only in cases of
urgent necessity for the care of military wounded and sick, and then
on condition that suitable arrangements are made in due time for the
care and treatment of the patients and for the needs of the civilian
population for hospital accommodation.
The material and stores of civilian hospitals cannot be
requisitioned so long as they are necessary for the needs of the
Art. 58. The Occupying Power shall permit ministers
of religion to give spiritual assistance to the members of their
The Occupying Power shall also accept consignments of books and
articles required for religious needs and shall facilitate their
distribution in occupied territory.
Art. 59. If the whole or part of the population of
an occupied territory is inadequately supplied, the Occupying Power
shall agree to relief schemes on behalf of the said population, and
shall facilitate them by all the means at its disposal.
Such schemes, which may be undertaken either by States or by
impartial humanitarian organizations such as the International
Committee of the Red Cross, shall consist, in particular, of the
provision of consignments of foodstuffs, medical supplies and
All Contracting Parties shall permit the free passage of these
consignments and shall guarantee their protection.
A Power granting free passage to consignments on their way to
territory occupied by an adverse Party to the conflict shall, however,
have the right to search the consignments, to regulate their passage
according to prescribed times and routes, and to be reasonably
satisfied through the Protecting Power that these consignments are to
be used for the relief of the needy population and are not to be used
for the benefit of the Occupying Power.
Art. 60. Relief consignments shall in no way relieve
the Occupying Power of any of its responsibilities under Articles 55,
56 and 59. The Occupying Power shall in no way whatsoever divert
relief consignments from the purpose for which they are intended,
except in cases of urgent necessity, in the interests of the
population of the occupied territory and with the consent of the
Art. 61. The distribution of the relief consignments
referred to in the foregoing Articles shall be carried out with the
cooperation and under the supervision of the Protecting Power. This
duty may also be delegated, by agreement between the Occupying Power
and the Protecting Power, to a neutral Power, to the International
Committee of the Red Cross or to any other impartial humanitarian
Such consignments shall be exempt in occupied territory from all
charges, taxes or customs duties unless these are necessary in the
interests of the economy of the territory. The Occupying Power shall
facilitate the rapid distribution of these consignments.
All Contracting Parties shall endeavour to permit the transit and
transport, free of charge, of such relief consignments on their way to
Art. 62. Subject to imperative reasons of security,
protected persons in occupied territories shall be permitted to
receive the individual relief consignments sent to them.
Art. 63. Subject to temporary and exceptional
measures imposed for urgent reasons of security by the Occupying
(a) recognized National Red Cross (Red Crescent, Red Lion and Sun)
Societies shall be able to pursue their activities in accordance with
Red Cross principles, as defined by the International Red Cross
Conferences. Other relief societies shall be permitted to continue
their humanitarian activities under similar conditions; (b) the
Occupying Power may not require any changes in the personnel or
structure of these societies, which would prejudice the aforesaid
The same principles shall apply to the activities and personnel of
special organizations of a non-military character, which already exist
or which may be established, for the purpose of ensuring the living
conditions of the civilian population by the maintenance of the
essential public utility services, by the distribution of relief and
by the organization of rescues.
Art. 64. The penal laws of the occupied territory
shall remain in force, with the exception that they may be repealed or
suspended by the Occupying Power in cases where they constitute a
threat to its security or an obstacle to the application of the
Subject to the latter consideration and to the necessity for
ensuring the effective administration of justice, the tribunals of the
occupied territory shall continue to function in respect of all
offences covered by the said laws.
The Occupying Power may, however, subject the population of the
occupied territory to provisions which are essential to enable the
Occupying Power to fulfil its obligations under the present
Convention, to maintain the orderly government of the territory, and
to ensure the security of the Occupying Power, of the members and
property of the occupying forces or administration, and likewise of
the establishments and lines of communication used by them.
Art. 65. The penal provisions enacted by the
Occupying Power shall not come into force before they have been
published and brought to the knowledge of the inhabitants in their own
language. The effect of these penal provisions shall not be
Art. 66. In case of a breach of the penal provisions
promulgated by it by virtue of the second paragraph of Article 64 the
Occupying Power may hand over the accused to its properly constituted,
non-political military courts, on condition that the said courts sit
in the occupied country. Courts of appeal shall preferably sit in the
Art. 67. The courts shall apply only those
provisions of law which were applicable prior to the offence, and
which are in accordance with general principles of law, in particular
the principle that the penalty shall be proportionate to the offence.
They shall take into consideration the fact the accused is not a
national of the Occupying Power.
Art. 68. Protected persons who commit an offence
which is solely intended to harm the Occupying Power, but which does
not constitute an attempt on the life or limb of members of the
occupying forces or administration, nor a grave collective danger, nor
seriously damage the property of the occupying forces or
administration or the installations used by them, shall be liable to
internment or simple imprisonment, provided the duration of such
internment or imprisonment is proportionate to the offence committed.
Furthermore, internment or imprisonment shall, for such offences, be
the only measure adopted for depriving protected persons of liberty.
The courts provided for under Article 66 of the present Convention may
at their discretion convert a sentence of imprisonment to one of
internment for the same period.
The penal provisions promulgated by the Occupying Power in
accordance with Articles 64 and 65 may impose the death penalty
against a protected person only in cases where the person is guilty of
espionage, of serious acts of sabotage against the military
installations of the Occupying Power or of intentional offences which
have caused the death of one or more persons, provided that such
offences were punishable by death under the law of the occupied
territory in force before the occupation began.
The death penalty may not be pronounced against a protected person
unless the attention of the court has been particularly called to the
fact that since the accused is not a national of the Occupying Power,
he is not bound to it by any duty of allegiance.
In any case, the death penalty may not be pronounced on a protected
person who was under eighteen years of age at the time of the
Art. 69. In all cases the duration of the period
during which a protected person accused of an offence is under arrest
awaiting trial or punishment shall be deducted from any period of
imprisonment of awarded.
Art. 70. Protected persons shall not be arrested,
prosecuted or convicted by the Occupying Power for acts committed or
for opinions expressed before the occupation, or during a temporary
interruption thereof, with the exception of breaches of the laws and
customs of war.
Nationals of the occupying Power who, before the outbreak of
hostilities, have sought refuge in the territory of the occupied
State, shall not be arrested, prosecuted, convicted or deported from
the occupied territory, except for offences committed after the
outbreak of hostilities, or for offences under common law committed
before the outbreak of hostilities which, according to the law of the
occupied State, would have justified extradition in time of
Art. 71. No sentence shall be pronounced by the
competent courts of the Occupying Power except after a regular trial.
Accused persons who are prosecuted by the Occupying Power shall be
promptly informed, in writing, in a language which they understand, of
the particulars of the charges preferred against them, and shall be
brought to trial as rapidly as possible. The Protecting Power shall be
informed of all proceedings instituted by the Occupying Power against
protected persons in respect of charges involving the death penalty or
imprisonment for two years or more; it shall be enabled, at any time,
to obtain information regarding the state of such proceedings.
Furthermore, the Protecting Power shall be entitled, on request, to be
furnished with all particulars of these and of any other proceedings
instituted by the Occupying Power against protected persons.
The notification to the Protecting Power, as provided for in the
second paragraph above, shall be sent immediately, and shall in any
case reach the Protecting Power three weeks before the date of the
first hearing. Unless, at the opening of the trial, evidence is
submitted that the provisions of this Article are fully complied with,
the trial shall not proceed. The notification shall include the
following particulars: (a) description of the accused; (b) place of
residence or detention; (c) specification of the charge or charges
(with mention of the penal provisions under which it is brought); (d)
designation of the court which will hear the case; (e) place and date
of the first hearing.
Art. 72. Accused persons shall have the right to
present evidence necessary to their defence and may, in particular,
call witnesses. They shall have the right to be assisted by a
qualified advocate or counsel of their own choice, who shall be able
to visit them freely and shall enjoy the necessary facilities for
preparing the defence.
Failing a choice by the accused, the Protecting Power may provide
him with an advocate or counsel. When an accused person has to meet a
serious charge and the Protecting Power is not functioning, the
Occupying Power, subject to the consent of the accused, shall provide
an advocate or counsel.
Accused persons shall, unless they freely waive such assistance, be
aided by an interpreter, both during preliminary investigation and
during the hearing in court. They shall have the right at any time to
object to the interpreter and to ask for his replacement.
Art.73. A convicted person shall have the right of
appeal provided for by the laws applied by the court. He shall be
fully informed of his right to appeal or petition and of the time
limit within which he may do so.
The penal procedure provided in the present Section shall apply, as
far as it is applicable, to appeals. Where the laws applied by the
Court make no provision for appeals, the convicted person shall have
the right to petition against the finding and sentence to the
competent authority of the Occupying Power.
Art. 74. Representatives of the Protecting Power
shall have the right to attend the trial of any protected person,
unless the hearing has, as an exceptional measure, to be held in
camera in the interests of the security of the Occupying Power, which
shall then notify the Protecting Power. A notification in respect of
the date and place of trial shall be sent to the Protecting Power.
Any judgement involving a sentence of death, or imprisonment for
two years or more, shall be communicated, with the relevant grounds,
as rapidly as possible to the Protecting Power. The notification shall
contain a reference to the notification made under Article 71 and, in
the case of sentences of imprisonment, the name of the place where the
sentence is to be served. A record of judgements other than those
referred to above shall be kept by the court and shall be open to
inspection by representatives of the Protecting Power. Any period
allowed for appeal in the case of sentences involving the death
penalty, or imprisonment of two years or more, shall not run until
notification of judgement has been received by the Protecting
Art. 75. In no case shall persons condemned to death
be deprived of the right of petition for pardon or reprieve.
No death sentence shall be carried out before the expiration of a
period of a least six months from the date of receipt by the
Protecting Power of the notification of the final judgment confirming
such death sentence, or of an order denying pardon or reprieve.
The six months period of suspension of the death sentence herein
prescribed may be reduced in individual cases in circumstances of
grave emergency involving an organized threat to the security of the
Occupying Power or its forces, provided always that the Protecting
Power is notified of such reduction and is given reasonable time and
opportunity to make representations to the competent occupying
authorities in respect of such death sentences.
Art. 76. Protected persons accused of offences shall
be detained in the occupied country, and if convicted they shall serve
their sentences therein. They shall, if possible, be separated from
other detainees and shall enjoy conditions of food and hygiene which
will be sufficient to keep them in good health, and which will be at
least equal to those obtaining in prisons in the occupied country.
They shall receive the medical attention required by their state of
They shall also have the right to receive any spiritual assistance
which they may require.
Women shall be confined in separate quarters and shall be under the
direct supervision of women.
Proper regard shall be paid to the special treatment due to
Protected persons who are detained shall have the right to be
visited by delegates of the Protecting Power and of the International
Committee of the Red Cross, in accordance with the provisions of
Such persons shall have the right to receive at least one relief
Art. 77. Protected persons who have been accused of
offences or convicted by the courts in occupied territory, shall be
handed over at the close of occupation, with the relevant records, to
the authorities of the liberated territory.
Art. 78. If the Occupying Power considers it
necessary, for imperative reasons of security, to take safety measures
concerning protected persons, it may, at the most, subject them to
assigned residence or to internment.
Decisions regarding such assigned residence or internment shall be
made according to a regular procedure to be prescribed by the
Occupying Power in accordance with the provisions of the present
Convention. This procedure shall include the right of appeal for the
parties concerned. Appeals shall be decided with the least possible
delay. In the event of the decision being upheld, it shall be subject
to periodical review, if possible every six months, by a competent
body set up by the said Power.
Protected persons made subject to assigned residence and thus
required to leave their homes shall enjoy the full benefit of Article
39 of the present Convention.
Section IV. Regulations for the treatment of internees
Chapter I. General provisions
Art. 79. The Parties to the conflict shall not
intern protected persons, except in accordance with the provisions of
Articles 41, 42, 43, 68 and 78.
Art. 80. Internees shall retain their full civil
capacity and shall exercise such attendant rights as may be compatible
with their status.
Art. 81. Parties to the conflict who intern
protected persons shall be bound to provide free of charge for their
maintenance, and to grant them also the medical attention required by
their state of health.
No deduction from the allowances, salaries or credits due to the
internees shall be made for the repayment of these costs.
The Detaining Power shall provide for the support of those
dependent on the internees, if such dependents are without adequate
means of support or are unable to earn a living.
Art.82. The Detaining Power shall, as far as
possible, accommodate the internees according to their nationality,
language and customs. Internees who are nationals of the same country
shall not be separated merely because they have different
Throughout the duration of their internment, members of the same
family, and in particular parents and children, shall be lodged
together in the same place of internment, except when separation of a
temporary nature is necessitated for reasons of employment or health
or for the purposes of enforcement of the provisions of Chapter IX of
the present Section. Internees may request that their children who are
left at liberty without parental care shall be interned with them.
Wherever possible, interned members of the same family shall be
housed in the same premises and given separate accommodation from
other internees, together with facilities for leading a proper family
Chapter II. Places of Internment
Art. 83. The Detaining Power shall not set up places
of internment in areas particularly exposed to the dangers of war.
The Detaining Power shall give the enemy Powers, through the
intermediary of the Protecting Powers, all useful information
regarding the geographical location of places of internment.
Whenever military considerations permit, internment camps shall be
indicated by the letters IC, placed so as to be clearly visible in the
daytime from the air. The Powers concerned may, however, agree upon
any other system of marking. No place other than an internment camp
shall be marked as such.
Art.84. Internees shall be accommodated and
administered separately from prisoners of war and from persons
deprived of liberty for any other reason.
Art. 85. The Detaining Power is bound to take all
necessary and possible measures to ensure that protected persons
shall, from the outset of their internment, be accommodated in
buildings or quarters which afford every possible safeguard as regards
hygiene and health, and provide efficient protection against the
rigours of the climate and the effects of the war. In no case shall
permanent places of internment be situated in unhealthy areas or in
districts, the climate of which is injurious to the internees. In all
cases where the district, in which a protected person is temporarily
interned, is in an unhealthy area or has a climate which is harmful to
his health, he shall be removed to a more suitable place of internment
as rapidly as circumstances permit.
The premises shall be fully protected from dampness, adequately
heated and lighted, in particular between dusk and lights out. The
sleeping quarters shall be sufficiently spacious and well ventilated,
and the internees shall have suitable bedding and sufficient blankets,
account being taken of the climate, and the age, sex, and state of
health of the internees.
Internees shall have for their use, day and night, sanitary
conveniences which conform to the rules of hygiene, and are constantly
maintained in a state of cleanliness. They shall be provided with
sufficient water and soap for their daily personal toilet and for
washing their personal laundry; installations and facilities necessary
for this purpose shall be granted to them. Showers or baths shall also
be available. The necessary time shall be set aside for washing and
Whenever it is necessary, as an exceptional and temporary measure,
to accommodate women internees who are not members of a family unit in
the same place of internment as men, the provision of separate
sleeping quarters and sanitary conveniences for the use of such women
internees shall be obligatory.
Art. 86. The Detaining Power shall place at the
disposal of interned persons, of whatever denomination, premises
suitable for the holding of their religious services.
Art. 87. Canteens shall be installed in every place
of internment, except where other suitable facilities are available.
Their purpose shall be to enable internees to make purchases, at
prices not higher than local market prices, of foodstuffs and articles
of everyday use, including soap and tobacco, such as would increase
their personal well-being and comfort.
Profits made by canteens shall be credited to a welfare fund to be
set up for each place of internment, and administered for the benefit
of the internees attached to such place of internment. The Internee
Committee provided for in Article 102 shall have the right to check
the management of the canteen and of the said fund.
When a place of internment is closed down, the balance of the
welfare fund shall be transferred to the welfare fund of a place of
internment for internees of the same nationality, or, if such a place
does not exist, to a central welfare fund which shall be administered
for the benefit of all internees remaining in the custody of the
Detaining Power. In case of a general release, the said profits shall
be kept by the Detaining Power, subject to any agreement to the
contrary between the Powers concerned.
Art. 88. In all places of internment exposed to air
raids and other hazards of war, shelters adequate in number and
structure to ensure the necessary protection shall be installed. In
case of alarms, the measures internees shall be free to enter such
shelters as quickly as possible, excepting those who remain for the
protection of their quarters against the aforesaid hazards. Any
protective measures taken in favour of the population shall also apply
All due precautions must be taken in places of internment against
the danger of fire.
Chapter III. Food and Clothing
Art. 89. Daily food rations for internees shall be
sufficient in quantity, quality and variety to keep internees in a
good state of health and prevent the development of nutritional
deficiencies. Account shall also be taken of the customary diet of the
Internees shall also be given the means by which they can prepare
for themselves any additional food in their possession.
Sufficient drinking water shall be supplied to internees. The use
of tobacco shall be permitted.
Internees who work shall receive additional rations in proportion
to the kind of labour which they perform.
Expectant and nursing mothers and children under fifteen years of
age, shall be given additional food, in proportion to their
Art. 90. When taken into custody, internees shall be
given all facilities to provide themselves with the necessary
clothing, footwear and change of underwear, and later on, to procure
further supplies if required. Should any internees not have sufficient
clothing, account being taken of the climate, and be unable to procure
any, it shall be provided free of charge to them by the Detaining
The clothing supplied by the Detaining Power to internees and the
outward markings placed on their own clothes shall not be ignominious
nor expose them to ridicule.
Workers shall receive suitable working outfits, including
protective clothing, whenever the nature of their work so
Chapter IV. Hygiene and Medical Attention
Art. 91. Every place of internment shall have an
adequate infirmary, under the direction of a qualified doctor, where
internees may have the attention they require, as well as an
appropriate diet. Isolation wards shall be set aside for cases of
contagious or mental diseases.
Maternity cases and internees suffering from serious diseases, or
whose condition requires special treatment, a surgical operation or
hospital care, must be admitted to any institution where adequate
treatment can be given and shall receive care not inferior to that
provided for the general population.
Internees shall, for preference, have the attention of medical
personnel of their own nationality.
Internees may not be prevented from presenting themselves to the
medical authorities for examination. The medical authorities of the
Detaining Power shall, upon request, issue to every internee who has
undergone treatment an official certificate showing the nature of his
illness or injury, and the duration and nature of the treatment given.
A duplicate of this certificate shall be forwarded to the Central
Agency provided for in Article 140.
Treatment, including the provision of any apparatus necessary for
the maintenance of internees in good health, particularly dentures and
other artificial appliances and spectacles, shall be free of charge to
Art. 92. Medical inspections of internees shall be
made at least once a month. Their purpose shall be, in particular, to
supervise the general state of health, nutrition and cleanliness of
internees, and to detect contagious diseases, especially tuberculosis,
malaria, and venereal diseases. Such inspections shall include, in
particular, the checking of weight of each internee and, at least once
a year, radioscopic examination.
Chapter V. Religious, Intellectual and Physical
Art. 93. Internees shall enjoy complete latitude in
the exercise of their religious duties, including attendance at the
services of their faith, on condition that they comply with the
disciplinary routine prescribed by the detaining authorities.
Ministers of religion who are interned shall be allowed to minister
freely to the members of their community. For this purpose the
Detaining Power shall ensure their equitable allocation amongst the
various places of internment in which there are internees speaking the
same language and belonging to the same religion. Should such
ministers be too few in number, the Detaining Power shall provide them
with the necessary facilities, including means of transport, for
moving from one place to another, and they shall be authorized to
visit any internees who are in hospital. Ministers of religion shall
be at liberty to correspond on matters concerning their ministry with
the religious authorities in the country of detention and, as far as
possible, with the international religious organizations of their
faith. Such correspondence shall not be considered as forming a part
of the quota mentioned in Article 107. It shall, however, be subject
to the provisions of Article 112.
When internees do not have at their disposal the assistance of
ministers of their faith, or should these latter be too few in number,
the local religious authorities of the same faith may appoint, in
agreement with the Detaining Power, a minister of the internees' faith
or, if such a course is feasible from a denominational point of view,
a minister of similar religion or a qualified layman. The latter shall
enjoy the facilities granted to the ministry he has assumed. Persons
so appointed shall comply with all regulations laid down by the
Detaining Power in the interests of discipline and security.
Art. 94. The Detaining Power shall encourage
intellectual, educational and recreational pursuits, sports and games
amongst internees, whilst leaving them free to take part in them or
not. It shall take all practicable measures to ensure the exercise
thereof, in particular by providing suitable premises.
All possible facilities shall be granted to internees to continue
their studies or to take up new subjects. The education of children
and young people shall be ensured; they shall be allowed to attend
schools either within the place of internment or outside.
Internees shall be given opportunities for physical exercise,
sports and outdoor games. For this purpose, sufficient open spaces
shall be set aside in all places of internment. Special playgrounds
shall be reserved for children and young people.
Art. 95. The Detaining Power shall not employ
internees as workers, unless they so desire. Employment which, if
undertaken under compulsion by a protected person not in internment,
would involve a breach of Articles 40 or 51 of the present Convention,
and employment on work which is of a degrading or humiliating
character are in any case prohibited.
After a working period of six weeks, internees shall be free to
give up work at any moment, subject to eight days' notice.
These provisions constitute no obstacle to the right of the
Detaining Power to employ interned doctors, dentists and other medical
personnel in their professional capacity on behalf of their fellow
internees, or to employ internees for administrative and maintenance
work in places of internment and to detail such persons for work in
the kitchens or for other domestic tasks, or to require such persons
to undertake duties connected with the protection of internees against
aerial bombardment or other war risks. No internee may, however, be
required to perform tasks for which he is, in the opinion of a medical
officer, physically unsuited.
The Detaining Power shall take entire responsibility for all
working conditions, for medical attention, for the payment of wages,
and for ensuring that all employed internees receive compensation for
occupational accidents and diseases. The standards prescribed for the
said working conditions and for compensation shall be in accordance
with the national laws and regulations, and with the existing
practice; they shall in no case be inferior to those obtaining for
work of the same nature in the same district. Wages for work done
shall be determined on an equitable basis by special agreements
between the internees, the Detaining Power, and, if the case arises,
employers other than the Detaining Power to provide for free
maintenance of internees and for the medical attention which their
state of health may require. Internees permanently detailed for
categories of work mentioned in the third paragraph of this Article,
shall be paid fair wages by the Detaining Power. The working
conditions and the scale of compensation for occupational accidents
and diseases to internees, thus detailed, shall not be inferior to
those applicable to work of the same nature in the same
Art.96. All labour detachments shall remain part of
and dependent upon a place of internment. The competent authorities of
the Detaining Power and the commandant of a place of internment shall
be responsible for the observance in a labour detachment of the
provisions of the present Convention. The commandant shall keep an
up-to-date list of the labour detachments subordinate to him and shall
communicate it to the delegates of the Protecting Power, of the
International Committee of the Red Cross and of other humanitarian
organizations who may visit the places of internment.
Chapter VI. Personal Property and Financial Resources
Art. 97. Internees shall be permitted to retain
articles of personal use. Monies, cheques, bonds, etc., and valuables
in their possession may not be taken from them except in accordance
with established procedure. Detailed receipts shall be given
The amounts shall be paid into the account of every internee as
provided for in Article 98. Such amounts may not be converted into any
other currency unless legislation in force in the territory in which
the owner is interned so requires or the internee gives his consent.
Articles which have above all a personal or sentimental value may
not be taken away.
A woman internee shall not be searched except by a woman.
On release or repatriation, internees shall be given all articles,
monies or other valuables taken from them during internment and shall
receive in currency the balance of any credit to their accounts kept
in accordance with Article 98, with the exception of any articles or
amounts withheld by the Detaining Power by virtue of its legislation
in force. If the property of an internee is so withheld, the owner
shall receive a detailed receipt.
Family or identity documents in the possession of internees may not
be taken away without a receipt being given. At no time shall
internees be left without identity documents. If they have none, they
shall be issued with special documents drawn up by the detaining
authorities, which will serve as their identity papers until the end
of their internment.
Internees may keep on their persons a certain amount of money, in
cash or in the shape of purchase coupons, to enable them to make
Art. 98. All internees shall receive regular
allowances, sufficient to enable them to purchase goods and articles,
such as tobacco, toilet requisites, etc. Such allowances may take the
form of credits or purchase coupons.
Furthermore, internees may receive allowances from the Power to
which they owe allegiance, the Protecting Powers, the organizations
which may assist them, or their families, as well as the income on
their property in accordance with the law of the Detaining Power. The
amount of allowances granted by the Power to which they owe allegiance
shall be the same for each category of internees (infirm, sick,
pregnant women, etc.) but may not be allocated by that Power or
distributed by the Detaining Power on the basis of discriminations
between internees which are prohibited by Article 27 of the present
The Detaining Power shall open a regular account for every
internee, to which shall be credited the allowances named in the
present Article, the wages earned and the remittances received,
together with such sums taken from him as may be available under the
legislation in force in the territory in which he is interned.
Internees shall be granted all facilities consistent with the
legislation in force in such territory to make remittances to their
families and to other dependants. They may draw from their accounts
the amounts necessary for their personal expenses, within the limits
fixed by the Detaining Power. They shall at all times be afforded
reasonable facilities for consulting and obtaining copies of their
accounts. A statement of accounts shall be furnished to the Protecting
Power, on request, and shall accompany the internee in case of
Chapter VII. Administration and Discipline
Art. 99. Every place of internment shall be put
under the authority of a responsible officer, chosen from the regular
military forces or the regular civil administration of the Detaining
Power. The officer in charge of the place of internment must have in
his possession a copy of the present Convention in the official
language, or one of the official languages, of his country and shall
be responsible for its application. The staff in control of internees
shall be instructed in the provisions of the present Convention and of
the administrative measures adopted to ensure its application.
The text of the present Convention and the texts of special
agreements concluded under the said Convention shall be posted inside
the place of internment, in a language which the internees understand,
or shall be in the possession of the Internee Committee.
Regulations, orders, notices and publications of every kind shall
be communicated to the internees and posted inside the places of
internment, in a language which they understand.
Every order and command addressed to internees individually must,
likewise, be given in a language which they understand.
Art. 100. The disciplinary regime in places of
internment shall be consistent with humanitarian principles, and shall
in no circumstances include regulations imposing on internees any
physical exertion dangerous to their health or involving physical or
moral victimization. Identification by tattooing or imprinting signs
or markings on the body, is prohibited.
In particular, prolonged standing and roll-calls, punishment drill,
military drill and manoeuvres, or the reduction of food rations, are
Art. 101. Internees shall have the right to present
to the authorities in whose power they are, any petition with regard
to the conditions of internment to which they are subjected.
They shall also have the right to apply without restriction through
the Internee Committee or, if they consider it necessary, direct to
the representatives of the Protecting Power, in order to indicate to
them any points on which they may have complaints to make with regard
to the conditions of internment.
Such petitions and complaints shall be transmitted forthwith and
without alteration, and even if the latter are recognized to be
unfounded, they may not occasion any punishment.
Periodic reports on the situation in places of internment and as to
the needs of the internees may be sent by the Internee Committees to
the representatives of the Protecting Powers.
Art. 102. In every place of internment, the
internees shall freely elect by secret ballot every six months, the
members of a Committee empowered to represent them before the
Detaining and the Protecting Powers, the International Committee of
the Red Cross and any other organization which may assist them. The
members of the Committee shall be eligible for re-election.
Internees so elected shall enter upon their duties after their
election has been approved by the detaining authorities. The reasons
for any refusals or dismissals shall be communicated to the Protecting
Art. 103. The Internee Committees shall further the
physical, spiritual and intellectual well-being of the internees.
In case the internees decide, in particular, to organize a system
of mutual assistance amongst themselves, this organization would be
within the competence of the Committees in addition to the special
duties entrusted to them under other provisions of the present
Art. 104. Members of Internee Committees shall not
be required to perform any other work, if the accomplishment of their
duties is rendered more difficult thereby.
Members of Internee Committees may appoint from amongst the
internees such assistants as they may require. All material facilities
shall be granted to them, particularly a certain freedom of movement
necessary for the accomplishment of their duties (visits to labour
detachments, receipt of supplies, etc.).
All facilities shall likewise be accorded to members of Internee
Committees for communication by post and telegraph with the detaining
authorities, the Protecting Powers, the International Committee of the
Red Cross and their delegates, and with the organizations which give
assistance to internees. Committee members in labour detachments shall
enjoy similar facilities for communication with their Internee
Committee in the principal place of internment. Such communications
shall not be limited, nor considered as forming a part of the quota
mentioned in Article 107.
Members of Internee Committees who are transferred shall be allowed
a reasonable time to acquaint their successors with current
Chapter VIII. Relations with the Exterior
Art. 105. Immediately upon interning protected
persons, the Detaining Powers shall inform them, the Power to which
they owe allegiance and their Protecting Power of the measures taken
for executing the provisions of the present Chapter. The Detaining
Powers shall likewise inform the Parties concerned of any subsequent
modifications of such measures.
Art. 106. As soon as he is interned, or at the
latest not more than one week after his arrival in a place of
internment, and likewise in cases of sickness or transfer to another
place of internment or to a hospital, every internee shall be enabled
to send direct to his family, on the one hand, and to the Central
Agency provided for by Article 140, on the other, an internment card
similar, if possible, to the model annexed to the present Convention,
informing his relatives of his detention, address and state of health.
The said cards shall be forwarded as rapidly as possible and may not
be delayed in any way.
Art. 107. Internees shall be allowed to send and
receive letters and cards. If the Detaining Power deems it necessary
to limit the number of letters and cards sent by each internee, the
said number shall not be less than two letters and four cards monthly;
these shall be drawn up so as to conform as closely as possible to the
models annexed to the present Convention. If limitations must be
placed on the correspondence addressed to internees, they may be
ordered only by the Power to which such internees owe allegiance,
possibly at the request of the Detaining Power. Such letters and cards
must be conveyed with reasonable despatch; they may not be delayed or
retained for disciplinary reasons.
Internees who have been a long time without news, or who find it
impossible to receive news from their relatives, or to give them news
by the ordinary postal route, as well as those who are at a
considerable distance from their homes, shall be allowed to send
telegrams, the charges being paid by them in the currency at their
disposal. They shall likewise benefit by this provision in cases which
are recognized to be urgent.
As a rule, internees' mail shall be written in their own language.
The Parties to the conflict may authorize correspondence in other
Art. 108. Internees shall be allowed to receive, by
post or by any other means, individual parcels or collective shipments
containing in particular foodstuffs, clothing, medical supplies, as
well as books and objects of a devotional, educational or recreational
character which may meet their needs. Such shipments shall in no way
free the Detaining Power from the obligations imposed upon it by
virtue of the present Convention.
Should military necessity require the quantity of such shipments to
be limited, due notice thereof shall be given to the Protecting Power
and to the International Committee of the Red Cross, or to any other
organization giving assistance to the internees and responsible for
the forwarding of such shipments.
The conditions for the sending of individual parcels and collective
shipments shall, if necessary, be the subject of special agreements
between the Powers concerned, which may in no case delay the receipt
by the internees of relief supplies. Parcels of clothing and
foodstuffs may not include books. Medical relief supplies shall, as a
rule, be sent in collective parcels.
Art. 109. In the absence of special agreements
between Parties to the conflict regarding the conditions for the
receipt and distribution of collective relief shipments, the
regulations concerning collective relief which are annexed to the
present Convention shall be applied.
The special agreements provided for above shall in no case restrict
the right of Internee Committees to take possession of collective
relief shipments intended for internees, to undertake their
distribution and to dispose of them in the interests of the
recipients. Nor shall such agreements restrict the right of
representatives of the Protecting Powers, the International Committee
of the Red Cross, or any other organization giving assistance to
internees and responsible for the forwarding of collective shipments,
to supervise their distribution to the recipients.
Art. 110. An relief shipments for internees shall
be exempt from import, customs and other dues.
All matter sent by mail, including relief parcels sent by parcel
post and remittances of money, addressed from other countries to
internees or despatched by them through the post office, either direct
or through the Information Bureaux provided for in Article 136 and the
Central Information Agency provided for in Article 140, shall be
exempt from all postal dues both in the countries of origin and
destination and in intermediate countries. To this end, in particular,
the exemption provided by the Universal Postal Convention of 1947 and
by the agreements of the Universal Postal Union in favour of civilians
of enemy nationality detained in camps or civilian prisons, shall be
extended to the other interned persons protected by the present
Convention. The countries not signatory to the above-mentioned
agreements shall be bound to grant freedom from charges in the same
The cost of transporting relief shipments which are intended for
internees and which, by reason of their weight or any other cause,
cannot be sent through the post office, shall be borne by the
Detaining Power in all the territories under its control. Other Powers
which are Parties to the present Convention shall bear the cost of
transport in their respective territories.
Costs connected with the transport of such shipments, which are not
covered by the above paragraphs, shall be charged to the senders.
The High Contracting Parties shall endeavour to reduce, so far as
possible, the charges for telegrams sent by internees, or addressed to
Art. 111. Should military operations prevent the
Powers concerned from fulfilling their obligation to ensure the
conveyance of the mail and relief shipments provided for in Articles
106, 107, 108 and 113, the Protecting Powers concerned, the
International Committee of the Red Cross or any other organization
duly approved by the Parties to the conflict may undertake the
conveyance of such shipments by suitable means (rail, motor vehicles,
vessels or aircraft, etc.). For this purpose, the High Contracting
Parties shall endeavour to supply them with such transport, and to
allow its circulation, especially by granting the necessary
Such transport may also be used to convey: (a) correspondence,
lists and reports exchanged between the Central Information Agency
referred to in Article 140 and the National Bureaux referred to in
Article 136; (b) correspondence and reports relating to internees
which the Protecting Powers, the International Committee of the Red
Cross or any other organization assisting the internees exchange
either with their own delegates or with the Parties to the
These provisions in no way detract from the right of any Party to
the conflict to arrange other means of transport if it should so
prefer, nor preclude the granting of safe-conducts, under mutually
agreed conditions, to such means of transport.
The costs occasioned by the use of such means of transport shall be
borne, in proportion to the importance of the shipments, by the
Parties to the conflict whose nationals are benefited thereby.
Art. 112. The censoring of correspondence addressed
to internees or despatched by them shall be done as quickly as
The examination of consignments intended for internees shall not be
carried out under conditions that will expose the goods contained in
them to deterioration. It shall be done in the presence of the
addressee, or of a fellow-internee duly delegated by him. The delivery
to internees of individual or collective consignments shall not be
delayed under the pretext of difficulties of censorship.
Any prohibition of correspondence ordered by the Parties to the
conflict either for military or political reasons, shall be only
temporary and its duration shall be as short as possible.
Art. 113. The Detaining Powers shall provide all
reasonable execution facilities for the transmission, through the
Protecting Power or the Central Agency provided for in Article 140, or
as otherwise required, of wills, powers of attorney, letters of
authority, or any other documents intended for internees or despatched
In all cases the Detaining Powers shall facilitate the execution
and authentication in due legal form of such documents on behalf of
internees, in particular by allowing them to consult a lawyer.
Art. 114. The Detaining Power shall afford
internees all facilities to enable them to manage their property,
provided this is not incompatible with the conditions of internment
and the law which is applicable. For this purpose, the said Power may
give them permission to leave the place of internment in urgent cases
and if circumstances allow.
Art. 115. In all cases where an internee is a party
to proceedings in any court, the Detaining Power shall, if he so
requests, cause the court to be informed of his detention and shall,
within legal limits, ensure that all necessary steps are taken to
prevent him from being in any way prejudiced, by reason of his
internment, as regards the preparation and conduct of his case or as
regards the execution of any judgment of the court.
Art.116. Every internee shall be allowed to receive
visitors, especially near relatives, at regular intervals and as
frequently as possible.
As far as is possible, internees shall be permitted to visit their
homes in urgent cases, particularly in cases of death or serious
illness of relatives.
Chapter IX. Penal and Disciplinary Sanctions
Art. 117. Subject to the provisions of the present
Chapter, the laws in force in the territory in which they are detained
will continue to apply to internees who commit offences during
If general laws, regulations or orders declare acts committed by
internees to be punishable, whereas the same acts are not punishable
when committed by persons who are not internees, such acts shall
entail disciplinary punishments only.
No internee may be punished more than once for the same act, or on
the same count.
Art. 118. The courts or authorities shall in
passing sentence take as far as possible into account the fact that
the defendant is not a national of the Detaining Power. They shall be
free to reduce the penalty prescribed for the offence with which the
internee is charged and shall not be obliged, to this end, to apply
the minimum sentence prescribed.
Imprisonment in premises without daylight, and, in general, all
forms of cruelty without exception are forbidden.
Internees who have served disciplinary or judicial sentences shall
not be treated differently from other internees.
The duration of preventive detention undergone by an internee shall
be deducted from any disciplinary or judicial penalty involving
confinement to which he may be sentenced.
Internee Committees shall be informed of all judicial proceedings
instituted against internees whom they represent, and of their
Art. 119. The disciplinary punishments applicable
to internees shall be the following:
(1) a fine which shall not exceed 50 per cent of the wages which
the internee would otherwise receive under the provisions of Article
95 during a period of not more than thirty days. (2) discontinuance of
privileges granted over and above the treatment provided for by the
present Convention (3) fatigue duties, not exceeding two hours daily,
in connection with the maintenance of the place of internment. (4)
In no case shall disciplinary penalties be inhuman, brutal or
dangerous for the health of internees. Account shall be taken of the
internee's age, sex and state of health.
The duration of any single punishment shall in no case exceed a
maximum of thirty consecutive days, even if the internee is answerable
for several breaches of discipline when his case is dealt with,
whether such breaches are connected or not.
Art. 120. Internees who are recaptured after having
escaped or when attempting to escape, shall be liable only to
disciplinary punishment in respect of this act, even if it is a
Art. 118, paragraph 3, notwithstanding, internees punished as a
result of escape or attempt to escape, may be subjected to special
surveillance, on condition that such surveillance does not affect the
state of their health, that it is exercised in a place of internment
and that it does not entail the abolition of any of the safeguards
granted by the present Convention.
Internees who aid and abet an escape or attempt to escape, shall be
liable on this count to disciplinary punishment only.
Art. 121. Escape, or attempt to escape, even if it
is a repeated offence, shall not be deemed an aggravating circumstance
in cases where an internee is prosecuted for offences committed during
The Parties to the conflict shall ensure that the competent
authorities exercise leniency in deciding whether punishment inflicted
for an offence shall be of a disciplinary or judicial nature,
especially in respect of acts committed in connection with an escape,
whether successful or not.
Art. 122. Acts which constitute offences against
discipline shall be investigated immediately. This rule shall be
applied, in particular, in cases of escape or attempt to escape.
Recaptured internees shall be handed over to the competent authorities
as soon as possible.
In cases of offences against discipline, confinement awaiting trial
shall be reduced to an absolute minimum for all internees, and shall
not exceed fourteen days. Its duration shall in any case be deducted
from any sentence of confinement.
The provisions of Articles 124 and 125 shall apply to internees who
are in confinement awaiting trial for offences against
Art. 123. Without prejudice to the competence of
courts and higher authorities, disciplinary punishment may be ordered
only by the commandant of the place of internment, or by a responsible
officer or official who replaces him, or to whom he has delegated his
Before any disciplinary punishment is awarded, the accused internee
shall be given precise information regarding the offences of which he
is accused, and given an opportunity of explaining his conduct and of
defending himself. He shall be permitted, in particular, to call
witnesses and to have recourse, if necessary, to the services of a
qualified interpreter. The decision shall be announced in the presence
of the accused and of a member of the Internee Committee.
The period elapsing between the time of award of a disciplinary
punishment and its execution shall not exceed one month.
When an internee is awarded a further disciplinary punishment, a
period of at least three days shall elapse between the execution of
any two of the punishments, if the duration of one of these is ten
days or more.
A record of disciplinary punishments shall be maintained by the
commandant of the place of internment and shall be open to inspection
by representatives of the Protecting Power.
Art. 124. Internees shall not in any case be
transferred to penitentiary establishments (prisons, penitentiaries,
convict prisons, etc.) to undergo disciplinary punishment therein.
The premises in which disciplinary punishments are undergone shall
conform to sanitary requirements: they shall in particular be provided
with adequate bedding. Internees undergoing punishment shall be
enabled to keep themselves in a state of cleanliness.
Women internees undergoing disciplinary punishment shall be
confined in separate quarters from male internees and shall be under
the immediate supervision of women.
Art. 125. Internees awarded disciplinary punishment
shall be allowed to exercise and to stay in the open air at least two
They shall be allowed, if they so request, to be present at the
daily medical inspections. They shall receive the attention which
their state of health requires and, if necessary, shall be removed to
the infirmary of the place of internment or to a hospital.
They shall have permission to read and write, likewise to send and
receive letters. Parcels and remittances of money, however, may be
withheld from them until the completion of their punishment; such
consignments shall meanwhile be entrusted to the Internee Committee,
who will hand over to the infirmary the perishable goods contained in
No internee given a disciplinary punishment may be deprived of the
benefit of the provisions of Articles 107 and 143 of the present
Art. 126. The provisions of Articles 71 to 76
inclusive shall apply, by analogy, to proceedings against internees
who are in the national territory of the Detaining Power.
Chapter X. Transfers of Internees
Art. 127. The transfer of internees shall always be
effected humanely. As a general rule, it shall be carried out by rail
or other means of transport, and under conditions at least equal to
those obtaining for the forces of the Detaining Power in their changes
of station. If, as an exceptional measure, such removals have to be
effected on foot, they may not take place unless the internees are in
a fit state of health, and may not in any case expose them to
The Detaining Power shall supply internees during transfer with
drinking water and food sufficient in quantity, quality and variety to
maintain them in good health, and also with the necessary clothing,
adequate shelter and the necessary medical attention. The Detaining
Power shall take all suitable precautions to ensure their safety
during transfer, and shall establish before their departure a complete
list of all internees transferred.
Sick, wounded or infirm internees and maternity cases shall not be
transferred if the journey would be seriously detrimental to them,
unless their safety imperatively so demands.
If the combat zone draws close to a place of internment, the
internees in the said place shall not be transferred unless their
removal can be carried out in adequate conditions of safety, or unless
they are exposed to greater risks by remaining on the spot than by
When making decisions regarding the transfer of internees, the
Detaining Power shall take their interests into account and, in
particular, shall not do anything to increase the difficulties of
repatriating them or returning them to their own homes.
Art. 128. In the event of transfer, internees shall
be officially advised of their departure and of their new postal
address. Such notification shall be given in time for them to pack
their luggage and inform their next of kin.
They shall be allowed to take with them their personal effects, and
the correspondence and parcels which have arrived for them. The weight
of such baggage may be limited if the conditions of transfer so
require, but in no case to less than twenty-five kilograms per
Mail and parcels addressed to their former place of internment
shall be forwarded to them without delay.
The commandant of the place of internment shall take, in agreement
with the Internee Committee, any measures needed to ensure the
transport of the internees' community property and of the luggage the
internees are unable to take with them in consequence of restrictions
imposed by virtue of the second paragraph.
Chapter XI. Deaths
Art. 129. The wills of internees shall be received
for safe-keeping by the responsible authorities; and if the event of
the death of an internee his will shall be transmitted without delay
to a person whom he has previously designated. Deaths of internees
shall be certified in every case by a doctor, and a death certificate
shall be made out, showing the causes of death and the conditions
under which it occurred.
An official record of the death, duly registered, shall be drawn up
in accordance with the procedure relating thereto in force in the
territory where the place of internment is situated, and a duly
certified copy of such record shall be transmitted without delay to
the Protecting Power as well as to the Central Agency referred to in
Art. 130. The detaining authorities shall ensure
that internees who die while interned are honourably buried, if
possible according to the rites of the religion to which they belonged
and that their graves are respected, properly maintained, and marked
in such a way that they can always be recognized.
Deceased internees shall be buried in individual graves unless
unavoidable circumstances require the use of collective graves. Bodies
may be cremated only for imperative reasons of hygiene, on account of
the religion of the deceased or in accordance with his expressed wish
to this effect. In case of cremation, the fact shall be stated and the
reasons given in the death certificate of the deceased. The ashes
shall be retained for safe-keeping by the detaining authorities and
shall be transferred as soon as possible to the next of kin on their
As soon as circumstances permit, and not later than the close of
hostilities, the Detaining Power shall forward lists of graves of
deceased internees to the Powers on whom deceased internees depended,
through the Information Bureaux provided for in Article 136. Such
lists shall include all particulars necessary for the identification
of the deceased internees, as well as the exact location of their
Art. 131. Every death or serious injury of an
internee, caused or suspected to have been caused by a sentry, another
internee or any other person, as well as any death the cause of which
is unknown, shall be immediately followed by an official enquiry by
the Detaining Power.
A communication on this subject shall be sent immediately to the
Protecting Power. The evidence of any witnesses shall be taken, and a
report including such evidence shall be prepared and forwarded to the
said Protecting Power.
If the enquiry indicates the guilt of one or more persons, the
Detaining Power shall take all necessary steps to ensure the
prosecution of the person or persons responsible.
Chapter XIII. Release, Repatriation and Accommodation in
Art. 132. Each interned person shall be released by
the Detaining Power as soon as the reasons which necessitated his
internment no longer exist.
The Parties to the conflict shall, moreover, endeavour during the
course of hostilities, to conclude agreements for the release, the
repatriation, the return to places of residence or the accommodation
in a neutral country of certain classes of internees, in particular
children, pregnant women and mothers with infants and young children,
wounded and sick, and internees who have been detained for a long
Art. 133. Internment shall cease as soon as
possible after the close of hostilities.
Internees in the territory of a Party to the conflict against whom
penal proceedings are pending for offences not exclusively subject to
disciplinary penalties, may be detained until the close of such
proceedings and, if circumstances require, until the completion of the
penalty. The same shall apply to internees who have been previously
sentenced to a punishment depriving them of liberty.
By agreement between the Detaining Power and the Powers concerned,
committees may be set up after the close of hostilities, or of the
occupation of territories, to search for dispersed internees.
Art. 134. The High Contracting Parties shall
endeavour, upon the close of hostilities or occupation, to ensure the
return of all internees to their last place of residence, or to
facilitate their repatriation.
Art. 135. The Detaining Power shall bear the
expense of returning released internees to the places where they were
residing when interned, or, if it took them into custody while they
were in transit or on the high seas, the cost of completing their
journey or of their return to their point of departure.
Where a Detaining Power refuses permission to reside in its
territory to a released internee who previously had his permanent
domicile therein, such Detaining Power shall pay the cost of the said
internee's repatriation. If, however, the internee elects to return to
his country on his own responsibility or in obedience to the
Government of the Power to which he owes allegiance, the Detaining
Power need not pay the expenses of his journey beyond the point of his
departure from its territory. The Detaining Power need not pay the
cost of repatriation of an internee who was interned at his own
If internees are transferred in accordance with Article 45, the
transferring and receiving Powers shall agree on the portion of the
above costs to be borne by each.
The foregoing shall not prejudice such special agreements as may be
concluded between Parties to the conflict concerning the exchange and
repatriation of their nationals in enemy hands.
Section V. Information Bureaux and Central Agency
Art. 136. Upon the outbreak of a conflict and in
all cases of occupation, each of the Parties to the conflict shall
establish an official Information Bureau responsible for receiving and
transmitting information in respect of the protected persons who are
in its power.
Each of the Parties to the conflict shall, within the shortest
possible period, give its Bureau information of any measure taken by
it concerning any protected persons who are kept in custody for more
than two weeks, who are subjected to assigned residence or who are
interned. It shall, furthermore, require its various departments
concerned with such matters to provide the aforesaid Bureau promptly
with information concerning all changes pertaining to these protected
persons, as, for example, transfers, releases, repatriations, escapes,
admittances to hospitals, births and deaths.
Art. 137. Each national Bureau shall immediately
forward information concerning protected persons by the most rapid
means to the Powers in whose territory they resided, through the
intermediary of the Protecting Powers and likewise through the Central
Agency provided for in Article 140. The Bureaux shall also reply to
all enquiries which may be received regarding protected persons.
Information Bureaux shall transmit information concerning a
protected person unless its transmission might be detrimental to the
person concerned or to his or her relatives. Even in such a case, the
information may not be withheld from the Central Agency which, upon
being notified of the circumstances, will take the necessary
precautions indicated in Article 140.
All communications in writing made by any Bureau shall be
authenticated by a signature or a seal.
Art. 138. The information received by the national
Bureau and transmitted by it shall be of such a character as to make
it possible to identify the protected person exactly and to advise his
next of kin quickly. The information in respect of each person shall
include at least his surname, first names, place and date of birth,
nationality last residence and distinguishing characteristics, the
first name of the father and the maiden name of the mother, the date,
place and nature of the action taken with regard to the individual,
the address at which correspondence may be sent to him and the name
and address of the person to be informed.
Likewise, information regarding the state of health of internees
who are seriously ill or seriously wounded shall be supplied regularly
and if possible every week.
Art. 139. Each national Information Bureau shall,
furthermore, be responsible for collecting all personal valuables left
by protected persons mentioned in Article 136, in particular those who
have been repatriated or released, or who have escaped or died; it
shall forward the said valuables to those concerned, either direct,
or, if necessary, through the Central Agency. Such articles shall be
sent by the Bureau in sealed packets which shall be accompanied by
statements giving clear and full identity particulars of the person to
whom the articles belonged, and by a complete list of the contents of
the parcel. Detailed records shall be maintained of the receipt and
despatch of all such valuables.
Art. 140. A Central Information Agency for
protected persons, in particular for internees, shall be created in a
neutral country. The International Committee of the Red Cross shall,
if it deems necessary, propose to the Powers concerned the
organization of such an Agency, which may be the same as that provided
for in Article 123 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment
of Prisoners of War of 12 August 1949.
The function of the Agency shall be to collect all information of
the type set forth in Article 136 which it may obtain through official
or private channels and to transmit it as rapidly as possible to the
countries of origin or of residence of the persons concerned, except
in cases where such transmissions might be detrimental to the persons
whom the said information concerns, or to their relatives. It shall
receive from the Parties to the conflict all reasonable facilities for
effecting such transmissions.
The High Contracting Parties, and in particular those whose
nationals benefit by the services of the Central Agency, are requested
to give the said Agency the financial aid it may require.
The foregoing provisions shall in no way be interpreted as
restricting the humanitarian activities of the International Committee
of the Red Cross and of the relief Societies described in Article
Art. 141. The national Information Bureaux and the
Central Information Agency shall enjoy free postage for all mail,
likewise the exemptions provided for in Article 110, and further, so
far as possible, exemption from telegraphic charges or, at least,
greatly reduced rates.
Part IV. Execution of the Convention
Section I. General Provisions
Art. 142. Subject to the measures which the
Detaining Powers may consider essential to ensure their security or to
meet any other reasonable need, the representatives of religious
organizations, relief societies, or any other organizations assisting
the protected persons, shall receive from these Powers, for themselves
or their duly accredited agents, all facilities for visiting the
protected persons, for distributing relief supplies and material from
any source, intended for educational, recreational or religious
purposes, or for assisting them in organizing their leisure time
within the places of internment. Such societies or organizations may
be constituted in the territory of the Detaining Power, or in any
other country, or they may have an international character.
The Detaining Power may limit the number of societies and
organizations whose delegates are allowed to carry out their
activities in its territory and under its supervision, on condition,
however, that such limitation shall not hinder the supply of effective
and adequate relief to all protected persons.
The special position of the International Committee of the Red
Cross in this field shall be recognized and respected at all
Art. 143. Representatives or delegates of the
Protecting Powers shall have permission to go to all places where
protected persons are, particularly to places of internment, detention
They shall have access to all premises occupied by protected
persons and shall be able to interview the latter without witnesses,
personally or through an interpreter.
Such visits may not be prohibited except for reasons of imperative
military necessity, and then only as an exceptional and temporary
measure. Their duration and frequency shall not be restricted.
Such representatives and delegates shall have full liberty to
select the places they wish to visit. The Detaining or Occupying
Power, the Protecting Power and when occasion arises the Power of
origin of the persons to be visited, may agree that compatriots of the
internees shall be permitted to participate in the visits.
The delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross shall
also enjoy the above prerogatives. The appointment of such delegates
shall be submitted to the approval of the Power governing the
territories where they will carry out their duties.
Art. 144. The High Contracting Parties undertake,
in time of peace as in time of war, to disseminate the text of the
present Convention as widely as possible in their respective
countries, and, in particular, to include the study thereof in their
programmes of military and, if possible, civil instruction, so that
the principles thereof may become known to the entire population.
Any civilian, military, police or other authorities, who in time of
war assume responsibilities in respect of protected persons, must
possess the text of the Convention and be specially instructed as to
Art. 145. The High Contracting Parties shall
communicate to one another through the Swiss Federal Council and,
during hostilities, through the Protecting Powers, the official
translations of the present Convention, as well as the laws and
regulations which they may adopt to ensure the application
Art. 146. The High Contracting Parties undertake to
enact any legislation necessary to provide effective penal sanctions
for persons committing, or ordering to be committed, any of the grave
breaches of the present Convention defined in the following
Each High Contracting Party shall be under the obligation to search
for persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be
committed, such grave breaches, and shall bring such persons,
regardless of their nationality, before its own courts. It may also,
if it prefers, and in accordance with the provisions of its own
legislation, hand such persons over for trial to another High
Contracting Party concerned, provided such High Contracting Party has
made out a prima facie case.
Each High Contracting Party shall take measures necessary for the
suppression of all acts contrary to the provisions of the present
Convention other than the grave breaches defined in the following
In all circumstances, the accused persons shall benefit by
safeguards of proper trial and defence, which shall not be less
favourable than those provided by Article 105 and those following of
the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of
12 August 1949.
Art. 147. Grave breaches to which the preceding
Article relates shall be those involving any of the following acts, if
committed against persons or property protected by the present
Convention: willful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including
biological experiments, willfully causing great suffering or serious
injury to body or health, unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful
confinement of a protected person, compelling a protected person to
serve in the forces of a hostile Power, or willfully depriving a
protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed in
the present Convention, taking of hostages and extensive destruction
and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and
carried out unlawfully and wantonly.
Art. 148. No High Contracting Party shall be
allowed to absolve itself or any other High Contracting Party of any
liability incurred by itself or by another High Contracting Party in
respect of breaches referred to in the preceding Article.
Art. 149. At the request of a Party to the
conflict, an enquiry shall be instituted, in a manner to be decided
between the interested Parties, concerning any alleged violation of
If agreement has not been reached concerning the procedure for the
enquiry, the Parties should agree on the choice of an umpire who will
decide upon the procedure to be followed.
Once the violation has been established, the Parties to the
conflict shall put an end to it and shall repress it with the least
Section II. Final Provisions
Art. 150. The present Convention is established in
English and in French. Both texts are equally authentic.
The Swiss Federal Council shall arrange for official translations
of the Convention to be made in the Russian and Spanish
Art. 151. The present Convention, which bears the
date of this day, is open to signature until 12 February 1950, in the
name of the Powers represented at the Conference which opened at
Geneva on 21 April 1949.
Art. 152. The present Convention shall be ratified
as soon as possible and the ratifications shall be deposited at
A record shall be drawn up of the deposit of each instrument of
ratification and certified copies of this record shall be transmitted
by the Swiss Federal Council to all the Powers in whose name the
Convention has been signed, or whose accession has been
Art. 153. The present Convention shall come into
force six months after not less than two instruments of ratification
have been deposited.
Thereafter, it shall come into force for each High Contracting
Party six months after the deposit of the instrument of
Art. 154. In the relations between the Powers who
are bound by the Hague Conventions respecting the Laws and Customs of
War on Land, whether that of 29 July 1899, or that of 18 October 1907,
and who are parties to the present Convention, this last Convention
shall be supplementary to Sections II and III of the Regulations
annexed to the above-mentioned Conventions of The Hague.
Art. 155. From the date of its coming into force,
it shall be open to any Power in whose name the present Convention has
not been signed, to accede to this Convention.
Art. 156. Accessions shall be notified in writing
to the Swiss Federal Council, and shall take effect six months after
the date on which they are received.
The Swiss Federal Council shall communicate the accessions to all
the Powers in whose name the Convention has been signed, or whose
accession has been notified.
Art. 157. The situations provided for in Articles 2
and 3 shall effective immediate effect to ratifications deposited and
accessions notified by the Parties to the conflict before or after the
beginning of hostilities or occupation. The Swiss Federal Council
shall communicate by the quickest method any ratifications or
accessions received from Parties to the conflict.
Art. 158. Each of the High Contracting Parties
shall be at liberty to denounce the present Convention.
The denunciation shall be notified in writing to the Swiss Federal
Council, which shall transmit it to the Governments of all the High
The denunciation shall take effect one year after the notification
thereof has been made to the Swiss Federal Council. However, a
denunciation of which notification has been made at a time when the
denouncing Power is involved in a conflict shall not take effect until
peace has been concluded, and until after operations connected with
the release, repatriation and re-establishment of the persons
protected by the present Convention have been terminated.
The denunciation shall have effect only in respect of the
denouncing Power. It shall in no way impair the obligations which the
Parties to the conflict shall remain bound to fulfil by virtue of the
principles of the law of nations, as they result from the usages
established among civilized peoples, from the laws of humanity and the
dictates of the public conscience.
Art. 159. The Swiss Federal Council shall register
the present Convention with the Secretariat of the United Nations. The
Swiss Federal Council shall also inform the Secretariat of the United
Nations of all ratifications, accessions and denunciations received by
it with respect to the present Convention.
In witness whereof the undersigned, having deposited their
respective full powers, have signed the present Convention.
Done at Geneva this twelfth day of August 1949, in the English and
French languages. The original shall be deposited in the Archives of
the Swiss Confederation. The Swiss Federal Council shall transmit
certified copies thereof to each of the signatory and acceding
Annex I. Draft Agreement Relating to Hospital and Safety Zones and
Art. 1. Hospital and safety zones shall be strictly
reserved for the persons mentioned in Article 23 of the Geneva
Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and
Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of 12 August 1949, and in Article 14
of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian
Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949, and for the personnel
entrusted with the organization and administration of these zones and
localities, and with the care of the persons therein assembled.
Nevertheless, persons whose permanent residence is within such
zones shall have the right to stay there.
Art. 2. No persons residing, in whatever capacity,
in a hospital and safety zone shall perform any work, either within or
without the zone, directly connected with military operations or the
production of war material.
Art. 3. The Power establishing a hospital and
safety zone shall take all necessary measures to prohibit access to
all persons who have no right of residence or entry therein.
Art. 4. Hospital and safety zones shall fulfil the
(a) they shall comprise only a small part of the territory governed
by the Power which has established them (b) they shall be thinly
populated in relation to the possibilities of accommodation (c) they
shall be far removed and free from all military objectives, or large
industrial or administrative establishments (d) they shall not be
situated in areas which, according to every probability, may become
important for the conduct of the war.
Art. 5. Hospital and safety zones shall be subject
to the following obligations: (a) the lines of communication and means
of transport which they possess shall not be used for the transport of
military personnel or material, even in transit (b) they shall in no
case be defended by military means.
Art. 6. Hospital and safety zones shall be marked
by means of oblique red bands on a white ground, placed on the
buildings and outer precincts.
Zones reserved exclusively for the wounded and sick may be marked
by means of the Red Cross (Red Crescent, Red Lion and Sun) emblem on a
They may be similarly marked at night by means of appropriate
Art. 7. The Powers shall communicate to all the
High Contracting Parties in peacetime or on the outbreak of
hostilities, a list of the hospital and safety zones in the
territories governed by them. They shall also give notice of any new
zones set up during hostilities.
As soon as the adverse party has received the above-mentioned
notification, the zone shall be regularly established.
If, however, the adverse party considers that the conditions of the
present agreement have not been fulfilled, it may refuse to recognize
the zone by giving immediate notice thereof to the Party responsible
for the said zone, or may make its recognition of such zone dependent
upon the institution of the control provided for in Article 8.
Art. 8. Any Power having recognized one or several
hospital and safety zones instituted by the adverse Party shall be
entitled to demand control by one or more Special Commissions, for the
purpose of ascertaining if the zones fulfil the conditions and
obligations stipulated in the present agreement.
For this purpose, members of the Special Commissions shall at all
times have free access to the various zones and may even reside there
permanently. They shall be given all facilities for their duties of
Art. 9. Should the Special Commissions note any
facts which they consider contrary to the stipulations of the present
agreement, they shall at once draw the attention of the Power
governing the said zone to these facts, and shall fix a time limit of
five days within which the matter should be rectified. They shall duly
notify the Power which has recognized the zone.
If, when the time limit has expired, the Power governing the zone
has not complied with the warning, the adverse Party may declare that
it is no longer bound by the present agreement in respect of the said
Art. 10. Any Power setting up one or more hospital
and safety zones, and the adverse Parties to whom their existence has
been notified, shall nominate or have nominated by the Protecting
Powers or by other neutral Powers, persons eligible to be members of
the Special Commissions mentioned in Articles 8 and 9.
Art. 11. In no circumstances may hospital and
safety zones be the object of attack. They shall be protected and
respected at all times by the Parties to the conflict.
Art. 12. In the case of occupation of a territory,
the hospital and safety zones therein shall continue to be respected
and utilized as such.
Their purpose may, however, be modified by the Occupying Power, on
condition that all measures are taken to ensure the safety of the
Art. 13. The present agreement shall also apply to
localities which the Powers may utilize for the same purposes as
hospital and safety zones.
Annex II. Draft Regulations concerning Collective Relief
Art. 1. The Internee Committees shall be allowed to
distribute collective relief shipments for which they are responsible
to all internees who are dependent for administration on the said
Committee's place of internment, including those internees who are in
hospitals, or in prison or other penitentiary establishments.
Art. 2. The distribution of collective relief
shipments shall be effected in accordance with the instructions of the
donors and with a plan drawn up by the Internee Committees. The issue
of medical stores shall, however, be made for preference in agreement
with the senior medical officers, and the latter may, in hospitals and
infirmaries, waive the said instructions, if the needs of their
patients so demand. Within the limits thus defined, the distribution
shall always be carried out equitably.
Art. 3. Members of Internee Committees shall be
allowed to go to the railway stations or other points of arrival of
relief supplies near their places of internment so as to enable them
to verify the quantity as well as the quality of the goods received
and to make out detailed reports thereon for the donors.
Art. 4. Internee Committees shall be given the
facilities necessary for verifying whether the distribution of
collective relief in all subdivisions and annexes of their places of
internment has been carried out in accordance with their
Art. 5. Internee Committees shall be allowed to
complete, and to cause to be completed by members of the Internee
Committees in labour detachments or by the senior medical officers of
infirmaries and hospitals, forms or questionnaires intended for the
donors, relating to collective relief supplies (distribution,
requirements, quantities, etc.). Such forms and questionnaires, duly
completed, shall be forwarded to the donors without delay.
Art. 6. In order to secure the regular distribution
of collective relief supplies to the internees in their place of
internment, and to meet any needs that may arise through the arrival
of fresh parties of internees, the Internee Committees shall be
allowed to create and maintain sufficient reserve stocks of collective
relief. For this purpose, they shall have suitable warehouses at their
disposal; each warehouse shall be provided with two locks, the
Internee Committee holding the keys of one lock, and the commandant of
the place of internment the keys of the other.
Art. 7. The High Contracting Parties, and the
Detaining Powers in particular, shall, so far as is in any way
possible and subject to the regulations governing the food supply of
the population, authorize purchases of goods to be made in their
territories for the distribution of collective relief to the
internees. They shall likewise facilitate the transfer of funds and
other financial measures of a technical or administrative nature taken
for the purpose of making such purchases.
Art. 8. The foregoing provisions shall not
constitute an obstacle to the right of internees to receive collective
relief before their arrival in a place of internment or in the course
of their transfer, nor to the possibility of representatives of the
Protecting Power, or of the International Committee of the Red Cross
or any other humanitarian organization giving assistance to internees
and responsible for forwarding such supplies, ensuring the
distribution thereof to the recipients by any other means they may