It is important to continue the struggle despite frustrations and disappointment based on an ultimate faith in the triumph of justice Richard Falk | Chairman of Board of Trustees

Preamble
Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,
Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,
Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,
Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in cooperation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,
Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,
Now, therefore,
The General Assembly,
Proclaims this Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by


teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.
Article I
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Article 2
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
Article 3
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
Article 4
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
Article 5
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.


Article 6
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
Article 7
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
Article 8
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.
Article 9
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
Article 10
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
Article 11
1. Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
2. No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier


penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal
offence was committed.
Article 12
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home
or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has
the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
Article 13
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the
borders of each State.
2. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to
return to his country.
Article 14
1. Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from
persecution.
2. This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely
arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and
principles of the United Nations.
Article 15
1. Everyone has the right to a nationality.
2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to
change his nationality.
Article 16


1. Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality
or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled
to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
2. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the
intending spouses.
3. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is
entitled to protection by society and the State.
Article 17
1. Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with
others.
2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
Article 18
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right
includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in
community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in
teaching, practice, worship and observance.
Article 19
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes
freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart
information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Article 20
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
2. No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
Article 21


1. Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country,
directly or through freely chosen representatives.
2. Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country.
3. The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government;
this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall
be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by
equivalent free voting procedures.
Article 22
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled
to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in
accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic,
social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development
of his personality.
Article 23
1. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and
favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
2. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal
work.
3. Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration
ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity,
and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
4. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of
his interests.
Article 24
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of
working hours and periodic holidays with pay.


Article 25
1. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
2. Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
Article 26
1. Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
2. Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
3. Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
Article 27
1. Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.


2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
Article 28
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.
Article 29
1. Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
2. In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
3. These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
Article 30
Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966, entry into force 23 March 1976, in accordance with Article 49
Preamble
The States Parties to the present Covenant,
Considering that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Recognizing that these rights derive from the inherent dignity of the human person,
Recognizing that, in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ideal of free human beings enjoying civil and political freedom and freedom from fear and want can only be achieved if conditions are created whereby everyone may enjoy his civil and political rights, as well as his economic, social and cultural rights,
Considering the obligation of States under the Charter of the United Nations to promote universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and freedoms,
Realizing that the individual, having duties to other individuals and to the community to which he belongs, is under a responsibility to strive for the promotion and observance of the rights recognized in the present Covenant,
Agree upon the following articles:
PART I
Article 1
1. All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
2. All peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligations arising out of international economic co-operation, based upon the principle of mutual benefit, and international law. In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence.
3. The States Parties to the present Covenant, including those having responsibility for the administration of Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories, shall promote the realization of the right of self-determination, and shall respect that right, in conformity with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.
PART II
Article 2
1. Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to respect and to ensure to all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in the present Covenant, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
2. Where not already provided for by existing legislative or other measures, each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to take the necessary steps, in accordance with its constitutional processes and with the provisions of the present Covenant, to adopt such laws or other measures as may be necessary to give effect to the rights recognized in the present Covenant.
3. Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes:
(a) To ensure that any person whose rights or freedoms as herein recognized are violated shall have an effective remedy, notwithstanding that the violation has been committed by persons acting in an official capacity;
(b) To ensure that any person claiming such a remedy shall have his right thereto determined by competent judicial, administrative or legislative authorities, or by any other competent authority provided for by the legal system of the State, and to develop the possibilities of judicial remedy;
(c) To ensure that the competent authorities shall enforce such remedies when granted.
Article 3
The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to ensure the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all civil and political rights set forth in the present Covenant.
Article 4
1 . In time of public emergency which threatens the life of the nation and the existence of which is officially proclaimed, the States Parties to the present Covenant may take measures derogating from their obligations under the present Covenant to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation, provided that such measures are not inconsistent with their other obligations under international law and do not involve discrimination solely on the ground of race, colour, sex, language, religion or social origin.
2. No derogation from articles 6, 7, 8 (paragraphs I and 2), 11, 15, 16 and 18 may be made under this provision.
3. Any State Party to the present Covenant availing itself of the right of derogation shall immediately inform the other States Parties to the present Covenant, through the intermediary of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, of the provisions from which it has derogated and of the reasons by which it was actuated. A further communication shall be made, through the same intermediary, on the date on which it terminates such derogation.
Article 5
1. Nothing in the present Covenant may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms recognized herein or at their limitation to a greater extent than is provided for in the present Covenant.
2. There shall be no restriction upon or derogation from any of the fundamental human rights recognized or existing in any State Party to the present Covenant pursuant to law, conventions, regulations or custom on the pretext that the present Covenant does not recognize such rights or that it recognizes them to a lesser extent.
PART III
Article 6
1. Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.
2. In countries which have not abolished the death penalty, sentence of death may be imposed only for the most serious crimes in accordance with the law in force at the time of the commission of the crime and not contrary to the provisions of the present Covenant and to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. This penalty can only be carried out pursuant to a final judgement rendered by a competent court.
3. When deprivation of life constitutes the crime of genocide, it is understood that nothing in this article shall authorize any State Party to the present Covenant to derogate in any way from any obligation assumed under the provisions of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
4. Anyone sentenced to death shall have the right to seek pardon or commutation of the sentence. Amnesty, pardon or commutation of the sentence of death may be granted in all cases.
5. Sentence of death shall not be imposed for crimes committed by persons below eighteen years of age and shall not be carried out on pregnant women.
6. Nothing in this article shall be invoked to delay or to prevent the abolition of capital punishment by any State Party to the present Covenant.
Article 7
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation.
Article 8
1. No one shall be held in slavery; slavery and the slave-trade in all their forms shall be prohibited.
2. No one shall be held in servitude.
3.
(a) No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour;
(b) Paragraph 3 (a) shall not be held to preclude, in countries where imprisonment with hard labour may be imposed as a punishment for a crime, the performance of hard labour in pursuance of a sentence to such punishment by a competent court;
(c) For the purpose of this paragraph the term "forced or compulsory labour" shall not include:
(i) Any work or service, not referred to in subparagraph (b), normally required of a person who is under detention in consequence of a lawful order of a court, or of a person during conditional release from such detention;
(ii) Any service of a military character and, in countries where conscientious objection is recognized, any national service required by law of conscientious objectors;
(iii) Any service exacted in cases of emergency or calamity threatening the life or well-being of the community;
(iv) Any work or service which forms part of normal civil obligations.
Article 9
1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law.
2. Anyone who is arrested shall be informed, at the time of arrest, of the reasons for his arrest and shall be promptly informed of any charges against him.
3. Anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release. It shall not be the general rule that persons awaiting trial shall be detained in custody, but release may be subject to guarantees to appear for trial, at any other stage of the judicial proceedings, and, should occasion arise, for execution of the judgement.
4. Anyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings before a court, in order that that court may decide without delay on the lawfulness of his detention and order his release if the detention is not lawful.
5. Anyone who has been the victim of unlawful arrest or detention shall have an enforceable right to compensation.
Article 10
1. All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.
2.
(a) Accused persons shall, save in exceptional circumstances, be segregated from convicted persons and shall be subject to separate treatment appropriate to their status as unconvicted persons;
(b) Accused juvenile persons shall be separated from adults and brought as speedily as possible for adjudication.
3. The penitentiary system shall comprise treatment of prisoners the essential aim of which shall be their reformation and social rehabilitation. Juvenile offenders shall be segregated from adults and be accorded treatment appropriate to their age and legal status.
Article 11
No one shall be imprisoned merely on the ground of inability to fulfil a contractual obligation. Article 12
1. Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within that territory, have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence.
2. Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own.
3. The above-mentioned rights shall not be subject to any restrictions except those which are provided by law, are necessary to protect national security, public order (ordre public), public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others, and are consistent with the other rights recognized in the present Covenant.
4. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country.
Article 13
An alien lawfully in the territory of a State Party to the present Covenant may be expelled therefrom only in pursuance of a decision reached in accordance with law and shall, except where compelling reasons of national security otherwise require, be allowed to submit the reasons against his expulsion and to have his case reviewed by, and be represented for the purpose before, the competent authority or a person or persons especially designated by the competent authority.
Article 14
1. All persons shall be equal before the courts and tribunals. In the determination of any criminal charge against him, or of his rights and obligations in a suit at law, everyone shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law. The press and the public may be excluded from all or part of a trial for reasons of morals, public order (ordre public) or national security in a democratic society, or when the interest of the private lives of the parties so requires, or to the extent strictly necessary in the opinion of the court in special circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice; but any judgement rendered in a criminal case or in a suit at law shall be made public except where the interest of juvenile persons otherwise requires or the proceedings concern matrimonial disputes or the guardianship of children.
2. Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall have the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.
3. In the determination of any criminal charge against him, everyone shall be entitled to the following minimum guarantees, in full equality: (a) To be informed promptly and in detail in a language which he understands of the nature and cause of the charge against him;
(b) To have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence and to communicate with counsel of his own choosing;
(c) To be tried without undue delay;
(d) To be tried in his presence, and to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing; to be informed, if he does not have legal assistance, of this right; and to have legal assistance assigned to him, in any case where the interests of justice so require, and without payment by him in any such case if he does not have sufficient means to pay for it;
(e) To examine, or have examined, the witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him;
(f) To have the free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand or speak the language used in court;
(g) Not to be compelled to testify against himself or to confess guilt.
4. In the case of juvenile persons, the procedure shall be such as will take account of their age and the desirability of promoting their rehabilitation. 5. Everyone convicted of a crime shall have the right to his conviction and sentence being reviewed by a higher tribunal according to law.
6. When a person has by a final decision been convicted of a criminal offence and when subsequently his conviction has been reversed or he has been pardoned on the ground that a new or newly discovered fact shows conclusively that there has been a miscarriage of justice, the person who has suffered punishment as a result of such conviction shall be compensated according to law, unless it is proved that the non-disclosure of the unknown fact in time is wholly or partly attributable to him.
7. No one shall be liable to be tried or punished again for an offence for which he has already been finally convicted or acquitted in accordance with the law and penal procedure of each country.
Article 15
1 . No one shall be held guilty of any criminal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time when the criminal offence was committed. If, subsequent to the commission of the offence, provision is made by law for the imposition of the lighter penalty, the offender shall benefit thereby.
2. Nothing in this article shall prejudice the trial and punishment of any person for any act or omission which, at the time when it was committed, was criminal according to the general principles of law recognized by the community of nations.
Article 16
Everyone shall have the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
Article 17
1. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation.
2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
Article 18
1. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.
2. No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.
3. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.
4. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to have respect for the liberty of parents and, when applicable, legal guardians to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions.
Article 19
1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.
2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.
3. The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:
(a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others;
(b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals.
Article 20
1. Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law.
2. Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.
Article 21
The right of peaceful assembly shall be recognized. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those imposed in conformity with the law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order (ordre public), the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
Article 22
1. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
2. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those which are prescribed by law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order (ordre public), the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. This article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on members of the armed forces and of the police in their exercise of this right.
3. Nothing in this article shall authorize States Parties to the International Labour Organisation Convention of 1948 concerning Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize to take legislative measures which would prejudice, or to apply the law in such a manner as to prejudice, the guarantees provided for in that Convention.
Article 23
1. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
2. The right of men and women of marriageable age to marry and to found a family shall be recognized.
3. No marriage shall be entered into without the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
4. States Parties to the present Covenant shall take appropriate steps to ensure equality of rights and responsibilities of spouses as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. In the case of dissolution, provision shall be made for the necessary protection of any children.
Article 24
1. Every child shall have, without any discrimination as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, national or social origin, property or birth, the right to such measures of protection as are required by his status as a minor, on the part of his family, society and the State.
2. Every child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have a name.
3. Every child has the right to acquire a nationality.
Article 25
Every citizen shall have the right and the opportunity, without any of the distinctions mentioned in article 2 and without unreasonable restrictions:
(a) To take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through freely chosen representatives;
(b) To vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret ballot, guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the electors;
(c) To have access, on general terms of equality, to public service in his country.
Article 26
All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law. In this respect, the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all
persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
Article 27
In those States in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the right, in community with the other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practise their own religion, or to use their own language.
PART IV
Article 28
1. There shall be established a Human Rights Committee (hereafter referred to in the present Covenant as the Committee). It shall consist of eighteen members and shall carry out the functions hereinafter provided.
2. The Committee shall be composed of nationals of the States Parties to the present Covenant who shall be persons of high moral character and recognized competence in the field of human rights, consideration being given to the usefulness of the participation of some persons having legal experience.
3. The members of the Committee shall be elected and shall serve in their personal capacity.
Article 29
1. The members of the Committee shall be elected by secret ballot from a list of persons possessing the qualifications prescribed in article 28 and nominated for the purpose by the States Parties to the present Covenant.
2. Each State Party to the present Covenant may nominate not more than two persons. These persons shall be nationals of the nominating State.
3. A person shall be eligible for renomination.
Article 30
1. The initial election shall be held no later than six months after the date of the entry into force of the present Covenant.
2. At least four months before the date of each election to the Committee, other than an election to fill a vacancy declared in accordance with article 34, the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall address a written invitation to the States Parties to the present Covenant to submit their nominations for membership of the Committee within three months.
3. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall prepare a list in alphabetical order of all the persons thus nominated, with an indication of the States Parties which have nominated them, and shall submit it to the States Parties to the present Covenant no later than one month before the date of each election.
4. Elections of the members of the Committee shall be held at a meeting of the States Parties to the present Covenant convened by the Secretary General of the United Nations at the Headquarters of the United Nations. At that meeting, for which two thirds of the States Parties to the present Covenant shall constitute a quorum, the persons elected to the Committee shall be those nominees who obtain the largest number of votes and an absolute majority of the votes of the representatives of States Parties present and voting.
Article 31
1. The Committee may not include more than one national of the same State.
2. In the election of the Committee, consideration shall be given to equitable geographical distribution of membership and to the representation of the different forms of civilization and of the principal legal systems.
Article 32
1. The members of the Committee shall be elected for a term of four years. They shall be eligible for re-election if renominated. However, the terms of nine of the members elected at the first election shall expire at the end of two years; immediately after the first election, the names of these nine members shall be chosen by lot by the Chairman of the meeting referred to in article 30, paragraph 4. 2. Elections at the expiry of office shall be held in accordance with the preceding articles of this part of the present Covenant.
Article 33
1. If, in the unanimous opinion of the other members, a member of the Committee has ceased to carry out his functions for any cause other than absence of a temporary character, the Chairman of the Committee shall notify the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall then declare the seat of that member to be vacant.
2. In the event of the death or the resignation of a member of the Committee, the Chairman shall immediately notify the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall declare the seat vacant from the date of death or the date on which the resignation takes effect.
Article 34
1. When a vacancy is declared in accordance with article 33 and if the term of office of the member to be replaced does not expire within six months of the declaration of the vacancy, the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall notify each of the States Parties to the present Covenant, which may within two months submit nominations in accordance with article 29 for the purpose of filling the vacancy.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall prepare a list in alphabetical order of the persons thus nominated and shall submit it to the States Parties to the present Covenant. The
election to fill the vacancy shall then take place in accordance with the relevant provisions of this part of the present Covenant.
3. A member of the Committee elected to fill a vacancy declared in accordance with article 33 shall hold office for the remainder of the term of the member who vacated the seat on the Committee under the provisions of that article.
Article 35
The members of the Committee shall, with the approval of the General Assembly of the United Nations, receive emoluments from United Nations resources on such terms and conditions as the General Assembly may decide, having regard to the importance of the Committee's responsibilities.
Article 36
The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall provide the necessary staff and facilities for the effective performance of the functions of the Committee under the present Covenant.
Article 37
1. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall convene the initial meeting of the Committee at the Headquarters of the United Nations.
2. After its initial meeting, the Committee shall meet at such times as shall be provided in its rules of procedure.
3. The Committee shall normally meet at the Headquarters of the United Nations or at the United Nations Office at Geneva.
Article 38
Every member of the Committee shall, before taking up his duties, make a solemn declaration in open committee that he will perform his functions impartially and conscientiously.
Article 39
1. The Committee shall elect its officers for a term of two years. They may be re-elected.
2. The Committee shall establish its own rules of procedure, but these rules shall provide, inter alia, that:
(a) Twelve members shall constitute a quorum;
(b) Decisions of the Committee shall be made by a majority vote of the members present.
Article 40
1. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to submit reports on the measures they have adopted which give effect to the rights recognized herein and on the progress made in the enjoyment of those rights: (a) Within one year of the entry into force of the present Covenant for the States Parties concerned;
(b) Thereafter whenever the Committee so requests.
2. All reports shall be submitted to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall transmit them to the Committee for consideration. Reports shall indicate the factors and difficulties, if any, affecting the implementation of the present Covenant.
3. The Secretary-General of the United Nations may, after consultation with the Committee, transmit to the specialized agencies concerned copies of such parts of the reports as may fall within their field of competence.
4. The Committee shall study the reports submitted by the States Parties to the present Covenant. It shall transmit its reports, and such general comments as it may consider appropriate, to the States Parties. The Committee may also transmit to the Economic and Social Council these comments along with the copies of the reports it has received from States Parties to the present Covenant.
5. The States Parties to the present Covenant may submit to the Committee observations on any comments that may be made in accordance with paragraph 4 of this article.
Article 41
1. A State Party to the present Covenant may at any time declare under this article that it recognizes the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications to the effect that a State Party claims that another State Party is not fulfilling its obligations under the present Covenant. Communications under this article may be received and considered only if submitted by a State Party which has made a declaration recognizing in regard to itself the competence of the Committee. No communication shall be received by the Committee if it concerns a State Party which has not made such a declaration. Communications received under this article shall be dealt with in accordance with the following procedure:
(a) If a State Party to the present Covenant considers that another State Party is not giving effect to the provisions of the present Covenant, it may, by written communication, bring the matter to the attention of that State Party. Within three months after the receipt of the communication the receiving State shall afford the State which sent the communication an explanation, or any other statement in writing clarifying the matter which should include, to the extent possible and pertinent, reference to domestic procedures and remedies taken, pending, or available in the matter;
(b) If the matter is not adjusted to the satisfaction of both States Parties concerned within six months after the receipt by the receiving State of the initial communication, either State shall have the right to refer the matter to the Committee, by notice given to the Committee and to the other State;
(c) The Committee shall deal with a matter referred to it only after it has ascertained that all available domestic remedies have been invoked and exhausted in the matter, in conformity with the generally recognized principles of international law. This shall not be the rule where the application of the remedies is unreasonably prolonged;
(d) The Committee shall hold closed meetings when examining communications under this article;
(e) Subject to the provisions of subparagraph (c), the Committee shall make available its good offices to the States Parties concerned with a view to a friendly solution of the matter on the basis of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognized in the present Covenant;
(f) In any matter referred to it, the Committee may call upon the States Parties concerned, referred to in subparagraph (b), to supply any relevant information;
(g) The States Parties concerned, referred to in subparagraph (b), shall have the right to be represented when the matter is being considered in the Committee and to make submissions orally and/or in writing;
(h) The Committee shall, within twelve months after the date of receipt of notice under subparagraph (b), submit a report:
(i) If a solution within the terms of subparagraph (e) is reached, the Committee shall confine its report to a brief statement of the facts and of the solution reached;
(ii) If a solution within the terms of subparagraph (e) is not reached, the Committee shall confine its report to a brief statement of the facts; the written submissions and record of the oral submissions made by the States Parties concerned shall be attached to the report. In every matter, the report shall be communicated to the States Parties concerned.
2. The provisions of this article shall come into force when ten States Parties to the present Covenant have made declarations under paragraph I of this article. Such declarations shall be deposited by the States Parties with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall transmit copies thereof to the other States Parties. A declaration may be withdrawn at any time by notification to the Secretary-General. Such a withdrawal shall not prejudice the consideration of any matter which is the subject of a communication already transmitted under this article; no further communication by any State Party shall be received after the notification of withdrawal of the declaration has been received by the Secretary-General, unless the State Party concerned has made a new declaration.
Article 42
1.
(a) If a matter referred to the Committee in accordance with article 41 is not resolved to the satisfaction of the States Parties concerned, the Committee may, with the prior consent of the States Parties concerned, appoint an ad hoc Conciliation Commission (hereinafter referred to as the Commission). The good offices of the Commission shall be made available to the States Parties concerned with a view to an amicable solution of the matter on the basis of respect for the present Covenant;
(b) The Commission shall consist of five persons acceptable to the States Parties concerned. If the States Parties concerned fail to reach agreement within three months on all or part of the composition of the Commission, the members of the Commission concerning whom no agreement has been reached shall be elected by secret ballot by a two-thirds majority vote of the Committee from among its members.
2. The members of the Commission shall serve in their personal capacity. They shall not be nationals of the States Parties concerned, or of a State not Party to the present Covenant, or of a State Party which has not made a declaration under article 41.
3. The Commission shall elect its own Chairman and adopt its own rules of procedure.
4. The meetings of the Commission shall normally be held at the Headquarters of the United Nations or at the United Nations Office at Geneva. However, they may be held at such other convenient places as the Commission may determine in consultation with the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the States Parties concerned.
5. The secretariat provided in accordance with article 36 shall also service the commissions appointed under this article.
6. The information received and collated by the Committee shall be made available to the Commission and the Commission may call upon the States Parties concerned to supply any other relevant information.
7. When the Commission has fully considered the matter, but in any event not later than twelve months after having been seized of the matter, it shall submit to the Chairman of the Committee a report for communication to the States Parties concerned:
(a) If the Commission is unable to complete its consideration of the matter within twelve months, it shall confine its report to a brief statement of the status of its consideration of the matter;
(b) If an amicable solution to the matter on tie basis of respect for human rights as recognized in the present Covenant is reached, the Commission shall confine its report to a brief statement of the facts and of the solution reached;
(c) If a solution within the terms of subparagraph (b) is not reached, the Commission's report shall embody its findings on all questions of fact relevant to the issues between the States Parties concerned, and its views on the possibilities of an amicable solution of the matter. This report shall also contain the written submissions and a record of the oral submissions made by the States Parties concerned;
(d) If the Commission's report is submitted under subparagraph (c), the States Parties concerned shall, within three months of the receipt of the report, notify the Chairman of the Committee whether or not they accept the contents of the report of the Commission.
8. The provisions of this article are without prejudice to the responsibilities of the Committee under article 41.
9. The States Parties concerned shall share equally all the expenses of the members of the Commission in accordance with estimates to be provided by the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
10. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall be empowered to pay the expenses of the members of the Commission, if necessary, before reimbursement by the States Parties concerned, in accordance with paragraph 9 of this article.
Article 43
The members of the Committee, and of the ad hoc conciliation commissions which may be appointed under article 42, shall be entitled to the facilities, privileges and immunities of experts on mission for the United Nations as laid down in the relevant sections of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations.
Article 44
The provisions for the implementation of the present Covenant shall apply without prejudice to the procedures prescribed in the field of human rights by or under the constituent instruments and the conventions of the United Nations and of the specialized agencies and shall not prevent the States Parties to the present Covenant from having recourse to other procedures for settling a dispute in accordance with general or special international agreements in force between them.
Article 45
The Committee shall submit to the General Assembly of the United Nations, through the Economic and Social Council, an annual report on its activities.
PART V
Article 46
Nothing in the present Covenant shall be interpreted as impairing the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and of the constitutions of the specialized agencies which define the respective responsibilities of the various organs of the United Nations and of the specialized agencies in regard to the matters dealt with in the present Covenant.
Article 47
Nothing in the present Covenant shall be interpreted as impairing the inherent right of all peoples to enjoy and utilize fully and freely their natural wealth and resources.
PART VI
Article 48
1. The present Covenant is open for signature by any State Member of the United Nations or member of any of its specialized agencies, by any State Party to the Statute of the International Court of Justice, and by any other State which has been invited by the General Assembly of the United Nations to become a Party to the present Covenant.
2. The present Covenant is subject to ratification. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
3. The present Covenant shall be open to accession by any State referred to in paragraph 1 of this article.
4. Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of accession with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
5. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all States which have signed this Covenant or acceded to it of the deposit of each instrument of ratification or accession.
Article 49
1. The present Covenant shall enter into force three months after the date of the deposit with the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the thirty-fifth instrument of ratification or instrument of accession.
2. For each State ratifying the present Covenant or acceding to it after the deposit of the thirty-fifth instrument of ratification or instrument of accession, the present Covenant shall enter into force three months after the date of the deposit of its own instrument of ratification or instrument of accession.
Article 50
The provisions of the present Covenant shall extend to all parts of federal States without any limitations or exceptions.
Article 51
1. Any State Party to the present Covenant may propose an amendment and file it with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall thereupon communicate any proposed amendments to the States Parties to the present Covenant with a request that they notify him whether they favour a conference of States Parties for the purpose of considering and voting upon the proposals. In the event that at least one third of the States Parties favours such a conference, the Secretary-General shall convene the conference under the auspices of the United Nations. Any amendment adopted by a majority of the States Parties present and voting at the conference shall be submitted to the General Assembly of the United Nations for approval.
2. Amendments shall come into force when they have been approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations and accepted by a two-thirds majority of the States Parties to the present Covenant in accordance with their respective constitutional processes. 3. When amendments come into force, they shall be binding on those States Parties which have accepted them, other States Parties still being bound by the provisions of the present Covenant and any earlier amendment which they have accepted.
Article 52
1. Irrespective of the notifications made under article 48, paragraph 5, the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all States referred to in paragraph I of the same article of the following particulars:
(a) Signatures, ratifications and accessions under article 48;
(b) The date of the entry into force of the present Covenant under article 49 and the date of the entry into force of any amendments under article 51.
Article 53
1. The present Covenant, of which the Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited in the archives of the United Nations.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit certified copies of the present Covenant to all States referred to in article 48.

Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General
Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966
entry into force 23 March 1976, in accordance with Article 9
The States Parties to the present Protocol,
Considering that in order further to achieve the purposes of the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights (hereinafter referred to as the Covenant) and the implementation of
its provisions it would be appropriate to enable the Human Rights Committee set up in part IV
of the Covenant (hereinafter referred to as the Committee) to receive and consider, as
provided in the present Protocol, communications from individuals claiming to be victims of
violations of any of the rights set forth in the Covenant. Have agreed as follows:
Article 1
A State Party to the Covenant that becomes a Party to the present Protocol recognizes the
competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications from individuals
subject to its jurisdiction who claim to be victims of a violation by that State Party of any of
the rights set forth in the Covenant. No communication shall be received by the Committee if
it concerns a State Party to the Covenant which is not a Party to the present Protocol.
Article 2
Subject to the provisions of article 1, individuals who claim that any of their rights enumerated
in the Covenant have been violated and who have exhausted all available domestic remedies
may submit a written communication to the Committee for consideration.
Article 3
The Committee shall consider inadmissible any communication under the present Protocol
which is anonymous, or which it considers to be an abuse of the right of submission of such
communications or to be incompatible with the provisions of the Covenant.
Article 4
1. Subject to the provisions of article 3, the Committee shall bring any communications
submitted to it under the present Protocol to the attention of the State Party to the present
Protocol alleged to be violating any provision of the Covenant.
2. Within six months, the receiving State shall submit to the Committee written explanations
or statements clarifying the matter and the remedy, if any, that may have been taken by that
State.
Article 5
1. The Committee shall consider communications received under the present Protocol in the
light of all written information made available to it by the individual and by the State Party
concerned.
2. The Committee shall not consider any communication from an individual unless it has
ascertained that:
(a) The same matter is not being examined under another procedure of international
investigation or settlement;
(b) The individual has exhausted all available domestic remedies. This shall not be the rule
where the application of the remedies is unreasonably prolonged.
3. The Committee shall hold closed meetings when examining communications under the
present Protocol. 4. The Committee shall forward its views to the State Party concerned and to
the individual.
Article 6
The Committee shall include in its annual report under article 45 of the Covenant a summary
of its activities under the present Protocol.
Article 7
Pending the achievement of the objectives of resolution 1514(XV) adopted by the General
Assembly of the United Nations on 14 December 1960 concerning the Declaration on the
Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, the provisions of the present
Protocol shall in no way limit the right of petition granted to these peoples by the Charter of
the United Nations and other international conventions and instruments under the United
Nations and its specialized agencies.
Article 8
1. The present Protocol is open for signature by any State which has signed the Covenant.
2. The present Protocol is subject to ratification by any State which has ratified or acceded to
the Covenant. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the
United Nations.
3. The present Protocol shall be open to accession by any State which has ratified or acceded
to the Covenant.
4. Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of accession with the Secretary-
General of the United Nations.
5. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all States which have signed the
present Protocol or acceded to it of the deposit of each instrument of ratification or accession.
Article 9
1. Subject to the entry into force of the Covenant, the present Protocol shall enter into force
three months after the date of the deposit with the Secretary-General of the United Nations of
the tenth instrument of ratification or instrument of accession.
2. For each State ratifying the present Protocol or acceding to it after the deposit of the tenth
instrument of ratification or instrument of accession, the present Protocol shall enter into force
three months after the date of the deposit of its own instrument of ratification or instrument of
accession.
Article 10
The provisions of the present Protocol shall extend to all parts of federal States without any
limitations or exceptions.
Article 11
1. Any State Party to the present Protocol may propose an amendment and file it with the
Secretary-General of the United Nations. The Secretary-General shall thereupon communicate
any proposed amendments to the States Parties to the present Protocol with a request that
they notify him whether they favour a conference of States Parties for the purpose of
considering and voting upon the proposal. In the event that at least one third of the States
Parties favours such a conference, the Secretary-General shall convene the conference under
the auspices of the United Nations. Any amendment adopted by a majority of the States
Parties present and voting at the conference shall be submitted to the General Assembly of the
United Nations for approval.
2. Amendments shall come into force when they have been approved by the General Assembly
of the United Nations and accepted by a two-thirds majority of the States Parties to the
present Protocol in accordance with their respective constitutional processes.
3. When amendments come into force, they shall be binding on those States Parties which
have accepted them, other States Parties still being bound by the provisions of the present
Protocol and any earlier amendment which they have accepted.
Article 12
1. Any State Party may denounce the present Protocol at any time by written notification
addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Denunciation shall take effect three
months after the date of receipt of the notification by the Secretary-General.
2. Denunciation shall be without prejudice to the continued application of the provisions of the
present Protocol to any communication submitted under article 2 before the effective date of
denunciation.
Article 13
Irrespective of the notifications made under article 8, paragraph 5, of the present Protocol, the
Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all States referred to in article 48,
paragraph I, of the Covenant of the following particulars:
(a) Signatures, ratifications and accessions under article 8;
(b) The date of the entry into force of the present Protocol under article 9 and the date of the
entry into force of any amendments under article 11;
(c) Denunciations under article 12.
Article 14
1. The present Protocol, of which the Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are
equally authentic, shall be deposited in the archives of the United Nations.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit certified copies of the present
Protocol to all States referred to in article 48 of the Covenant.

Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly
resolution 2200A (XXI)
of 16 December 1966
entry into force 3 January 1976, in accordance with article 27
Preamble
The States Parties to the present Covenant,
Considering that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations,
recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human
family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Recognizing that these rights derive from the inherent dignity of the human person,
Recognizing that, in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ideal of free
human beings enjoying freedom from fear and want can only be achieved if conditions are created
whereby everyone may enjoy his economic, social and cultural rights, as well as his civil and political
rights,
Considering the obligation of States under the Charter of the United Nations to promote universal
respect for, and observance of, human rights and freedoms,
Realizing that the individual, having duties to other individuals and to the community to which he
belongs, is under a responsibility to strive for the promotion and observance of the rights recognized in
the present Covenant,
Agree upon the following articles:
PART I
Article 1
1. All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their
political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
2. All peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without
prejudice to any obligations arising out of international economic co-operation, based upon the
principle of mutual benefit, and international law. In no case may a people be deprived of its own
means of subsistence.
3. The States Parties to the present Covenant, including those having responsibility for the
administration of Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories, shall promote the realization of the right of
self-determination, and shall respect that right, in conformity with the provisions of the Charter of the
United Nations.
PART II
Article 2
2
1. Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to take steps, individually and through
international assistance and co-operation, especially economic and technical, to the maximum of its
available resources, with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of the rights recognized
in the present Covenant by all appropriate means, including particularly the adoption of legislative
measures.
2. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to guarantee that the rights enunciated in the
present Covenant will be exercised without discrimination of any kind as to race, colour, sex, language,
religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
3. Developing countries, with due regard to human rights and their national economy, may determine
to what extent they would guarantee the economic rights recognized in the present Covenant to nonnationals.
Article 3
The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to ensure the equal right of men and women to
the enjoyment of all economic, social and cultural rights set forth in the present Covenant.
Article 4
The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize that, in the enjoyment of those rights provided
by the State in conformity with the present Covenant, the State may subject such rights only to such
limitations as are determined by law only in so far as this may be compatible with the nature of these
rights and solely for the purpose of promoting the general welfare in a democratic society.
Article 5
1. Nothing in the present Covenant may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any
right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights or
freedoms recognized herein, or at their limitation to a greater extent than is provided for in the
present Covenant.
2. No restriction upon or derogation from any of the fundamental human rights recognized or existing
in any country in virtue of law, conventions, regulations or custom shall be admitted on the pretext
that the present Covenant does not recognize such rights or that it recognizes them to a lesser extent.
PART III
Article 6
1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right to work, which includes the right of
everyone to the opportunity to gain his living by work which he freely chooses or accepts, and will take
appropriate steps to safeguard this right.
2. The steps to be taken by a State Party to the present Covenant to achieve the full realization of this
right shall include technical and vocational guidance and training programmes, policies and techniques
to achieve steady economic, social and cultural development and full and productive employment
under conditions safeguarding fundamental political and economic freedoms to the individual.
Article 7
The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of just
and favourable conditions of work which ensure, in particular:
(a) Remuneration which provides all workers, as a minimum, with:
3
(i) Fair wages and equal remuneration for work of equal value without distinction of any kind, in
particular women being guaranteed conditions of work not inferior to those enjoyed by men, with equal
pay for equal work;
(ii) A decent living for themselves and their families in accordance with the provisions of the present
Covenant;
(b) Safe and healthy working conditions; (c) Equal opportunity for everyone to be promoted in his
employment to an appropriate higher level, subject to no considerations other than those of seniority
and competence;
(d ) Rest, leisure and reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay, as well as
remuneration for public holidays
Article 8
1. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to ensure:
(a) The right of everyone to form trade unions and join the trade union of his choice, subject only to
the rules of the organization concerned, for the promotion and protection of his economic and social
interests. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those prescribed by law
and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public order or
for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others;
(b) The right of trade unions to establish national federations or confederations and the right of the
latter to form or join international trade-union organizations;
(c) The right of trade unions to function freely subject to no limitations other than those prescribed by
law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public order
or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others;
(d) The right to strike, provided that it is exercised in conformity with the laws of the particular
country.
2. This article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on the exercise of these rights by
members of the armed forces or of the police or of the administration of the State. 3. Nothing in this
article shall authorize States Parties to the International Labour Organisation Convention of 1948
concerning Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize to take legislative measures
which would prejudice, or apply the law in such a manner as would prejudice, the guarantees provided
for in that Convention.
Article 9
The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to social security, including
social insurance.
Article 10
The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize that:
1. The widest possible protection and assistance should be accorded to the family, which is the natural
and fundamental group unit of society, particularly for its establishment and while it is responsible for
the care and education of dependent children. Marriage must be entered into with the free consent of
the intending spouses.
2. Special protection should be accorded to mothers during a reasonable period before and after
childbirth. During such period working mothers should be accorded paid leave or leave with adequate
social security benefits.
4
3. Special measures of protection and assistance should be taken on behalf of all children and young
persons without any discrimination for reasons of parentage or other conditions. Children and young
persons should be protected from economic and social exploitation. Their employment in work harmful
to their morals or health or dangerous to life or likely to hamper their normal development should be
punishable by law. States should also set age limits below which the paid employment of child labour
should be prohibited and punishable by law.
Article 11
1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard
of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the
continuous improvement of living conditions. The States Parties will take appropriate steps to ensure
the realization of this right, recognizing to this effect the essential importance of international cooperation
based on free consent.
2. The States Parties to the present Covenant, recognizing the fundamental right of everyone to be
free from hunger, shall take, individually and through international co-operation, the measures,
including specific programmes, which are needed:
(a) To improve methods of production, conservation and distribution of food by making full use of
technical and scientific knowledge, by disseminating knowledge of the principles of nutrition and by
developing or reforming agrarian systems in such a way as to achieve the most efficient development
and utilization of natural resources;
(b) Taking into account the problems of both food-importing and food-exporting countries, to ensure
an equitable distribution of world food supplies in relation to need.
Article 12
1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the
highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.
2. The steps to be taken by the States Parties to the present Covenant to achieve the full realization of
this right shall include those necessary for:
(a) The provision for the reduction of the stillbirth-rate and of infant mortality and for the healthy
development of the child;
(b) The improvement of all aspects of environmental and industrial hygiene;
(c) The prevention, treatment and control of epidemic, endemic, occupational and other diseases;
(d) The creation of conditions which would assure to all medical service and medical attention in the
event of sickness.
Article 13
1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to education. They agree
that education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and the sense of its
dignity, and shall strengthen the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. They further
agree that education shall enable all persons to participate effectively in a free society, promote
understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations and all racial, ethnic or religious groups, and
further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
2. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize that, with a view to achieving the full
realization of this right:
(a) Primary education shall be compulsory and available free to all;
5
(b) Secondary education in its different forms, including technical and vocational secondary education,
shall be made generally available and accessible to all by every appropriate means, and in particular
by the progressive introduction of free education;
(c) Higher education shall be made equally accessible to all, on the basis of capacity, by every
appropriate means, and in particular by the progressive introduction of free education;
(d) Fundamental education shall be encouraged or intensified as far as possible for those persons who
have not received or completed the whole period of their primary education;
(e) The development of a system of schools at all levels shall be actively pursued, an adequate
fellowship system shall be established, and the material conditions of teaching staff shall be
continuously improved.
3. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to have respect for the liberty of parents and,
when applicable, legal guardians to choose for their children schools, other than those established by
the public authorities, which conform to such minimum educational standards as may be laid down or
approved by the State and to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity
with their own convictions.
4. No part of this article shall be construed so as to interfere with the liberty of individuals and bodies
to establish and direct educational institutions, subject always to the observance of the principles set
forth in paragraph I of this article and to the requirement that the education given in such institutions
shall conform to such minimum standards as may be laid down by the State.
Article 14
Each State Party to the present Covenant which, at the time of becoming a Party, has not been able to
secure in its metropolitan territory or other territories under its jurisdiction compulsory primary
education, free of charge, undertakes, within two years, to work out and adopt a detailed plan of
action for the progressive implementation, within a reasonable number of years, to be fixed in the
plan, of the principle of compulsory education free of charge for all.
Article 15
1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone:
(a) To take part in cultural life;
(b) To enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications;
(c) To benefit from the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific,
literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
2. The steps to be taken by the States Parties to the present Covenant to achieve the full realization of
this right shall include those necessary for the conservation, the development and the diffusion of
science and culture. 3. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to respect the freedom
indispensable for scientific research and creative activity.
4. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the benefits to be derived from the
encouragement and development of international contacts and co-operation in the scientific and
cultural fields.
PART IV
Article 16
6
1. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to submit in conformity with this part of the
Covenant reports on the measures which they have adopted and the progress made in achieving the
observance of the rights recognized herein.
2.
(a) All reports shall be submitted to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall transmit
copies to the Economic and Social Council for consideration in accordance with the provisions of the
present Covenant;
(b) The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall also transmit to the specialized agencies copies
of the reports, or any relevant parts therefrom, from States Parties to the present Covenant which are
also members of these specialized agencies in so far as these reports, or parts therefrom, relate to any
matters which fall within the responsibilities of the said agencies in accordance with their constitutional
instruments.
Article 17
1. The States Parties to the present Covenant shall furnish their reports in stages, in accordance with a
programme to be established by the Economic and Social Council within one year of the entry into
force of the present Covenant after consultation with the States Parties and the specialized agencies
concerned.
2. Reports may indicate factors and difficulties affecting the degree of fulfilment of obligations under
the present Covenant.
3. Where relevant information has previously been furnished to the United Nations or to any
specialized agency by any State Party to the present Covenant, it will not be necessary to reproduce
that information, but a precise reference to the information so furnished will suffice.
Article 18
Pursuant to its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations in the field of human rights and
fundamental freedoms, the Economic and Social Council may make arrangements with the specialized
agencies in respect of their reporting to it on the progress made in achieving the observance of the
provisions of the present Covenant falling within the scope of their activities. These reports may
include particulars of decisions and recommendations on such implementation adopted by their
competent organs.
Article 19
The Economic and Social Council may transmit to the Commission on Human Rights for study and
general recommendation or, as appropriate, for information the reports concerning human rights
submitted by States in accordance with articles 16 and 17, and those concerning human rights
submitted by the specialized agencies in accordance with article 18.
Article 20
The States Parties to the present Covenant and the specialized agencies concerned may submit
comments to the Economic and Social Council on any general recommendation under article 19 or
reference to such general recommendation in any report of the Commission on Human Rights or any
documentation referred to therein.
Article 21
The Economic and Social Council may submit from time to time to the General Assembly reports with
recommendations of a general nature and a summary of the information received from the States
Parties to the present Covenant and the specialized agencies on the measures taken and the progress
made in achieving general observance of the rights recognized in the present Covenant.
7
Article 22
The Economic and Social Council may bring to the attention of other organs of the United Nations,
their subsidiary organs and specialized agencies concerned with furnishing technical assistance any
matters arising out of the reports referred to in this part of the present Covenant which may assist
such bodies in deciding, each within its field of competence, on the advisability of international
measures likely to contribute to the effective progressive implementation of the present Covenant.
Article 23
The States Parties to the present Covenant agree that international action for the achievement of the
rights recognized in the present Covenant includes such methods as the conclusion of conventions, the
adoption of recommendations, the furnishing of technical assistance and the holding of regional
meetings and technical meetings for the purpose of consultation and study organized in conjunction
with the Governments concerned.
Article 24
Nothing in the present Covenant shall be interpreted as impairing the provisions of the Charter of the
United Nations and of the constitutions of the specialized agencies which define the respective
responsibilities of the various organs of the United Nations and of the specialized agencies in regard to
the matters dealt with in the present Covenant.
Article 25
Nothing in the present Covenant shall be interpreted as impairing the inherent right of all peoples to
enjoy and utilize fully and freely their natural wealth and resources.
PART V
Article 26
1. The present Covenant is open for signature by any State Member of the United Nations or member
of any of its specialized agencies, by any State Party to the Statute of the International Court of
Justice, and by any other State which has been invited by the General Assembly of the United Nations
to become a party to the present Covenant.
2. The present Covenant is subject to ratification. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with
the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
3. The present Covenant shall be open to accession by any State referred to in paragraph 1 of this
article.
4. Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of accession with the Secretary-General
of the United Nations.
5. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all States which have signed the present
Covenant or acceded to it of the deposit of each instrument of ratification or accession.
Article 27
1. The present Covenant shall enter into force three months after the date of the deposit with the
Secretary-General of the United Nations of the thirty-fifth instrument of ratification or instrument of
accession.
8
2. For each State ratifying the present Covenant or acceding to it after the deposit of the thirty-fifth
instrument of ratification or instrument of accession, the present Covenant shall enter into force three
months after the date of the deposit of its own instrument of ratification or instrument of accession.
Article 28
The provisions of the present Covenant shall extend to all parts of federal States without any
limitations or exceptions.
Article 29
1. Any State Party to the present Covenant may propose an amendment and file it with the Secretary-
General of the United Nations. The Secretary-General shall thereupon communicate any proposed
amendments to the States Parties to the present Covenant with a request that they notify him whether
they favour a conference of States Parties for the purpose of considering and voting upon the
proposals. In the event that at least one third of the States Parties favours such a conference, the
Secretary-General shall convene the conference under the auspices of the United Nations. Any
amendment adopted by a majority of the States Parties present and voting at the conference shall be
submitted to the General Assembly of the United Nations for approval.
2. Amendments shall come into force when they have been approved by the General Assembly of the
United Nations and accepted by a two-thirds majority of the States Parties to the present Covenant in
accordance with their respective constitutional processes.
3. When amendments come into force they shall be binding on those States Parties which have
accepted them, other States Parties still being bound by the provisions of the present Covenant and
any earlier amendment which they have accepted.
Article 30
Irrespective of the notifications made under article 26, paragraph 5, the Secretary-General of the
United Nations shall inform all States referred to in paragraph I of the same article of the following
particulars:
(a) Signatures, ratifications and accessions under article 26;
(b) The date of the entry into force of the present Covenant under article 27 and the date of the entry
into force of any amendments under article 29.
Article 31
1. The present Covenant, of which the Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally
authentic, shall be deposited in the archives of the United Nations.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit certified copies of the present Covenant
to all States referred to in article 26.

The General Assembly,
Taking note of the adoption by the Human Rights Council, by its resolution 8/2 of 18 June 2008, of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,
1. Adopts the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the text of which is annexed to the present resolution;
2. Recommends that the Optional Protocol be opened for signature at a signing ceremony to be held in 2009, and requests the Secretary-General and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to provide the necessary assistance.
Annex Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Preamble
The States Parties to the present Protocol,
Considering that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Noting that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights1 proclaims that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status,
Recalling that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants on Human Rights2 recognize that the ideal of free human beings enjoying freedom from fear and want can only be achieved if conditions are created whereby everyone may enjoy civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights,
Reaffirming the universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelatedness of all human rights and fundamental freedoms,
Recalling that each State Party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (hereinafter referred to as the Covenant) undertakes to take steps, individually and through international assistance and cooperation, 1 Resolution 217 A (III). 2 Resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
especially economic and technical, to the maximum of its available resources, with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of the rights recognized in the Covenant by all appropriate means, including particularly the adoption of legislative measures,
Considering that, in order further to achieve the purposes of the Covenant and the implementation of its provisions, it would be appropriate to enable the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (hereinafter referred to as the Committee) to carry out the functions provided for in the present Protocol,
Have agreed as follows:
Article 1 Competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications
1. A State Party to the Covenant that becomes a Party to the present Protocol recognizes the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications as provided for by the provisions of the present Protocol.
2. No communication shall be received by the Committee if it concerns a State Party to the Covenant which is not a Party to the present Protocol.
Article 2 Communications
Communications may be submitted by or on behalf of individuals or groups of individuals, under the jurisdiction of a State Party, claiming to be victims of a violation of any of the economic, social and cultural rights set forth in the Covenant by that State Party. Where a communication is submitted on behalf of individuals or groups of individuals, this shall be with their consent unless the author can justify acting on their behalf without such consent.
Article 3 Admissibility
1. The Committee shall not consider a communication unless it has ascertained that all available domestic remedies have been exhausted. This shall not be the rule where the application of such remedies is unreasonably prolonged.
2. The Committee shall declare a communication inadmissible when:
(a) It is not submitted within one year after the exhaustion of domestic remedies, except in cases where the author can demonstrate that it had not been possible to submit the communication within that time limit;
(b) The facts that are the subject of the communication occurred prior to the entry into force of the present Protocol for the State Party concerned unless those facts continued after that date;
(c) The same matter has already been examined by the Committee or has been or is being examined under another procedure of international investigation or settlement;
(d) It is incompatible with the provisions of the Covenant;
(e) It is manifestly ill-founded, not sufficiently substantiated or exclusively based on reports disseminated by mass media;
(f) It is an abuse of the right to submit a communication; or when
(g) It is anonymous or not in writing.
Article 4 Communications not revealing a clear disadvantage
The Committee may, if necessary, decline to consider a communication where it does not reveal that the author has suffered a clear disadvantage, unless the Committee considers that the communication raises a serious issue of general importance.
Article 5 Interim measures
1. At any time after the receipt of a communication and before a determination on the merits has been reached, the Committee may transmit to the State Party concerned for its urgent consideration a request that the State Party take such interim measures as may be necessary in exceptional circumstances to avoid possible irreparable damage to the victim or victims of the alleged violations.
2. Where the Committee exercises its discretion under paragraph 1 of the present article, this does not imply a determination on admissibility or on the merits of the communication.
Article 6 Transmission of the communication
1. Unless the Committee considers a communication inadmissible without reference to the State Party concerned, the Committee shall bring any communication submitted to it under the present Protocol confidentially to the attention of the State Party concerned.
2. Within six months, the receiving State Party shall submit to the Committee written explanations or statements clarifying the matter and the remedy, if any, that may have been provided by that State Party.
Article 7 Friendly settlement
1. The Committee shall make available its good offices to the parties concerned with a view to reaching a friendly settlement of the matter on the basis of the respect for the obligations set forth in the Covenant.
2. An agreement on a friendly settlement closes consideration of the communication under the present Protocol.
Article 8 Examination of communications
1. The Committee shall examine communications received under article 2 of the present Protocol in the light of all documentation submitted to it, provided that this documentation is transmitted to the parties concerned.
2. The Committee shall hold closed meetings when examining communications under the present Protocol.
3. When examining a communication under the present Protocol, the Committee may consult, as appropriate, relevant documentation emanating from other United Nations bodies, specialized agencies, funds, programmes and mechanisms, and other international organizations, including from regional human rights systems, and any observations or comments by the State Party concerned.
4. When examining communications under the present Protocol, the Committee shall consider the reasonableness of the steps taken by the State Party in accordance with part II of the Covenant. In doing so, the Committee shall bear in mind that the State Party may adopt a range of possible policy measures for the implementation of the rights set forth in the Covenant.
Article 9 Follow-up to the views of the Committee
1. After examining a communication, the Committee shall transmit its views on the communication, together with its recommendations, if any, to the parties concerned.
2. The State Party shall give due consideration to the views of the Committee, together with its recommendations, if any, and shall submit to the Committee, within six months, a written response, including information on any action taken in the light of the views and recommendations of the Committee.
3. The Committee may invite the State Party to submit further information about any measures the State Party has taken in response to its views or recommendations, if any, including as deemed appropriate by the Committee, in the State Party’s subsequent reports under articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant.
Article 10 Inter-State communications
1. A State Party to the present Protocol may at any time declare under the present article that it recognizes the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications to the effect that a State Party claims that another State Party is not fulfilling its obligations under the Covenant. Communications under the present article may be received and considered only if submitted by a State Party that has made a declaration recognizing in regard to itself the competence of the Committee. No communication shall be received by the Committee if it concerns a State Party which has not made such a declaration. Communications received under the present article shall be dealt with in accordance with the following procedure:
(a) If a State Party to the present Protocol considers that another State Party is not fulfilling its obligations under the Covenant, it may, by written communication, bring the matter to the attention of that State Party. The State Party
may also inform the Committee of the matter. Within three months after the receipt of the communication the receiving State shall afford the State that sent the communication an explanation, or any other statement in writing clarifying the matter, which should include, to the extent possible and pertinent, reference to domestic procedures and remedies taken, pending or available in the matter;
(b) If the matter is not settled to the satisfaction of both States Parties concerned within six months after the receipt by the receiving State of the initial communication, either State shall have the right to refer the matter to the Committee, by notice given to the Committee and to the other State;
(c) The Committee shall deal with a matter referred to it only after it has ascertained that all available domestic remedies have been invoked and exhausted in the matter. This shall not be the rule where the application of the remedies is unreasonably prolonged;
(d) Subject to the provisions of subparagraph (c) of the present paragraph the Committee shall make available its good offices to the States Parties concerned with a view to a friendly solution of the matter on the basis of the respect for the obligations set forth in the Covenant;
(e) The Committee shall hold closed meetings when examining communications under the present article;
(f) In any matter referred to it in accordance with subparagraph (b) of the present paragraph, the Committee may call upon the States Parties concerned, referred to in subparagraph (b), to supply any relevant information;
(g) The States Parties concerned, referred to in subparagraph (b) of the present paragraph, shall have the right to be represented when the matter is being considered by the Committee and to make submissions orally and/or in writing;
(h) The Committee shall, with all due expediency after the date of receipt of notice under subparagraph (b) of the present paragraph, submit a report, as follows:
(i) If a solution within the terms of subparagraph (d) of the present paragraph is reached, the Committee shall confine its report to a brief statement of the facts and of the solution reached;
(ii) If a solution within the terms of subparagraph (d) is not reached, the Committee shall, in its report, set forth the relevant facts concerning the issue between the States Parties concerned. The written submissions and record of the oral submissions made by the States Parties concerned shall be attached to the report. The Committee may also communicate only to the States Parties concerned any views that it may consider relevant to the issue between them.
In every matter, the report shall be communicated to the States Parties concerned.
2. A declaration under paragraph 1 of the present article shall be deposited by the States Parties with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall transmit copies thereof to the other States Parties. A declaration may be withdrawn at any time by notification to the Secretary-General. Such a withdrawal shall not prejudice the consideration of any matter that is the subject of a communication already transmitted under the present article; no further communication by any State Party shall be received under the present article after the notification of withdrawal of the
declaration has been received by the Secretary-General, unless the State Party concerned has made a new declaration.
Article 11 Inquiry procedure
1. A State Party to the present Protocol may at any time declare that it recognizes the competence of the Committee provided for under the present article.
2. If the Committee receives reliable information indicating grave or systematic violations by a State Party of any of the economic, social and cultural rights set forth in the Covenant, the Committee shall invite that State Party to cooperate in the examination of the information and to this end to submit observations with regard to the information concerned.
3. Taking into account any observations that may have been submitted by the State Party concerned as well as any other reliable information available to it, the Committee may designate one or more of its members to conduct an inquiry and to report urgently to the Committee. Where warranted and with the consent of the State Party, the inquiry may include a visit to its territory.
4. Such an inquiry shall be conducted confidentially and the cooperation of the State Party shall be sought at all stages of the proceedings.
5. After examining the findings of such an inquiry, the Committee shall transmit these findings to the State Party concerned together with any comments and recommendations.
6. The State Party concerned shall, within six months of receiving the findings, comments and recommendations transmitted by the Committee, submit its observations to the Committee.
7. After such proceedings have been completed with regard to an inquiry made in accordance with paragraph 2 of the present article, the Committee may, after consultations with the State Party concerned, decide to include a summary account of the results of the proceedings in its annual report provided for in article 15 of the present Protocol.
8. Any State Party having made a declaration in accordance with paragraph 1 of the present article may, at any time, withdraw this declaration by notification to the Secretary-General.
Article 12 Follow-up to the inquiry procedure
1. The Committee may invite the State Party concerned to include in its report under articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant details of any measures taken in response to an inquiry conducted under article 11 of the present Protocol.
2. The Committee may, if necessary, after the end of the period of six months referred to in article 11, paragraph 6, invite the State Party concerned to inform it of the measures taken in response to such an inquiry.
Article 13 Protection measures
A State Party shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that individuals under its jurisdiction are not subjected to any form of ill-treatment or intimidation as a consequence of communicating with the Committee pursuant to the present Protocol.
Article 14 International assistance and cooperation
1. The Committee shall transmit, as it may consider appropriate, and with the consent of the State Party concerned, to United Nations specialized agencies, funds and programmes and other competent bodies, its views or recommendations concerning communications and inquiries that indicate a need for technical advice or assistance, along with the State Party’s observations and suggestions, if any, on these views or recommendations.
2. The Committee may also bring to the attention of such bodies, with the consent of the State Party concerned, any matter arising out of communications considered under the present Protocol which may assist them in deciding, each within its field of competence, on the advisability of international measures likely to contribute to assisting States Parties in achieving progress in implementation of the rights recognized in the Covenant.
3. A trust fund shall be established in accordance with the relevant procedures of the General Assembly, to be administered in accordance with the financial regulations and rules of the United Nations, with a view to providing expert and technical assistance to States Parties, with the consent of the State Party concerned, for the enhanced implementation of the rights contained in the Covenant, thus contributing to building national capacities in the area of economic, social and cultural rights in the context of the present Protocol.
4. The provisions of the present article are without prejudice to the obligations of each State Party to fulfil its obligations under the Covenant.
Article 15 Annual report
The Committee shall include in its annual report a summary of its activities under the present Protocol.
Article 16 Dissemination and information
Each State Party undertakes to make widely known and to disseminate the Covenant and the present Protocol and to facilitate access to information about the views and recommendations of the Committee, in particular, on matters involving that State Party, and to do so in accessible formats for persons with disabilities.
Article 17 Signature, ratification and accession
1. The present Protocol is open for signature by any State that has signed, ratified or acceded to the Covenant.
2. The present Protocol is subject to ratification by any State that has ratified or acceded to the Covenant. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
3. The present Protocol shall be open to accession by any State that has ratified or acceded to the Covenant.
4. Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of accession with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Article 18 Entry into force
1. The present Protocol shall enter into force three months after the date of the deposit with the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the tenth instrument of ratification or accession.
2. For each State ratifying or acceding to the present Protocol, after the deposit of the tenth instrument of ratification or accession, the Protocol shall enter into force three months after the date of the deposit of its instrument of ratification or accession.
Article 19 Amendments
1. Any State Party may propose an amendment to the present Protocol and submit it to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The Secretary-General shall communicate any proposed amendments to States Parties, with a request to be notified whether they favour a meeting of States Parties for the purpose of considering and deciding upon the proposals. In the event that, within four months from the date of such communication, at least one third of the States Parties favour such a meeting, the Secretary-General shall convene the meeting under the auspices of the United Nations. Any amendment adopted by a majority of two thirds of the States Parties present and voting shall be submitted by the Secretary-General to the General Assembly for approval and thereafter to all States Parties for acceptance.
2. An amendment adopted and approved in accordance with paragraph 1 of the present article shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the number of instruments of acceptance deposited reaches two thirds of the number of States Parties at the date of adoption of the amendment. Thereafter, the amendment shall enter into force for any State Party on the thirtieth day following the deposit of its own instrument of acceptance. An amendment shall be binding only on those States Parties which have accepted it.
Article 20 Denunciation
1. Any State Party may denounce the present Protocol at any time by written notification addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Denunciation
shall take effect six months after the date of receipt of the notification by the Secretary-General.
2. Denunciation shall be without prejudice to the continued application of the provisions of the present Protocol to any communication submitted under articles 2 and 10 or to any procedure initiated under article 11 before the effective date of denunciation.
Article 21 Notification by the Secretary-General
The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall notify all States referred to in article 26, paragraph 1, of the Covenant of the following particulars:
(a) Signatures, ratifications and accessions under the present Protocol;
(b) The date of entry into force of the present Protocol and of any amendment under article 19;
(c) Any denunciation under article 20.
Article 22 Official languages
1. The present Protocol, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited in the archives of the United Nations.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit certified copies of the present Protocol to all States referred to in article 26 of the Covenant

General Provisions
ARTICLE 1. — The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect
and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all
circumstances.
ART 2. — In addition to the provisions which shall be
implemented in peacetime, 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
Respect
for the
Convention1
Application
of the
Convention
Conflicts not
of an
international
character
1 The marginal notes or titles of articles have been drafted by the Swiss Federal
Department of Foreign Affairs.
A. GENEVA CONVENTIONS AND ADDITIONAL PROTOCOLS
placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any
other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely,
without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion
or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.
To this end, the following acts are and shall remain
prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with
respect to the above-mentioned persons:
a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all
kinds,mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
b) taking of hostages;
c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating
and degrading treatment;
d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of
executions without previous judgment pronounced by a
regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial
guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by
civilized peoples.
2) The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.
An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International
Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to
the conflict.
The Parties to the conflict should further endeavour to bring into
force, by means of special agreements, all or part of the other
provisions of the present Convention.
The application of the preceding provisions shall not affect the
legal status of the Parties to the conflict.
ART. 4. — Neutral Powers shall apply by analogy the provisions
of the present Convention to the wounded and sick, and to
members of the medical personnel and to chaplains of the armed
forces of the Parties to the conflict, received or interned in their
territory, as well as to dead persons found.
ART. 5. — For the protected persons who have fallen into the
hands of the enemy, the present Convention shall apply until their
final repatriation.
ART. 6. — In addition to the agreements expressly provided for in
Articles 10, 15, 23, 28, 31, 36, 37 and 52, 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 the
wounded and sick, of members of the medical personnel or of
WOUNDED AND SICK 37
Application
by neutral
Powers
Duration of
application
Special
agreements
chaplains, as defined by the present Convention, nor restrict the
rights which it confers upon them.
Wounded and sick, as well as medical personnel and chaplains, 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. 7. — Wounded and sick, as well as members of the medical
personnel and chaplains,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. 8. — The present Convention shall be applied with the cooperation
and under the scrutiny of the Protecting Powers whose
duty it is to safeguard the interests of the Parties to the conflict. For
this purpose, the Protecting Powers may appoint, apart from their
diplomatic or consular staff, delegates from amongst their own
nationals or the nationals of other neutral Powers. The said
delegates shall be subject to the approval of the Power with which
they are to carry out their duties.
The Parties to the conflict shall facilitate, to the greatest extent
possible, the task of the representatives or delegates of the
Protecting Powers.
The representatives or delegates of the Protecting Powers shall not
in any case exceed their mission under the present Convention. They
shall, in particular, take account of the imperative necessities of
security of the State wherein they carry out their duties.Their activities
shall only be restricted, as an exceptional and temporary measure,
when this is rendered necessary by imperative military necessities.
ART. 9. — 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 wounded and sick,
medical personnel and chaplains, and for their relief.
ART. 10. — The High Contracting Parties may at any time agree
to entrust to an organization which offers all guarantees of
impartiality and efficacy the duties incumbent on the Protecting
Powers by virtue of the present Convention.
38 FIRST GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Nonrenunciation
of rights
Protecting
Powers
Activities
of the
International
Committee of
the Red Cross
Substitutes for
Protecting
Powers
When wounded and sick, or medical personnel and chaplains 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 a conflict.
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
present Convention.
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 impartially.
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 occupied.
Whenever in the present Convention mention is made of a
Protecting Power, such mention also applies to substitute
organizations in the sense of the present Article.
ART. 11. — 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, in particular of the
authorities responsible for the wounded and sick,members of medical
personnel and chaplains, 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.
WOUNDED AND SICK 39
Conciliation
procedure
CHAPTER II
Wounded and Sick
ART. 12. — Members of the armed forces and other persons
mentioned in the following Article, who are wounded or sick, shall
be respected and protected in all circumstances.
They shall be treated humanely and cared for by the Party to the
conflict in whose power they may be, without any adverse
distinction founded on sex, race, nationality, religion, political
opinions, or any other similar criteria. Any attempts upon their
lives, or violence to their persons, shall be strictly prohibited; in
particular, they shall not be murdered or exterminated, subjected to
torture or to biological experiments; they shall not wilfully be left
without medical assistance and care, nor shall conditions exposing
them to contagion or infection be created.
Only urgent medical reasons will authorize priority in the order
of treatment to be administered.
Women shall be treated with all consideration due to their sex.
The Party to the conflict which is compelled to abandon
wounded or sick to the enemy shall, as far as military considerations
permit, leave with them a part of its medical personnel and material
to assist in their care.
ART. 13. — The Present Convention shall apply to the wounded
and sick belonging to the following categories:
1) Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict as well
as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of
such armed forces.
2) Members of other militias and members of other volunteer
corps, including those of organized resistance movements,
belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside
their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided
that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized
resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:
a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his
subordinates;
b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a
distance;
c) that of carrying arms openly;
d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the
laws and customs of war.
40 FIRST GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Protection
and care
Protected
persons
WOUNDED AND SICK 41
3) Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a
Government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining
Power.
4) Persons who accompany the armed forces without actually
being members thereof, such as civilian members of military
aircraft crews, war correspondents, supply contractors,
members of labour units or of services responsible for the
welfare of the armed forces, provided that they have received
authorization from the armed forces which they accompany.
5) Members of crews including masters, pilots and apprentices
of the merchant marine and the crews of civil aircraft of the
Parties to the conflict,who do not benefit by more favourable
treatment under any other provisions in international law.
6) Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory who, on the approach
of the enemy, spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading
forces, without having had time to form themselves into
regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and
respect the laws and customs of war.
ART. 14. — Subject to the provisions of Article 12, the wounded
and sick of a belligerent who fall into enemy hands shall be
prisoners of war, and the provisions of international law concerning
prisoners of war shall apply to them.
ART. 15. — At all times, and particularly after an engagement,
Parties to the conflict shall,without delay, take all possible measures
to search for and collect the wounded and sick, to protect them
against pillage and ill-treatment, to ensure their adequate care, and
to search for the dead and prevent their being despoiled.
Whenever circumstances permit, an armistice or a suspension of
fire shall be arranged, or local arrangements made, to permit the
removal, exchange and transport of the wounded left on the
battlefield.
Likewise, local arrangements may be concluded between Parties to
the conflict for the removal or exchange of wounded and sick from a
besieged or encircled area, and for the passage of medical and religious
personnel and equipment on their way to that area.
ART. 16. — Parties to the conflict shall record as soon as possible,
in respect of each wounded, sick or dead person of the adverse Party
falling into their hands, any particulars which may assist in his
identification.
These records should if possible include:
Status
Search for
casualties.
Evacuation
Recording and
forwarding of
information
a) designation of the Power on which he depends;
b) army, regimental, personal or serial number;
c) surname;
d) first name or names;
e) date of birth;
f) any other particulars shown on his identity card or disc;
g) date and place of capture or death;
h) particulars concerning wounds or illness, or cause of death.
As soon as possible the above mentioned information shall be
forwarded to the Information Bureau described in Article 122 of the
Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners ofWar of
August 12, 1949,which shall transmit this information to the Power
on which these persons depend through the intermediary of the
Protecting Power and of the Central Prisoners ofWar Agency.
Parties to the conflict shall prepare and forward to each other
through the same bureau, certificates of death or duly authenticated
lists of the dead.They shall likewise collect and forward through the
same bureau one half of a double identity disc, last wills or other
documents of importance to the next of kin, money and in general
all articles of an intrinsic or sentimental value, which are found on
the dead. These articles, together with unidentified articles, shall be
sent in sealed packets, accompanied by statements giving all
particulars necessary for the identification of the deceased owners,
as well as by a complete list of the contents of the parcel.
ART. 17. — Parties to the conflict shall ensure that burial or
cremation of the dead, carried out individually as far as
circumstances permit, is preceded by a careful examination, if
possible by a medical examination, of the bodies, with a view to
confirming death, establishing identity and enabling a report to be
made.One half of the double identity disc, or the identity disc itself
if it is a single disc, should remain on the body.
Bodies shall not be cremated except for imperative reasons of
hygiene or for motives based on the religion of the deceased. In case
of cremation, the circumstances and reasons for cremation shall be
stated in detail in the death certificate or on the authenticated list of
the dead.
They shall further ensure that the dead are honourably interred,
if possible according to the rites of the religion to which they
belonged, that their graves are respected, grouped if possible
according to the nationality of the deceased, properly maintained
and marked so that they may always be found. For this purpose,
42 FIRST GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Prescriptions
regarding the
dead. Graves
Registration
Service
they shall organize at the commencement of hostilities an Official
Graves Registration Service, to allow subsequent exhumations and
to ensure the identification of bodies,whatever the site of the graves,
and the possible transportation to the home country. These
provisions shall likewise apply to the ashes, which shall be kept by
the Graves Registration Service until proper disposal thereof in
accordance with the wishes of the home country.
As soon as circumstances permit, and at latest at the end of
hostilities, these Services shall exchange, through the Information
Bureau mentioned in the second paragraph of Article 16, lists
showing the exact location and markings of the graves together with
particulars of the dead interred therein.
ART. 18. — The military authorities may appeal to the charity of the
inhabitants voluntarily to collect and care for,under their direction, the
wounded and sick, granting persons who have responded to this
appeal the necessary protection and facilities. Should the adverse Party
take or retake control of the area, it shall likewise grant these persons
the same protection and the same facilities.
The military authorities shall permit the inhabitants and relief
societies, even in invaded or occupied areas, spontaneously to
collect and care for wounded or sick of whatever nationality. The
civilian population shall respect these wounded and sick, and in
particular abstain from offering them violence.
No one may ever be molested or convicted for having nursed the
wounded or sick.
The provisions of the present Article do not relieve the occupying
Power of its obligation to give both physical and moral care to the
wounded and sick.
CHAPTER III
Medical Units and Establishments
ART. 19. — Fixed establishments and mobile medical units of the
Medical Service may in no circumstances be attacked, but shall at all
times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict.
Should they fall into the hands of the adverse Party, their personnel
shall be free to pursue their duties, as long as the capturing Power
has not itself ensured the necessary care of the wounded and sick
found in such establishments and units.
WOUNDED AND SICK 43
Role of the
population
Protection
The responsible authorities shall ensure that the said medical
establishments and units are, as far as possible, situated in such a
manner that attacks against military objectives cannot imperil their
safety.
ART. 20. — Hospital ships entitled to the protection of the
Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of
Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea
of August 12, 1949, shall not be attacked from the land.
ART. 21. — The protection to which fixed establishments and
mobile medical units of the Medical Service 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 a due warning has been given, naming, in all appropriate cases, a
reasonable time limit and after such warning has remained unheeded.
ART. 22. — The following conditions shall not be considered as
depriving a medical unit or establishment of the protection
guaranteed by Article 19:
1. That the personnel of the unit or establishment are armed,
and that they use the arms in their own defence, or in that of
the wounded and sick in their charge.
2. That in the absence of armed orderlies, the unit or establishment
is protected by a picket or by sentries or by an escort.
3. That small arms and ammunition taken from the wounded
and sick and not yet handed to the proper service, are found
in the unit or establishment.
4. That personnel and material of the veterinary service are
found in the unit or establishment, without forming an
integral part thereof.
5. That the humanitarian activities of medical units and
establishments or of their personnel extend to the care of
civilian wounded or sick.
ART. 23. — In time of peace, the High Contracting Parties and,
after the outbreak of hostilities, the Parties to the conflict, may
establish in their own territory and, if the need arises, in occupied
areas, hospital zones and localities so organized as to protect the
wounded and sick from the effects of war, as well as the personnel
entrusted with the organization and administration of these zones
and localities and with the care of the persons therein assembled.
44 FIRST GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Hospital zones
and localities
Conditions
not depriving
medical units
and establishments
of
protection
Discontinuance
of
protection of
medical
establishments
and
units
Protection
of hospital
ships
WOUNDED AND SICK 45
Upon the outbreak and during the course of hostilities, the
Parties concerned may conclude agreements on mutual recognition
of the hospital 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 zones and localities.
CHAPTER IV
Personnel
ART. 24. — Medical personnel exclusively engaged in the search
for, or the collection, transport or treatment of the wounded or sick,
or in the prevention of disease, staff exclusively engaged in the
administration of medical units and establishments, as well as
chaplains attached to the armed forces, shall be respected and
protected in all circumstances.
ART. 25. — Members of the armed forces specially trained for
employment, should the need arise, as hospital orderlies, nurses or
auxiliary stretcher-bearers, in the search for or the collection,
transport or treatment of the wounded and sick shall likewise be
respected and protected if they are carrying out these duties at the time
when they come into contact with the enemy or fall into his hands.
ART. 26. — The staff of National Red Cross Societies and that of
other Voluntary Aid Societies, duly recognized and authorized by
their Governments,who may be employed on the same duties as the
personnel named in Article 24, are placed on the same footing as the
personnel named in the said Article, provided that the staff of such
societies are subject to military laws and regulations.
Each High Contracting Party shall notify to the other, either in
time of peace or at the commencement of or during hostilities, but in
any case before actually employing them, the names of the societies
which it has authorized, under its responsibility, to render assistance
to the regular medical service of its armed forces.
Protection of
permanent
personnel
Protection of
auxiliary
personnel
Personnel of
aid societies
ART. 27. — A recognized Society of a neutral country can only
lend the assistance of its medical personnel and units to a Party to
the conflict with the previous consent of its own Government and
the authorization of the Party to the conflict concerned. That
personnel and those units shall be placed under the control of that
Party to the conflict.
The neutral Government shall notify this consent to the
adversary of the State which accepts such assistance. The Party to
the conflict who accepts such assistance is bound to notify the
adverse Party thereof before making any use of it.
In no circumstances shall this assistance be considered as
interference in the conflict.
The members of the personnel named in the first paragraph shall
be duly furnished with the identity cards provided for in Article 40
before leaving the neutral country to which they belong.
ART. 28. — Personnel designated in Articles 24 and 26 who fall
into the hands of the adverse Party, shall be retained only in so far as
the state of health, the spiritual needs and the number of prisoners
of war require.
Personnel thus retained shall not be deemed prisoners of war.
Nevertheless they shall at least benefit by all the provisions of the
Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners ofWar of
August 12, 1949. Within the framework of the military laws and
regulations of the Detaining Power, and under the authority of its
competent service, they shall continue to carry out, in accordance
with their professional ethics, their medical and spiritual duties on
behalf of prisoners of war, preferably those of the armed forces to
which they themselves belong. They shall further enjoy the
following facilities for carrying out their medical or spiritual duties:
a) They shall be authorized to visit periodically the prisoners of war
in labour units or hospitals outside the camp. The Detaining
Power shall put at their disposal the means of transport required.
b) In each camp the senior medical officer of the highest rank
shall be responsible to the military authorities of the camp for
the professional activity of the retained medical personnel. For
this purpose, from the outbreak of hostilities, the Parties to the
conflict shall agree regarding the corresponding seniority of
the ranks of their medical personnel, including those of the
societies designated in Article 26. In all questions arising out of
their duties, this medical officer, and the chaplains, shall have
direct access to the military and medical authorities of the
camp who shall grant them the facilities they may require for
correspondence relating to these questions.
46 FIRST GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Retained
personnel
Societies of
neutral
countries
WOUNDED AND SICK 47
c) Although retained personnel in a camp shall be subject to its
internal discipline, they shall not, however, be required to
perform any work outside their medical or religious duties.
During hostilities the Parties to the conflict shall make
arrangements for relieving where possible retained personnel, and
shall settle the procedure of such relief.
None of the preceding provisions shall relieve the Detaining
Power of the obligations imposed upon it with regard to the medical
and spiritual welfare of the prisoners of war.
ART. 29. — Members of the personnel designated in Article 25
who have fallen into the hands of the enemy, shall be prisoners of
war, but shall be employed on their medical duties in so far as the
need arises.
ART. 30. — Personnel whose retention is not indispensable by
virtue of the provisions of Article 28 shall be returned to the Party
to the conflict to whom they belong, as soon as a road is open for
their return and military requirements permit.
Pending their return, they shall not be deemed prisoners of war.
Nevertheless they shall at least benefit by all the provisions of the
Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners ofWar of
August 12, 1949. They shall continue to fulfil their duties under the
orders of the adverse Party and shall preferably be engaged in the
care of the wounded and sick of the Party to the conflict to which
they themselves belong.
On their departure, they shall take with them the effects, personal
belongings, valuables and instruments belonging to them.
ART. 31. — The selection of personnel for return under Article 30
shall be made irrespective of any consideration of race, religion or
political opinion, but preferably according to the chronological order
of their capture and their state of health.
As from the outbreak of hostilities, Parties to the conflict may
determine by special agreement the percentage of personnel to be
retained, in proportion to the number of prisoners and the
distribution of the said personnel in the camps.
ART. 32. — Persons designated in Article 27 who have fallen into
the hands of the adverse Party may not be detained.
Unless otherwise agreed, they shall have permission to return to
their country, or if this is not possible, to the territory of the Party to
the conflict in whose service they were, as soon as a route for their
return is open and military considerations permit.
Return of
medical and
religious
personnel
Selection of
personnel for
return
Return of
personnel
belonging to
neutral
countries
Status of
auxiliary
personnel
48 FIRST GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Pending their release, they shall continue their work under the
direction of the adverse Party; they shall preferably be engaged in
the care of the wounded and sick of the Party to the conflict in
whose service they were.
On their departure, they shall take with them their effects,
personal articles and valuables and the instruments, arms and if
possible the means of transport belonging to them.
The Parties to the conflict shall secure to this personnel, while in
their power, the same food, lodging, allowances and pay as are
granted to the corresponding personnel of their armed forces. The
food shall in any case be sufficient as regards quantity, quality and
variety to keep the said personnel in a normal state of health.
CHAPTER V
Buildings and Material
ART. 33. — The material of mobile medical units of the armed
forces which fall into the hands of the enemy, shall be reserved for
the care of wounded and sick.
The buildings, material and stores of fixed medical establishments
of the armed forces shall remain subject to the laws of war, but may
not be diverted from that purpose as long as they are required for the
care of wounded and sick.Nevertheless, the commanders of forces in
the field may make use of them, in case of urgent military necessity,
provided that they make previous arrangements for the welfare of the
wounded and sick who are nursed in them.
The material and stores defined in the present Article shall not be
intentionally destroyed.
ART. 34. — The real and personal property of aid societies which
are admitted to the privileges of the Convention shall be regarded as
private property.
The right of requisition recognized for belligerents by the laws
and customs of war shall not be exercised except in case of urgent
necessity, and only after the welfare of the wounded and sick has
been ensured.
Buildings and
stores
Property of
aid societies
CHAPTER VI
Medical Transports
ART. 35. — Transports of wounded and sick or of medical
equipment shall be respected and protected in the same way as
mobile medical units.
Should such transports or vehicles fall into the hands of the
adverse Party, they shall be subject to the laws of war, on condition
that the Party to the conflict who captures them shall in all cases
ensure the care of the wounded and sick they contain.
The civilian personnel and all means of transport obtained by
requisition shall be subject to the general rules of international law.
ART. 36. — Medical aircraft, that is to say, aircraft exclusively
employed for the removal of wounded and sick and for the
transport of medical personnel and equipment, shall not be
attacked, but shall be respected by the belligerents, while flying at
heights, times and on routes specifically agreed upon between the
belligerents concerned.
They shall bear, clearly marked, the distinctive emblem
prescribed in Article 38, together with their national colours, on
their lower, upper and lateral surfaces. They shall be provided with
any other markings or means of identification that may be agreed
upon between the belligerents upon the outbreak or during the
course of hostilities.
Unless agreed otherwise, flights over enemy or enemy-occupied
territory are prohibited.
Medical 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.
In the event of an involuntary landing in enemy or enemyoccupied
territory, the wounded and sick, as well as the crew of the
aircraft shall be prisoners of war. The medical personnel shall be
treated according to Article 24 and the Articles following.
ART. 37. — Subject to the provisions of the second paragraph,
medical aircraft of Parties to the conflict may fly over the territory
of neutral Powers, land on it in case of necessity, or use it as a port
of call. They shall give the neutral Powers previous notice of their
passage over the said territory and obey all summons to alight, on
land or water.They will be immune from attack only when flying on
routes, at heights and at times specifically agreed upon between the
Parties to the conflict and the neutral Power concerned.
WOUNDED AND SICK 49
Flight over
neutral
countries.
Landing of
wounded
Protection
Medical
aircraft
The neutral Powers may, however, place conditions or
restrictions on the passage or landing of medical aircraft on their
territory. Such possible conditions or restrictions shall be applied
equally to all Parties to the conflict.
Unless agreed otherwise between the neutral Power and the Parties
to the conflict, the wounded and sick who are disembarked, with the
consent of the local authorities, on neutral territory by medical
aircraft, shall be detained by the neutral Power, where so required by
international law, in such a manner that they cannot again take part in
operations of war. The cost of their accommodation and internment
shall be borne by the Power on which they depend.
CHAPTER VII
The Distinctive Emblem
ART. 38. — As a compliment to Switzerland, the heraldic emblem
of the red cross on a white ground, formed by reversing the Federal
colours, is retained as the emblem and distinctive sign of the
Medical Service of armed forces.
Nevertheless, in the case of countries which already use as
emblem,in place of the red cross, the red crescent or the red lion and
sun1 on a white ground, those emblems are also recognized by the
terms of the present Convention.
ART. 39. — Under the direction of the competent military
authority, the emblem shall be displayed on the flags, armlets and on
all equipment employed in the Medical Service.
ART. 40. — The personnel designated in Article 24 and in
Articles 26 and 27 shall wear, affixed to the left arm, a waterresistant
armlet bearing the distinctive emblem, issued and
stamped by the military authority.
Such personnel, in addition to wearing the identity disc mentioned
in Article 16, shall also carry a special identity card bearing the
50 FIRST GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Emblem
of the
Convention
Use of the
emblem
Identification
of medical and
religious
personnel
1 The Government of Iran, the only country using the red lion and sun emblem on a
white ground, advised Switzerland, depositary State of the Geneva Conventions, on
4 September 1980, of the adoption of the red crescent in lieu and place of its former
emblem.This was duly communicated by the depositary on 20 October 1980 to the States
party to the Geneva Conventions.
distinctive emblem.This card shall be water-resistant and of such size
that it can be carried in the pocket. It shall be worded in the national
language, shall mention at least the surname and first names, the date
of birth, the rank and the service number of the bearer, and shall state
in what capacity he is entitled to the protection of the present
Convention. The card shall bear the photograph of the owner and
also either his signature or his finger-prints or both. It shall be
embossed with the stamp of the military authority.
The identity card shall be uniform throughout the same armed
forces and, as far as possible, of a similar type in the armed forces of
the High Contracting Parties. The Parties to the conflict may be
guided by the model which is annexed, by way of example, to the
present Convention.They shall inform each other, at the outbreak of
hostilities, of the model they are using. Identity cards should be
made out, if possible, at least in duplicate,one copy being kept by the
home country.
In no circumstances may the said personnel be deprived of their
insignia or identity cards nor of the right to wear the armlet. In case
of loss, they shall be entitled to receive duplicates of the cards and to
have the insignia replaced.
ART. 41. — The personnel designated in Article 25 shall wear, but
only while carrying out medical duties, a white armlet bearing in its
centre the distinctive sign in miniature; the armlet shall be issued
and stamped by the military authority.
Military identity documents to be carried by this type of
personnel shall specify what special training they have received, the
temporary character of the duties they are engaged upon, and their
authority for wearing the armlet.
ART. 42. — The distinctive flag of the Convention shall be hoisted
only over such medical units and establishments as are entitled to be
respected under the Convention, and only with the consent of the
military authorities.
In mobile units, as in fixed establishments, it may be
accompanied by the national flag of the Party to the conflict to
which the unit or establishment belongs.
Nevertheless, medical units which have fallen into the hands of
the enemy shall not fly any flag other than that of the Convention.
Parties to the conflict shall take the necessary steps, in so far as
military considerations permit, to make the distinctive emblems
indicating medical units and establishments clearly visible to the
enemy land, air or naval forces, in order to obviate the possibility of
any hostile action.
WOUNDED AND SICK 51
Identification
of auxiliary
personnel
Marking of
medical units
and
establishments
ART. 43. — The medical units belonging to neutral countries,
which may have been authorized to lend their services to a
belligerent under the conditions laid down in Article 27, shall fly,
along with the flag of the Convention, the national flag of that
belligerent,wherever the latter makes use of the faculty conferred on
him by Article 42.
Subject to orders to the contrary by the responsible military
authorities, they may, on all occasions, fly their national flag, even if
they fall into the hands of the adverse Party.
ART. 44. — With the exception of the cases mentioned in the
following paragraphs of the present Article, the emblem of the red
cross on a white ground and the words “Red Cross”, or “Geneva
Cross”may not be employed, either in time of peace or in time of
war, except to indicate or to protect the medical units and
establishments, the personnel and material protected by the present
Convention and other Conventions dealing with similar matters.
The same shall apply to the emblems mentioned in Article 38,
second paragraph, in respect of the countries which use them. The
National Red Cross Societies and other Societies designated in
Article 26 shall have the right to use the distinctive emblem
conferring the protection of the Convention only within the
framework of the present paragraph.
Furthermore, National Red Cross (Red Crescent, Red Lion and
Sun) Societies may, in time of peace, in accordance with their
national legislation, make use of the name and emblem of the Red
Cross for their other activities which are in conformity with the
principles laid down by the International Red Cross Conferences.
When those activities are carried out in time of war, the conditions
for the use of the emblem shall be such that it cannot be considered
as conferring the protection of the Convention; the emblem shall be
comparatively small in size and may not be placed on armlets or on
the roofs of buildings.
The international Red Cross organizations and their duly
authorized personnel shall be permitted to make use, at all times, of
the emblem of the red cross on a white ground.
As an exceptional measure, in conformity with national
legislation and with the express permission of one of the National
Red Cross (Red Crescent, Red Lion and Sun) Societies, the emblem
of the Convention may be employed in time of peace to identify
vehicles used as ambulances and to mark the position of aid stations
exclusively assigned to the purpose of giving free treatment to the
wounded or sick.
52 FIRST GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Marking of
units of
neutral
countries
Restrictions
in the use of
the emblem.
Exceptions
CHAPTER VIII
Execution of the Convention
ART. 45. — Each Party to the conflict, acting through its
commanders-in-chief, shall ensure the detailed execution of the
preceding Articles, and provide for unforeseen cases, in conformity
with the general principles of the present Convention.
ART. 46. — Reprisals against the wounded, sick, personnel,
buildings or equipment protected by the Convention are
prohibited.
ART. 47. — 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, in particular to
the armed fighting forces, the medical personnel and the chaplains.
ART. 48. — 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 thereof.
CHAPTER IX
Repression of Abuses and Infractions
ART. 49. — 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 Article.
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,
WOUNDED AND SICK 53
Detailed
execution.
Unforeseen
cases
Prohibition
of reprisals
Dissemination
of the
Convention
Translations.
Rules of
application
Penal
sanctions
I.
General
observations
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
Article.
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 August 12, 1949.
ART. 50. — 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 Convention: wilful
killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including biological
experiments, wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to
body or health, and extensive destruction and appropriation of
property, not justified by military necessity and carried out
unlawfully and wantonly.
ART. 51. — 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. 52. — 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 the Convention.
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 possible delay.
ART. 53. — The use by individuals, societies, firms or companies
either public or private, other than those entitled thereto under the
present Convention, of the emblem or the designation “Red Cross”
or “Geneva Cross”, or any sign or designation constituting an
imitation thereof, whatever the object of such use, and irrespective
of the date of its adoption, shall be prohibited at all times.
By reason of the tribute paid to Switzerland by the adoption of
the reversed Federal colours, and of the confusion which may arise
54 FIRST GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
II.
Grave
breaches
III.
Responsibilities
of the
Contracting
Parties
Enquiry
procedure
Misuse of
the emblem
between the arms of Switzerland and the distinctive emblem of the
Convention, the use by private individuals, societies or firms, of the
arms of the Swiss Confederation, or of marks constituting an
imitation thereof, whether as trademarks or commercial marks, or
as parts of such marks, or for a purpose contrary to commercial
honesty, or in circumstances capable of wounding Swiss national
sentiment, shall be prohibited at all times.
Nevertheless, such High Contracting Parties as were not party to
the Geneva Convention of July 27, 1929, may grant to prior users of
the emblems, designations, signs or marks designated in the first
paragraph, a time limit not to exceed three years from the coming
into force of the present Convention to discontinue such use,
provided that the said use shall not be such as would appear, in time
of war, to confer the protection of the Convention.
The prohibition laid down in the first paragraph of the present
Article shall also apply, without effect on any rights acquired
through prior use, to the emblems and marks mentioned in the
second paragraph of Article 38.
ART. 54. — The High Contracting Parties shall, if their legislation
is not already adequate, take measures necessary for the prevention
and repression, at all times, of the abuses referred to under
Article 53.
Final Provisions
ART. 55. — 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 languages.
ART. 56. — The present Convention, which bears the date of this
day, is open to signature until February 12, 1950, in the name of the
Powers represented at the Conference which opened at Geneva on
April 21, 1949; furthermore, by Powers not represented at that
Conference but which are parties to the Geneva Conventions of
1864, 1906 or 1929 for the Relief of the Wounded and Sick in Armies
in the Field.
ART. 57. — The present Convention shall be ratified as soon as
possible and the ratifications shall be deposited at Berne.
A record shall be drawn up of the deposit of each instrument of
ratification and certified copies of this record shall be transmitted
WOUNDED AND SICK 55
Prevention of
misuse
Languages
Signature
Ratification
by the Swiss Federal Council to all the Powers in whose name the
Convention has been signed, or whose accession has been notified.
ART. 58. — 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 ratification.
ART. 59. — The present Convention replaces the Conventions of
August 22, 1864, July 6, 1906 and July 27, 1929, in relations between
the High Contracting Parties.
ART. 60. — 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. 61. — 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. 62. — The situations provided for in Articles 2 and 3 shall
give 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. 63. — 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
Contracting Parties.
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 and repatriation of the persons protected
by the present Convention have been terminated.
56 FIRST GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Coming into
force
Relation to
previous
Conventions
Accession
Notification
of accessions
Immediate
effect
Denunciation
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. 64. — 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 States.
WOUNDED AND SICK 57
Registration
with the
United
Nations
ANNEX I
DRAFT AGREEMENT RELATING TO HOSPITAL ZONES
AND LOCALITIES
ARTICLE 1. — Hospital zones shall be strictly reserved for the persons named in
Article 23 of the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the
Wounded and Sick in the Armed Forces in the Field of August 12, 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 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 zone shall take all necessary
measures to prohibit access to all persons who have no right of residence or entry
therein.
ART. 4.— Hospital zones shall fulfil the following conditions:
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 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 zones shall be marked by means of red crosses (red crescents,
red lions and suns) on a white background placed on the outer precincts and on the
buildings. They may be similarly marked at night by means of appropriate
illumination.
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 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 constituted.
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 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, the 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 inspection.
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 who 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 zone.
ART. 10. — Any Power setting up one or more hospital zones and localities, and
the adverse Parties to whom their existence has been notified, shall nominate or
have nominated by neutral Powers, the persons who shall be members of the
Special Commissions mentioned in Articles 8 and 9.
ART. 11. — In no circumstances may hospital 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 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 persons accommodated.
ART. 13. — The present agreement shall also apply to localities which the Powers
may utilize for the same purposes as hospital zones.

General Provisions
ARTICLE 1.— The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect
and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all
circumstances.
ART. 2. — In addition to the provisions which shall be
implemented in peacetime, 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
Respect
for the
Convention1
Application of
the Convention
Conflicts not of
an international
character
1 The marginal notes or titles of articles have been drafted by the Swiss Federal
Department of Foreign Affairs.
those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention,
or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated
humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race,
colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other
similar criteria.
To this end, the following acts are and shall remain prohibited
at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to
the above-mentioned persons:
a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all
kinds,mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
b) taking of hostages;
c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating
and degrading treatment;
d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of
executions without previous judgment pronounced by a
regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial
guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by
civilized peoples.
2) The wounded, sick and shipwrecked shall be collected and
cared for.
An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International
Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to
the conflict.
The Parties to the conflict should further endeavour to bring into
force, by means of special agreements, all or part of the other
provisions of the present Convention.
The application of the preceding provisions shall not affect the
legal status of the Parties to the conflict.
ART. 4. — In case of hostilities between land and naval forces of
Parties to the conflict, the provisions of the present Convention shall
apply only to forces on board ship.
Forces put ashore shall immediately become subject to the
provisions of the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the
Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of
August 12, 1949.
ART. 5. — Neutral Powers shall apply by analogy the provisions
of the present Convention to the wounded, sick and shipwrecked,
and to members of the medical personnel and to chaplains of the
armed forces of the Parties to the conflict received or interned in
their territory, as well as to dead persons found.
WOUNDED, SICK AND SHIPWRECKED 65
Field of
application
Application
by neutral
Powers
ART. 6. — In addition to the agreements expressly provided for in
Articles 10, 18, 31, 38, 39, 40, 43 and 53, 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 wounded, sick and shipwrecked persons, of members of the
medical personnel or of chaplains, as defined by the present
Convention, nor restrict the rights which it confers upon them.
Wounded, sick, and shipwrecked persons, as well as medical
personnel and chaplains, 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. 7. — Wounded, sick and shipwrecked persons, as well as
members of the medical personnel and chaplains, 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. 8. — The present Convention shall be applied with the cooperation
and under the scrutiny of the Protecting Powers whose
duty it is to safeguard the interests of the Parties to the conflict. For
this purpose, the Protecting Powers may appoint, apart from their
diplomatic or consular staff, delegates from amongst their own
nationals or the nationals of other neutral Powers. The said
delegates shall be subject to the approval of the Power with which
they are to carry out their duties.
The Parties to the conflict shall facilitate to the greatest extent
possible the task of the representatives or delegates of the Protecting
Powers.
The representatives or delegates of the Protecting Powers shall not
in any case exceed their mission under the present Convention. They
shall, in particular, take account of the imperative necessities of
security of the State wherein they carry out their duties.Their activities
shall only be restricted as an exceptional and temporary measure when
this is rendered necessary by imperative military necessities.
ART. 9. — 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
66 SECOND GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Special
agreements
Nonrenunciation
of rights
Protecting
Powers
Activities
of the
International
Committee of
the Red Cross
concerned, undertake for the protection of wounded, sick and
shipwrecked persons, medical personnel and chaplains, and for
their relief.
ART. 10. — The High Contracting Parties may at any time agree
to entrust to an organization which offers all guarantees of
impartiality and efficacy the duties incumbent on the Protecting
Powers by virtue of the present Convention.
When wounded, sick and shipwrecked,or medical personnel and
chaplains 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 a conflict.
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
present Convention.
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 impartially.
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 occupied.
Whenever, in the present Convention, mention is made of a
Protecting Power, such mention also applies to substitute
organizations in the sense of the present Article.
ART. 11. — 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
WOUNDED, SICK AND SHIPWRECKED 67
Substitutes
for Protecting
Powers
Conciliation
procedure
Parties to the conflict a meeting of their representatives, in
particular of the authorities responsible for the wounded, sick and
shipwrecked, medical personnel and chaplains, 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.
CHAPTER II
Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked
ART. 12. — Members of the armed forces and other persons
mentioned in the following Article, who are at sea and who are
wounded, sick or shipwrecked, shall be respected and protected in
all circumstances, it being understood that the term “shipwreck”
means shipwreck from any cause and includes forced landings at
sea by or from aircraft.
Such persons shall be treated humanely and cared for by the
Parties to the conflict in whose power they may be, without any
adverse distinction founded on sex, race, nationality, religion,
political opinions, or any other similar criteria.Any attempts upon
their lives, or violence to their persons, shall be strictly prohibited;
in particular, they shall not be murdered or exterminated, subjected
to torture or to biological experiments; they shall not wilfully be left
without medical assistance and care, nor shall conditions exposing
them to contagion or infection be created.
Only urgent medical reasons will authorize priority in the order
of treatment to be administered.
Women shall be treated with all consideration due to their sex.
ART. 13. — The present Convention shall apply to the wounded,
sick and shipwrecked at sea belonging to the following categories:
1) Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict, as well
as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of
such armed forces.
2) Members of other militias and members of other volunteer
corps, including those of organized resistance movements,
68 SECOND GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Protection
and care
Protected
persons
belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside
their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided
that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized
resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:
a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his
subordinates;
b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a
distance;
c) that of carrying arms openly;
d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the
laws and customs of war.
3) Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a
Government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining
Power.
4) Persons who accompany the armed forces without actually
being members thereof, such as civilian members of military
aircraft crews, war correspondents, supply contractors,
members of labour units or of services responsible for the
welfare of the armed forces, provided that they have received
authorization from the armed forces which they accompany.
5) Members of crews, including masters, pilots and apprentices
of the merchant marine and the crews of civil aircraft of the
Parties to the conflict,who do not benefit by more favourable
treatment under any other provisions of international law.
6) Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory who, on the approach
of the enemy, spontaneously take up arms to resist the
invading forces, without having had time to form themselves
into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly
and respect the laws and customs of war.
ART. 14. — All warships of a belligerent Party shall have the right
to demand that the wounded, sick or shipwrecked on board military
hospital ships, and hospital ships belonging to relief societies or to
private individuals, as well as merchant vessels, yachts and other craft
shall be surrendered, whatever their nationality, provided that the
wounded and sick are in a fit state to be moved and that the warship
can provide adequate facilities for necessary medical treatment.
ART. 15.— If wounded, sick or shipwrecked persons are taken on
board a neutral warship or a neutral military aircraft, it shall be
ensured, where so required by international law, that they can take
no further part in operations of war.
WOUNDED, SICK AND SHIPWRECKED 69
Handing
over to a
belligerent
Wounded
taken on
board a
neutral
warship
ART. 16. — Subject to the provisions of Article 12, the wounded,
sick and shipwrecked of a belligerent who fall into enemy hands
shall be prisoners of war, and the provisions of international law
concerning prisoners of war shall apply to them. The captor may
decide, according to circumstances, whether it is expedient to hold
them, or to convey them to a port in the captor’s own country, to a
neutral port or even to a port in enemy territory. In the last case,
prisoners of war thus returned to their home country may not serve
for the duration of the war.
ART. 17. — Wounded, sick or shipwrecked persons who are
landed in neutral ports with the consent of the local authorities,
shall, failing arrangements to the contrary between the neutral and
the belligerent Powers, be so guarded by the neutral Power,where so
required by international law, that the said persons cannot again
take part in operations of war.
The costs of hospital accommodation and internment shall be
borne by the Power on whom the wounded, sick or shipwrecked
persons depend.
ART. 18. — After each engagement, Parties to the conflict shall,
without delay, take all possible measures to search for and collect the
shipwrecked,wounded and sick, to protect them against pillage and
ill-treatment, to ensure their adequate care, and to search for the
dead and prevent their being despoiled.
Whenever circumstances permit, the Parties to the conflict shall
conclude local arrangements for the removal of the wounded and
sick by sea from a besieged or encircled area and for the passage of
medical and religious personnel and equipment on their way to that
area.
ART. 19. — The Parties to the conflict shall record as soon as
possible, in respect of each shipwrecked, wounded, sick or dead
person of the adverse Party falling into their hands, any particulars
which may assist in his identification. These records should if
possible include:
a) designation of the Power on which he depends;
b) army, regimental, personal or serial number;
c) surname;
d) first name or names;
e) date of birth;
f) any other particulars shown on his identity card or disc;
70 SECOND GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Wounded
falling into
enemy hands
Wounded
landed in a
neutral port
Search for
casualties
after an
engagement
Recording
and
forwarding of
information
g) date and place of capture or death;
h) particulars concerning wounds or illness, or cause of death.
As soon as possible the above-mentioned information shall be
forwarded to the Information Bureau described in Article 122 of the
Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners ofWar of
August 12, 1949,which shall transmit this information to the Power
on which these persons depend through the intermediary of the
Protecting Power and of the Central Prisoners ofWar Agency.
Parties to the conflict shall prepare and forward to each other
through the same bureau, certificates of death or duly authenticated
lists of the dead.They shall likewise collect and forward through the
same bureau one half of the double identity disc, or the identity disc
itself if it is a single disc, last wills or other documents of importance
to the next of kin,money and in general all articles of an intrinsic or
sentimental value, which are found on the dead. These articles
together with unidentified articles, shall be sent in sealed packets,
accompanied by statements giving all particulars necessary for the
identification of the deceased owners, as well as by a complete list of
the contents of the parcel.
ART. 20. — Parties to the conflict shall ensure that burial at sea of
the dead, carried out individually as far as circumstances permit, is
preceded by a careful examination, if possible by a medical
examination, of the bodies, with a view to confirming death,
establishing identity and enabling a report to be made. Where a
double identity disc is used, one half of the disc should remain on
the body.
If dead persons are landed, the provisions of the Geneva
Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded
and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of August 12, 1949, shall be
applicable.
ART. 21. — The Parties to the conflict may appeal to the charity
of commanders of neutral merchant vessels, yachts or other craft, to
take on board and care for wounded, sick or shipwrecked persons,
and to collect the dead.
Vessels of any kind responding to this appeal, and those having of
their own accord collected wounded, sick or shipwrecked persons,
shall enjoy special protection and facilities to carry out such
assistance.
They may, in no case, be captured on account of any such
transport; but, in the absence of any promise to the contrary, they
shall remain liable to capture for any violations of neutrality they
may have committed.
WOUNDED, SICK AND SHIPWRECKED 71
Prescriptions
regarding
the dead
Appeals to
neutral
vessels
CHAPTER III
Hospital Ships
ART. 22. — Military hospital ships, that is to say, ships built or
equipped by the Powers specially and solely with a view to assisting
the wounded, sick and shipwrecked, to treating them and to
transporting them, may in no circumstances be attacked or
captured, but shall at all times be respected and protected, on
condition that their names and descriptions have been notified to
the Parties to the conflict ten days before those ships are employed.
The characteristics which must appear in the notification shall
include registered gross tonnage, the length from stem to stern and
the number of masts and funnels.
ART. 23. — Establishments ashore entitled to the protection of
the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of
the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of August 12,
1949, shall be protected from bombardment or attack from the sea.
ART. 24. — Hospital ships utilized by National Red Cross
Societies, by officially recognized relief societies or by private
persons shall have the same protection as military hospital ships
and shall be exempt from capture, if the Party to the conflict on
which they depend has given them an official commission and in so
far as the provisions of Article 22 concerning notification have been
complied with.
These ships must be provided with certificates from the
responsible authorities, stating that the vessels have been under
their control while fitting out and on departure.
ART. 25. — Hospital ships utilized by National Red Cross
Societies, officially recognized relief societies, or private persons of
neutral countries shall have the same protection as military hospital
ships and shall be exempt from capture, on condition that they have
placed themselves under the control of one of the Parties to the
conflict, with the previous consent of their own governments and
with the authorization of the Party to the conflict concerned, in so
far as the provisions of Article 22 concerning notification have been
complied with.
ART. 26. — The protection mentioned in Articles 22, 24 and 25
shall apply to hospital ships of any tonnage and to their lifeboats,
wherever they are operating. Nevertheless, to ensure the maximum
72 SECOND GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Notification
and
protection of
military
hospital ships
Protection of
medical
establishments
ashore
Hospital
ships utilized
by relief
societies and
private
individuals of
I.
Parties to
the conflict
II.
Neutral
countries
Tonnage
comfort and security, the Parties to the conflict shall endeavour to
utilize, for the transport of wounded, sick and shipwrecked over
long distances and on the high seas,only hospital ships of over 2,000
tons gross.
ART. 27. — Under the same conditions as those provided for in
Articles 22 and 24, small craft employed by the State or by the officially
recognized lifeboat institutions for coastal rescue operations, shall also
be respected and protected, so far as operational requirements permit.
The same shall apply so far as possible to fixed coastal installations
used exclusively by these craft for their humanitarian missions.
ART. 28. — Should fighting occur on board a warship, the sickbays
shall be respected and spared as far as possible. Sick-bays and
their equipment shall remain subject to the laws of warfare, but may
not be diverted from their purpose so long as they are required for
the wounded and sick. Nevertheless, the commander into whose
power they have fallen may, after ensuring the proper care of the
wounded and sick who are accommodated therein, apply them to
other purposes in case of urgent military necessity.
ART. 29. — Any hospital ship in a port which falls into the hands
of the enemy shall be authorized to leave the said port.
ART. 30. — The vessels described in Articles 22, 24, 25 and 27
shall afford relief and assistance to the wounded, sick and
shipwrecked without distinction of nationality.
The High Contracting Parties undertake not to use these vessels
for any military purpose.
Such vessels shall in no wise hamper the movements of the
combatants.
During and after an engagement, they will act at their own risk.
ART. 31. — The Parties to the conflict shall have the right to
control and search the vessels mentioned in Articles 22, 24, 25 and
27. They can refuse assistance from these vessels, order them off,
make them take a certain course, control the use of their wireless
and other means of communication, and even detain them for a
period not exceeding seven days from the time of interception, if the
gravity of the circumstances so requires.
They may put a commissioner temporarily on board whose sole
task shall be to see that orders given in virtue of the provisions of the
preceding paragraph are carried out.
WOUNDED, SICK AND SHIPWRECKED 73
Coastal
rescue craft
Protection of
sick-bays
Hospital ships
in occupied
ports
Employment
of hospital
ships and
small craft
Right of
control and
search
As far as possible, the Parties to the conflict shall enter in the log
of the hospital ship, in a language he can understand, the orders
they have given the captain of the vessel.
Parties to the conflict may, either unilaterally or by particular
agreements, put on board their ships neutral observers who shall
verify the strict observation of the provisions contained in the
present Convention.
ART. 32. — Vessels described in Articles 22, 24, 25 and 27 are not
classed as warships as regards their stay in a neutral port.
ART. 33. — Merchant vessels which have been transformed into
hospital ships cannot be put to any other use throughout the
duration of hostilities.
ART. 34. — The protection to which hospital ships and sick-bays
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 remained unheeded.
In particular, hospital ships may not possess or use a secret code
for their wireless or other means of communication.
ART. 35.— The following conditions shall not be considered as
depriving hospital ships or sick-bays of vessels of the protection due
to them:
1) The fact that the crews of ships or sick-bays are armed for the
maintenance of order, for their own defence or that of the sick
and wounded.
2) The presence on board of apparatus exclusively intended to
facilitate navigation or communication.
3) The discovery on board hospital ships or in sick-bays of
portable arms and ammunition taken from the wounded, sick
and shipwrecked and not yet handed to the proper service.
4) The fact that the humanitarian activities of hospital ships and
sick-bays of vessels or of the crews extend to the care of
wounded, sick or shipwrecked civilians.
5) The transport of equipment and of personnel intended
exclusively for medical duties, over and above the normal
requirements.
74 SECOND GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Stay in a
neutral port
Converted
merchant
vessels
Discontinuance
of
protection
Conditions
not depriving
hospital ships
of protection
CHAPTER IV
Personnel
ART. 36. — The religious, medical and hospital personnel of
hospital ships and their crews shall be respected and protected; they
may not be captured during the time they are in the service of the
hospital ship, whether or not there are wounded and sick on board.
ART. 37. — The religious, medical and hospital personnel
assigned to the medical or spiritual care of the persons designated
in Articles 12 and 13 shall, if they fall into the hands of the enemy,
be respected and protected; they may continue to carry out their
duties as long as this is necessary for the care of the wounded and
sick.They shall afterwards be sent back as soon as the Commanderin-
Chief, under whose authority they are, considers it practicable.
They may take with them, on leaving the ship, their personal
property.
If, however, it proves necessary to retain some of this personnel
owing to the medical or spiritual needs of prisoners of war,
everything possible shall be done for their earliest possible landing.
Retained personnel shall be subject,on landing, to the provisions of
the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the
Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of August 12, 1949.
CHAPTER V
Medical Transports
ART. 38. — Ships chartered for that purpose shall be authorized
to transport equipment exclusively intended for the treatment of
wounded and sick members of armed forces or for the prevention of
disease, provided that the particulars regarding their voyage have
been notified to the adverse Power and approved by the latter. The
adverse Power shall preserve the right to board the carrier ships, but
not to capture them or to seize the equipment carried.
By agreement amongst the Parties to the conflict, neutral
observers may be placed on board such ships to verify the
equipment carried. For this purpose, free access to the equipment
shall be given.
WOUNDED, SICK AND SHIPWRECKED 75
Protection of
the personnel
of hospital
ships
Medical and
religious
personnel of
other ships
Ships used
for the
conveyance
of medical
equipment
ART. 39. — Medical aircraft, that is to say, aircraft exclusively
employed for the removal of wounded, sick and shipwrecked, and
for the transport of medical personnel and equipment, may not be
the object of attack, but shall be respected by the Parties to the
conflict, while flying at heights, at times and on routes specifically
agreed upon between the Parties to the conflict concerned.
They shall be clearly marked with the distinctive emblem
prescribed in Article 41, together with their national colours, on
their lower, upper and lateral surfaces. They shall be provided with
any other markings or means of identification which may be agreed
upon between the Parties to the conflict upon the outbreak or
during the course of hostilities.
Unless agreed otherwise, flights over enemy or enemy-occupied
territory are prohibited.
Medical aircraft shall obey every summons to alight on land or
water. In the event of having thus to alight, the aircraft with its
occupants may continue its flight after examination, if any.
In the event of alighting involuntarily on land or water in enemy
or enemy-occupied territory, the wounded, sick and shipwrecked,
as well as the crew of the aircraft shall be prisoners of war. The
medical personnel shall be treated according to Articles 36 and 37.
ART. 40. — Subject to the provisions of the second paragraph,
medical aircraft of Parties to the conflict may fly over the territory
of neutral Powers, land thereon in case of necessity, or use it as a
port of call. They shall give neutral Powers prior notice of their
passage over the said territory, and obey every summons to alight,
on land or water.They will be immune from attack only when flying
on routes, at heights and at times specifically agreed upon between
the Parties to the conflict and the neutral Power concerned.
The neutral Powers may, however, place conditions or
restrictions on the passage or landing of medical aircraft on their
territory. Such possible conditions or restrictions shall be applied
equally to all Parties to the conflict.
Unless otherwise agreed between the neutral Powers and the
Parties to the conflict, the wounded, sick or shipwrecked who are
disembarked with the consent of the local authorities on neutral
territory by medical aircraft shall be detained by the neutral Power,
where so required by international law, in such a manner that they
cannot again take part in operations of war. The cost of their
accommodation and internment shall be borne by the Power on
which they depend.
76 SECOND GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Medical
aircraft
Flight over
neutral
countries.
Landing of
wounded
CHAPTER VI
The Distinctive Emblem
ART. 41. — Under the direction of the competent military
authority, the emblem of the red cross on a white ground shall be
displayed on the flags, armlets and on all equipment employed in
the Medical Service.
Nevertheless, in the case of countries which already use as
emblem,in place of the red cross, the red crescent or the red lion and
sun on a white ground, these emblems are also recognized by the
terms of the present Convention.
ART. 42. — The personnel designated in Articles 36 and 37 shall
wear, affixed to the left arm, a water-resistant armlet bearing the
distinctive emblem, issued and stamped by the military authority.
Such personnel, in addition to wearing the identity disc
mentioned in Article 19, shall also carry a special identity card
bearing the distinctive emblem. This card shall be water-resistant
and of such size that it can be carried in the pocket. It shall be
worded in the national language, shall mention at least the surname
and first names, the date of birth, the rank and the service number
of the bearer, and shall state in what capacity he is entitled to the
protection of the present Convention. The card shall bear the
photograph of the owner and also either his signature or his fingerprints
or both. It shall be embossed with the stamp of the military
authority.
The identity card shall be uniform throughout the same armed
forces and, as far as possible, of a similar type in the armed forces of
the High Contracting Parties. The Parties to the conflict may be
guided by the model which is annexed, by way of example, to the
present Convention.They shall inform each other, at the outbreak of
hostilities, of the model they are using. Identity cards should be
made out, if possible, at least in duplicate,one copy being kept by the
home country.
In no circumstances may the said personnel be deprived of their
insignia or identity cards nor of the right to wear the armlet. In cases
of loss they shall be entitled to receive duplicates of the cards and to
have the insignia replaced.
ART. 43. — The ships designated in Articles 22, 24, 25 and 27 shall
be distinctively marked as follows:
a) All exterior surfaces shall be white.
WOUNDED, SICK AND SHIPWRECKED 77
Use of the
emblem
Identification
of medical
and religious
personnel
Marking of
hospital ships
and small
craft
b) One or more dark red crosses, as large as possible, shall be
painted and displayed on each side of the hull and on the horizontal
surfaces, so placed as to afford the greatest possible visibility from
the sea and from the air.
All hospital ships shall make themselves known by hoisting their
national flag and further, if they belong to a neutral state, the flag of
the Party to the conflict whose direction they have accepted.A white
flag with a red cross shall be flown at the mainmast as high as
possible.
Lifeboats of hospital ships, coastal lifeboats and all small craft
used by the Medical Service shall be painted white with dark red
crosses prominently displayed and shall, in general, comply with the
identification system prescribed above for hospital ships.
The above-mentioned ships and craft,which may wish to ensure
by night and in times of reduced visibility the protection to which
they are entitled, must, subject to the assent of the Party to the
conflict under whose power they are, take the necessary measures to
render their painting and distinctive emblems sufficiently apparent.
Hospital ships which, in accordance with Article 31, are
provisionally detained by the enemy,must haul down the flag of the
Party to the conflict in whose service they are or whose direction
they have accepted.
Coastal lifeboats, if they continue to operate with the consent of
the Occupying Power from a base which is occupied, may be
allowed, when away from their base, to continue to fly their own
national colours along with a flag carrying a red cross on a white
ground, subject to prior notification to all the Parties to the conflict
concerned.
All the provisions in this Article relating to the red cross shall
apply equally to the other emblems mentioned in Article 41.
Parties to the conflict shall at all times endeavour to conclude
mutual agreements, in order to use the most modern methods
available to facilitate the identification of hospital ships.
ART. 44. — The distinguishing signs referred to in Article 43 can
only be used, whether in time of peace or war, for indicating or
protecting the ships therein mentioned, except as may be provided
in any other international Convention or by agreement between all
the Parties to the conflict concerned.
ART. 45. — The High Contracting Parties shall, if their legislation
is not already adequate, take the measures necessary for the
prevention and repression, at all times, of any abuse of the
distinctive signs provided for under Article 43.
78 SECOND GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Limitation in
the use of
markings
Prevention of
misuse
CHAPTER VII
Execution of the Convention
ART. 46. — Each Party to the conflict, acting through its
Commanders-in-Chief, shall ensure the detailed execution of the
preceding Articles and provide for unforeseen cases, in conformity
with the general principles of the present Convention.
ART. 47. — Reprisals against the wounded, sick and shipwrecked
persons, the personnel, the vessels or the equipment protected by
the Convention are prohibited.
ART. 48. — 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, in particular
to the armed fighting forces, the medical personnel and the
chaplains.
ART. 49. — 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 thereof.
CHAPTER VIII
Repression of Abuses and Infractions
ART. 50. — 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 Article.
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
WOUNDED, SICK AND SHIPWRECKED 79
Detailed
execution.
Unforeseen
cases
Prohibition
of reprisals
Translations.
Rules of
application
Penal
sanctions
I.
General
observations
Dissemination
of the
Convention
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
Article.
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 August 12, 1949.
ART. 51. — 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 Convention: wilful
killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including biological
experiments, wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to
body or health, and extensive destruction and appropriation of
property, not justified by military necessity and carried out
unlawfully and wantonly.
ART. 52. — 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. 53. — 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 the Convention.
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
possible delay.
Final Provisions
ART. 54. — 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 languages.
80 SECOND GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
II.
Grave
breaches
III.
Responsibilities
of the
Contracting
Parties
Enquiry
procedure
Languages
ART. 55. — The present Convention, which bears the date of this
day, is open to signature until February 12, 1950, in the name of the
Powers represented at the Conference which opened at Geneva on
April 21, 1949; furthermore, by Powers not represented at that
Conference, but which are parties to the Xth Hague Convention of
October 18, 1907, for the adaptation to Maritime Warfare of the
principles of the Geneva Convention of 1906, or to the Geneva
Conventions of 1864, 1906 or 1929 for the Relief of the Wounded
and Sick in Armies in the Field.
ART. 56. — The present Convention shall be ratified as soon as
possible and the ratifications shall be deposited at Berne.
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 notified.
ART. 57. — 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 instruments of ratification.
ART. 58. — The present Convention replaces the Xth Hague
Convention of October 18, 1907, for the adaptation to Maritime
Warfare of the principles of the Geneva Convention of 1906, in
relations between the High Contracting Parties.
ART. 59. — 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. 60. — 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. 61. — The situations provided for in Articles 2 and 3 shall
give 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.
WOUNDED, SICK AND SHIPWRECKED 81
Signature
Ratification
Coming into
force
Relation to
the 1907
Convention
Accession
Notification
of accessions
Immediate
effect
ART. 62. — 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
Contracting Parties.
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 and repatriation 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. 63. — 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 States.
82 SECOND GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Denunciation
Registration
with the
United
Nations

GENERAL PROVISIONS
ARTICLE 1.— The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect
and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all
circumstances.
ART. 2. — In addition to the provisions which shall be
implemented in peacetime, 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,
Respect
for the
Convention1
Application
of the
Convention
Conflicts
not of an
international
character
1 The marginal notes or titles of articles have been drafted by the Swiss Federal
Department of Foreign Affairs.
without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion
or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.
To this end, the following acts are and shall remain prohibited
at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to
the above-mentioned persons:
a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all
kinds,mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
b) taking of hostages;
c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating
and degrading treatment;
d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of
executions without previous judgment pronounced by a
regularly constituted court affording all the judicial
guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by
civilized peoples.
2) The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.
An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International
Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to
the conflict.
The Parties to the conflict should further endeavour to bring into
force, by means of special agreements, all or part of the other
provisions of the present Convention.
The application of the preceding provisions shall not affect the
legal status of the Parties to the conflict.
ART. 4. — A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present
Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following
categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:
1) Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict as well
as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of
such armed forces.
2) Members of other militias and members of other volunteer
corps, including those of organized resistance movements,
belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or
outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied,
provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such
organized resistance movements, fulfil the following
conditions:
a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his
subordinates;
b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a
distance;
92 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Prisoners
of war
c) that of carrying arms openly;
d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the
laws and customs of war.
3) Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a
government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining
Power.
4) Persons who accompany the armed forces without actually
being members thereof, such as civilian members of military
aircraft crews, war correspondents, supply contractors,
members of labour units or of services responsible for the
welfare of the armed forces, provided that they have received
authorization from the armed forces which they accompany,
who shall provide them for that purpose with an identity card
similar to the annexed model.
5) Members of crews, including masters, pilots and apprentices
of the merchant marine and the crews of civil aircraft of the
Parties to the conflict,who do not benefit by more favourable
treatment under any other provisions of international law.
6) Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory who, on the approach
of the enemy, spontaneously take up arms to resist the
invading forces, without having had time to form themselves
into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly
and respect the laws and customs of war.
B. The following shall likewise be treated as prisoners of war
under the present Convention:
1) Persons belonging, or having belonged, to the armed forces of
the occupied country, if the occupying Power considers it
necessary by reason of such allegiance to intern them, even
though it has originally liberated them while hostilities were
going on outside the territory it occupies, in particular where
such persons have made an unsuccessful attempt to rejoin the
armed forces to which they belong and which are engaged in
combat, or where they fail to comply with a summons made
to them with a view to internment.
2) The persons belonging to one of the categories enumerated in
the present Article,who have been received by neutral or nonbelligerent
Powers on their territory and whom these Powers
are required to intern under international law, without
prejudice to any more favourable treatment which these
Powers may choose to give and with the exception of
Articles 8, 10, 15, 30, fifth paragraph, 58-67, 92, 126 and,
PRISONERS OF WAR 93
where diplomatic relations exist between the Parties to the
conflict and the neutral or non-belligerent Power concerned,
those Articles concerning the Protecting Power.Where such
diplomatic relations exist, the Parties to a conflict on whom
these persons depend shall be allowed to perform towards
them the functions of a Protecting Power as provided in the
present Convention,without prejudice to the functions which
these Parties normally exercise in conformity with diplomatic
and consular usage and treaties.
C. This Article shall in no way affect the status of medical
personnel and chaplains as provided for in Article 33 of the present
Convention.
ART. 5. — The present Convention shall apply to the persons
referred to in Article 4 from the time they fall into the power of the
enemy and until their final release and repatriation.
Should any doubt arise as to whether persons having committed
a belligerent act and having fallen into the hands of the enemy
belong to any of the categories enumerated in Article 4, such
persons shall enjoy the protection of the present Convention until
such time as their status has been determined by a competent
tribunal.
ART. 6. — In addition to the agreements expressly provided for in
Articles 10, 23, 28, 33, 60, 65, 66, 67, 72, 73, 75, 109, 110, 118, 119, 122
and 132, the High Contracting Parties may conclude other special
agreements for all matters concerning which they may deem it
suitable to make separate provision. No special agreement shall
adversely affect the situation of prisoners of war, as defined by the
present Convention, nor restrict the rights which it confers upon
them.
Prisoners of war shall continue to have the benefit of such
agreements as long as the Convention is applicable to them, except
where express provisions to the contrary are contained in the
aforesaid or in subsequent agreements, or where more favourable
measures have been taken with regard to them by one or other of
the Parties to the conflict.
ART. 7. — Prisoners of war may in no circumstances renounce in
part or in entirety the rights secured to them by the present
Convention, and by the special agreements referred to in the
foregoing Article, if such there be.
94 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Beginning
and end of
application
Special
agreements
Nonrenunciation
of rights
ART. 8. — The present Convention shall be applied with the cooperation
and under the scrutiny of the Protecting Powers whose
duty it is to safeguard the interests of the Parties to the conflict. For
this purpose, the Protecting Powers may appoint, apart from their
diplomatic or consular staff, delegates from amongst their own
nationals or the nationals of other neutral Powers. The said
delegates shall be subject to the approval of the Power with which
they are to carry out their duties.
The Parties to the conflict shall facilitate to the greatest extent
possible the task of the representatives or delegates of the Protecting
Powers.
The representatives or delegates of the Protecting Powers shall
not in any case exceed their mission under the present Convention.
They shall, in particular, take account of the imperative necessities
of security of the State wherein they carry out their duties.
ART. 9. — 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 prisoners of war and for
their relief.
ART. 10. — The High Contracting Parties may at any time agree
to entrust to an organization which offers all guarantees of
impartiality and efficacy the duties incumbent on the Protecting
Powers by virtue of the present Convention.
When prisoners of war 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 a conflict.
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
present Convention.
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
PRISONERS OF WAR 95
Protecting
Powers
Activities
of the
International
Committee of
the Red Cross
Substitutes
for Protecting
Powers
shall be required to furnish sufficient assurances that it is in a
position to undertake the appropriate functions and to discharge
them impartially.
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
occupied.
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.
ART. 11. — 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 prisoners of war,
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 PRISONERS OF WAR
ART. 12. — Prisoners of war are in the hands of the enemy Power,
but not of the individuals or military units who have captured them.
Irrespective of the individual responsibilities that may exist, the
Detaining Power is responsible for the treatment given them.
Prisoners of war may only be transferred by the Detaining Power
to a Power which is a party to the Convention and after the
Detaining Power has satisfied itself of the willingness and ability of
such transferee Power to apply the Convention.When prisoners of
96 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Conciliation
procedure
Responsibility
for the
treatment
of prisoners
war are transferred under such circumstances, responsibility for the
application of the 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
Convention in any important respect, the Power by whom the
prisoners of war were transferred shall, upon being notified by the
Protecting Power, take effective measures to correct the situation or
shall request the return of the prisoners of war. Such requests must
be complied with.
ART. 13. — Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely
treated. Any unlawful act or omission by the Detaining Power
causing death or seriously endangering the health of a prisoner of
war in its custody is prohibited, and will be regarded as a serious
breach of the present Convention. In particular, no prisoner of war
may be subjected to physical mutilation or to medical or scientific
experiments of any kind which are not justified by the medical,
dental or hospital treatment of the prisoner concerned and carried
out in his interest.
Likewise, prisoners of war must at all times be protected,
particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against
insults and public curiosity.
Measures of reprisal against prisoners of war are prohibited.
ART. 14. — Prisoners of war are entitled in all circumstances to
respect for their persons and their honour.
Women shall be treated with all the regard due to their sex and shall
in all cases benefit by treatment as favourable as that granted to men.
Prisoners of war shall retain the full civil capacity which they
enjoyed at the time of their capture. The Detaining Power may not
restrict the exercise, either within or without its own territory, of the
rights such capacity confers except in so far as the captivity requires.
ART. 15. — The Power detaining prisoners of war shall be bound
to provide free of charge for their maintenance and for the medical
attention required by their state of health.
ART. 16. — Taking into consideration the provisions of the present
Convention relating to rank and sex, and subject to any privileged
treatment which may be accorded to them by reason of their state of
health, age or professional qualifications, all prisoners of war shall be
treated alike by the Detaining Power,without any adverse distinction
based on race,nationality, religious belief or political opinions, or any
other distinction founded on similar criteria.
PRISONERS OF WAR 97
Humane
treatment
of prisoners
Respect for
the person
of prisoners
Maintenance
of prisoners
Equality of
treatment
PART III
CAPTIVITY
SECTION I
BEGINNING OF CAPTIVITY
ART. 17. — Every prisoner of war, when questioned on the
subject, is bound to give only his surname, first names and rank,
date of birth, and army, regimental, personal or serial number, or
failing this, equivalent information.
If he wilfully infringes this rule, he may render himself liable to a
restriction of the privileges accorded to his rank or status.
Each Party to a conflict is required to furnish the persons under
its jurisdiction who are liable to become prisoners of war, with an
identity card showing the owner’s surname, first names, rank, army,
regimental, personal or serial number or equivalent information,
and date of birth. The identity card may, furthermore, bear the
signature or the finger-prints, or both, of the owner, and may bear,
as well, any other information the Party to the conflict may wish to
add concerning persons belonging to its armed forces. As far as
possible the card shall measure 6.5 x 10 cm and shall be issued in
duplicate. The identity card shall be shown by the prisoner of war
upon demand, but may in no case be taken away from him.
No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion,
may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them
information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to
answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any
unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind.
Prisoners of war who, owing to their physical or mental
condition, are unable to state their identity, shall be handed over to
the medical service. The identity of such prisoners shall be
established by all possible means, subject to the provisions of the
preceding paragraph.
The questioning of prisoners of war shall be carried out in a
language which they understand.
ART. 18. — All effects and articles of personal use, except arms,
horses,military equipment and military documents, shall remain in
the possession of prisoners of war, likewise their metal helmets and
98 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Questioning
of prisoners
Property of
prisoners
gas masks and like articles issued for personal protection. Effects
and articles used for their clothing or feeding shall likewise remain
in their possession, even if such effects and articles belong to their
regulation military equipment.
At no time should prisoners of war be without identity
documents. The Detaining Power shall supply such documents to
prisoners of war who possess none.
Badges of rank and nationality, decorations and articles having
above all a personal or sentimental value may not be taken from
prisoners of war.
Sums of money carried by prisoners of war may not be taken
away from them except by order of an officer, and after the amount
and particulars of the owner have been recorded in a special register
and an itemized receipt has been given, legibly inscribed with the
name, rank and unit of the person issuing the said receipt. Sums in
the currency of the Detaining Power,or which are changed into such
currency at the prisoner’s request, shall be placed to the credit of the
prisoner’s account as provided in Article 64.
The Detaining Power may withdraw articles of value from
prisoners of war only for reasons of security; when such articles are
withdrawn, the procedure laid down for sums of money impounded
shall apply.
Such objects, likewise the sums taken away in any currency other
than that of the Detaining Power and the conversion of which has
not been asked for by the owners, shall be kept in the custody of the
Detaining Power and shall be returned in their initial shape to
prisoners of war at the end of their captivity.
ART. 19. — Prisoners of war shall be evacuated, as soon as
possible after their capture, to camps situated in an area far enough
from the combat zone for them to be out of danger.
Only those prisoners of war who, owing to wounds or sickness,
would run greater risks by being evacuated than by remaining
where they are, may be temporarily kept back in a danger zone.
Prisoners of war shall not be unnecessarily exposed to danger
while awaiting evacuation from a fighting zone.
ART. 20. — The evacuation of prisoners of war shall always be
effected humanely and in conditions similar to those for the forces
of the Detaining Power in their changes of station.
The Detaining Power shall supply prisoners of war who are being
evacuated with sufficient food and potable water, and with the
necessary clothing and medical attention. The Detaining Power
shall take all suitable precautions to ensure their safety during
PRISONERS OF WAR 99
Evacuation
of prisoners
Conditions of
evacuation
evacuation, and shall establish as soon as possible a list of the
prisoners of war who are evacuated.
If prisoners of war must, during evacuation, pass through transit
camps, their stay in such camps shall be as brief as possible.
SECTION II
INTERNMENT OF PRISONERS OF WAR
CHAPTER I
General Observations
ART. 21. — The Detaining Power may subject prisoners of war to
internment. It may impose on them the obligation of not leaving,
beyond certain limits, the camp where they are interned, or if the
said camp is fenced in, of not going outside its perimeter. Subject to
the provisions of the present Convention relative to penal and
disciplinary sanctions, prisoners of war may not be held in close
confinement except where necessary to safeguard their health and
then only during the continuation of the circumstances which make
such confinement necessary.
Prisoners of war may be partially or wholly released on parole or
promise, in so far as is allowed by the laws of the Power on which
they depend. Such measures shall be taken particularly in cases
where this may contribute to the improvement of their state of
health. No prisoner of war shall be compelled to accept liberty on
parole or promise.
Upon the outbreak of hostilities, each Party to the conflict shall
notify the adverse Party of the laws and regulations allowing or
forbidding its own nationals to accept liberty on parole or promise.
Prisoners of war who are paroled or who have given their promise
in conformity with the laws and regulations so notified, are bound
on their personal honour scrupulously to fulfil, both towards the
Power on which they depend and towards the Power which has
captured them, the engagements of their paroles or promises. In
such cases, the Power on which they depend is bound neither to
require nor to accept from them any service incompatible with the
parole or promise given.
100 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Restriction of
liberty of
movement
ART. 22. — Prisoners of war may be interned only in premises
located on land and affording every guarantee of hygiene and
healthfulness. Except in particular cases which are justified by the
interest of the prisoners themselves, they shall not be interned in
penitentiaries.
Prisoners of war interned in unhealthy areas, or where the
climate is injurious for them, shall be removed as soon as possible to
a more favourable climate.
The Detaining Power shall assemble prisoners of war in camps or
camp compounds according to their nationality, language and
customs, provided that such prisoners shall not be separated from
prisoners of war belonging to the armed forces with which they
were serving at the time of their capture, except with their consent.
ART. 23. — No prisoner of war may at any time be sent to, or
detained in areas where he may be exposed to the fire of the combat
zone, nor may his presence be used to render certain points or areas
immune from military operations.
Prisoners of war shall have shelters against air bombardment and
other hazards of war, to the same extent as the local civilian
population.With the exception of those engaged in the protection
of their quarters against the aforesaid hazards, they may enter such
shelters as soon as possible after the giving of the alarm. Any other
protective measure taken in favour of the population shall also
apply to them.
Detaining Powers shall give the Powers concerned, through the
intermediary of the Protecting Powers, all useful information
regarding the geographical location of prisoner of war camps.
Whenever military considerations permit, prisoner of war camps
shall be indicated in the day-time by the letters PW or PG, placed so
as to be clearly visible from the air. The Powers concerned may,
however, agree upon any other system of marking.Only prisoner of
war camps shall be marked as such.
ART. 24. — Transit or screening camps of a permanent kind shall
be fitted out under conditions similar to those described in the
present Section, and the prisoners therein shall have the same
treatment as in other camps.
PRISONERS OF WAR 101
Places and
conditions of
internment
Security of
prisoners
Permanent
transit camps
CHAPTER II
Quarters, Food and Clothing of Prisoners ofWar
ART. 25. — Prisoners of war shall be quartered under conditions
as favourable as those for the forces of the Detaining Power who are
billeted in the same area. The said conditions shall make allowance
for the habits and customs of the prisoners and shall in no case be
prejudicial to their health.
The foregoing provisions shall apply in particular to the
dormitories of prisoners of war as regards both total surface and
minimum cubic space, and the general installations, bedding and
blankets.
The premises provided for the use of prisoners of war
individually or collectively, shall be entirely protected from
dampness and adequately heated and lighted, in particular between
dusk and lights out. All precautions must be taken against the
danger of fire.
In any camps in which women prisoners of war, as well as men,
are accommodated, separate dormitories shall be provided for them.
ART. 26. — The basic daily food rations shall be sufficient in
quantity, quality and variety to keep prisoners of war in good health
and to prevent loss of weight or the development of nutritional
deficiencies. Account shall also be taken of the habitual diet of the
prisoners.
The Detaining Power shall supply prisoners of war who work
with such additional rations as are necessary for the labour on
which they are employed.
Sufficient drinking water shall be supplied to prisoners of war.
The use of tobacco shall be permitted.
Prisoners of war shall, as far as possible, be associated with the
preparation of their meals; they may be employed for that purpose
in the kitchens. Furthermore, they shall be given the means of
preparing, themselves, the additional food in their possession.
Adequate premises shall be provided for messing.
Collective disciplinary measures affecting food are prohibited.
ART. 27. — Clothing, underwear and footwear shall be supplied
to prisoners of war in sufficient quantities by the Detaining Power,
which shall make allowance for the climate of the region where the
prisoners are detained. Uniforms of enemy armed forces captured
by the Detaining Power should, if suitable for the climate, be made
available to clothe prisoners of war.
102 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Quarters
Food
Clothing
The regular replacement and repair of the above articles shall be
assured by the Detaining Power. In addition, prisoners of war who
work shall receive appropriate clothing, wherever the nature of the
work demands.
ART. 28. — Canteens shall be installed in all camps, where
prisoners of war may procure foodstuffs, soap and tobacco and
ordinary articles in daily use. The tariff shall never be in excess of
local market prices.
The profits made by camp canteens shall be used for the benefit
of the prisoners; a special fund shall be created for this purpose.The
prisoners’ representative shall have the right to collaborate in the
management of the canteen and of this fund.
When a camp is closed down, the credit balance of the special
fund shall be handed to an international welfare organization, to be
employed for the benefit of prisoners of war of the same nationality
as those who have contributed to the fund. In case of a general
repatriation, such profits shall be kept by the Detaining Power,
subject to any agreement to the contrary between the Powers
concerned.
CHAPTER III
Hygiene and Medical Attention
ART. 29. — The Detaining Power shall be bound to take all
sanitary measures necessary to ensure the cleanliness and
healthfulness of camps, and to prevent epidemics.
Prisoners of war shall have for their use, day and night,
conveniences which conform to the rules of hygiene and are
maintained in a constant state of cleanliness. In any camps in which
women prisoners of war are accommodated, separate conveniences
shall be provided for them.
Also, apart from the baths and showers with which the camps
shall be furnished, prisoners of war shall be provided with sufficient
water and soap for their personal toilet and for washing their
personal laundry; the necessary installations, facilities and time
shall be granted them for that purpose.
ART. 30. — Every camp shall have an adequate infirmary where
prisoners of war may have the attention they require, as well as
PRISONERS OF WAR 103
Canteens
Hygiene
Medical
attention
appropriate diet. Isolation wards shall, if necessary, be set aside for
cases of contagious or mental disease.
Prisoners of war suffering from serious disease, or whose
condition necessitates special treatment, a surgical operation or
hospital care, must be admitted to any military or civilian medical
unit where such treatment can be given, even if their repatriation is
contemplated in the near future. Special facilities shall be afforded
for the care to be given to the disabled, in particular to the blind,and
for their rehabilitation, pending repatriation.
Prisoners of war shall have the attention, preferably, of medical
personnel of the Power on which they depend and, if possible, of
their nationality.
Prisoners of war may not be prevented from presenting
themselves to the medical authorities for examination. The
detaining authorities shall, upon request, issue to every prisoner
who has undergone treatment, an official certificate indicating the
nature of his illness or injury, and the duration and kind of
treatment received.A duplicate of this certificate shall be forwarded
to the Central Prisoners ofWar Agency
The costs of treatment, including those of any apparatus
necessary for the maintenance of prisoners of war in good health,
particularly dentures and other artificial appliances, and spectacles,
shall be borne by the Detaining Power.
ART. 31. — Medical inspections of prisoners of war shall be held
at least once a month. They shall include the checking and the
recording of the weight of each prisoner of war. Their purpose shall
be, in particular, to supervise the general state of health, nutrition
and cleanliness of prisoners and to detect contagious diseases,
especially tuberculosis, malaria and venereal disease. For this
purpose the most efficient methods available shall be employed,
e.g. periodic mass miniature radiography for the early detection of
tuberculosis.
ART. 32. — Prisoners of war who, though not attached to the
medical service of their armed forces, are physicians, surgeons,
dentists, nurses or medical orderlies, may be required by the
Detaining Power to exercise their medical functions in the interests
of prisoners of war dependent on the same Power. In that case they
shall continue to be prisoners of war, but shall receive the same
treatment as corresponding medical personnel retained by the
Detaining Power. They shall be exempted from any other work
under Article 49.
104 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Medical
inspections
Prisoners
engaged
on medical
duties
CHAPTER IV
Medical Personnel and Chaplains Retained
to Assist Prisoners ofWar
ART. 33. — Members of the medical personnel and chaplains
while retained by the Detaining Power with a view to assisting
prisoners of war, shall not be considered as prisoners of war. They
shall, however, receive as a minimum the benefits and protection of
the present Convention, and shall also be granted all facilities
necessary to provide for the medical care of, and religious
ministration to prisoners of war.
They shall continue to exercise their medical and spiritual
functions for the benefit of prisoners of war, preferably those
belonging to the armed forces upon which they depend, within the
scope of the military laws and regulations of the Detaining Power
and under the control of its competent services, in accordance with
their professional etiquette. They shall also benefit by the following
facilities in the exercise of their medical or spiritual functions:
a) They shall be authorized to visit periodically prisoners of war
situated in working detachments or in hospitals outside the
camp. For this purpose, the Detaining Power shall place at
their disposal the necessary means of transport.
b) The senior medical officer in each camp shall be responsible
to the camp military authorities for everything connected
with the activities of retained medical personnel. For this
purpose, Parties to the conflict shall agree at the outbreak of
hostilities on the subject of the corresponding ranks of the
medical personnel, including that of societies mentioned in
Article 26 of the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of
the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in
the Field of August 12, 1949. This senior medical officer, as
well as chaplains, shall have the right to deal with the
competent authorities of the camp on all questions relating to
their duties. Such authorities shall afford them all necessary
facilities for correspondence relating to these questions.
c) Although they shall be subject to the internal discipline of the
camp in which they are retained, such personnel may not be
compelled to carry out any work other than that concerned
with their medical or religious duties.
During hostilities, the Parties to the conflict shall agree
concerning the possible relief of retained personnel and shall settle
the procedure to be followed.
PRISONERS OF WAR 105
Rights and
privileges of
retained
personnel
None of the preceding provisions shall relieve the Detaining
Power of its obligations with regard to prisoners of war from the
medical or spiritual point of view.
CHAPTER V
Religious, Intellectual and Physical Activities
ART. 34. — Prisoners of war shall enjoy complete latitude in the
exercise of their religious duties, including attendance at the service
of their faith, on condition that they comply with the disciplinary
routine prescribed by the military authorities.
Adequate premises shall be provided where religious services
may be held.
ART. 35. — Chaplains who fall into the hands of the enemy Power
and who remain or are retained with a view to assisting prisoners of
war, shall be allowed to minister to them and to exercise freely their
ministry amongst prisoners of war of the same religion, in
accordance with their religious conscience. They shall be allocated
among the various camps and labour detachments containing
prisoners of war belonging to the same forces, speaking the same
language or practising the same religion. They shall enjoy the
necessary facilities, including the means of transport provided for
in Article 33, for visiting the prisoners of war outside their camp.
They shall be free to correspond, subject to censorship, on matters
concerning their religious duties with the ecclesiastical authorities
in the country of detention and with international religious
organizations. Letters and cards which they may send for this
purpose shall be in addition to the quota provided for in Article 71.
ART. 36. — Prisoners of war who are ministers of religion,
without having officiated as chaplains to their own forces, shall be at
liberty, whatever their denomination, to minister freely to the
members of their community. For this purpose, they shall receive
the same treatment as the chaplains retained by the Detaining
Power. They shall not be obliged to do any other work.
ART. 37. — When prisoners of war have not the assistance of a
retained chaplain or of a prisoner of war minister of their faith, a
minister belonging to the prisoners’or a similar denomination,or in
106 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Religious
duties
Retained
chaplains
Prisoners
who are
ministers of
religion
Prisoners
without a
minister of
their religion
his absence a qualified layman, if such a course is feasible from a
confessional point of view, shall be appointed, at the request of the
prisoners concerned, to fill this office. This appointment, subject to
the approval of the Detaining Power, shall take place with the
agreement of the community of prisoners concerned and,wherever
necessary, with the approval of the local religious authorities of the
same faith. The person thus appointed shall comply with all
regulations established by the Detaining Power in the interests of
discipline and military security.
ART. 38. — While respecting the individual preferences of every
prisoner, the Detaining Power shall encourage the practice of
intellectual, educational, and recreational pursuits, sports and
games amongst prisoners, and shall take the measures necessary to
ensure the exercise thereof by providing them with adequate
premises and necessary equipment.
Prisoners shall have opportunities for taking physical exercise,
including sports and games and for being out of doors. Sufficient
open spaces shall be provided for this purpose in all camps.
CHAPTER VI
Discipline
ART. 39. — Every prisoner of war camp shall be put under the
immediate authority of a responsible commissioned officer
belonging to the regular armed forces of the Detaining Power. Such
officer shall have in his possession a copy of the present Convention;
he shall ensure that its provisions are known to the camp staff and
the guard and shall be responsible, under the direction of his
government, for its application.
Prisoners of war, with the exception of officers, must salute and
show to all officers of the Detaining Power the external marks of
respect provided for by the regulations applying in their own forces.
Officer prisoners of war are bound to salute only officers of a
higher rank of the Detaining Power; they must, however, salute the
camp commander regardless of his rank.
ART. 40. — The wearing of badges of rank and nationality, as well
as of decorations, shall be permitted.
PRISONERS OF WAR 107
Recreation,
study, sports
and games
Administration.
Saluting
Badges and
decorations
ART. 41. — In every camp the text of the present Convention and
its Annexes and the contents of any special agreement provided for
in Article 6, shall be posted, in the prisoners’own language, at places
where all may read them.Copies shall be supplied, on request, to the
prisoners who cannot have access to the copy which has been
posted.
Regulations, orders, notices and publications of every kind
relating to the conduct of prisoners of war shall be issued to them in
a language which they understand. Such regulations, orders and
publications shall be posted in the manner described above and
copies shall be handed to the prisoners’ representative. Every order
and command addressed to prisoners of war individually must
likewise be given in a language which they understand.
ART. 42. — The use of weapons against prisoners of war,
especially against those who are escaping or attempting to escape,
shall constitute an extreme measure,which shall always be preceded
by warnings appropriate to the circumstances.
CHAPTER VII
Rank of Prisoners ofWar
ART. 43. — Upon the outbreak of hostilities, the Parties to the
conflict shall communicate to one another the titles and ranks of all
the persons mentioned in Article 4 of the present Convention, in
order to ensure equality of treatment between prisoners of
equivalent rank. Titles and ranks which are subsequently created
shall form the subject of similar communications.
The Detaining Power shall recognize promotions in rank which
have been accorded to prisoners of war and which have been duly
notified by the Power on which these prisoners depend.
ART. 44. — Officers and prisoners of equivalent status shall be
treated with the regard due to their rank and age.
In order to ensure service in officers’ camps, other ranks of the
same armed forces who, as far as possible, speak the same language,
shall be assigned in sufficient numbers, account being taken of the
rank of officers and prisoners of equivalent status. Such orderlies
shall not be required to perform any other work.
108 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Posting of the
Convention,
and of
regulations
and orders
concerning
prisoners
Use of
weapons
Notification
of ranks
Treatment of
officers
Supervision of the mess by the officers themselves shall be
facilitated in every way.
ART. 45. — Prisoners of war other than officers and prisoners of
equivalent status shall be treated with the regard due to their rank
and age.
Supervision of the mess by the prisoners themselves shall be
facilitated in every way.
CHAPTER VIII
Transfer of Prisoners ofWar after their Arrival in Camp
ART. 46. — The Detaining Power, when deciding upon the
transfer of prisoners of war, shall take into account the interests of
the prisoners themselves, more especially so as not to increase the
difficulty of their repatriation.
The transfer of prisoners of war shall always be effected
humanely and in conditions not less favourable than those under
which the forces of the Detaining Power are transferred. Account
shall always be taken of the climatic conditions to which the
prisoners of war are accustomed and the conditions of transfer shall
in no case be prejudicial to their health.
The Detaining Power shall supply prisoners of war during
transfer with sufficient food and drinking water to keep them in
good health, likewise with the necessary clothing, shelter and
medical attention. The Detaining Power shall take adequate
precautions especially in case of transport by sea or by air, to ensure
their safety during transfer, and shall draw up a complete list of all
transferred prisoners before their departure.
ART. 47. — Sick or wounded prisoners of war shall not be
transferred as long as their recovery may be endangered by the
journey, unless their safety imperatively demands it.
If the combat zone draws closer to a camp, the prisoners of war in
the said camp shall not be transferred unless their transfer can be
carried out in adequate conditions of safety, or if they are exposed
to greater risks by remaining on the spot than by being transferred.
ART. 48. — In the event of transfer, prisoners of war shall be
officially advised of their departure and of their new postal address.
PRISONERS OF WAR 109
Treatment
of other
prisoners
Conditions
Circumstances
precluding
transfer
Procedure for
transfer
Such notifications 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, to what each prisoner can reasonably carry,
which shall in no case be more than twenty-five kilograms per head.
Mail and parcels addressed to their former camp shall be
forwarded to them without delay. The camp commander shall take,
in agreement with the prisoners’ representative, any measures
needed to ensure the transport of the prisoners’ community
property and of the luggage they are unable to take with them in
consequence of restrictions imposed by virtue of the second
paragraph of this Article.
The costs of transfers shall be borne by the Detaining Power.
SECTION III
LABOUR OF PRISONERS OF WAR
ART. 49. — The Detaining Power may utilize the labour of
prisoners of war who are physically fit, taking into account their age,
sex, rank and physical aptitude, and with a view particularly to
maintaining them in a good state of physical and mental health.
Non-commissioned officers who are prisoners of war shall only be
required to do supervisory work. Those not so required may ask for
other suitable work which shall, so far as possible, be found for them.
If officers or persons of equivalent status ask for suitable work, it
shall be found for them, so far as possible, but they may in no
circumstances be compelled to work.
ART. 50. — Besides work connected with camp administration,
installation or maintenance, prisoners of war may be compelled to
do only such work as is included in the following classes:
a) agriculture;
b) industries connected with the production or the extraction of
raw materials, and manufacturing industries, with the
exception of metallurgical, machinery and chemical
industries; public works and building operations which have
no military character or purpose;
110 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
General
observations
Authorized
work
c) transport and handling of stores which are not military in
character or purpose;
d) commercial business, and arts and crafts;
e) domestic service;
f) public utility services having no military character or purpose.
Should the above provisions be infringed, prisoners of war shall
be allowed to exercise their right of complaint, in conformity with
Article 78.
ART. 51. — Prisoners of war must be granted suitable working
conditions, especially as regards accommodation, food, clothing
and equipment; such conditions shall not be inferior to those
enjoyed by nationals of the Detaining Power employed in similar
work; account shall also be taken of climatic conditions.
The Detaining Power, in utilizing the labour of prisoners of war,
shall ensure that in areas in which prisoners are employed, the
national legislation concerning the protection of labour, and, more
particularly, the regulations for the safety of workers, are duly applied.
Prisoners of war shall receive training and be provided with the
means of protection suitable to the work they will have to do and
similar to those accorded to the nationals of the Detaining Power.
Subject to the provisions of Article 52, prisoners may be submitted
to the normal risks run by these civilian workers.
Conditions of labour shall in no case be rendered more arduous
by disciplinary measures.
ART. 52.— Unless he be a volunteer, no prisoner of war may be
employed on labour which is of an unhealthy or dangerous nature.
No prisoner of war shall be assigned to labour which would be
looked upon as humiliating for a member of the Detaining Power’s
own forces.
The removal of mines or similar devices shall be considered as
dangerous labour.
ART. 53. — The duration of the daily labour of prisoners of war,
including the time of the journey to and from, shall not be excessive,
and must in no case exceed that permitted for civilian workers in the
district,who are nationals of the Detaining Power and employed on
the same work.
Prisoners of war must be allowed, in the middle of the day’s work,
a rest of not less than one hour. This rest will be the same as that to
which workers of the Detaining Power are entitled, if the latter is of
longer duration. They shall be allowed in addition a rest of
PRISONERS OF WAR 111
Working
conditions
Dangerous
or
humiliating
labour
Duration
of labour
twenty-four consecutive hours every week, preferably on Sunday or
the day of rest in their country of origin. Furthermore, every
prisoner who has worked for one year shall be granted a rest of eight
consecutive days, during which his working pay shall be paid him.
If methods of labour such as piece work are employed, the length
of the working period shall not be rendered excessive thereby.
ART. 54. — The working pay due to prisoners of war shall be
fixed in accordance with the provisions of Article 62 of the present
Convention.
Prisoners of war who sustain accidents in connection with work,
or who contract a disease in the course, or in consequence of their
work, shall receive all the care their condition may require. The
Detaining Power shall furthermore deliver to such prisoners of war
a medical certificate enabling them to submit their claims to the
Power on which they depend, and shall send a duplicate to the
Central Prisoners ofWar Agency provided for in Article 123.
ART. 55. — The fitness of prisoners of war for work shall be
periodically verified by medical examinations at least once a month.
The examinations shall have particular regard to the nature of the
work which prisoners of war are required to do.
If any prisoner of war considers himself incapable of working, he
shall be permitted to appear before the medical authorities of his
camp. Physicians or surgeons may recommend that the prisoners
who are, in their opinion, unfit for work, be exempted therefrom.
ART. 56. — The organization and administration of labour
detachments shall be similar to those of prisoner of war camps.
Every labour detachment shall remain under the control of and
administratively part of a prisoner of war camp. The military
authorities and the commander of the said camp shall be responsible,
under the direction of their government, for the observance of the
provisions of the present Convention in labour detachments.
The camp commander shall keep an up-to-date record of the
labour detachments dependent on his camp, and shall
communicate it to the delegates of the Protecting Power, of the
International Committee of the Red Cross, or of other agencies
giving relief to prisoners of war, who may visit the camp.
ART. 57. — The treatment of prisoners of war who work for
private persons, even if the latter are responsible for guarding and
protecting them, shall not be inferior to that which is provided for
by the present Convention. The Detaining Power, the military
112 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Working pay.
Occupational
accidents
and diseases
Medical
supervision
Labour
detachments
Prisoners
working for
private
employers
authorities and the commander of the camp to which such
prisoners belong shall be entirely responsible for the maintenance,
care, treatment, and payment of the working pay of such prisoners
of war.
Such prisoners of war shall have the right to remain in
communication with the prisoners’ representatives in the camps on
which they depend.
SECTION IV
FINANCIAL RESOURCES OF PRISONERS OF WAR
ART. 58. — Upon the outbreak of hostilities, and pending an
arrangement on this matter with the Protecting Power, the
Detaining Power may determine the maximum amount of money
in cash or in any similar form, that prisoners may have in their
possession. Any amount in excess, which was properly in their
possession and which has been taken or withheld from them, shall
be placed to their account, together with any monies deposited by
them, and shall not be converted into any other currency without
their consent.
If prisoners of war are permitted to purchase services or
commodities outside the camp against payment in cash, such
payments shall be made by the prisoner himself or by the camp
administration who will charge them to the accounts of the
prisoners concerned. The Detaining Power will establish the
necessary rules in this respect.
ART. 59. — Cash which was taken from prisoners of war, in
accordance with Article 18, at the time of their capture, and which is
in the currency of the Detaining Power, shall be placed to their
separate accounts, in accordance with the provisions of Article 64 of
the present Section.
The amounts, in the currency of the Detaining Power, due to the
conversion of sums in other currencies that are taken from the
prisoners of war at the same time, shall also be credited to their
separate accounts.
ART. 60. — The Detaining Power shall grant all prisoners of war
a monthly advance of pay, the amount of which shall be fixed by
PRISONERS OF WAR 113
Ready money
Advances
of pay
Amounts in
cash taken
from
prisoners
conversion, into the currency of the said Power, of the following
amounts:
Category I : Prisoners ranking below sergeants: eight Swiss
francs.
Category II : Sergeants and other non-commissioned officers,
or prisoners of equivalent rank: twelve Swiss
francs.
Category III : Warrant officers and commissioned officers below
the rank of major or prisoners of equivalent rank:
fifty Swiss francs.
Category IV : Majors, lieutenant-colonels, colonels or prisoners
of equivalent rank: sixty Swiss francs.
Category V : General officers or prisoners of war of equivalent
rank: seventy-five Swiss francs.
However, the Parties to the conflict concerned may by special
agreement modify the amount of advances of pay due to prisoners
of the preceding categories.
Furthermore, if the amounts indicated in the first paragraph
above would be unduly high compared with the pay of the
Detaining Power’s armed forces or would, for any reason, seriously
embarrass the Detaining Power, then, pending the conclusion of a
special agreement with the Power on which the prisoners depend to
vary the amounts indicated above, the Detaining Power:
a) shall continue to credit the accounts of the prisoners with the
amounts indicated in the first paragraph above;
b) may temporarily limit the amount made available from these
advances of pay to prisoners of war for their own use, to sums
which are reasonable, but which, for Category I, shall never be
inferior to the amount that the Detaining Power gives to the
members of its own armed forces.
The reasons for any limitations will be given without delay to the
Protecting Power.
ART. 61. — The Detaining Power shall accept for distribution as
supplementary pay to prisoners of war sums which the Power on
which the prisoners depend may forward to them,on condition that
the sums to be paid shall be the same for each prisoner of the same
category, shall be payable to all prisoners of that category depending
on that Power, and shall be placed in their separate accounts, at the
earliest opportunity, in accordance with the provisions of Article 64.
Such supplementary pay shall not relieve the Detaining Power of
any obligation under this Convention.
114 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Supplementary
pay
ART. 62. — Prisoners of war shall be paid a fair working rate of
pay by the detaining authorities direct.The rate shall be fixed by the
said authorities, but shall at no time be less than one-fourth of one
Swiss franc for a full working day.The Detaining Power shall inform
prisoners of war, as well as the Power on which they depend,
through the intermediary of the Protecting Power, of the rate of
daily working pay that it has fixed.
Working pay shall likewise be paid by the detaining authorities to
prisoners of war permanently detailed to duties or to a skilled or
semi-skilled occupation in connection with the administration,
installation or maintenance of camps, and to the prisoners who are
required to carry out spiritual or medical duties on behalf of their
comrades.
The working pay of the prisoners’ representative, of his advisers,
if any, and of his assistants, shall be paid out of the fund maintained
by canteen profits.The scale of this working pay shall be fixed by the
prisoners’ representative and approved by the camp commander. If
there is no such fund, the detaining authorities shall pay these
prisoners a fair working rate of pay.
ART. 63. — Prisoners of war shall be permitted to receive
remittances of money addressed to them individually or collectively.
Every prisoner of war shall have at his disposal the credit balance
of his account as provided for in the following Article, within the
limits fixed by the Detaining Power, which shall make such
payments as are requested. Subject to financial or monetary
restrictions which the Detaining Power regards as essential,
prisoners of war may also have payments made abroad. In this case
payments addressed by prisoners of war to dependents shall be
given priority.
In any event, and subject to the consent of the Power on which they
depend, prisoners may have payments made in their own country, as
follows: the Detaining Power shall send to the aforesaid Power
through the Protecting Power, a notification giving all the necessary
particulars concerning the prisoners of war, the beneficiaries of the
payments, and the amount of the sums to be paid, expressed in the
Detaining Power’s currency. The said notification shall be signed by
the prisoners and countersigned by the camp commander. The
Detaining Power shall debit the prisoners’ account by a
corresponding amount; the sums thus debited shall be placed by it to
the credit of the Power on which the prisoners depend.
To apply the foregoing provisions, the Detaining Power may
usefully consult the Model Regulations in Annex V of the present
Convention.
PRISONERS OF WAR 115
Working pay
Transfer
of funds
ART. 64. — The Detaining Power shall hold an account for each
prisoner of war, showing at least the following:
1) The amounts due to the prisoner or received by him as
advances of pay, as working pay or derived from any other
source; the sums in the currency of the Detaining Power
which were taken from him; the sums taken from him and
converted at his request into the currency of the said Power.
2) The payments made to the prisoner in cash, or in any other
similar form; the payments made on his behalf and at his
request; the sums transferred under Article 63, third paragraph.
ART. 65. — Every item entered in the account of a prisoner of war
shall be countersigned or initialled by him, or by the prisoners’
representative acting on his behalf.
Prisoners of war shall at all times be afforded reasonable facilities
for consulting and obtaining copies of their accounts, which may
likewise be inspected by the representatives of the Protecting
Powers at the time of visits to the camp.
When prisoners of war are transferred from one camp to
another, their personal accounts will follow them. In case of transfer
from one Detaining Power to another, the monies which are their
property and are not in the currency of the Detaining Power will
follow them. They shall be given certificates for any other monies
standing to the credit of their accounts.
The Parties to the conflict concerned may agree to notify to each
other at specific intervals through the Protecting Power, the amount
of the accounts of the prisoners of war.
ART. 66. — On the termination of captivity, through the release
of a prisoner of war or his repatriation, the Detaining Power shall
give him a statement, signed by an authorized officer of that Power,
showing the credit balance then due to him. The Detaining Power
shall also send through the Protecting Power to the government
upon which the prisoner of war depends, lists giving all appropriate
particulars of all prisoners of war whose captivity has been
terminated by repatriation, release, escape, death or any other
means, and showing the amount of their credit balances. Such lists
shall be certified on each sheet by an authorized representative of
the Detaining Power.
Any of the above provisions of this Article may be varied by
mutual agreement between any two Parties to the conflict.
The Power on which the prisoner of war depends shall be
responsible for settling with him any credit balance due to him from
the Detaining Power on the termination of his captivity.
116 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Prisoners’
accounts
Management
of prisoners’
accounts
Winding up
of accounts
ART. 67. — Advances of pay, issued to prisoners of war in
conformity with Article 60, shall be considered as made on behalf of
the Power on which they depend. Such advances of pay, as well as all
payments made by the said Power under Article 63, third
paragraph, and Article 68, shall form the subject of arrangements
between the Powers concerned, at the close of hostilities.
ART. 68. — Any claim by a prisoner of war for compensation in
respect of any injury or other disability arising out of work shall be
referred to the Power on which he depends, through the Protecting
Power. In accordance with Article 54, the Detaining Power will, in all
cases, provide the prisoner of war concerned with a statement
showing the nature of the injury or disability, the circumstances in
which it arose and particulars of medical or hospital treatment
given for it. This statement will be signed by a responsible officer of
the Detaining Power and the medical particulars certified by a
medical officer.
Any claim by a prisoner of war for compensation in respect of
personal effects, monies or valuables impounded by the Detaining
Power under Article 18 and not forthcoming on his repatriation, or
in respect of loss alleged to be due to the fault of the Detaining
Power or any of its servants, shall likewise be referred to the Power
on which he depends. Nevertheless, any such personal effects
required for use by the prisoners of war whilst in captivity shall be
replaced at the expense of the Detaining Power. The Detaining
Power will, in all cases,provide the prisoner of war with a statement,
signed by a responsible officer, showing all available information
regarding the reasons why such effects,monies or valuables have not
been restored to him. A copy of this statement will be forwarded to
the Power on which he depends through the Central Prisoners of
War Agency provided for in Article 123.
SECTION V
RELATIONS OF PRISONERS OF WAR
WITH THE EXTERIOR
ART. 69. — Immediately upon prisoners of war falling into its
power, the Detaining Power shall inform them and the Powers on
which they depend, through the Protecting Power, of the measures
taken to carry out the provisions of the present Section. They shall
PRISONERS OF WAR 117
Adjustments
between
Parties to the
conflict
Claims for
compensation
Notification
of measures
taken
likewise inform the parties concerned of any subsequent
modifications of such measures.
ART. 70. — Immediately upon capture, or not more than one
week after arrival at a camp, even if it is a transit camp, likewise in
case of sickness or transfer to hospital or another camp, every
prisoner of war shall be enabled to write direct to his family, on the
one hand, and to the Central Prisoners ofWar Agency provided for
in Article 123, on the other hand, a card similar, if possible, to the
model annexed to the present Convention, informing his relatives of
his capture, address and state of health. The said cards shall be
forwarded as rapidly as possible and may not be delayed in any
manner.
ART. 71. — Prisoners of war 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 prisoner of war, the
said number shall not be less than two letters and four cards
monthly, exclusive of the capture cards provided for in Article 70,
and conforming as closely as possible to the models annexed to the
present Convention. Further limitations may be imposed only if the
Protecting Power is satisfied that it would be in the interests of the
prisoners of war concerned to do so owing to difficulties of
translation caused by the Detaining Power’s inability to find
sufficient qualified linguists to carry out the necessary censorship. If
limitations must be placed on the correspondence addressed to
prisoners of war, they may be ordered only by the Power on which
the prisoners depend, possibly at the request of the Detaining
Power. Such letters and cards must be conveyed by the most rapid
method at the disposal of the Detaining Power; they may not be
delayed or retained for disciplinary reasons.
Prisoners of war who have been without news for a long period, or
who are unable to receive news from their next of kin or to give them
news by the ordinary postal route, as well as those who are at a great
distance from their homes, shall be permitted to send telegrams, the
fees being charged against the prisoners of war’s accounts with the
Detaining Power or paid in the currency at their disposal. They shall
likewise benefit by this measure in cases of urgency.
As a general rule, the correspondence of prisoners of war shall be
written in their native language. The Parties to the conflict may
allow correspondence in other languages.
Sacks containing prisoner of war mail must be securely sealed
and labelled so as clearly to indicate their contents, and must be
addressed to offices of destination.
118 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Capture card
Correspondence
ART. 72. — Prisoners of war shall be allowed to receive by post or
by any other means individual parcels or collective shipments
containing, in particular, foodstuffs, clothing, medical supplies and
articles of a religious, educational or recreational character which
may meet their needs, including books, devotional articles scientific
equipment, examination papers,musical instruments, sports outfits
and materials allowing prisoners of war to pursue their studies or
their cultural activities.
Such shipments shall in no way free the Detaining Power from
the obligations imposed upon it by virtue of the present
Convention.
The only limits which may be placed on these shipments shall be
those proposed by the Protecting Power in the interest of the
prisoners themselves, or by the International Committee of the Red
Cross or any other organization giving assistance to the prisoners,
in respect of their own shipments only, on account of exceptional
strain on transport or communications.
The conditions for the sending of individual parcels and
collective relief shall, if necessary, be the subject of special
agreements between the Powers concerned, which may in no case
delay the receipt by the prisoners of relief supplies. Books may not
be included in parcels of clothing and foodstuffs.Medical supplies
shall, as a rule, be sent in collective parcels.
ART. 73. — In the absence of special agreements between the
Powers concerned on the conditions for the receipt and distribution
of collective relief shipments, the rules and regulations concerning
collective shipments,which are annexed to the present Convention,
shall be applied.
The special agreements referred to above shall in no case restrict
the right of prisoners’ representatives to take possession of collective
relief shipments intended for prisoners of war, to proceed to their
distribution or to dispose of them in the interest of the prisoners.
Nor shall such agreements restrict the right of representatives of
the Protecting Power, the International Committee of the Red Cross
or any other organization giving assistance to prisoners of war and
responsible for the forwarding of collective shipments, to supervise
their distribution to the recipients.
ART. 74. — All relief shipments for prisoners of war shall be
exempt from import, customs and other dues.
Correspondence, relief shipments and authorized remittances of
money addressed to prisoners of war or despatched by them
through the post office, either direct or through the Information
PRISONERS OF WAR 119
Relief
shipments
I.
General
principles
II.
Collective
relief
Exemption
from postal
and
transport
charges
Bureaux provided for in Article 122 and the Central Prisoners of
War Agency provided for in Article 123, shall be exempt from any
postal dues, both in the countries of origin and destination, and in
intermediate countries.
If relief shipments intended for prisoners of war cannot be sent
through the post office by reason of weight or for any other cause,
the cost of transportation shall be borne by the Detaining Power in
all the territories under its control. The other Powers party to the
Convention shall bear the cost of transport in their respective
territories.
In the absence of special agreements between the Parties
concerned, the costs connected with transport of such shipments,
other than costs covered by the above exemption, shall be charged
to the senders.
The High Contracting Parties shall endeavour to reduce, so far as
possible, the rates charged for telegrams sent by prisoners of war, or
addressed to them.
ART. 75. — Should military operations prevent the Powers
concerned from fulfilling their obligation to assure the transport of
the shipments referred to in Articles 70, 71, 72 and 77, 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 to ensure the conveyance of such shipments by
suitable means (railway wagons, 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 safe-conducts.
Such transport may also be used to convey:
a) correspondence, lists and reports exchanged between the
Central Information Agency referred to in Article 123 and the
National Bureaux referred to in Article 122;
b) correspondence and reports relating to prisoners of war
which the Protecting Power, the International Committee of
the Red Cross or any other body assisting the prisoners,
exchange either with their own delegates or with the Parties
to the conflict.
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.
In the absence of special agreements, the costs occasioned by the
use of such means of transport shall be borne proportionally by the
Parties to the conflict whose nationals are benefited thereby.
120 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Special
means of
transport
ART. 76. — The censoring of correspondence addressed to
prisoners of war or despatched by them shall be done as quickly as
possible. Mail shall be censored only by the despatching State and
the receiving State, and once only by each.
The examination of consignments intended for prisoners of war
shall not be carried out under conditions that will expose the goods
contained in them to deterioration; except in the case of written or
printed matter, it shall be done in the presence of the addressee, or
of a fellow-prisoner duly delegated by him. The delivery to
prisoners of individual or collective consignments shall not be
delayed under the pretext of difficulties of censorship.
Any prohibition of correspondence ordered by Parties to the
conflict, either for military or political reasons, shall be only
temporary and its duration shall be as short as possible.
ART. 77. — The Detaining Power shall provide all facilities for the
transmission, through the Protecting Power or the Central
Prisoners ofWar Agency provided for in Article 123,of instruments,
papers or documents intended for prisoners of war or despatched
by them, especially powers of attorney and wills.
In all cases they shall facilitate the preparation and execution of
such documents on behalf of prisoners of war; in particular, they
shall allow them to consult a lawyer and shall take what measures
are necessary for the authentication of their signatures.
SECTION VI
RELATIONS BETWEEN PRISONERS OF WAR
AND THE AUTHORITIES
CHAPTER I
Complaints of Prisoners ofWar
Respecting the Conditions of Captivity
ART. 78. — Prisoners of war shall have the right to make known
to the military authorities in whose power they are, their requests
regarding the conditions of captivity to which they are subjected.
PRISONERS OF WAR 121
Censorship
and
examination
Preparation,
execution
and
transmission
of legal
documents
Complaints
and requests
They shall also have the unrestricted right to apply to the
representatives of the Protecting Powers either through their
prisoners’ representative or, if they consider it necessary, direct, in
order to draw their attention to any points on which they may have
complaints to make regarding their conditions of captivity.
Theses requests and complaints shall not be limited nor
considered to be a part of the correspondence quota referred to in
Article 71. They must be transmitted immediately. Even if they are
recognized to be unfounded, they may not give rise to any
punishment.
Prisoners’ representative may send periodic reports on the
situation in the camps and the needs of the prisoners of war to the
representatives of the Protecting Powers.
CHAPTER II
Prisoner ofWar Representatives
ART. 79. — In all places where there are prisoners of war, except
in those where there are officers, the prisoners shall freely elect by
secret ballot, every six months, and also in case of vacancies,
prisoners’ representatives entrusted with representing them before
the military authorities, the Protecting Powers, the International
Committee of the Red Cross and any other organization which may
assist them. These prisoners’ representatives shall be eligible for reelection.
In camps for officers and persons of equivalent status or in mixed
camps, the senior officer among the prisoners of war shall be
recognized as the camp prisoners’ representative. In camps for
officers, he shall be assisted by one or more advisers chosen by the
officers; in mixed camps, his assistants shall be chosen from among
the prisoners of war who are not officers and shall be elected by them.
Officer prisoners of war of the same nationality shall be stationed
in labour camps for prisoners of war, for the purpose of carrying
out the camp administration duties for which the prisoners of war
are responsible. These officers may be elected as prisoners’
representatives under the first paragraph of this Article. In such a
case the assistants to the prisoners’ representatives shall be chosen
from among those prisoners of war who are not officers.
Every representative elected must be approved by the Detaining
Power before he has the right to commence his duties.Where the
122 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Election
Detaining Power refuses to approve a prisoner of war elected by his
fellow prisoners of war, it must inform the Protecting Power of the
reason for such refusal.
In all cases the prisoners’ representative must have the same
nationality, language and customs as the prisoners of war whom he
represents.Thus,prisoners of war distributed in different sections of
a camp, according to their nationality, language or customs, shall
have for each section their own prisoners’ representative, in
accordance with the foregoing paragraphs.
ART. 80. — Prisoners’ representatives shall further the physical,
spiritual and intellectual well-being of prisoners of war.
In particular, where the prisoners decide to organize amongst
themselves a system of mutual assistance, this organization will be
within the province of the prisoners’ representative, in addition to
the special duties entrusted to him by other provisions of the
present Convention.
Prisoners’ representatives shall not be held responsible, simply by
reason of their duties, for any offences committed by prisoners of war.
ART. 81. — Prisoners’ representatives shall not be required to
perform any other work, if the accomplishment of their duties is
thereby made more difficult.
Prisoners’ representatives may appoint from amongst the
prisoners such assistants as they may require. All material facilities
shall be granted them, particularly a certain freedom of movement
necessary for the accomplishment of their duties (inspection of
labour detachments, receipt of supplies, etc.).
Prisoners’ representatives shall be permitted to visit premises
where prisoners of war are detained, and every prisoner of war shall
have the right to consult freely his prisoners’ representative.
All facilities shall likewise be accorded to the prisoners’
representatives for communication by post and telegraph with the
detaining authorities, the Protecting Powers, the International
Committee of the Red Cross and their delegates, the Mixed Medical
Commissions and with the bodies which give assistance to
prisoners of war. Prisoners’ representatives of labour detachments
shall enjoy the same facilities for communication with the prisoners’
representatives of the principal camp. Such communications shall
not be restricted, nor considered as forming a part of the quota
mentioned in Article 71.
Prisoners’ representatives who are transferred shall be allowed a
reasonable time to acquaint their successors with current affairs.
In case of dismissal, the reasons therefor shall be communicated
to the Protecting Power.
PRISONERS OF WAR 123
Duties
Prerogatives
CHAPTER III
Penal and Disciplinary Sanctions
I. General Provisions
ART. 82. — A prisoner of war shall be subject to the laws,
regulations and orders in force in the armed forces of the Detaining
Power; the Detaining Power shall be justified in taking judicial or
disciplinary measures in respect of any offence committed by a
prisoner of war against such laws, regulations or orders. However,
no proceedings or punishments contrary to the provisions of this
Chapter shall be allowed.
If any law, regulation or order of the Detaining Power shall
declare acts committed by a prisoner of war to be punishable,
whereas the same acts would not be punishable if committed by a
member of the forces of the Detaining Power, such acts shall entail
disciplinary punishments only.
ART. 83. — In deciding whether proceedings in respect of an
offence alleged to have been committed by a prisoner of war shall be
judicial or disciplinary, the Detaining Power shall ensure that the
competent authorities exercise the greatest leniency and adopt,
wherever possible, disciplinary rather than judicial measures.
ART. 84. — A prisoner of war shall be tried only by a military
court, unless the existing laws of the Detaining Power expressly
permit the civil courts to try a member of the armed forces of the
Detaining Power in respect of the particular offence alleged to have
been committed by the prisoner of war.
In no circumstances whatever shall a prisoner of war be tried by
a court of any kind which does not offer the essential guarantees of
independence and impartiality as generally recognized, and, in
particular, the procedure of which does not afford the accused the
rights and means of defence provided for in Article 105.
ART. 85. — Prisoners of war prosecuted under the laws of the
Detaining Power for acts committed prior to capture shall retain,
even if convicted, the benefits of the present Convention.
ART. 86. — No prisoner of war may be punished more than once
for the same act, or on the same charge.
124 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Applicable
legislation
Choice of
disciplinary
or judicial
proceedings
Courts
“Non bis
in idem”
Offences
committed
before
capture
ART. 87. — Prisoners of war may not be sentenced by the military
authorities and courts of the Detaining Power to any penalties
except those provided for in respect of members of the armed forces
of the said Power who have committed the same acts.
When fixing the penalty, the courts or authorities of the
Detaining Power shall take into consideration, to the widest extent
possible, the fact that the accused, not being a national of the
Detaining Power, is not bound to it by any duty of allegiance, and
that he is in its power as the result of circumstances independent of
his own will. The said courts or authorities shall be at liberty to
reduce the penalty provided for the violation of which the prisoner
of war is accused, and shall therefore not be bound to apply the
minimum penalty prescribed.
Collective punishment for individual acts, corporal punishment,
imprisonment in premises without daylight and, in general, any
form of torture or cruelty, are forbidden.
No prisoner of war may be deprived of his rank by the Detaining
Power, or prevented from wearing his badges.
ART. 88. — Officers, non-commissioned officers and men who
are prisoners of war undergoing a disciplinary or judicial
punishment, shall not be subjected to more severe treatment than
that applied in respect of the same punishment to members of the
armed forces of the Detaining Power of equivalent rank.
A woman prisoner of war shall not be awarded or sentenced to a
punishment more severe, or treated whilst undergoing punishment
more severely, than a woman member of the armed forces of the
Detaining Power dealt with for a similar offence.
In no case may a woman prisoner of war be awarded or
sentenced to a punishment more severe, or treated whilst
undergoing punishment more severely, than a male member of the
armed forces of the Detaining Power dealt with for a similar offence.
Prisoners of war who have served disciplinary or judicial
sentences may not be treated differently from other prisoners of
war.
II. Disciplinary Sanctions
ART. 89.— The disciplinary punishments applicable to prisoners
of war are the following:
1) A fine which shall not exceed 50 per cent of the advances of
pay and working pay which the prisoner of war would
otherwise receive under the provisions of Articles 60 and 62
during a period of not more than thirty days.
PRISONERS OF WAR 125
Penalties
Execution
of penalties
General
observations
I.
Forms of
punishment
2) Discontinuance of privileges granted over and above the
treatment provided for by the present Convention.
3) Fatigue duties not exceeding two hours daily.
4) Confinement.
The punishment referred to under 3) shall not be applied to
officers.
In no case shall disciplinary punishments be inhuman, brutal or
dangerous to the health of prisoners of war.
ART. 90. — The duration of any single punishment shall in no case
exceed thirty days.Any period of confinement awaiting the hearing of
a disciplinary offence or the award of disciplinary punishment shall
be deducted from an award pronounced against a prisoner of war.
The maximum of thirty days provided above may not be
exceeded, even if the prisoner of war is answerable for several acts at
the same time when he is awarded punishment, whether such acts
are related or not.
The period between the pronouncing of an award of disciplinary
punishment and its execution shall not exceed one month.
When a prisoner of war 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.
ART. 91. — The escape of a prisoner of war shall be deemed to
have succeeded when:
1) he has joined the armed forces of the Power on which he
depends, or those of an allied Power;
2) he has left the territory under the control of the Detaining
Power, or of an ally of the said Power;
3) he has joined a ship flying the flag of the Power on which he
depends, or of an allied Power, in the territorial waters of the
Detaining Power, the said ship not being under the control of
the last named Power.
Prisoners of war who have made good their escape in the sense of
this Article and who are recaptured, shall not be liable to any
punishment in respect of their previous escape.
ART. 92. — A prisoner of war who attempts to escape and is
recaptured before having made good his escape in the sense of
Article 91 shall be liable only to a disciplinary punishment in
respect of this act, even if it is a repeated offence.
126 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
II.
Duration of
punishments
II.
Unsuccessful
escape
Escapes
I.
Successful
escape
A prisoner of war who is recaptured shall be handed over without
delay to the competent military authority.
Article 88, fourth paragraph, notwithstanding, prisoners of war
punished as a result of an unsuccessful escape may be subjected to
special surveillance. Such surveillance must not affect the state of
their health, must be undergone in a prisoner of war camp, and
must not entail the suppression of any of the safeguards granted
them by the present Convention.
ART. 93. — Escape or attempt to escape, even if it is a repeated
offence, shall not be deemed an aggravating circumstance if the
prisoner of war is subjected to trial by judicial proceedings in respect
of an offence committed during his escape or attempt to escape.
In conformity with the principle stated in Article 83, offences
committed by prisoners of war with the sole intention of facilitating
their escape and which do not entail any violence against life or
limb, such as offences against public property, theft without
intention of self-enrichment, the drawing up or use of false papers,
the wearing of civilian clothing, shall occasion disciplinary
punishment only.
Prisoners of war who aid or abet an escape or an attempt to
escape shall be liable on this count to disciplinary punishment only.
ART. 94. — If an escaped prisoner of war is recaptured, the Power
on which he depends shall be notified thereof in the manner defined
in Article 122, provided notification of his escape has been made.
ART. 95. — A prisoner of war accused of an offence against
discipline shall not be kept in confinement pending the hearing
unless a member of the armed forces of the Detaining Power would
be so kept if he were accused of a similar offence, or if it is essential
in the interests of camp order and discipline.
Any period spent by a prisoner of war in confinement awaiting
the disposal of an offence against discipline shall be reduced to an
absolute minimum and shall not exceed fourteen days.
The provisions of Articles 97 and 98 of this Chapter shall apply to
prisoners of war who are in confinement awaiting the disposal of
offences against discipline.
ART. 96. — Acts which constitute offences against discipline shall
be investigated immediately.
Without prejudice to the competence of courts and superior
military authorities, disciplinary punishment may be ordered only
by an officer having disciplinary powers in his capacity as camp
PRISONERS OF WAR 127
III.
Connected
offences
IV.
Notification
of recapture
II.
Competent
authorities
and right of
defence
Procedure
I.
Confinement
awaiting
hearing
commander, or by a responsible officer who replaces him or to
whom he has delegated his disciplinary powers.
In no case may such powers be delegated to a prisoner of war or
be exercised by a prisoner of war.
Before any disciplinary award is pronounced, the accused 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 to the
accused prisoner of war and to the prisoners’ representative.
A record of disciplinary punishments shall be maintained by the
camp commander and shall be open to inspection by
representatives of the Protecting Power.
ART. 97. — Prisoners of war shall not in any case be transferred
to penitentiary establishments (prisons, penitentiaries, convict
prisons, etc.) to undergo disciplinary punishment therein.
All premises in which disciplinary punishments are undergone
shall conform to the sanitary requirements set forth in Article 25.A
prisoner of war undergoing punishment shall be enabled to keep
himself in a state of cleanliness, in conformity with Article 29.
Officers and persons of equivalent status shall not be lodged in
the same quarters as non-commissioned officers or men.
Women prisoners of war undergoing disciplinary punishment
shall be confined in separate quarters from male prisoners of war
and shall be under the immediate supervision of women.
ART. 98. — A prisoner of war undergoing confinement as a
disciplinary punishment, shall continue to enjoy the benefits of the
provisions of this Convention except in so far as these are
necessarily rendered inapplicable by the mere fact that he is
confined. In no case may he be deprived of the benefits of the
provisions of Articles 78 and 126.
A prisoner of war awarded disciplinary punishment may not be
deprived of the prerogatives attached to his rank.
Prisoners of war awarded disciplinary punishment shall be
allowed to exercise and to stay in the open air at least two hours daily.
They shall be allowed, on their 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
camp infirmary 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
128 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Execution of
punishment
I.
Premises
II.
Essential
safeguards
be withheld from them until the completion of the punishment;
they shall meanwhile be entrusted to the prisoners’ representative,
who will hand over to the infirmary the perishable goods contained
in such parcels.
III. Judicial Proceedings
ART. 99. — No prisoner of war may be tried or sentenced for an
act which is not forbidden by the law of the Detaining Power or by
international law, in force at the time the said act was committed.
No moral or physical coercion may be exerted on a prisoner of
war in order to induce him to admit himself guilty of the act of
which he is accused.
No prisoner of war may be convicted without having had an
opportunity to present his defence and the assistance of a qualified
advocate or counsel.
ART. 100. — Prisoners of war and the Protecting Powers shall be
informed as soon as possible of the offences which are punishable
by the death sentence under the laws of the Detaining Power.
Other offences shall not thereafter be made punishable by the
death penalty without the concurrence of the Power upon which the
prisoners of war depend.
The death sentence cannot be pronounced on a prisoner of war
unless the attention of the court has, in accordance with Article 87,
second paragraph, been particularly called to the fact that since the
accused is not a national of the Detaining Power, he is not bound to
it by any duty of allegiance, and that he is in its power as the result
of circumstances independent of his own will.
ART. 101. — If the death penalty is pronounced on a prisoner of
war, the sentence shall not be executed before the expiration of a
period of at least six months from the date when the Protecting
Power receives, at an indicated address, the detailed communication
provided for in Article 107.
ART. 102. — A prisoner of war can be validly sentenced only if
the sentence has been pronounced by the same courts according to
the same procedure as in the case of members of the armed forces of
the Detaining Power, and if, furthermore, the provisions of the
present Chapter have been observed.
PRISONERS OF WAR 129
Essential
rules
I.
General
principles
II.
Death
penalty
III.
Delay in
execution of
the death
penalty
Procedure
I.
Conditions
for validity of
sentence
ART. 103. — Judicial investigations relating to a prisoner of war
shall be conducted as rapidly as circumstances permit and so that
his trial shall take place as soon as possible.A prisoner of war shall
not be confined while awaiting trial unless a member of the armed
forces of the Detaining Power would be so confined if he were
accused of a similar offence, or if it is essential to do so in the
interests of national security. In no circumstances shall this
confinement exceed three months.
Any period spent by a prisoner of war in confinement awaiting
trial shall be deducted from any sentence of imprisonment passed
upon him and taken into account in fixing any penalty.
The provisions of Articles 97 and 98 of this Chapter shall apply
to a prisoner of war whilst in confinement awaiting trial.
ART. 104. — In any case in which the Detaining Power has
decided to institute judicial proceedings against a prisoner of war, it
shall notify the Protecting Power as soon as possible and at least
three weeks before the opening of the trial. This period of three
weeks shall run as from the day on which such notification reaches
the Protecting Power at the address previously indicated by the
latter to the Detaining Power.
The said notification shall contain the following information:
1) surname and first names of the prisoner of war, his rank, his
army, regimental, personal or serial number, his date of birth,
and his profession or trade, if any;
2) place of internment or confinement;
3) specification of the charge or charges on which the prisoner
of war is to be arraigned, giving the legal provisions
applicable;
4) designation of the court which will try the case, likewise the
date and place fixed for the opening of the trial.
The same communication shall be made by the Detaining Power
to the prisoners’ representative.
If no evidence is submitted, at the opening of a trial, that the
notification referred to above was received by the Protecting Power,
by the prisoner of war and by the prisoners’ representative
concerned, at least three weeks before the opening of the trial, then
the latter cannot take place and must be adjourned.
ART. 105. — The prisoner of war shall be entitled to assistance by
one of his prisoner comrades, to defence by a qualified advocate or
counsel of his own choice, to the calling of witnesses and, if he
deems necessary, to the services of a competent interpreter.He shall
130 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
II.
Confinement
awaiting trial
(Deduction
from
sentence,
treatment)
III.
Notification
of
proceedings
IV.
Rights and
means of
defence
be advised of these rights by the Detaining Power in due time before
the trial.
Failing a choice by the prisoner of war, the Protecting Power shall
find him an advocate or counsel, and shall have at least one week at
its disposal for the purpose.The Detaining Power shall deliver to the
said Power, on request, a list of persons qualified to present the
defence. Failing a choice of an advocate or counsel by the prisoner
of war or the Protecting Power, the Detaining Power shall appoint a
competent advocate or counsel to conduct the defence.
The advocate or counsel conducting the defence on behalf of the
prisoner of war shall have at his disposal a period of two weeks at
least before the opening of the trial, as well as the necessary facilities
to prepare the defence of the accused. He may, in particular, freely
visit the accused and interview him in private. He may also confer
with any witnesses for the defence, including prisoners of war. He
shall have the benefit of these facilities until the term of appeal or
petition has expired.
Particulars of the charge or charges on which the prisoner of war
is to be arraigned, as well as the documents which are generally
communicated to the accused by virtue of the laws in force in the
armed forces of the Detaining Power, shall be communicated to the
accused prisoner of war in a language which he understands, and in
good time before the opening of the trial.The same communication
in the same circumstances shall be made to the advocate or counsel
conducting the defence on behalf of the prisoner of war.
The representatives of the Protecting Power shall be entitled to
attend the trial of the case, unless, exceptionally, this is held in
camera in the interest of State security. In such a case the Detaining
Power shall advise the Protecting Power accordingly.
ART. 106.— Every prisoner of war shall have, in the same manner
as the members of the armed forces of the Detaining Power, the
right of appeal or petition from any sentence pronounced upon
him, with a view to the quashing or revising of the sentence or the
reopening of the trial. He shall be fully informed of his right to
appeal or petition and of the time limit within which he may do so.
ART. 107. — Any judgment and sentence pronounced upon a
prisoner of war shall be immediately reported to the Protecting
Power in the form of a summary communication, which shall also
indicate whether he has the right of appeal with a view to the
quashing of the sentence or the reopening of the trial. This
communication shall likewise be sent to the prisoners’
representative concerned. It shall also be sent to the accused
PRISONERS OF WAR 131
V.
Appeals
VI.
Notification
of findings
and sentence
prisoner of war in a language he understands, if the sentence was
not pronounced in his presence. The Detaining Power shall also
immediately communicate to the Protecting Power the decision of
the prisoner of war to use or to waive his right of appeal.
Furthermore, if a prisoner of war is finally convicted or if a
sentence pronounced on a prisoner of war in the first instance is a
death sentence, the Detaining Power shall as soon as possible
address to the Protecting Power a detailed communication
containing:
1) the precise wording of the finding and sentence;
2) a summarized report of any preliminary investigation and of
the trial, emphasizing in particular the elements of the
prosecution and the defence;
3) notification,where applicable, of the establishment where the
sentence will be served.
The communications provided for in the foregoing subparagraphs
shall be sent to the Protecting Power at the address
previously made known to the Detaining Power.
ART. 108. — Sentence pronounced on prisoners of war after a
conviction has become duly enforceable shall be served in the same
establishments and under the same conditions as in the case of
members of the armed forces of the Detaining Power. These
conditions shall in all cases conform to the requirements of health
and humanity.
A woman prisoner of war on whom such a sentence has been
pronounced shall be confined in separate quarters and shall be
under the supervision of women.
In any case, prisoners of war sentenced to a penalty depriving
them of their liberty shall retain the benefit of the provisions of
Articles 78 and 126 of the present Convention. Furthermore, they
shall be entitled to receive and despatch correspondence, to receive
at least one relief parcel monthly, to take regular exercise in the open
air, to have the medical care required by their state of health, and the
spiritual assistance they may desire. Penalties to which they may be
subjected shall be in accordance with the provisions of Article 87,
third paragraph.
132 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Execution
of penalties.
Penal
regulations
PART IV
TERMINATION OF CAPTIVITY
SECTION I
DIRECT REPATRIATION AND ACCOMMODATION
IN NEUTRAL COUNTRIES
ART. 109. — Subject to the provisions of the third paragraph of
this Article, Parties to the conflict are bound to send back to their
own country, regardless of number or rank, seriously wounded and
seriously sick prisoners of war, after having cared for them until
they are fit to travel, in accordance with the first paragraph of the
following Article.
Throughout the duration of hostilities, Parties to the conflict
shall endeavour, with the co-operation of the neutral Powers
concerned, to make arrangements for the accommodation in
neutral countries of the sick and wounded prisoners of war referred
to in the second paragraph of the following Article.
They may, in addition, conclude agreements with a view to the
direct repatriation or internment in a neutral country of ablebodied
prisoners of war who have undergone a long period of
captivity.
No sick or injured prisoner of war who is eligible for repatriation
under the first paragraph of this Article, may be repatriated against
his will during hostilities.
ART. 110.— The following shall be repatriated direct;
1) Incurably wounded and sick whose mental or physical fitness
seems to have been gravely diminished.
2) Wounded and sick who, according to medical opinion, are
not likely to recover within one year, whose condition
requires treatment and whose mental or physical fitness
seems to have been gravely diminished.
3) Wounded and sick who have recovered, but whose mental or
physical fitness seems to have gravely and permanently
diminished.
PRISONERS OF WAR 133
General
observations
Cases of
repatriation
and
accommodation
The following may be accommodated in a neutral country:
1) Wounded and sick whose recovery may be expected within
one year of the date of the wound or the beginning of the
illness, if treatment in a neutral country might increase the
prospects of a more certain and speedy recovery.
2) Prisoners of war whose mental or physical health, according
to medical opinion, is seriously threatened by continued
captivity, but whose accommodation in a neutral country
might remove such a threat.
The conditions which prisoners of war accommodated in a
neutral country must fulfil in order to permit their repatriation shall
be fixed, as shall likewise their status, by agreement between the
Powers concerned. In general, prisoners of war who have been
accommodated in a neutral country, and who belong to the
following categories, should be repatriated:
1) those whose state of health has deteriorated so as to fulfil the
conditions laid down for direct repatriation;
2) those whose mental or physical powers remain, even after
treatment, considerably impaired.
If no special agreements are concluded between the Parties to the
conflict concerned, to determine the cases of disablement or
sickness entailing direct repatriation or accommodation in a
neutral country, such cases shall be settled in accordance with the
principles laid down in the Model Agreement concerning direct
repatriation and accommodation in neutral countries of wounded
and sick prisoners of war and in the Regulations concerning Mixed
Medical Commissions annexed to the present Convention.
ART. 111. — The Detaining Power, the Power on which the
prisoners of war depend, and a neutral Power agreed upon by these
two Powers, shall endeavour to conclude agreements which will
enable prisoners of war to be interned in the territory of the said
neutral Power until the close of hostilities.
ART. 112. — Upon the outbreak of hostilities, Mixed Medical
Commissions shall be appointed to examine sick and wounded
prisoners of war, and to make all appropriate decisions regarding
them. The appointment, duties and functioning of these
Commissions shall be in conformity with the provisions of the
Regulations annexed to the present Convention.
However, prisoners of war who, in the opinion of the medical
authorities of the Detaining Power, are manifestly seriously injured
134 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Internment
in a neutral
country
Mixed
Medical
Commissions
or seriously sick,may be repatriated without having to be examined
by a Mixed Medical Commission.
ART. 113. — Besides those who are designated by the medical
authorities of the Detaining Power, wounded or sick prisoners of
war belonging to the categories listed below shall be entitled to
present themselves for examination by the Mixed Medical
Commissions provided for in the foregoing Article:
1) Wounded and sick proposed by a physician or surgeon who is
of the same nationality, or a national of a Party to the conflict
allied with the Power on which the said prisoners depend, and
who exercises his functions in the camp.
2) Wounded and sick proposed by their prisoners’
representative.
3) Wounded and sick proposed by the Power on which they
depend, or by an organization duly recognized by the said
Power and giving assistance to the prisoners.
Prisoners of war who do not belong to one of the three foregoing
categories may nevertheless present themselves for examination by
Mixed Medical Commissions, but shall be examined only after
those belonging to the said categories.
The physician or surgeon of the same nationality as the prisoners
who present themselves for examination by the Mixed Medical
Commission, likewise the prisoners’ representative of the said
prisoners, shall have permission to be present at the examination.
ART. 114. — Prisoners of war who meet with accidents shall,
unless the injury is self-inflicted, have the benefit of the provisions
of this Convention as regards repatriation or accommodation in a
neutral country.
ART. 115. — No prisoner of war on whom a disciplinary
punishment has been imposed and who is eligible for repatriation
or for accommodation in a neutral country,may be kept back on the
plea that he has not undergone his punishment.
Prisoners of war detained in connection with a judicial
prosecution or conviction and who are designated for repatriation
or accommodation in a neutral country, may benefit by such
measures before the end of the proceedings or the completion of the
punishment, if the Detaining Power consents.
Parties to the conflict shall communicate to each other the names
of those who will be detained until the end of the proceedings or the
completion of the punishment.
PRISONERS OF WAR 135
Prisoners
entitled to
examination
by Mixed
Medical
Commissions
Prisoners
meeting with
accidents
Prisoners
serving a
sentence
ART. 116. — The costs of repatriating prisoners of war or of
transporting them to a neutral country shall be borne, from the
frontiers of the Detaining Power, by the Power on which the said
prisoners depend.
ART. 117. — No repatriated person may be employed on active
military service.
SECTION II
RELEASE AND REPATRIATION OF PRISONERS
OF WAR AT THE CLOSE OF HOSTILITIES
ART. 118. — Prisoners of war shall be released and repatriated
without delay after the cessation of active hostilities.
In the absence of stipulations to the above effect in any
agreement concluded between the Parties to the conflict with a view
to the cessation of hostilities, or failing any such agreement, each of
the Detaining Powers shall itself establish and execute without delay
a plan of repatriation in conformity with the principle laid down in
the foregoing paragraph.
In either case, the measures adopted shall be brought to the
knowledge of the prisoners of war.
The costs of repatriation of prisoners of war shall in all cases be
equitably apportioned between the Detaining Power and the Power
on which the prisoners depend. This apportionment shall be
carried out on the following basis:
a) If the two Powers are contiguous, the Power on which the
prisoners of war depend shall bear the costs of repatriation
from the frontiers of the Detaining Power.
b) If the two Powers are not contiguous, the Detaining Power
shall bear the costs of transport of prisoners of war over its
own territory as far as its frontier or its port of embarkation
nearest to the territory of the Power on which the prisoners of
war depend. The Parties concerned shall agree between
themselves as to the equitable apportionment of the
remaining costs of the repatriation. The conclusion of this
agreement shall in no circumstances justify any delay in the
repatriation of the prisoners of war.
136 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Costs of
repatriation
Activity after
repatriation
Release and
repatriation
ART. 119.— Repatriation shall be effected in conditions similar
to those laid down in Articles 46 to 48 inclusive of the present
Convention for the transfer of prisoners of war, having regard to the
provisions of Article 118 and to those of the following paragraphs.
On repatriation, any articles of value impounded from prisoners
of war under Article 18, and any foreign currency which has not been
converted into the currency of the Detaining Power, shall be restored
to them.Articles of value and foreign currency which, for any reason
whatever, are not restored to prisoners of war on repatriation, shall be
despatched to the Information Bureau set up under Article 122.
Prisoners of war shall be allowed to take with them their personal
effects, and any correspondence and parcels which have arrived for
them. The weight of such baggage may be limited, if the conditions
of repatriation so require, to what each prisoner can reasonably
carry. Each prisoner shall in all cases be authorized to carry at least
twenty-five kilograms.
The other personal effects of the repatriated prisoner shall be left
in the charge of the Detaining Power which shall have them
forwarded to him as soon as it has concluded an agreement to this
effect, regulating the conditions of transport and the payment of the
costs involved, with the Power on which the prisoner depends.
Prisoners of war against whom criminal proceedings for an
indictable offence are pending may be detained until the end of
such proceedings, and, if necessary, until the completion of the
punishment. The same shall apply to prisoners of war already
convicted for an indictable offence.
Parties to the conflict shall communicate to each other the names
of any prisoners of war who are detained until the end of the
proceedings or until punishment has been completed.
By agreement between the Parties to the conflict, commissions
shall be established for the purpose of searching for dispersed
prisoners of war and of assuring their repatriation with the least
possible delay.
SECTION III
DEATH OF PRISONERS OF WAR
ART. 120. — Wills of prisoners of war shall be drawn up so as to
satisfy the conditions of validity required by the legislation of their
country of origin, which will take steps to inform the Detaining
Power of its requirements in this respect. At the request of the
PRISONERS OF WAR 137
Details of
procedure
Wills, death
certificates,
burial,
cremation
prisoner of war and, in all cases, after death, the will shall be
transmitted without delay to the Protecting Power; a certified copy
shall be sent to the Central Agency.
Death certificates, in the form annexed to the present Convention,
or lists certified by a responsible officer, of all persons who die as
prisoners of war shall be forwarded as rapidly as possible to the
Prisoner of War Information Bureau established in accordance with
Article 122. The death certificates or certified lists shall show
particulars of identity as set out in the third paragraph of Article 17,
and also the date and place of death, the cause of death, the date and
place of burial and all particulars necessary to identify the graves.
The burial or cremation of a prisoner of war shall be preceded by
a medical examination of the body with a view to confirming death
and enabling a report to be made and,where necessary, establishing
identity.
The detaining authorities shall ensure that prisoners of war who
have died in captivity are honourably buried, if possible according to
the rites of the religion to which they belonged, and that their graves
are respected, suitably maintained and marked so as to be found at
any time. Wherever possible, deceased prisoners of war who
depended on the same Power shall be interred in the same place.
Deceased prisoners of war 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 express wish to this effect. In case of cremation, the fact
shall be stated and the reasons given in the death certificate of the
deceased.
In order that graves may always be found, all particulars of
burials and graves shall be recorded with a Graves Registration
Service established by the Detaining Power. Lists of graves and
particulars of the prisoners of war interred in cemeteries and
elsewhere shall be transmitted to the Power on which such
prisoners of war depended. Responsibility for the care of these
graves and for records of any subsequent moves of the bodies shall
rest on the Power controlling the territory, if a Party to the present
Convention. These provisions shall also apply to the ashes, which
shall be kept by the Graves Registration Service until proper
disposal thereof in accordance with the wishes of the home country.
ART. 121. — Every death or serious injury of a prisoner of war
caused or suspected to have been caused by a sentry, another
prisoner of war, 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.
138 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Prisoners
killed or
injured in
special
circumstances
A communication on this subject shall be sent immediately to the
Protecting Power. Statements shall be taken from witnesses,
especially from those who are prisoners of war, and a report
including such statements shall be forwarded to the Protecting
Power.
If the enquiry indicates the guilt of one or more persons, the
Detaining Power shall take all measures for the prosecution of the
person or persons responsible.
PART V
INFORMATION BUREAUX AND RELIEF SOCIETIES
FOR PRISONERS OF WAR
ART. 122. — Upon the outbreak of a conflict and in all cases of
occupation, each of the Parties to the conflict shall institute an
official Information Bureau for prisoners of war who are in its
power. Neutral or non-belligerent Powers who may have received
within their territory persons belonging to one of the categories
referred to in Article 4, shall take the same action with respect to
such persons. The Power concerned shall ensure that the Prisoners
of War Information Bureau is provided with the necessary
accommodation, equipment and staff to ensure its efficient
working. It shall be at liberty to employ prisoners of war in such a
Bureau under the conditions laid down in the Section of the present
Convention dealing with work by prisoners of war.
Within the shortest possible period, each of the Parties to the
conflict shall give its Bureau the information referred to in the
fourth, fifth and sixth paragraphs of this Article regarding any
enemy person belonging to one of the categories referred to in
Article 4, who has fallen into its power. Neutral or non-belligerent
Powers shall take the same action with regard to persons belonging
to such categories whom they have received within their territory.
The Bureau shall immediately forward such information by the
most rapid means to the Powers concerned, through the
intermediary of the Protecting Powers and likewise of the Central
Agency provided for in Article 123.
This information shall make it possible quickly to advise the next
of kin concerned. Subject to the provisions of Article 17, the
information shall include, in so far as available to the Information
Bureau, in respect of each prisoner of war, his surname, first names,
PRISONERS OF WAR 139
National
Bureaux
rank, army, regimental, personal or serial number, place and full
date of birth, indication of the Power on which he depends, first
name of the father and maiden name of the mother, name and
address of the person to be informed and the address to which
correspondence for the prisoner may be sent.
The Information Bureau shall receive from the various
departments concerned information regarding transfers, releases,
repatriations, escapes, admissions to hospital, and deaths, and shall
transmit such information in the manner described in the third
paragraph above.
Likewise, information regarding the state of health of prisoners
of war who are seriously ill or seriously wounded shall be supplied
regularly, every week if possible.
The Information Bureau shall also be responsible for replying to all
enquiries sent to it concerning prisoners of war, including those who
have died in captivity; it will make any enquiries necessary to obtain
the information which is asked for if this is not in its possession.
All written communications made by the Bureau shall be
authenticated by a signature or a seal.
The Information Bureau shall furthermore be charged with
collecting all personal valuables, including sums in currencies other
than that of the Detaining Power and documents of importance to
the next of kin, left by prisoners of war who have been repatriated
or released, or who have escaped or died, and shall forward the said
valuables to the Powers concerned. Such articles shall be sent by the
Bureau in sealed packets which shall be accompanied by statements
giving clear and full particulars of the identity of the person to
whom the articles belonged, and by a complete list of the contents of
the parcel. Other personal effects of such prisoners of war shall be
transmitted under arrangements agreed upon between the Parties
to the conflict concerned.
ART. 123. — A Central Prisoners of War Information Agency
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.
The function of the Agency shall be to collect all the information
it may obtain through official or private channels respecting
prisoners of war, and to transmit it as rapidly as possible to the
country of origin of the prisoners of war or to the Power on which
they depend. It shall receive from the Parties to the conflict all
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.
140 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Central
Agency
The foregoing provisions shall in no way be interpreted as
restricting the humanitarian activities of the International
Committee of the Red Cross, or of the relief Societies provided for
in Article 125.
ART. 124. — The national Information Bureaux and the Central
Information Agency shall enjoy free postage for mail, likewise all the
exemptions provided for in Article 74, and further, so far as
possible, exemption from telegraphic charges or, at least, greatly
reduced rates.
ART. 125. — 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 organization assisting prisoners of war, shall
receive from the said Powers, for themselves and their duly
accredited agents, all necessary facilities for visiting the prisoners,
distributing relief supplies and material, from any source, intended
for religious, educational or recreative purposes, and for assisting
them in organizing their leisure time within the camps. 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 effective operation
of adequate relief to all prisoners of war.
The special position of the International Committee of the Red
Cross in this field shall be recognized and respected at all times.
As soon as relief supplies or material intended for the abovementioned
purposes are handed over to prisoners of war, or very
shortly afterwards, receipts for each consignment, signed by the
prisoners’ representative, shall be forwarded to the relief society or
organization making the shipment. At the same time, receipts for
these consignments shall be supplied by the administrative
authorities responsible for guarding the prisoners.
PRISONERS OF WAR 141
Exemption
from charges
Relief
societies
and other
organizations
PART VI
EXECUTION OF THE CONVENTION
SECTION I
GENERAL PROVISIONS
ART. 126. — Representatives or delegates of the Protecting
Powers shall have permission to go to all places where prisoners of
war may be, particularly to places of internment, imprisonment and
labour, and shall have access to all premises occupied by prisoners
of war; they shall also be allowed to go to the places of departure,
passage and arrival of prisoners who are being transferred. They
shall be able to interview the prisoners, and in particular the
prisoners’ representatives, without witnesses, either personally or
through an interpreter.
Representatives and delegates of the Protecting Powers shall have
full liberty to select the places they wish to visit. The duration and
frequency of these visits shall not be restricted. Visits may not be
prohibited except for reasons of imperative military necessity, and
then only as an exceptional and temporary measure.
The Detaining Power and the Power on which the said prisoners
of war depend may agree, if necessary, that compatriots of these
prisoners of war be permitted to participate in the visits.
The delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross
shall enjoy the same prerogatives. The appointment of such
delegates shall be submitted to the approval of the Power detaining
the prisoners of war to be visited.
ART. 127.— 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 all their armed forces and to the
entire population.
Any military or other authorities, who in time of war assume
responsibilities in respect of prisoners of war,must possess the text
of the Convention and be specially instructed as to its provisions.
142 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Supervision
Dissemination
of the
Convention
ART. 128. — 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 thereof.
ART. 129. — 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 Article.
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
Article.
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 present Convention.
ART. 130. — 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
Convention: wilful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including
biological experiments, wilfully causing great suffering or serious
injury to body or health, compelling a prisoner of war to serve in the
forces of the hostile Power, or wilfully depriving a prisoner of war of
the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed in this Convention.
ART. 131. — 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. 132. — 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 the Convention.
PRISONERS OF WAR 143
Translations.
Rules of
application
II
Grave
breaches
III.
Responsibilities
of the
Contracting
Parties
Enquiry
procedure
Penal
sanctions
I.
General
observations
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 possible delay.
SECTION II
FINAL PROVISIONS
ART. 133. — 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 languages.
ART. 134. — The present Convention replaces the Convention of
July 27, 1929, in relations between the High Contracting Parties.
ART. 135. — In the relations between the Powers which are
bound by the Hague Convention respecting the Laws and
Customs of War on Land, whether that of July 29, 1899, or that of
October 18, 1907, and which are parties to the present Convention,
this last Convention shall be complementary to Chapter II of the
Regulations annexed to the above-mentioned Conventions of the
Hague.
ART. 136. — The present Convention, which bears the date of
this day, is open to signature until February 12, 1950, in the name of
the Powers represented at the Conference which opened at
Geneva on April 21, 1949; furthermore, by Powers not represented
at that Conference, but which are parties to the Convention of
July 27, 1929.
ART. 137. — The present Convention shall be ratified as soon as
possible and the ratifications shall be deposited at Berne.
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 notified.
144 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Languages
Relation
to the 1929
Convention
Relation to
the Hague
Convention
Signature
Ratification
ART. 138. — 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 ratification.
ART. 139. — 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. 140.— 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. 141. — The situations provided for in Articles 2 and 3 shall
give 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. 142. — 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
Contracting Parties.
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 and repatriation 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.
PRISONERS OF WAR 145
Coming
into force
Accession
Notification
of accessions
Immediate
effect
Denunciation
ART. 143. — 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 States.
146 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Registration
with the
United
Nations
ANNEX I
MODEL AGREEMENT CONCERNING DIRECT
REPATRIATION AND ACCOMMODATION IN NEUTRAL
COUNTRIES OF WOUNDED AND SICK PRISONERS OF WAR
(see Article 110)
I. PRINCIPLES FOR DIRECT REPATRIATION
AND ACCOMMODATION IN NEUTRAL COUNTRIES
A. DIRECT REPATRIATION
The following shall be repatriated direct:
1) All prisoners of war suffering from the following disabilities as the result of
trauma: loss of limb, paralysis, articular or other disabilities, when this
disability is at least the loss of a hand or a foot, or the equivalent of the loss of
a hand or a foot.
Without prejudice to a more generous interpretation, the following shall
be considered as equivalent to the loss of a hand or a foot:
a) Loss of a hand or of all the fingers, or of the thumb and forefinger of one
hand; loss of a foot, or of all the toes and metatarsals of one foot.
b) Ankylosis, loss of osseous tissue, cicatricial contracture preventing the
functioning of one of the large articulations or of all the digital joints of
one hand.
c) Pseudarthrosis of the long bones.
d) Deformities due to fracture or other injury which seriously interfere with
function and weight-bearing power.
2) All wounded prisoners of war whose condition has become chronic, to the
extent that prognosis appears to exclude recovery–in spite of treatment–
within one year from the date of the injury, as, for example, in case of:
a) Projectile in the heart, even if the Mixed Medical Commission should fail,
at the time of their examination, to detect any serious disorders.
b) Metallic splinter in the brain or the lungs, even if the Mixed Medical
Commission cannot, at the time of examination, detect any local or
general reaction.
c) Osteomyelitis,when recovery cannot be foreseen in the course of the year
following the injury, and which seems likely to result in ankylosis of a
joint, or other impairments equivalent to the loss of a hand or a foot.
d) Perforating and suppurating injury to the large joints.
e) Injury to the skull, with loss or shifting of bony tissue.
f) Injury or burning of the face with loss of tissue and functional lesions.
g) Injury to the spinal cord.
h) Lesion of the peripheral nerves, the sequelae of which are equivalent to
the loss of a hand or foot, and the cure of which requires more than a year
from the date of injury, for example: injury to the brachial or lumbosacral
plexus, the median or sciatic nerves, likewise combined injury to the
radial and cubital nerves or to the lateral popliteal nerve (N. peroneus
communis) and medial popliteal nerve (N. tibialis); etc. The separate
injury of the radial (musculo-spiral), cubital, lateral or medial popliteal
nerves shall not, however, warrant repatriation except in case of
contractures or of serious neurotrophic disturbance.
i) Injury to the urinary system, with incapacitating results.
3) All sick prisoners of war whose condition has become chronic to the extent
that prognosis seems to exclude recovery–in spite of treatment–within one
year from the inception of the disease, as, for example, in case of:
a) Progressive tuberculosis of any organ which, according to medical
prognosis, cannot be cured, or at least considerably improved by
treatment in a neutral country.
b) Exudate pleurisy.
c) Serious diseases of the respiratory organs of non-tubercular etiology,
presumed incurable, for example: serious pulmonary emphysema, with
or without bronchitis; chronic asthma;* chronic bronchitis* lasting more
than one year in captivity; bronchiectasis;* etc.
d) Serious chronic affections of the circulatory system, for example: valvular
lesions and myocarditis,* which have shown signs of circulatory failure
during captivity, even though the Mixed Medical Commission cannot
detect any such signs at the time of examination; affections of the
pericardium and the vessels (Buerger’s disease, aneurism of the large
vessels); etc.
e) Serious chronic affections of the digestive organs, for example: gastric or
duodenal ulcer; sequelae of gastric operations performed in captivity;
chronic gastritis enteritis or colitis, having lasted more than one year and
seriously affecting the general condition; cirrhosis of the liver; chronic
cholecystopathy;* etc.
f) Serious chronic affections of the genito-urinary organs, for example:
chronic diseases of the kidney with consequent disorders; nephrectomy
because of a tubercular kidney; chronic pyelitis or chronic cystitis;
hydronephrosis or pyonephrosis; chronic grave gynaecological
conditions; normal pregnancy and obstetrical disorder, where it is
impossible to accommodate in a neutral country; etc.
148 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949 – ANNEX I
* The decision of the Mixed Medical Commision shall be based to a great extent on the records kept by
camp physicians and surgeons of the same nationality as the prisoners of war, or on an examination by medical
specialists of the Detaining Power.
g) Serious chronic diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system, for
example: all obvious psychoses and psychoneuroses, such as serious
hysteria, serious captivity psychoneurosis, etc., duly verified by a
specialist;* any epilepsy duly verified by the camp physician;* cerebral
arteriosclerosis; chronic neuritis lasting more than one year; etc.
h) Serious chronic diseases of the neuro-vegetative system, with
considerable diminution of mental or physical fitness, noticeable loss of
weight and general asthenia.
i) Blindness of both eyes, or of one eye when the vision of the other is less
than 1 in spite of the use of corrective glasses; diminution of visual acuity
in cases where it is impossible to restore it by correction to an acuity of
1/2 in at least one eye;* other grave ocular affections, for example:
glaucoma, iritis, choroiditis; trachoma; etc.
k) Auditive disorders, such as total unilateral deafness, if the other ear does
not discern the ordinary spoken word at a distance of one metre;* etc.
l) Serious affections of metabolism, for example: diabetes mellitus
requiring insulin treatment; etc.
m) Serious disorders of the endocrine glands, for example: thyrotoxicosis;
hypothyrosis;Addison’s disease; Simmonds’ cachexia; tetany; etc.
n) Grave and chronic disorders of the blood-forming organs.
o) Serious case of chronic intoxication, for example: lead poisoning,
mercury poisoning,morphinism, cocainism, alcoholism; gas or radiation
poisoning; etc.
p) Chronic affections of locomotion, with obvious functional disorders, for
example: arthritis deformans; primary and secondary progressive
chronic polyarthritis; rheumatism with serious clinical symptoms; etc.
q) Serious chronic skin diseases, not amenable to treatment.
r) Any malignant growth.
s) Serious chronic infectious diseases, persisting for one year after their
inception, for example: malaria with decided organic impairment,
amoebic or bacillary dysentery with grave disorders; tertiary visceral
syphilis resistant to treatment; leprosy; etc.
t) Serious avitaminosis or serious inanition.
REPATRIATION AND ACCOMMODATION IN NEUTRAL COUNTRIES 149
* The decision of the Mixed Medical Commision shall be based to a great extent on the records kept by
camp physicians and surgeons of the same nationality as the prisoners of war, or on an examination by medical
specialists of the Detaining Power.
B. ACCOMMODATION IN NEUTRAL COUNTRIES
The following shall be eligible for accommodation in a neutral country:
1) All wounded prisoners of war who are not likely to recover in captivity, but
who might be cured or whose condition might be considerably improved by
accommodation in a neutral country.
2) Prisoners of war suffering from any form of tuberculosis, of whatever organ,
and whose treatment in a neutral country would be likely to lead to recovery
or at least to considerable improvement, with the exception of primary
tuberculosis cured before captivity.
3) Prisoners of war suffering from affections requiring treatment of the
respiratory, circulatory, digestive, nervous, sensory, genito-urinary,
cutaneous, locomotive organs, etc., if such treatment would clearly have
better results in a neutral country than in captivity.
4) Prisoners of war who have undergone a nephrectomy in captivity for a nontubercular
renal affection; cases of osteomyelitis, on the way to recovery or
latent; diabetes mellitus not requiring insulin treatment; etc.
5) Prisoners of war suffering from war or captivity neuroses.
Cases of captivity neurosis which are not cured after three months of
accommodation in a neutral country, or which after that length of time are
not clearly on the way to complete cure, shall be repatriated.
6) All prisoners of war suffering from chronic intoxication (gases, metals,
alkaloids, etc.), for whom the prospects of cure in a neutral country are
especially favourable.
7) All women prisoners of war who are pregnant or mothers with infants and
small children.
The following cases shall not be eligible for accommodation in a neutral
country:
1) All duly verified chronic psychoses.
2) All organic or functional nervous affections considered to be incurable.
3) All contagious diseases during the period in which they are transmissible,
with the exception of tuberculosis.
II. GENERAL OBSERVATIONS
1) The conditions given shall, in a general way, be interpreted and applied in as
broad a spirit as possible.
Neuropathic and psychopathic conditions caused by war or captivity, as
well as cases of tuberculosis in all stages, shall above all benefit by such liberal
interpretation. Prisoners of war who have sustained several wounds, none
150 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949 – ANNEX I
of which, considered by itself, justifies repatriation, shall be examined in the
same spirit,with due regard for the psychic traumatism due to the number of
their wounds.
2) All unquestionable cases giving the right to direct repatriation (amputation,
total blindness or deafness, open pulmonary tuberculosis, mental disorder,
malignant growth, etc.) shall be examined and repatriated as soon as
possible by the camp physicians or by military medical commissions
appointed by the Detaining Power.
3) Injuries and diseases which existed before the war and which have not
become worse, as well as war injuries which have not prevented subsequent
military service, shall not entitle to direct repatriation.
4) The provisions of this Annex shall be interpreted and applied in a similar
manner in all countries party to the conflict. The Powers and authorities
concerned shall grant to Mixed Medical Commissions all the facilities
necessary for the accomplishment of their task.
5) The examples quoted under (I) above represent only typical cases. Cases
which do not correspond exactly to these provisions shall be judged in the
spirit of the provisions of Article 110 of the present Convention, and of the
principles embodied in the present Agreement.
REPATRIATION AND ACCOMMODATION IN NEUTRAL COUNTRIES 151
ANNEX II
REGULATIONS CONCERNING
MIXED MEDICAL COMMISSIONS
(see Article 112)
ARTICLE 1. — The Mixed Medical Commissions provided for in Article 112 of
the Convention shall be composed of three members, two of whom shall belong to
a neutral country, the third being appointed by the Detaining Power. One of the
neutral members shall take the chair.
ART. 2. — The two neutral members shall be appointed by the International
Committee of the Red Cross, acting in agreement with the Protecting Power, at the
request of the Detaining Power. They may be domiciled either in their country of
origin, in any other neutral country, or in the territory of the Detaining Power.
ART. 3. — The neutral members shall be approved by the Parties to the conflict
concerned, who shall notify their approval to the International Committee of the
Red Cross and to the Protecting Power. Upon such notification, the neutral
members shall be considered as effectively appointed.
ART. 4. — Deputy members shall also be appointed in sufficient number to
replace the regular members in case of need. They shall be appointed at the same
time as the regular members or, at least, as soon as possible.
ART. 5. — If for any reason the International Committee of the Red Cross cannot
arrange for the appointment of the neutral members, this shall be done by the
Power protecting the interests of the prisoners of war to be examined.
ART. 6. — So far as possible, one of the two neutral members shall be a surgeon
and the other a physician.
ART. 7. — The neutral members shall be entirely independent of the Parties to the
conflict, which shall grant them all facilities in the accomplishment of their duties.
ART. 8. — By agreement with the Detaining Power, the International Committee
of the Red Cross, when making the appointments provided for in Articles 2 and 4
of the present Regulations, shall settle the terms of service of the nominees.
ART. 9. — The Mixed Medical Commissions shall begin their work as soon as
possible after the neutral members have been approved, and in any case within a
period of three months from the date of such approval.
ART. 10. — The Mixed Medical Commissions shall examine all the prisoners
designated in Article 113 of the Convention. They shall propose repatriation,
rejection, or reference to a later examination. Their decisions shall be made by a
majority vote.
ART. 11. — The decisions made by the Mixed Medical Commissions in each
specific case shall be communicated, during the month following their visit, to the
Detaining Power, the Protecting Power and the International Committee of the Red
Cross. The Mixed Medical Commissions shall also inform each prisoner of war
examined of the decision made, and shall issue to those whose repatriation has
been proposed, certificates similar to the model appended to the present
Convention.
ART. 12. — The Detaining Power shall be required to carry out the decisions of
the Mixed Medical Commissions within three months of the time when it receives
due notification of such decisions.
ART. 13. — If there is no neutral physician in a country where the services of a
Mixed Medical Commission seem to be required, and if it is for any reason
impossible to appoint neutral doctors who are resident in another country, the
Detaining Power, acting in agreement with the Protecting Power, shall set up a
Medical Commission which shall undertake the same duties as a Mixed Medical
Commission, subject to the provisions of Articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 8 of the present
Regulations.
ART. 14. — Mixed Medical Commissions shall function permanently and shall
visit each camp at intervals of not more than six months.
MIXED MEDICAL COMMISSIONS 153
ANNEX III
REGULATIONS CONCERNING COLLECTIVE RELIEF
(see Article 73)
ARTICLE 1. — Prisoners’ representatives shall be allowed to distribute collective
relief shipments for which they are responsible, to all prisoners of war administered
by their camp, including those who are in hospitals, or in prisons or other penal
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
prisoners’ representatives. 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. — The said prisoners’ representatives or their assistants shall be allowed
to go to the points of arrival of relief supplies near their camps, so as to enable the
prisoners’ representatives or their assistants to verify the quality as well as the
quantity of the goods received, and to make out detailed reports thereon for the
donors.
ART. 4. — Prisoners’ representatives shall be given the facilities necessary for
verifying whether the distribution of collective relief in all sub-divisions and
annexes of their camps has been carried out in accordance with their instructions.
ART. 5. — Prisoners’ representatives shall be allowed to fill up, and cause to be
filled up by the prisoners’ representatives of 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 issue of collective relief to the prisoners
of war in their camp, and to meet any needs that may arise from the arrival of new
contingents of prisoners, prisoners’ representatives shall be allowed to build up and
maintain adequate 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 prisoners’ representative holding the keys of one lock and the camp
commander the keys of the other.
ART. 7. — When collective consignments of clothing are available, each prisoner
of war shall retain in his possession at least one complete set of clothes. If a prisoner
has more than one set of clothes, the prisoners’ representative shall be permitted to
withdraw excess clothing from those with the largest number of sets, or particular
articles in excess of one, if this is necessary in order to supply prisoners who are less
well provided.He shall not, however,withdraw second sets of underclothing, socks
or footwear, unless this is the only means of providing for prisoners of war with
none.
ART. 8. — The High Contracting Parties, and the Detaining Powers in particular,
shall authorize, as far as possible and subject to the regulations governing the
supply of the population, all purchases of goods made in their territories for the
distribution of collective relief to prisoners of war.They shall similarly facilitate the
transfer of funds and other financial measures of a technical or administrative
nature taken for the purpose of making such purchases.
ART. 9. — The foregoing provisions shall not constitute an obstacle to the right
of prisoners of war to receive collective relief before their arrival in a camp or in the
course of transfer, nor to the possibility of representatives of the Protecting Power,
the International Committee of the Red Cross, or any other body giving assistance
to prisoners which may be responsible for the forwarding of such supplies,
ensuring the distribution thereof to the addressees by any other means that they
may deem useful.

GENEVA CONVENTION
RELATIVE TO THE PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN
PERSONS IN TIME OF WAR OF 12 AUGUST 1949
PART I
GENERAL PROVISIONS
Article 1. — The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect
and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all
circumstances.
ART. 2. — In addition to the provisions which shall be
implemented in peacetime, 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
Respect
for the
Convention1
Application
of the
Convention
Conflicts
not of an
international
character
1 The marginal notes or titles of articles have been drafted by the Swiss Federal
Department of Foreign Affairs.
humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race,
colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other
similar criteria.
To this end, the following acts are and shall remain prohibited
at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to
the above-mentioned persons:
a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all
kinds,mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
b) taking of hostages;
c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating
and degrading treatment;
d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of
executions without previous judgment pronounced by a
regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial
guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by
civilized peoples.
2) The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.
An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International
Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to
the conflict.
The Parties to the conflict should further endeavour to bring into
force, by means of special agreements, all or part of the other
provisions of the present Convention.
The application of the preceding provisions shall not affect the
legal status of the Parties to the conflict.
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 persons 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 August 12, 1949, or by the Geneva Convention
for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and
Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea of August 12, 1949,
170 FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Definition of
protected
persons
or by the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners
of War of August 12, 1949, shall not be considered as protected
persons within the meaning of the present Convention.
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 be.
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
operations.
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 reestablishment
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
PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN PERSONS 171
Derogations
Beginning
and end of
application
Special
agreements
separate provision. No special agreement shall adversely affect the
situation of protected persons, as defined by the present
Convention, nor 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 Protecting
Powers.
The representatives or delegates of the Protecting Powers shall
not in any case exceed their mission under the present Convention.
They shall, in particular, take account of the imperative necessities
of security of the State wherein they carry out their duties.
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
172 FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Nonrenunciation
of rights
Protecting
Powers
Substitutes
for Protecting
Powers
Activities
of the
International
Committee of
the Red Cross
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 a conflict.
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
present Convention.
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 impartially.
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
occupied.
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
representation.
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
PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN PERSONS 173
Conciliation
procedure
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
by war.
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 under
seven.
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 localities.
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;
174 FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Field of
application
of Part II
Hospital and
safety zones
and localities
Neutralized
zones
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 zone.
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 such
areas.
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 Article 19.
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 August 12, 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.
PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN PERSONS 175
Wounded
and sick
I.
General
protection
II.
Evacuation
III.
Protection
of hospitals
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 remained unheeded.
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 handed to the
proper service, shall not be considered to be acts harmful to the
enemy.
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
August 12, 1949.
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 upto-
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
176 FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
IV.
Discontinuance
of
protection
of hospitals
V.
Hospital staff
VI.
Land and sea
transport
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 August 12, 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 conflict
concerned.
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
August 12, 1949.
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 abovementioned
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
PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN PERSONS 177
VII.
Air transport
Consignments
of medical
supplies, food
and clothing
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
allowed.
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 paragraph.
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 delay.
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 fulfilment of their
obligations under the best possible conditions, in particular with
the co-operation 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 month.
ART. 26. — Each Party to the conflict shall facilitate enquiries
made by members of families dispersed owing to the war, with the
178 FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Measures
relating to
child welfare
Family news
Dispersed
families
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 operations.
PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN PERSONS 179
Treatment
I.
General
observations
II.
Danger zones
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
security considerations.
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 punishment,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 prohibited.
Pillage is prohibited.
Reprisals against protected persons and their property are
prohibited.
ART. 34. — The taking of hostages is prohibited.
180 FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
III.
Responsibilities
Application
to Protecting
Powers and
relief
organizations
Prohibition
of coercion
Prohibition
of corporal
punishment,
torture, etc.
Individual
responsibility,
collective
penalties,
pillage,
reprisals
Hostages
SECTION II
ALIENS IN THE TERRITORY
OF A PARTY TO THE CONFLICT
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 such 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
concerned.
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.
PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN PERSONS 181
Right to leave
the territory
Method of
repatriation
Persons in
confinement
ART. 38. — With the exception of special measures authorized by
the present Convention, in particular by Articles 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 them:
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 State
concerned.
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 they are.
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
operations.
182 FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
II.
Means of
existence
III.
Employment
Nonrepatriated
persons
I.
General
observations
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 diseases.
If the above provisions are infringed, protected persons shall be
allowed to exercise their right of complaint in accordance with
Article 30.
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 43.
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 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
Convention.
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
circumstances permit.
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
PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN PERSONS 183
IV.
Assigned
residence.
Internment
V.
Grounds for
internment
or assigned
residence.
Voluntary
internment
VI.
Procedure
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 Power.
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 falls 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 hostilities.
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.
184 FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
VII.
Refugees
VIII.
Transfer to
another
Power
Cancellation
of restrictive
measures
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 Article.
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.
PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN PERSONS 185
Inviolability
of rights
Special
cases of
repatriation
Deportations,
transfers,
evacuations
ART. 50. — The Occupying Power shall,with the co-operation of
the national and local authorities, facilitate the proper working of all
institutions devoted to the care and education of children.
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 permitted.
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
186 FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Enlistment.
Labour
Children
applicable to the protected persons assigned to the work referred to
in this Article.
In no case shall requisition of labour lead to a mobilization of
workers in an organization of a military or semi-military character.
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
co-operative organizations, is prohibited, except where such
destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.
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
military requirements.
PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN PERSONS 187
Protection
of workers
Prohibited
destruction
Judges
and public
officials
Food
and medical
supplies
for the
population
ART. 56. — To the fullest extent of the means available to it, the
Occupying Power has the duty of ensuring and maintaining, with
the co-operation 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 territory.
ART. 57. — The Occupying Power may requisition civilian
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
civilian population.
ART. 58. — The Occupying Power shall permit ministers of
religion to give spiritual assistance to the members of their religious
communities.
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 clothing.
188 FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Hygiene and
public health
Requisition
of hospitals
Spiritual
assistance
Relief
I.
Collective
relief
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 Protecting Power.
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 body.
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
occupied territories.
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 Power:
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;
PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN PERSONS 189
II.
Responsibilities
of the
Occupying
Power
III.
Distribution
IV.
Individual
relief
National
Red Cross
and other
relief
societies
b) the Occupying Power may not require any changes in the
personnel or structure of these societies, which would
prejudice the aforesaid activities.
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 present Convention.
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
retroactive.
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 occupied country.
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
190 FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Penal
legislation
I.
General
observations
II.
Publication
III.
Competent
courts
IV.
Applicable
provisions
take into consideration the fact that 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
on 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 against a
protected person who was under eighteen years of age at the time of
the offence.
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 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,
PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN PERSONS 191
V.
Penalties.
Death
penalty
VI.
Deduction
from
sentence of
period spent
under arrest
VII.
Offences
committed
before
occupation
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 peace.
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
192 FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Penal
procedure
I.
General
observations
II.
Right of
defence
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 judgment 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
judgments 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 judgment has been
received by the Protecting Power.
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 at 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.
PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN PERSONS 193
III.
Right of
appeal
IV.
Assistance
by the
Protecting
Power
V.
Death
sentence
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
health.
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
minors.
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
Article 143.
Such persons shall have the right to receive at least one relief
parcel monthly.
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
194 FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Treatment
of detainees
Handing over
of detainees
at the close of
occupation
Security
measures.
Internment
and assigned
residence.
Right of
appeal
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
PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN PERSONS 195
Cases of
internment
and applicable
provisions
Civil capacity
Maintenance
Grouping
of internees
and customs. Internees who are nationals of the same country shall
not be separated merely because they have different languages.
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 life.
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
196 FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Location
of places of
internment.
Marking
of camps
Separate
internment
Accommodation,
hygiene
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 for cleaning.
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
PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN PERSONS 197
Premises
for religions
services
Canteens
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 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 to them.
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.
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
physiological needs.
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 Power.
198 FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Air raid
shelters.
Protective
measures
Food
Clothing
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 requires.
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 the internee.
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.
PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN PERSONS 199
Medical
attention
Medical
inspections
CHAPTER V
Religious, Intellectual and Physical Activities
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
200 FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Religious
duties
Recreation,
study, sports
and games
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, due regard being paid to the obligation of 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 district.
ART. 96. — All labour detachments shall remain part of and
dependent upon a place of internment. The competent authorities
PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN PERSONS 201
Working
conditions
Labour
detachments
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 therefor.
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
purchases.
202 FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Valuables
and personal
effects
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 Convention.
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 transfer.
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.
PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN PERSONS 203
Financial
resources and
individual
accounts
Camp
administration.
Posting of the
Convention
and of orders
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 prohibited.
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 Powers concerned.
204 FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
General
discipline
Complaints
and petitions
Internee
Committees
I.
Election of
members
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
Convention.
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
affairs.
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.
PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN PERSONS 205
II.
Duties
III.
Prerogatives
Notification
of measures
taken
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
languages.
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.
206 FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Internment
card
Correspondence
Relief
shipments
I.
General
principles
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. — All 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 circumstances.
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.
PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN PERSONS 207
II.
Collective
relief
III.
Exemption
from postal
and
transport
charges
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
them.
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 safe-conducts.
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 conflict.
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 possible.
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.
208 FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Special
means of
transport
Censorship
and
examination
ART. 113. — The Detaining Powers shall provide all reasonable
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 by them.
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
internment.
If general laws, regulations or orders declare acts committed by
internees to be punishable, whereas the same acts are not
PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN PERSONS 209
Execution
and
transmission
of legal
documents
Management
of property
Facilities for
preparation
and conduct
of cases
Visits
General
provisions.
Applicable
legislation
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 result.
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) Confinement.
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 repeated offence.
210 FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Penalties
Disciplinary
punishments
Escapes
Article 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 his
escape.
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 case 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 discipline.
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
disciplinary powers.
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.
PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN PERSONS 211
Connected
offences
Investigations.
Confinement
awaiting
hearing
Competent
authorities.
Procedure
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 hours
daily.
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 the parcels.
No internee given a disciplinary punishment may be deprived of
the benefit of the provisions of Articles 107 and 143 of the present
Convention.
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.
212 FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Premises for
disciplinary
punishments
Essential
safeguards
Provisions
applicable to
judicial
proceedings
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 excessive fatigue.
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 being transferred.
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 internee.
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
PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN PERSONS 213
Conditions
Method
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
safekeeping by the responsible authorities; and in 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
Article 140.
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 safekeeping by the detaining
authorities and shall be transferred as soon as possible to the next of
kin on their request.
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 the deceased internees
depended, through the Information Bureaux provided for in
Article 136. Such lists shall include all particulars necessary for the
214 FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Wills. Death
certificates
Burial.
Cremation
identification of the deceased internees, as well as the exact location
of their graves.
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 XII
Release, Repatriation and Accommodation in Neutral Countries
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 time.
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.
PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN PERSONS 215
Internees
killed
or injured
in special
circumstances
During
hostilities or
occupation
After the
close of
hostilities
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 costs of repatriation of an internee who was
interned at his own request.
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
216 FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Repatriation
and return to
last place of
residence
Costs
National
Bureaux
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 of whom the aforesaid persons are nationals, or to
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
PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN PERSONS 217
Transmission
of
information
Particulars
required
Forwarding
of personal
valuables
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 ofWar of August 12, 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 142.
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.
218 FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Central
Agency
Exemption
from charges
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 times.
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 and
work.
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
PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN PERSONS 219
Relief
societies
and other
organizations
Supervision
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
its provisions.
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 thereof.
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 Article.
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
Article.
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
220 FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Penal
sanctions
I.
General
observations
Translations.
Rules of
application
Dissemination
of the
Convention
of the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of
War of August 12, 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: wilful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including
biological experiments, wilfully 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 wilfully 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 the Convention.
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 possible delay.
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 languages.
PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN PERSONS 221
II.
Grave
breaches
III.
Responsibilities
of the
Contracting
Parties
Enquiry
procedure
Languages
ART. 151. — The present Convention,which bears the date of this
day, is open to signature until February 12, 1950, in the name of the
Powers represented at the Conference which opened at Geneva on
April 21, 1949.
ART. 152. — The present Convention shall be ratified as soon as
possible and the ratifications shall be deposited at Berne.
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 notified.
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 ratification.
ART. 154. — In the relations between the Powers who are bound
by the Hague Conventions respecting the Laws and Customs ofWar
on Land, whether that of July 29, 1899, or that of October 18, 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
give 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.
222 FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Signature
Ratification
Coming
into force
Relation with
the Hague
Conventions
Accession
Notification
of accessions
Immediate
effect
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
Contracting Parties.
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 States.
PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN PERSONS 223
Denunciation
Registration
with the
United
Nations
ANNEX I
DRAFT AGREEMENT RELATING TO HOSPITAL
AND SAFETY ZONES AND LOCALITIES
ARTICLE 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 August 12, 1949,
and in Article 14 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian
Persons in Time ofWar of August 12, 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 following conditions:
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 white ground.
They may be similarly marked at night by means of appropriate illumination.
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 inspection.
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 who 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 zone.
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.
HOSPITAL AND SAFETY ZONES 225
Their purpose may,however,be modified by the Occupying Power,on condition
that all measures are taken to ensure the safety of the persons accommodated.
ART. 13. — The present agreement shall also apply to localities which the Powers
may utilize for the same purposes as hospital and safety zones.
226 FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949 – ANNEX I
ANNEX II
DRAFT REGULATIONS
CONCERNING COLLECTIVE RELIEF
ARTICLE 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 prisons 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 sub-divisions and
annexes of their places of internment has been carried out in accordance with their
instructions.
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 deem suitable.

Opened for signature and ratification by General Assembly resolution
640(VII)
of 20 December 1952
entry into force 7 July 1954, in accordance with article VI
The Contracting Parties,
Desiring to implement the principle of equality of rights for men and women
contained in the Charter of the United Nations,
Recognizing that everyone has the right to take part in the government of his
country directly or indirectly through freely chosen representatives, and has
the right to equal access to public service in his country, and desiring to
equalize the status of men and women in the enjoyment and exercise of
political rights, in accordance with the provisions of the Charter of the United
Nations and of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
Having resolved to conclude a Convention for this purpose,
Hereby agree as hereinafter provided:
Article I
Women shall be entitled to vote in all elections on equal terms with men,
without any discrimination.
Article II
Women shall be eligible for election to all publicly elected bodies, established
by national law, on equal terms with men, without any discrimination.
Article III
Women shall be entitled to hold public office and to exercise all public
functions, established by national law, on equal terms with men, without any
discrimination.
Article IV
1. This Convention shall be open for signature on behalf of any Member of the
United Nations and also on behalf of any other State to which an invitation
has been addressed by the General Assembly.
2. This Convention shall be ratified and the instruments of ratification shall be
deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Article V
1. This Convention shall be open for accession to all States referred to in
paragraph 1 of article IV.
2. Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of accession
with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Article VI
1. This Convention shall come into force on the ninetieth day following the
date of deposit of the sixth instrument of ratification or accession.
2. For each State ratifying or acceding to the Convention after the deposit of
the sixth instrument of ratification or accession the Convention shall enter
into force on the ninetieth day after deposit by such State of its instrument of
ratification or accession.
Article VII
In the event that any State submits a reservation to any of the articles of this
Convention at the time of signature, ratification or accession, the Secretary-
General shall communicate the text of the reservation to all States which are
or may become Parties to this Convention. Any State which objects to the
reservation may, within a period of ninety days from the date of the said
communication (or upon the date of its becoming a Party to the Convention),
notify the Secretary-General that it does not accept it. In such case, the
Convention shall not enter into force as between such State and the State
making the reservation.
Article VIII
1. Any State may denounce this Convention by written notification to the
Secretary-General of the United Nations. Denunciation shall take effect one
year after the date of receipt of the notification by the Secretary-General.
2. This Convention shall cease to be in force as from the date when the
denunciation which reduces the number of Parties to less than six becomes
effective.
Article IX
Any dispute which may arise between any two or more Contracting States
concerning the interpretation or application of this Convention, which is not
settled by negotiation, shall at the request of any one of the parties to the
dispute be referred to the International Court of Justice for decision, unless
they agree to another mode of settlement.
Article X
The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall notify all Members of the
United Nations and the non-member States contemplated in paragraph 1 of
article IV of this Convention of the following:
(a) Signatures and instruments of ratification received in accordance with
article IV;
(b) Instruments of accession received in accordance with article V;
(c) The date upon which this Convention enters into force in accordance with
article VI;
(d) Communications and notifications received in accordance with article VII;
(e) Notifications of denunciation received in accordance with paragraph 1 of
article VIII;
(f) Abrogation in accordance with paragraph 2 of article VIII.
Article XI
1. This Convention, of which the Chinese, English, French, Russian and
Spanish texts shall be equally authentic, shall be deposited in the archives of
the United Nations.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit a certified copy
to all Members of the United Nations and to the non-member States
contemplated in paragraph 1 of article IV.

Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly
resolution 34/180 of 18 December 1979
entry into force 3 September 1981, in accordance with article 27(1)
The States Parties to the present Convention,
Noting that the Charter of the United Nations reaffirms faith in fundamental human rights, in the
dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women,
Noting that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms the principle of the inadmissibility of
discrimination and proclaims that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and
that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any
kind, including distinction based on sex,
Noting that the States Parties to the International Covenants on Human Rights have the obligation to
ensure the equal rights of men and women to enjoy all economic, social, cultural, civil and political
rights,
Considering the international conventions concluded under the auspices of the United Nations and the
specialized agencies promoting equality of rights of men and women,
Noting also the resolutions, declarations and recommendations adopted by the United Nations and the
specialized agencies promoting equality of rights of men and women,
Concerned, however, that despite these various instruments extensive discrimination against women
continues to exist,
Recalling that discrimination against women violates the principles of equality of rights and respect for
human dignity, is an obstacle to the participation of women, on equal terms with men, in the political,
social, economic and cultural life of their countries, hampers the growth of the prosperity of society
and the family and makes more difficult the full development of the potentialities of women in the
service of their countries and of humanity,
Concerned that in situations of poverty women have the least access to food, health, education,
training and opportunities for employment and other needs,
Convinced that the establishment of the new international economic order based on equity and justice
will contribute significantly towards the promotion of equality between men and women,
Emphasizing that the eradication of apartheid, all forms of racism, racial discrimination, colonialism,
neo-colonialism, aggression, foreign occupation and domination and interference in the internal affairs
of States is essential to the full enjoyment of the rights of men and women,
Affirming that the strengthening of international peace and security, the relaxation of international
tension, mutual co-operation among all States irrespective of their social and economic systems,
general and complete disarmament, in particular nuclear disarmament under strict and effective
international control, the affirmation of the principles of justice, equality and mutual benefit in relations
among countries and the realization of the right of peoples under alien and colonial domination and
foreign occupation to self-determination and independence, as well as respect for national sovereignty
and territorial integrity, will promote social progress and development and as a consequence will
contribute to the attainment of full equality between men and women,
Convinced that the full and complete development of a country, the welfare of the world and the cause
of peace require the maximum participation of women on equal terms with men in all fields,
2
Bearing in mind the great contribution of women to the welfare of the family and to the development
of society, so far not fully recognized, the social significance of maternity and the role of both parents
in the family and in the upbringing of children, and aware that the role of women in procreation should
not be a basis for discrimination but that the upbringing of children requires a sharing of responsibility
between men and women and society as a whole,
Aware that a change in the traditional role of men as well as the role of women in society and in the
family is needed to achieve full equality between men and women,
Determined to implement the principles set forth in the Declaration on the Elimination of
Discrimination against Women and, for that purpose, to adopt the measures required for the
elimination of such discrimination in all its forms and manifestations,
Have agreed on the following:
PART I
Article 1
For the purposes of the present Convention, the term "discrimination against women" shall mean any
distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of
impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital
status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the
political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field.
Article 2
States Parties condemn discrimination against women in all its forms, agree to pursue by all
appropriate means and without delay a policy of eliminating discrimination against women and, to this
end, undertake:
(a) To embody the principle of the equality of men and women in their national constitutions or other
appropriate legislation if not yet incorporated therein and to ensure, through law and other appropriate
means, the practical realization of this principle;
(b) To adopt appropriate legislative and other measures, including sanctions where appropriate,
prohibiting all discrimination against women; (c) To establish legal protection of the rights of women
on an equal basis with men and to ensure through competent national tribunals and other public
institutions the effective protection of women against any act of discrimination;
(d) To refrain from engaging in any act or practice of discrimination against women and to ensure that
public authorities and institutions shall act in conformity with this obligation;
(e) To take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women by any person,
organization or enterprise;
(f) To take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to modify or abolish existing laws,
regulations, customs and practices which constitute discrimination against women;
(g) To repeal all national penal provisions which constitute discrimination against women.
Article 3
States Parties shall take in all fields, in particular in the political, social, economic and cultural fields, all
appropriate measures, including legislation, to en sure the full development and advancement of
women , for the purpose of guaranteeing them the exercise and enjoyment of human rights and
fundamental freedoms on a basis of equality with men.
Article 4
3
1. Adoption by States Parties of temporary special measures aimed at accelerating de facto equality
between men and women shall not be considered discrimination as defined in the present Convention,
but shall in no way entail as a consequence the maintenance of unequal or separate standards; these
measures shall be discontinued when the objectives of equality of opportunity and treatment have
been achieved.
2. Adoption by States Parties of special measures, including those measures contained in the present
Convention, aimed at protecting maternity shall not be considered discriminatory.
Article 5
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures:
(a) To modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women, with a view to achieving
the elimination of prejudices and customary and all other practices which are based on the idea of the
inferiority or the superiority of either of the sexes or on stereotyped roles for men and women;
(b) To ensure that family education includes a proper understanding of maternity as a social function
and the recognition of the common responsibility of men and women in the upbringing and
development of their children, it being understood that the interest of the children is the primordial
consideration in all cases.
Article 6
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to suppress all forms of traffic
in women and exploitation of prostitution of women.
PART II
Article 7
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the
political and public life of the country and, in particular, shall ensure to women, on equal terms with
men, the right:
(a) To vote in all elections and public referenda and to be eligible for election to all publicly elected
bodies;
(b) To participate in the formulation of government policy and the implementation thereof and to hold
public office and perform all public functions at all levels of government;
(c) To participate in non-governmental organizations and associations concerned with the public and
political life of the country.
Article 8
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure to women, on equal terms with men and
without any discrimination, the opportunity to represent their Governments at the international level
and to participate in the work of international organizations.
Article 9
1. States Parties shall grant women equal rights with men to acquire, change or retain their
nationality. They shall ensure in particular that neither marriage to an alien nor change of nationality
by the husband during marriage shall automatically change the nationality of the wife, render her
stateless or force upon her the nationality of the husband. 2. States Parties shall grant women equal
rights with men with respect to the nationality of their children.
4
PART III
Article 10
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in order
to ensure to them equal rights with men in the field of education and in particular to ensure, on a basis
of equality of men and women:
(a) The same conditions for career and vocational guidance, for access to studies and for the
achievement of diplomas in educational establishments of all categories in rural as well as in urban
areas; this equality shall be ensured in pre-school, general, technical, professional and higher technical
education, as well as in all types of vocational training;
(b) Access to the same curricula, the same examinations, teaching staff with qualifications of the same
standard and school premises and equipment of the same quality;
(c) The elimination of any stereotyped concept of the roles of men and women at all levels and in all
forms of education by encouraging coeducation and other types of education which will help to achieve
this aim and, in particular, by the revision of textbooks and school programmes and the adaptation of
teaching methods;
(d ) The same opportunities to benefit from scholarships and other study grants;
(e) The same opportunities for access to programmes of continuing education, including adult and
functional literacy programmes, particulary those aimed at reducing, at the earliest possible time, any
gap in education existing between men and women;
(f) The reduction of female student drop-out rates and the organization of programmes for girls and
women who have left school prematurely;
(g) The same Opportunities to participate actively in sports and physical education;
(h) Access to specific educational information to help to ensure the health and well-being of families,
including information and advice on family planning.
Article 11
1. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the
field of employment in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, the same rights, in
particular:
(a) The right to work as an inalienable right of all human beings;
(b) The right to the same employment opportunities, including the application of the same criteria for
selection in matters of employment;
(c) The right to free choice of profession and employment, the right to promotion, job security and all
benefits and conditions of service and the right to receive vocational training and retraining, including
apprenticeships, advanced vocational training and recurrent training;
(d) The right to equal remuneration, including benefits, and to equal treatment in respect of work of
equal value, as well as equality of treatment in the evaluation of the quality of work;
(e) The right to social security, particularly in cases of retirement, unemployment, sickness, invalidity
and old age and other incapacity to work, as well as the right to paid leave;
(f) The right to protection of health and to safety in working conditions, including the safeguarding of
the function of reproduction.
5
2. In order to prevent discrimination against women on the grounds of marriage or maternity and to
ensure their effective right to work, States Parties shall take appropriate measures:
(a) To prohibit, subject to the imposition of sanctions, dismissal on the grounds of pregnancy or of
maternity leave and discrimination in dismissals on the basis of marital status;
(b) To introduce maternity leave with pay or with comparable social benefits without loss of former
employment, seniority or social allowances;
(c) To encourage the provision of the necessary supporting social services to enable parents to
combine family obligations with work responsibilities and participation in public life, in particular
through promoting the establishment and development of a network of child-care facilities;
(d) To provide special protection to women during pregnancy in types of work proved to be harmful to
them.
3. Protective legislation relating to matters covered in this article shall be reviewed periodically in the
light of scientific and technological knowledge and shall be revised, repealed or extended as necessary.
Article 12
1. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the
field of health care in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, access to health care
services, including those related to family planning.
2. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph I of this article, States Parties shall ensure to women
appropriate services in connection with pregnancy, confinement and the post-natal period, granting
free services where necessary, as well as adequate nutrition during pregnancy and lactation.
Article 13
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in other
areas of economic and social life in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, the
same rights, in particular:
(a) The right to family benefits;
(b) The right to bank loans, mortgages and other forms of financial credit;
(c) The right to participate in recreational activities, sports and all aspects of cultural life.
Article 14
1. States Parties shall take into account the particular problems faced by rural women and the
significant roles which rural women play in the economic survival of their families, including their work
in the non-monetized sectors of the economy, and shall take all appropriate measures to ensure the
application of the provisions of the present Convention to women in rural areas.
2. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in rural
areas in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, that they participate in and benefit
from rural development and, in particular, shall ensure to such women the right:
(a) To participate in the elaboration and implementation of development planning at all levels;
(b) To have access to adequate health care facilities, including information, counselling and services in
family planning;
(c) To benefit directly from social security programmes;
6
(d) To obtain all types of training and education, formal and non-formal, including that relating to
functional literacy, as well as, inter alia, the benefit of all community and extension services, in order
to increase their technical proficiency;
(e) To organize self-help groups and co-operatives in order to obtain equal access to economic
opportunities through employment or self employment;
(f) To participate in all community activities;
(g) To have access to agricultural credit and loans, marketing facilities, appropriate technology and
equal treatment in land and agrarian reform as well as in land resettlement schemes;
(h) To enjoy adequate living conditions, particularly in relation to housing, sanitation, electricity and
water supply, transport and communications.
PART IV
Article 15
1. States Parties shall accord to women equality with men before the law.
2. States Parties shall accord to women, in civil matters, a legal capacity identical to that of men and
the same opportunities to exercise that capacity. In particular, they shall give women equal rights to
conclude contracts and to administer property and shall treat them equally in all stages of procedure in
courts and tribunals.
3. States Parties agree that all contracts and all other private instruments of any kind with a legal
effect which is directed at restricting the legal capacity of women shall be deemed null and void.
4. States Parties shall accord to men and women the same rights with regard to the law relating to the
movement of persons and the freedom to choose their residence and domicile.
Article 16
1. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in all
matters relating to marriage and family relations and in particular shall ensure, on a basis of equality
of men and women:
(a) The same right to enter into marriage;
(b) The same right freely to choose a spouse and to enter into marriage only with their free and full
consent;
(c) The same rights and responsibilities during marriage and at its dissolution;
(d) The same rights and responsibilities as parents, irrespective of their marital status, in matters
relating to their children; in all cases the interests of the children shall be paramount;
(e) The same rights to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children and
to have access to the information, education and means to enable them to exercise these rights;
(f) The same rights and responsibilities with regard to guardianship, wardship, trusteeship and
adoption of children, or similar institutions where these concepts exist in national legislation; in all
cases the interests of the children shall be paramount;
(g) The same personal rights as husband and wife, including the right to choose a family name, a
profession and an occupation;
7
(h) The same rights for both spouses in respect of the ownership, acquisition, management,
administration, enjoyment and disposition of property, whether free of charge or for a valuable
consideration.
2. The betrothal and the marriage of a child shall have no legal effect, and all necessary action,
including legislation, shall be taken to specify a minimum age for marriage and to make the
registration of marriages in an official registry compulsory.
PART V
Article 17
1. For the purpose of considering the progress made in the implementation of the present Convention,
there shall be established a Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
(hereinafter referred to as the Committee) consisting, at the time of entry into force of the Convention,
of eighteen and, after ratification of or accession to the Convention by the thirty-fifth State Party, of
twenty-three experts of high moral standing and competence in the field covered by the Convention.
The experts shall be elected by States Parties from among their nationals and shall serve in their
personal capacity, consideration being given to equitable geographical distribution and to the
representation of the different forms of civilization as well as the principal legal systems.
2. The members of the Committee shall be elected by secret ballot from a list of persons nominated by
States Parties. Each State Party may nominate one person from among its own nationals.
3. The initial election shall be held six months after the date of the entry into force of the present
Convention. At least three months before the date of each election the Secretary-General of the United
Nations shall address a letter to the States Parties inviting them to submit their nominations within two
months. The Secretary-General shall prepare a list in alphabetical order of all persons thus nominated,
indicating the States Parties which have nominated them, and shall submit it to the States Parties.
4. Elections of the members of the Committee shall be held at a meeting of States Parties convened by
the Secretary-General at United Nations Headquarters. At that meeting, for which two thirds of the
States Parties shall constitute a quorum, the persons elected to the Committee shall be those
nominees who obtain the largest number of votes and an absolute majority of the votes of the
representatives of States Parties present and voting.
5. The members of the Committee shall be elected for a term of four years. However, the terms of
nine of the members elected at the first election shall expire at the end of two years; immediately after
the first election the names of these nine members shall be chosen by lot by the Chairman of the
Committee.
6. The election of the five additional members of the Committee shall be held in accordance with the
provisions of paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of this article, following the thirty-fifth ratification or accession.
The terms of two of the additional members elected on this occasion shall expire at the end of two
years, the names of these two members having been chosen by lot by the Chairman of the Committee.
7. For the filling of casual vacancies, the State Party whose expert has ceased to function as a member
of the Committee shall appoint another expert from among its nationals, subject to the approval of the
Committee.
8. The members of the Committee shall, with the approval of the General Assembly, receive
emoluments from United Nations resources on such terms and conditions as the Assembly may decide,
having regard to the importance of the Committee's responsibilities.
9. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall provide the necessary staff and facilities for the
effective performance of the functions of the Committee under the present Convention.
8
Article 18
1. States Parties undertake to submit to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, for consideration
by the Committee, a report on the legislative, judicial, administrative or other measures which they
have adopted to give effect to the provisions of the present Convention and on the progress made in
this respect:
(a) Within one year after the entry into force for the State concerned;
(b) Thereafter at least every four years and further whenever the Committee so requests.
2. Reports may indicate factors and difficulties affecting the degree of fulfilment of obligations under
the present Convention.
Article 19
1. The Committee shall adopt its own rules of procedure. 2. The Committee shall elect its officers for a
term of two years.
Article 20
1. The Committee shall normally meet for a period of not more than two weeks annually in order to
consider the reports submitted in accordance with article 18 of the present Convention.
2. The meetings of the Committee shall normally be held at United Nations Headquarters or at any
other convenient place as determined by the Committee.
Article 21
1. The Committee shall, through the Economic and Social Council, report annually to the General
Assembly of the United Nations on its activities and may make suggestions and general
recommendations based on the examination of reports and information received from the States
Parties. Such suggestions and general recommendations shall be included in the report of the
Committee together with comments, if any, from States Parties.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit the reports of the Committee to the
Commission on the Status of Women for its information.
Article 22
The specialized agencies shall be entitled to be represented at the consideration of the implementation
of such provisions of the present Convention as fall within the scope of their activities. The Committee
may invite the specialized agencies to submit reports on the implementation of the Convention in areas
falling within the scope of their activities.
PART VI
Article 23
Nothing in the present Convention shall affect any provisions that are more conducive to the
achievement of equality between men and women which may be contained:
(a) In the legislation of a State Party; or
(b) In any other international convention, treaty or agreement in force for that State.
Article 24
9
States Parties undertake to adopt all necessary measures at the national level aimed at achieving the
full realization of the rights recognized in the present Convention.
Article 25
1. The present Convention shall be open for signature by all States.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations is designated as the depositary of the present
Convention.
3. The present Convention is subject to ratification. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with
the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
4. The present Convention shall be open to accession by all States. Accession shall be effected by the
deposit of an instrument of accession with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Article 26
1. A request for the revision of the present Convention may be made at any time by any State Party by
means of a notification in writing addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
2. The General Assembly of the United Nations shall decide upon the steps, if any, to be taken in
respect of such a request.
Article 27
1. The present Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date of deposit with the
Secretary-General of the United Nations of the twentieth instrument of ratification or accession.
2. For each State ratifying the present Convention or acceding to it after the deposit of the twentieth
instrument of ratification or accession, the Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after
the date of the deposit of its own instrument of ratification or accession.
Article 28
1. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall receive and circulate to all States the text of
reservations made by States at the time of ratification or accession.
2. A reservation incompatible with the object and purpose of the present Convention shall not be
permitted.
3. Reservations may be withdrawn at any time by notification to this effect addressed to the Secretary-
General of the United Nations, who shall then inform all States thereof. Such notification shall take
effect on the date on which it is received.
Article 29
1. Any dispute between two or more States Parties concerning the interpretation or application of the
present Convention which is not settled by negotiation shall, at the request of one of them, be
submitted to arbitration. If within six months from the date of the request for arbitration the parties
are unable to agree on the organization of the arbitration, any one of those parties may refer the
dispute to the International Court of Justice by request in conformity with the Statute of the Court.
2. Each State Party may at the time of signature or ratification of the present Convention or accession
thereto declare that it does not consider itself bound by paragraph I of this article. The other States
Parties shall not be bound by that paragraph with respect to any State Party which has made such a
reservation.
10
3. Any State Party which has made a reservation in accordance with paragraph 2 of this article may at
any time withdraw that reservation by notification to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Article 30
The present Convention, the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts of which are
equally authentic, shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. IN WITNESS
WHEREOF the undersigned, duly authorized, have signed the present Convention.

Proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 48/104 of 20 December 1993
The General Assembly ,
Recognizing the urgent need for the universal application to women of the rights and principles with
regard to equality, security, liberty, integrity and dignity of all human beings,
Noting that those rights and principles are enshrined in international instruments, including the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of
All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel,
Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment,
Recognizing that effective implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women would contribute to the elimination of violence against women and that
the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, set forth in the present resolution, will
strengthen and complement that process,
Concerned that violence against women is an obstacle to the achievement of equality, development
and peace, as recognized in the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, in
which a set of measures to combat violence against women was recommended, and to the full
implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,
Affirming that violence against women constitutes a violation of the rights and fundamental freedoms
of women and impairs or nullifies their enjoyment of those rights and freedoms, and concerned about
the long-standing failure to protect and promote those rights and freedoms in the case of violence
against women,
Recognizing that violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations
between men and women, which have led to domination over and discrimination against women by
men and to the prevention of the full advancement of women, and that violence against women is one
of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position compared with
men,
Concerned that some groups of women, such as women belonging to minority groups, indigenous
women, refugee women, migrant women, women living in rural or remote communities, destitute
women, women in institutions or in detention, female children, women with disabilities, elderly women
and women in situations of armed conflict, are especially vulnerable to violence,
Recalling the conclusion in paragraph 23 of the annex to Economic and Social Council resolution
1990/15 of 24 May 1990 that the recognition that violence against women in the family and society
was pervasive and cut across lines of income, class and culture had to be matched by urgent and
effective steps to eliminate its incidence,
Recalling also Economic and Social Council resolution 1991/18 of 30 May 1991, in which the Council
recommended the development of a framework for an international instrument that would address
explicitly the issue of violence against women,
Welcoming the role that women's movements are playing in drawing increasing attention to the
nature, severity and magnitude of the problem of violence against women,
Alarmed that opportunities for women to achieve legal, social, political and economic equality in
society are limited, inter alia , by continuing and endemic violence,
Convinced that in the light of the above there is a need for a clear and comprehensive definition of
violence against women, a clear statement of the rights to be applied to ensure the elimination of
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violence against women in all its forms, a commitment by States in respect of their responsibilities,
and a commitment by the international community at large to the elimination of violence against
women,
Solemnly proclaims the following Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women and urges
that every effort be made so that it becomes generally known and respected:
Article 1
For the purposes of this Declaration, the term "violence against women" means any act of genderbased
violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or
suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether
occurring in public or in private life.
Article 2
Violence against women shall be understood to encompass, but not be limited to, the following:
( a ) Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family, including battering, sexual
abuse of female children in the household, dowry-related violence, marital rape, female genital
mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women, non-spousal violence and violence related
to exploitation;
( b ) Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring within the general community, including
rape, sexual abuse, sexual harassment and intimidation at work, in educational institutions and
elsewhere, trafficking in women and forced prostitution;
( c ) Physical, sexual and psychological violence perpetrated or condoned by the State, wherever it
occurs.
Article 3
Women are entitled to the equal enjoyment and protection of all human rights and fundamental
freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field. These rights include, inter
alia :
( a ) The right to life;
( b ) The right to equality;
( c ) The right to liberty and security of person;
( d ) The right to equal protection under the law;
( e ) The right to be free from all forms of discrimination;
( f ) The right to the highest standard attainable of physical and mental health;
( g ) The right to just and favourable conditions of work;
( h ) The right not to be subjected to torture, or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment.
Article 4
States should condemn violence against women and should not invoke any custom, tradition or
religious consideration to avoid their obligations with respect to its elimination. States should pursue
by all appropriate means and without delay a policy of eliminating violence against women and, to this
end, should:
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( a ) Consider, where they have not yet done so, ratifying or acceding to the Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women or withdrawing reservations to that
Convention;
( b ) Refrain from engaging in violence against women;
( c ) Exercise due diligence to prevent, investigate and, in accordance with national legislation, punish
acts of violence against women, whether those acts are perpetrated by the State or by private
persons;
( d ) Develop penal, civil, labour and administrative sanctions in domestic legislation to punish and
redress the wrongs caused to women who are subjected to violence; women who are subjected to
violence should be provided with access to the mechanisms of justice and, as provided for by national
legislation, to just and effective remedies for the harm that they have suffered; States should also
inform women of their rights in seeking redress through such mechanisms;
( e ) Consider the possibility of developing national plans of action to promote the protection of women
against any form of violence, or to include provisions for that purpose in plans already existing, taking
into account, as appropriate, such cooperation as can be provided by non-governmental organizations,
particularly those concerned with the issue of violence against women;
( f ) Develop, in a comprehensive way, preventive approaches and all those measures of a legal,
political, administrative and cultural nature that promote the protection of women against any form of
violence, and ensure that the re-victimization of women does not occur because of laws insensitive to
gender considerations, enforcement practices or other interventions;
( g ) Work to ensure, to the maximum extent feasible in the light of their available resources and,
where needed, within the framework of international cooperation, that women subjected to violence
and, where appropriate, their children have specialized assistance, such as rehabilitation, assistance in
child care and maintenance, treatment, counselling, and health and social services, facilities and
programmes, as well as support structures, and should take all other appropriate measures to promote
their safety and physical and psychological rehabilitation;
( h ) Include in government budgets adequate resources for their activities related to the elimination of
violence against women;
( i ) Take measures to ensure that law enforcement officers and public officials responsible for
implementing policies to prevent, investigate and punish violence against women receive training to
sensitize them to the needs of women;
( j ) Adopt all appropriate measures, especially in the field of education, to modify the social and
cultural patterns of conduct of men and women and to eliminate prejudices, customary practices and
all other practices based on the idea of the inferiority or superiority of either of the sexes and on
stereotyped roles for men and women;
( k ) Promote research, collect data and compile statistics, especially concerning domestic violence,
relating to the prevalence of different forms of violence against women and encourage research on the
causes, nature, seriousness and consequences of violence against women and on the effectiveness of
measures implemented to prevent and redress violence against women; those statistics and findings of
the research will be made public;
( l ) Adopt measures directed towards the elimination of violence against women who are especially
vulnerable to violence;
( m ) Include, in submitting reports as required under relevant human rights instruments of the United
Nations, information pertaining to violence against women and measures taken to implement the
present Declaration;
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( n ) Encourage the development of appropriate guidelines to assist in the implementation of the
principles set forth in the present Declaration;
( o ) Recognize the important role of the women's movement and non-governmental organizations
world wide in raising awareness and alleviating the problem of violence against women;
( p ) Facilitate and enhance the work of the women's movement and non-governmental organizations
and cooperate with them at local, national and regional levels;
( q ) Encourage intergovernmental regional organizations of which they are members to include the
elimination of violence against women in their programmes, as appropriate.
Article 5
The organs and specialized agencies of the United Nations system should, within their respective fields
of competence, contribute to the recognition and realization of the rights and the principles set forth in
the present Declaration and, to this end, should, inter alia :
( a ) Foster international and regional cooperation with a view to defining regional strategies for
combating violence, exchanging experiences and financing programmes relating to the elimination of
violence against women;
( b ) Promote meetings and seminars with the aim of creating and raising awareness among all
persons of the issue of the elimination of violence against women;
( c ) Foster coordination and exchange within the United Nations system between human rights treaty
bodies to address the issue of violence against women effectively;
( d ) Include in analyses prepared by organizations and bodies of the United Nations system of social
trends and problems, such as the periodic reports on the world social situation, examination of trends
in violence against women;
( e ) Encourage coordination between organizations and bodies of the United Nations system to
incorporate the issue of violence against women into ongoing programmes, especially with reference to
groups of women particularly vulnerable to violence;
( f ) Promote the formulation of guidelines or manuals relating to violence against women, taking into
account the measures referred to in the present Declaration;
( g ) Consider the issue of the elimination of violence against women, as appropriate, in fulfilling their
mandates with respect to the implementation of human rights instruments;
( h ) Cooperate with non-governmental organizations in addressing the issue of violence against
women.
Article 6
Nothing in the present Declaration shall affect any provision that is more conducive to the elimination
of violence against women that may be contained in the legislation of a State or in any international
convention, treaty or other instrument in force in a State.

Preamble
The States Parties to this Statute,
Conscious that all peoples are united by common bonds, their cultures pieced
together in a shared heritage, and concerned that this delicate mosaic may be
shattered at any time,
Mindful that during this century millions of children, women and men have been
victims of unimaginable atrocities that deeply shock the conscience of humanity,
Recognizing that such grave crimes threaten the peace, security and well-being of
the world,
Affirming that the most serious crimes of concern to the international community
as a whole must not go unpunished and that their effective prosecution must be
ensured by taking measures at the national level and
by enhancing international cooperation,
Determined to put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of these crimes and
thus to contribute to the prevention of such crimes,
Recalling that it is the duty of every State to exercise its criminal jurisdiction over
those responsible for international crimes,
Reaffirming the Purposes and Principles of the Charter of the United Nations,
and in particular that all States shall refrain from the threat or use of force against
the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other
manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations,
Emphasizing in this connection that nothing in this Statute shall be taken as
authorizing any State Party to intervene in an armed conflict or in the internal
affairs of any State,
Determined to these ends and for the sake of present and future generations, to
establish an independent permanent International Criminal Court in relationship
with the United Nations system, with jurisdiction over the most serious crimes of
concern to the international community as a whole,
Emphasizing that the International Criminal Court established under this Statute
shall be complementary to national criminal jurisdictions,
Resolved to guarantee lasting respect for and the enforcement of international
justice,
Have agreed as follows:
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Part I Establishment of the Court
Article 1
The Court
An International Criminal Court (‘the Court’) is hereby established. It shall be a permanent
institution and shall have the power to exercise its jurisdiction over persons for the most
serious crimes of international concern, as referred to in this Statute, and shall be
complementary to national criminal jurisdictions. The jurisdiction and functioning of the
Court shall be governed by the provisions of this Statute.
Article 2
Relationship of the Court with the United Nations
The Court shall be brought into relationship with the United Nations through an agreement to
be approved by the Assembly of States Parties to this Statute and thereafter concluded by the
President of the Court on its behalf.
Article 3
Seat of the Court
1. The seat of the Court shall be established at The Hague in the Netherlands (‘the
host State’).
2. The Court shall enter into a headquarters agreement with the host State, to be
approved by the Assembly of States Parties and thereafter concluded by the
President of the Court on its behalf.
3. The Court may sit elsewhere, whenever it considers it desirable, as provided in this
Statute.
Article 4
Legal status and powers of the Court
1. The Court shall have international legal personality. It shall also have such legal
capacity as may be necessary for the exercise of its functions and the fulfilment of
its purposes.
2. The Court may exercise its functions and powers, as provided in this Statute, on
the territory of any State Party and, by special agreement, on the territory of any
other State.
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Part II Jurisdiction, admissibility and applicable law
Article 5
Crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court
1. The jurisdiction of the Court shall be limited to the most serious crimes of concern
to the international community as a whole. The Court has jurisdiction in
accordance with this Statute with respect to the following crimes:
(a) The crime of genocide;
(b) Crimes against humanity;
(c) War crimes;
(d) The crime of aggression.
2. The Court shall exercise jurisdiction over the crime of aggression once a provision
is adopted in accordance with articles 121 and 123 defining the crime and setting
out the conditions under which the Court shall exercise jurisdiction with respect to
this crime. Such a provision shall be consistent with the relevant provisions of the
Charter of the United Nations.
Article 6
Genocide
For the purpose of this Statute, ‘genocide’ means any of the following acts
committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or
religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring
about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
Article 7
Crimes against humanity
1. For the purpose of this Statute, ‘crime against humanity’ means any of the
following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack
directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:
(a) Murder;
(b) Extermination;
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(c) Enslavement;
(d) Deportation or forcible transfer of population;
(e) Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of
fundamental rules of international law;
(f) Torture;
(g) Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced
sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity;
(h) Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political,
racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph
3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under
international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph
or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court;
(i) Enforced disappearance of persons;
(j) The crime of apartheid;
(k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great
suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.
2. For the purpose of paragraph 1:
(a) ‘Attack directed against any civilian population’ means a course of conduct
involving the multiple commission of acts referred to in paragraph 1
against any civilian population, pursuant to or in furtherance of a State or
organizational policy to commit such attack;
(b) ‘Extermination’ includes the intentional infliction of conditions of life,
inter alia the deprivation of access to food and medicine, calculated to
bring about the destruction of part of a population;
(c) ‘Enslavement’ means the exercise of any or all of the powers attaching to
the right of ownership over a person and includes the exercise of such
power in the course of trafficking in persons, in particular women and
children;
(d) ‘Deportation or forcible transfer of population’ means forced displacement
of the persons concerned by expulsion or other coercive acts from the area
in which they are lawfully present, without grounds permitted under
international law;
(e) ‘Torture’ means the intentional infliction of severe pain or suffering,
whether physical or mental, upon a person in the custody or under the
control of the accused; except that torture shall not include pain or
suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to, lawful sanctions;
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(f) ‘Forced pregnancy’ means the unlawful confinement of a woman forcibly
made pregnant, with the intent of affecting the ethnic composition of any
population or carrying out other grave violations of international law. This
definition shall not in any way be interpreted as affecting national laws
relating to pregnancy;
(g) ‘Persecution’ means the intentional and severe deprivation of fundamental
rights contrary to international law by reason of the identity of the group
or collectivity;
(h) ‘The crime of apartheid’ means inhumane acts of a character similar to
those referred to in paragraph 1, committed in the context of an
institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one
racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the
intention of maintaining that regime;
(i) ‘Enforced disappearance of persons’ means the arrest, detention or
abduction of persons by, or with the authorization, support or
acquiescence of, a State or a political organization, followed by a refusal to
acknowledge that deprivation of freedom or to give information on the
fate or whereabouts of those persons, with the intention of removing them
from the protection of the law for a prolonged period of time.
3. For the purpose of this Statute, it is understood that the term ‘gender’ refers to the
two sexes, male and female, within the context of society. The term ‘gender’ does
not indicate any meaning different from the above.
Article 8
War crimes
1. The Court shall have jurisdiction in respect of war crimes in particular when
committed as part of a plan or policy or as part of a large-scale commission of such
crimes.
2. For the purpose of this Statute, ‘war crimes’ means:
(a) Grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, namely,
any of the following acts against persons or property protected under the
provisions of the relevant Geneva Convention:
(i) Wilful killing;
(ii) Torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments;
(iii) Wilfully causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or health;
(iv) Extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by
military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly;
(v) Compelling a prisoner of war or other protected person to serve in
the forces of a hostile Power;
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(vi) Wilfully depriving a prisoner of war or other protected person of the
rights of fair and regular trial;
(vii) Unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement;
(viii) Taking of hostages.
(b) Other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in
international armed conflict, within the established framework of
international law, namely, any of the following acts:
(i) Intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population as
such or against individual civilians not taking direct part in
hostilities;
(ii) Intentionally directing attacks against civilian objects, that is,
objects which are not military objectives;
(iii) Intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations,
material, units or vehicles involved in a humanitarian assistance
or peacekeeping mission in accordance with the Charter of the
United Nations, as long as they are entitled to the protection
given to civilians or civilian objects under the international law
of armed conflict;
(iv) Intentionally launching an attack in the knowledge that such
attack will cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians or
damage to civilian objects or widespread, long-term and severe
damage to the natural environment which would be clearly
excessive in relation to the concrete and direct overall military
advantage anticipated;
(v) Attacking or bombarding, by whatever means, towns, villages,
dwellings or buildings which are undefended and which are not
military objectives;
(vi) Killing or wounding a combatant who, having laid down his arms or
having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion;
(vii) Making improper use of a flag of truce, of the flag or of the
military insignia and uniform of the enemy or of the United
Nations, as well as of the distinctive emblems of the Geneva
Conventions, resulting in death or serious personal injury;
(viii) The transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts
of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the
deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the
occupied territory within or outside this territory;
(ix) Intentionally directing attacks against buildings dedicated to
religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, historic
monuments, hospitals and places where the sick and wounded
are collected, provided they are not military objectives;
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(x) Subjecting persons who are in the power of an adverse party to
physical mutilation or to medical or scientific experiments of any
kind which are neither justified by the medical, dental or
hospital treatment of the person concerned nor carried out in his or
her interest, and which cause death to or seriously endanger the
health of such person or persons;
(xi) Killing or wounding treacherously individuals belonging to the
hostile nation or army;
(xii) Declaring that no quarter will be given;
(xiii) Destroying or seizing the enemy's property unless such destruction
or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war;
(xiv) Declaring abolished, suspended or inadmissible in a court of law the
rights and actions of the nationals of the hostile party;
(xv) Compelling the nationals of the hostile party to take part in the
operations of war directed against their own country, even if they
were in the belligerent's service before the commencement of the
war;
(xvi) Pillaging a town or place, even when taken by assault;
(xvii) Employing poison or poisoned weapons;
(xviii) Employing asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and all
analogous liquids, materials or devices;
(xix) Employing bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body,
such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover
the core or is pierced with incisions;
(xx) Employing weapons, projectiles and material and methods of
warfare which are of a nature to cause superfluous injury or
unnecessary suffering or which are inherently indiscriminate in
violation of the international law of armed conflict, provided
that such weapons, projectiles and material and methods of
warfare are the subject of a comprehensive prohibition and are
included in an annex to this Statute, by an amendment in
accordance with the relevant provisions set forth in articles 121
and 123;
(xxi) Committing outrages upon personal dignity, in particular
humiliating and degrading treatment;
(xxii) Committing rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced
pregnancy, as defined in article 7, paragraph 2 (f), enforced
sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence also constituting a
grave breach of the Geneva Conventions;
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(xxiii) Utilizing the presence of a civilian or other protected person to
render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military
operations;
(xxiv) Intentionally directing attacks against buildings, material, medical
units and transport, and personnel using the distinctive emblems of
the Geneva Conventions in conformity with international law;
(xxv) Intentionally using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare
by depriving them of objects indispensable to their survival,
including wilfully impeding relief supplies as provided for under the
Geneva Conventions;
(xxvi) Conscripting or enlisting children under the age of fifteen years into
the national armed forces or using them to participate actively in
hostilities.
(c) In the case of an armed conflict not of an international character, serious
violations of article 3 common to the four Geneva Conventions of 12
August 1949, namely, any of the following acts committed against 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:
(i) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds,
mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
(ii) Committing outrages upon personal dignity, in particular
humiliating and degrading treatment;
(iii) Taking of hostages;
(iv) The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions
without previous judgement pronounced by a regularly constituted
court, affording all judicial guarantees which are generally
recognized as indispensable.
(d) Paragraph 2 (c) applies to armed conflicts not of an international character
and thus does not apply to situations of internal disturbances and
tensions, such as riots, isolated and sporadic acts of violence or other acts
of a similar nature.
(e) Other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in armed
conflicts not of an international character, within the established
framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts:
(i) Intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population as
such or against individual civilians not taking direct part in
hostilities;
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(ii) Intentionally directing attacks against buildings, material, medical
units and transport, and personnel using the distinctive emblems of
the Geneva Conventions in conformity with international law;
(iii) Intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations,
material, units or vehicles involved in a humanitarian assistance or
peacekeeping mission in accordance with the Charter of the United
Nations, as long as they are entitled to the protection given to
civilians or civilian objects under the international law of armed
conflict;
(iv) Intentionally directing attacks against buildings dedicated to
religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, historic
monuments, hospitals and places where the sick and wounded
are collected, provided they are not military objectives;
(v) Pillaging a town or place, even when taken by assault;
(vi) Committing rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced
pregnancy, as defined in article 7, paragraph 2 (f), enforced
sterilization, and any other form of sexual violence also constituting
a serious violation of article 3 common to the four Geneva
Conventions;
(vii) Conscripting or enlisting children under the age of fifteen years into
armed forces or groups or using them to participate actively in
hostilities;
(viii) Ordering the displacement of the civilian population for reasons
related to the conflict, unless the security of the civilians involved or
imperative military reasons so demand;
(ix) Killing or wounding treacherously a combatant adversary;
(x) Declaring that no quarter will be given;
(xi) Subjecting persons who are in the power of another party to the
conflict to physical mutilation or to medical or scientific experiments
of any kind which are neither justified by the medical, dental or
hospital treatment of the person concerned nor carried out in his or
her interest, and which cause death to or seriously endanger the
health of such person or persons;
(xii) Destroying or seizing the property of an adversary unless such
destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities
of the conflict;
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(f) Paragraph 2 (e) applies to armed conflicts not of an international
character and thus does not apply to situations of internal disturbances
and tensions, such as riots, isolated and sporadic acts of violence or other
acts of a similar nature. It applies to armed conflicts that take place in the
territory of a State when there is protracted armed conflict between
governmental authorities and organized armed groups or between such
groups.
3. Nothing in paragraph 2 (c) and (e) shall affect the responsibility of a Government
to maintain or re-establish law and order in the State or to defend the unity and
territorial integrity of the State, by all legitimate means.
Article 9
Elements of Crimes
1. Elements of Crimes shall assist the Court in the interpretation and application of
articles 6, 7 and 8. They shall be adopted by a two-thirds majority of the members
of the Assembly of States Parties.
2. Amendments to the Elements of Crimes may be proposed by:
(a) Any State Party;
(b) The judges acting by an absolute majority;
(c) The Prosecutor.
Such amendments shall be adopted by a two-thirds majority of the members of
the Assembly of States Parties.
3. The Elements of Crimes and amendments thereto shall be consistent with this
Statute.
Article 10
Nothing in this Part shall be interpreted as limiting or prejudicing in any way existing or
developing rules of international law for purposes other than this Statute.
Article 11
Jurisdiction ratione temporis
1. The Court has jurisdiction only with respect to crimes committed after the entry
into force of this Statute.
2. If a State becomes a Party to this Statute after its entry into force, the Court may
exercise its jurisdiction only with respect to crimes committed after the entry into
force of this Statute for that State, unless that State has made a declaration under
article 12, paragraph 3.
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Article 12
Preconditions to the exercise of jurisdiction
1. A State which becomes a Party to this Statute thereby accepts the jurisdiction of
the Court with respect to the crimes referred to in article 5.
2. In the case of article 13, paragraph (a) or (c), the Court may exercise its jurisdiction
if one or more of the following States are Parties to this Statute or have accepted
the jurisdiction of the Court in accordance with paragraph 3:
(a) The State on the territory of which the conduct in question occurred or, if
the crime was committed on board a vessel or aircraft, the State of
registration of that vessel or aircraft;
(b) The State of which the person accused of the crime is a national.
3. If the acceptance of a State which is not a Party to this Statute is required under
paragraph 2, that State may, by declaration lodged with the Registrar, accept the
exercise of jurisdiction by the Court with respect to the crime in question. The
accepting State shall cooperate with the Court without any delay or exception in
accordance with Part 9.
Article 13
Exercise of jurisdiction
The Court may exercise its jurisdiction with respect to a crime referred to in article 5 in
accordance with the provisions of this Statute if:
(a) A situation in which one or more of such crimes appears to have been
committed is referred to the Prosecutor by a State Party in accordance with
article 14;
(b) A situation in which one or more of such crimes appears to have been
committed is referred to the Prosecutor by the Security Council acting
under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations; or
(c) The Prosecutor has initiated an investigation in respect of such a crime in
accordance with article 15.
Article 14
Referral of a situation by a State Party
1. A State Party may refer to the Prosecutor a situation in which one or more crimes
within the jurisdiction of the Court appear to have been committed requesting the
Prosecutor to investigate the situation for the purpose of determining whether one
or more specific persons should be charged with the commission of such crimes.
2. As far as possible, a referral shall specify the relevant circumstances and be
accompanied by such supporting documentation as is available to the State
referring the situation.
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Article 15
Prosecutor
1. The Prosecutor may initiate investigations proprio motu on the basis of
information on crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court.
2. The Prosecutor shall analyse the seriousness of the information received. For this
purpose, he or she may seek additional information from States, organs of the
United Nations, intergovernmental or non-governmental organizations, or other
reliable sources that he or she deems appropriate, and may receive written or oral
testimony at the seat of the Court.
3. If the Prosecutor concludes that there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an
investigation, he or she shall submit to the Pre-Trial Chamber a request for
authorization of an investigation, together with any supporting material collected.
Victims may make representations to the Pre-Trial Chamber, in accordance with
the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
4. If the Pre-Trial Chamber, upon examination of the request and the supporting
material, considers that there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an
investigation, and that the case appears to fall within the jurisdiction of the Court,
it shall authorize the commencement of the investigation, without prejudice to
subsequent determinations by the Court with regard to the jurisdiction and
admissibility of a case.
5. The refusal of the Pre-Trial Chamber to authorize the investigation shall not
preclude the presentation of a subsequent request by the Prosecutor based on new
facts or evidence regarding the same situation.
6. If, after the preliminary examination referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2, the
Prosecutor concludes that the information provided does not constitute a
reasonable basis for an investigation, he or she shall inform those who provided
the information. This shall not preclude the Prosecutor from considering further
information submitted to him or her regarding the same situation in the light of
new facts or evidence.
Article 16
Deferral of investigation or prosecution
No investigation or prosecution may be commenced or proceeded with under this Statute for a
period of 12 months after the Security Council, in a resolution adopted under Chapter VII of
the Charter of the United Nations, has requested the Court to that effect; that request may be
renewed by the Council under the same conditions.
Article 17
Issues of admissibility
1. Having regard to paragraph 10 of the Preamble and article 1, the Court shall
determine that a case is inadmissible where:
(a) The case is being investigated or prosecuted by a State which has
jurisdiction over it, unless the State is unwilling or unable genuinely to
carry out the investigation or prosecution;
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(b) The case has been investigated by a State which has jurisdiction over it
and the State has decided not to prosecute the person concerned, unless
the decision resulted from the unwillingness or inability of the State
genuinely to prosecute;
(c) The person concerned has already been tried for conduct which is the
subject of the complaint, and a trial by the Court is not permitted under
article 20, paragraph 3;
(d) The case is not of sufficient gravity to justify further action by the Court.
2. In order to determine unwillingness in a particular case, the Court shall consider,
having regard to the principles of due process recognized by international law,
whether one or more of the following exist, as applicable:
(a) The proceedings were or are being undertaken or the national decision
was made for the purpose of shielding the person concerned from criminal
responsibility for crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court referred to in
article 5;
(b) There has been an unjustified delay in the proceedings which in the
circumstances is inconsistent with an intent to bring the person concerned
to justice;
(c) The proceedings were not or are not being conducted independently or
impartially, and they were or are being conducted in a manner which, in
the circumstances, is inconsistent with an intent to bring the person
concerned to justice.
3. In order to determine inability in a particular case, the Court shall consider
whether, due to a total or substantial collapse or unavailability of its national
judicial system, the State is unable to obtain the accused or the necessary evidence
and testimony or otherwise unable to carry out its proceedings.
Article 18
Preliminary rulings regarding admissibility
1. When a situation has been referred to the Court pursuant to article 13 (a) and the
Prosecutor has determined that there would be a reasonable basis to commence an
investigation, or the Prosecutor initiates an investigation pursuant to articles 13 (c)
and 15, the Prosecutor shall notify all States Parties and those States which, taking
into account the information available, would normally exercise jurisdiction over
the crimes concerned. The Prosecutor may notify such States on a confidential
basis and, where the Prosecutor believes it necessary to protect persons, prevent
destruction of evidence or prevent the absconding of persons, may limit the scope
of the information provided to States.
2. Within one month of receipt of that notification, a State may inform the Court that
it is investigating or has investigated its nationals or others within its jurisdiction
with respect to criminal acts which may constitute crimes referred to in article 5
and which relate to the information provided in the notification to States. At the
request of that State, the Prosecutor shall defer to the State's investigation of
those persons unless the Pre-Trial Chamber, on the application of the Prosecutor,
decides to authorize the investigation.
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3. The Prosecutor's deferral to a State's investigation shall be open to review by the
Prosecutor six months after the date of deferral or at any time when there has been
a significant change of circumstances based on the State's unwillingness or
inability genuinely to carry out the investigation.
4. The State concerned or the Prosecutor may appeal to the Appeals Chamber
against a ruling of the Pre-Trial Chamber, in accordance with article 82. The appeal
may be heard on an expedited basis.
5. When the Prosecutor has deferred an investigation in accordance with paragraph
2, the Prosecutor may request that the State concerned periodically inform the
Prosecutor of the progress of its investigations and any subsequent prosecutions.
States Parties shall respond to such requests without undue delay.
6. Pending a ruling by the Pre-Trial Chamber, or at any time when the Prosecutor has
deferred an investigation under this article, the Prosecutor may, on an exceptional
basis, seek authority from the Pre-Trial Chamber to pursue necessary investigative
steps for the purpose of preserving evidence where there is a unique opportunity
to obtain important evidence or there is a significant risk that such evidence may
not be subsequently available.
7. A State which has challenged a ruling of the Pre-Trial Chamber under this article
may challenge the admissibility of a case under article 19 on the grounds of
additional significant facts or significant change of circumstances.
Article 19
Challenges to the jurisdiction of the Court or the admissibility of a case
1. The Court shall satisfy itself that it has jurisdiction in any case brought before it.
The Court may, on its own motion, determine the admissibility of a case in
accordance with article 17.
2. Challenges to the admissibility of a case on the grounds referred to in article 17 or
challenges to the jurisdiction of the Court may be made by:
(a) An accused or a person for whom a warrant of arrest or a summons to
appear has been issued under article 58;
(b) A State which has jurisdiction over a case, on the ground that it is
investigating or prosecuting the case or has investigated or prosecuted; or
(c) A State from which acceptance of jurisdiction is required under article 12.
3. The Prosecutor may seek a ruling from the Court regarding a question of
jurisdiction or admissibility. In proceedings with respect to jurisdiction or
admissibility, those who have referred the situation under article 13, as well as
victims, may also submit observations to the Court.
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4. The admissibility of a case or the jurisdiction of the Court may be challenged only
once by any person or State referred to in paragraph 2. The challenge shall take
place prior to or at the commencement of the trial. In exceptional circumstances,
the Court may grant leave for a challenge to be brought more than once or at a
time later than the commencement of the trial. Challenges to the admissibility of a
case, at the commencement of a trial, or subsequently with the leave of the Court,
may be based only on article 17, paragraph 1 (c).
5. A State referred to in paragraph 2 (b) and (c) shall make a challenge at the earliest
opportunity.
6. Prior to the confirmation of the charges, challenges to the admissibility of a case or
challenges to the jurisdiction of the Court shall be referred to the Pre-Trial
Chamber. After confirmation of the charges, they shall be referred to the
Trial Chamber. Decisions with respect to jurisdiction or admissibility may be
appealed to the Appeals Chamber in accordance with article 82.
7. If a challenge is made by a State referred to in paragraph 2 (b) or (c), the
Prosecutor shall suspend the investigation until such time as the Court makes a
determination in accordance with article 17.
8. Pending a ruling by the Court, the Prosecutor may seek authority from the Court:
(a) To pursue necessary investigative steps of the kind referred to in article 18,
paragraph 6;
(b) To take a statement or testimony from a witness or complete the collection
and examination of evidence which had begun prior to the making of the
challenge; and
(c) In cooperation with the relevant States, to prevent the absconding of
persons in respect of whom the Prosecutor has already requested a
warrant of arrest under article 58.
9. The making of a challenge shall not affect the validity of any act performed by the
Prosecutor or any order or warrant issued by the Court prior to the making of the
challenge.
10. If the Court has decided that a case is inadmissible under article 17, the Prosecutor
may submit a request for a review of the decision when he or she is fully satisfied
that new facts have arisen which negate the basis on which the case had
previously been found inadmissible under article 17.
11. If the Prosecutor, having regard to the matters referred to in article 17, defers an
investigation, the Prosecutor may request that the relevant State make available to
the Prosecutor information on the proceedings. That information shall, at the
request of the State concerned, be confidential. If the Prosecutor thereafter decides
to proceed with an investigation, he or she shall notify the State to which deferral
of the proceedings has taken place.
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Article 20
Ne bis in idem
1. Except as provided in this Statute, no person shall be tried before the Court with
respect to conduct which formed the basis of crimes for which the person has been
convicted or acquitted by the Court.
2. No person shall be tried by another court for a crime referred to in article 5 for
which that person has already been convicted or acquitted by the Court.
3. No person who has been tried by another court for conduct also proscribed under
article 6, 7 or 8 shall be tried by the Court with respect to the same conduct unless
the proceedings in the other court:
(a) Were for the purpose of shielding the person concerned from criminal
responsibility for crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court; or
(b) Otherwise were not conducted independently or impartially in accordance
with the norms of due process recognized by international law and were
conducted in a manner which, in the circumstances, was inconsistent with
an intent to bring the person concerned to justice.
Article 21
Applicable law
1. The Court shall apply:
(a) In the first place, this Statute, Elements of Crimes and its Rules of
Procedure and Evidence;
(b) In the second place, where appropriate, applicable treaties and the
principles and rules of international law, including the established
principles of the international law of armed conflict;
(c) Failing that, general principles of law derived by the Court from national
laws of legal systems of the world including, as appropriate, the national
laws of States that would normally exercise jurisdiction over the crime,
provided that those principles are not inconsistent with this Statute and
with international law and internationally recognized norms and
standards.
2. The Court may apply principles and rules of law as interpreted in its previous
decisions.
3. The application and interpretation of law pursuant to this article must be
consistent with internationally recognized human rights, and be without any
adverse distinction founded on grounds such as gender as defined in article 7,
paragraph 3, age, race, colour, language, religion or belief, political or other
opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, wealth, birth or other status.
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Part III General principles of Criminal Law
Article 22
Nullum crimen sine lege
1. A person shall not be criminally responsible under this Statute unless the conduct
in question constitutes, at the time it takes place, a crime within the jurisdiction of
the Court.
2. The definition of a crime shall be strictly construed and shall not be extended by
analogy. In case of ambiguity, the definition shall be interpreted in favour of the
person being investigated, prosecuted or convicted.
3. This article shall not affect the characterization of any conduct as criminal under
international law independently of this Statute.
Article 23
Nulla poena sine lege
A person convicted by the Court may be punished only in accordance with this Statute.
Article 24
Non-retroactivity ratione personae
1. No person shall be criminally responsible under this Statute for conduct prior to
the entry into force of the Statute.
2. In the event of a change in the law applicable to a given case prior to a final
judgement, the law more favourable to the person being investigated, prosecuted
or convicted shall apply.
Article 25
Individual criminal responsibility
1. The Court shall have jurisdiction over natural persons pursuant to this Statute.
2. A person who commits a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court shall be
individually responsible and liable for punishment in accordance with this Statute.
3. In accordance with this Statute, a person shall be criminally responsible and liable
for punishment for a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court if that person:
(a) Commits such a crime, whether as an individual, jointly with another or
through another person, regardless of whether that other person is
criminally responsible;
(b) Orders, solicits or induces the commission of such a crime which in fact
occurs or is attempted;
(c) For the purpose of facilitating the commission of such a crime, aids, abets
or otherwise assists in its commission or its attempted commission,
including providing the means for its commission;
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(d) In any other way contributes to the commission or attempted commission
of such a crime by a group of persons acting with a common purpose. Such
contribution shall be intentional and shall either:
(i) Be made with the aim of furthering the criminal activity or criminal
purpose of the group, where such activity or purpose involves the
commission of a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court; or
(ii) Be made in the knowledge of the intention of the group to commit
the crime;
(e) In respect of the crime of genocide, directly and publicly incites others to
commit genocide;
(f) Attempts to commit such a crime by taking action that commences its
execution by means of a substantial step, but the crime does not occur
because of circumstances independent of the person's intentions.
However, a person who abandons the effort to commit the crime or
otherwise prevents the completion of the crime shall not be liable for
punishment under this Statute for the attempt to commit that crime if that
person completely and voluntarily gave up the criminal purpose.
4. No provision in this Statute relating to individual criminal responsibility shall
affect the responsibility of States under international law.
Article 26
Exclusion of jurisdiction over persons under eighteen
The Court shall have no jurisdiction over any person who was under the age of 18 at the time
of the alleged commission of a crime.
Article 27
Irrelevance of official capacity
1. This Statute shall apply equally to all persons without any distinction based on
official capacity. In particular, official capacity as a Head of State or Government, a
member of a Government or parliament, an elected representative or a
government official shall in no case exempt a person from criminal responsibility
under this Statute, nor shall it, in and of itself, constitute a ground for reduction of
sentence.
2. Immunities or special procedural rules which may attach to the official capacity of
a person, whether under national or international law, shall not bar the Court from
exercising its jurisdiction over such a person.
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Article 28
Responsibility of commanders and other superiors
In addition to other grounds of criminal responsibility under this Statute for crimes within the
jurisdiction of the Court:
(a) A military commander or person effectively acting as a military
commander shall be criminally responsible for crimes within the
jurisdiction of the Court committed by forces under his or her effective
command and control, or effective authority and control as the case may
be, as a result of his or her failure to exercise control properly over such
forces, where:
(i) That military commander or person either knew or, owing to the
circumstances at the time, should have known that the forces
were committing or about to commit such crimes; and
(ii) That military commander or person failed to take all necessary
and reasonable measures within his or her power to prevent or
repress their commission or to submit the matter to the competent
authorities for investigation and prosecution.
(b) With respect to superior and subordinate relationships not described in
paragraph (a), a superior shall be criminally responsible for crimes within
the jurisdiction of the Court committed by subordinates under his or her
effective authority and control, as a result of his or her failure to exercise
control properly over such subordinates, where:
(i) The superior either knew, or consciously disregarded information
which clearly indicated, that the subordinates were committing or
about to commit such crimes;
(ii) The crimes concerned activities that were within the effective
responsibility and control of the superior; and
(iii) The superior failed to take all necessary and reasonable measures
within his or her power to prevent or repress their commission or to
submit the matter to the competent authorities for investigation and
prosecution.
Article 29
Non-applicability of statute of limitations
The crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court shall not be subject to any statute of
limitations.
Article 30
Mental element
1. Unless otherwise provided, a person shall be criminally responsible and liable for
punishment for a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court only if the material
elements are committed with intent and knowledge.
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2. For the purposes of this article, a person has intent where:
(a) In relation to conduct, that person means to engage in the conduct;
(b) In relation to a consequence, that person means to cause that consequence
or is aware that it will occur in the ordinary course of events.
3. For the purposes of this article, ‘knowledge’ means awareness that a circumstance
exists or a consequence will occur in the ordinary course of events. ‘Know’ and
‘knowingly’ shall be construed accordingly.
Article 31
Grounds for excluding criminal responsibility
1. In addition to other grounds for excluding criminal responsibility provided for in
this Statute, a person shall not be criminally responsible if, at the time of that
person's conduct:
(a) The person suffers from a mental disease or defect that destroys that
person's capacity to appreciate the unlawfulness or nature of his or her
conduct, or capacity to control his or her conduct to conform to the
requirements of law;
(b) The person is in a state of intoxication that destroys that person's capacity
to appreciate the unlawfulness or nature of his or her conduct, or capacity
to control his or her conduct to conform to the requirements of law, unless
the person has become voluntarily intoxicated under such circumstances
that the person knew, or disregarded the risk, that, as a result of the
intoxication, he or she was likely to engage in conduct constituting a crime
within the jurisdiction of the Court;
(c) The person acts reasonably to defend himself or herself or another person
or, in the case of war crimes, property which is essential for the survival of
the person or another person or property which is essential for
accomplishing a military mission, against an imminent and unlawful use
of force in a manner proportionate to the degree of danger to the person or
the other person or property protected. The fact that the person was
involved in a defensive operation conducted by forces shall not in itself
constitute a ground for excluding criminal responsibility under this
subparagraph;
(d) The conduct which is alleged to constitute a crime within the jurisdiction
of the Court has been caused by duress resulting from a threat of imminent
death or of continuing or imminent serious bodily harm against that
person or another person, and the person acts necessarily and reasonably
to avoid this threat, provided that the person does not intend to cause a
greater harm than the one sought to be avoided. Such a threat may either
be:
(i) Made by other persons; or
(ii) Constituted by other circumstances beyond that person's control.
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2. The Court shall determine the applicability of the grounds for excluding criminal
responsibility provided for in this Statute to the case before it.
3. At trial, the Court may consider a ground for excluding criminal responsibility
other than those referred to in paragraph 1 where such a ground is derived from
applicable law as set forth in article 21. The procedures relating to the
consideration of such a ground shall be provided for in the Rules of Procedure and
Evidence.
Article 32
Mistake of fact or mistake of law
1. A mistake of fact shall be a ground for excluding criminal responsibility only if it
negates the mental element required by the crime.
2. A mistake of law as to whether a particular type of conduct is a crime within the
jurisdiction of the Court shall not be a ground for excluding criminal responsibility.
A mistake of law may, however, be a ground for excluding criminal responsibility if
it negates the mental element required by such a crime, or as provided for in
article 33.
Article 33
Superior orders and prescription of law
1. The fact that a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court has been committed by a
person pursuant to an order of a Government or of a superior, whether military or
civilian, shall not relieve that person of criminal responsibility unless:
(a) The person was under a legal obligation to obey orders of the Government
or the superior in question;
(b) The person did not know that the order was unlawful; and
(c) The order was not manifestly unlawful.
2. For the purposes of this article, orders to commit genocide or crimes against
humanity are manifestly unlawful.
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Part IV Composition and administration of the Court
Article 34
Organs of the Court
The Court shall be composed of the following organs:
(a) The Presidency;
(b) An Appeals Division, a Trial Division and a Pre-Trial Division;
(c) The Office of the Prosecutor;
(d) The Registry.
Article 35
Service of judges
1. All judges shall be elected as full-time members of the Court and shall be available
to serve on that basis from the commencement of their terms of office.
2. The judges composing the Presidency shall serve on a full-time basis as soon as
they are elected.
3. The Presidency may, on the basis of the workload of the Court and in consultation
with its members, decide from time to time to what extent the remaining judges
shall be required to serve on a full-time basis. Any such arrangement shall be
without prejudice to the provisions of article 40.
4. The financial arrangements for judges not required to serve on a full-time basis
shall be made in accordance with article 49.
Article 36
Qualifications, nomination and election of judges
1. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 2, there shall be 18 judges of the Court.
2. (a) The Presidency, acting on behalf of the Court, may propose an increase in
the number of judges specified in paragraph 1, indicating the reasons why
this is considered necessary and appropriate. The Registrar shall promptly
circulate any such proposal to all States Parties.
(b) Any such proposal shall then be considered at a meeting of the Assembly
of States Parties to be convened in accordance with article 112. The
proposal shall be considered adopted if approved at the meeting by a vote
of two thirds of the members of the Assembly of States Parties and shall
enter into force at such time as decided by the Assembly of States Parties.
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(c) (i) Once a proposal for an increase in the number of judges has been
adopted under subparagraph (b), the election of the additional
judges shall take place at the next session of the Assembly of States
Parties in accordance with paragraphs 3 to 8, and article 37,
paragraph 2;
(ii) Once a proposal for an increase in the number of judges has
been adopted and brought into effect under subparagraphs (b)
and (c) (i), it shall be open to the Presidency at any time
thereafter, if the workload of the Court justifies it, to propose a
reduction in the number of judges, provided that the number of
judges shall not be reduced below that specified in paragraph 1.
The proposal shall be dealt with in accordance with the
procedure laid down in subparagraphs (a) and (b). In the event
that the proposal is adopted, the number of judges shall be
progressively decreased as the terms of office of serving judges
expire, until the necessary number has been reached.
3. (a) The judges shall be chosen from among persons of high moral character,
impartiality and integrity who possess the qualifications required in
their respective States for appointment to the highest judicial offices.
(b) Every candidate for election to the Court shall:
(i) Have established competence in criminal law and procedure, and
the necessary relevant experience, whether as judge, prosecutor,
advocate or in other similar capacity, in criminal proceedings; or
(ii) Have established competence in relevant areas of international law
such as international humanitarian law and the law of human rights,
and extensive experience in a professional legal capacity which is of
relevance to the judicial work of the Court;
(c) Every candidate for election to the Court shall have an excellent
knowledge of and be fluent in at least one of the working languages of the
Court.
4. (a) Nominations of candidates for election to the Court may be made by any
State Party to this Statute, and shall be made either:
(i) By the procedure for the nomination of candidates for appointment
to the highest judicial offices in the State in question; or
(ii) By the procedure provided for the nomination of candidates for the
International Court of Justice in the Statute of that Court.
Nominations shall be accompanied by a statement in the necessary detail
specifying how the candidate fulfils the requirements of paragraph 3.
(b) Each State Party may put forward one candidate for any given election
who need not necessarily be a national of that State Party but shall in any
case be a national of a State Party.
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(c) The Assembly of States Parties may decide to establish, if appropriate, an
Advisory Committee on nominations. In that event, the Committee's
composition and mandate shall be established by the Assembly of States
Parties.
5. For the purposes of the election, there shall be two lists of candidates:
List A containing the names of candidates with the qualifications specified in
paragraph 3 (b) (i); and
List B containing the names of candidates with the qualifications specified in
paragraph 3 (b) (ii).
A candidate with sufficient qualifications for both lists may choose on which list to
appear. At the first election to the Court, at least nine judges shall be elected from
list A and at least five judges from list B. Subsequent elections shall be so
organized as to maintain the equivalent proportion on the Court of judges
qualified on the two lists.
6. (a) The judges shall be elected by secret ballot at a meeting of the Assembly of
States Parties convened for that purpose under article 112. Subject to
paragraph 7, the persons elected to the Court shall be the 18 candidates
who obtain the highest number of votes and a two-thirds majority of the
States Parties present and voting.
(b) In the event that a sufficient number of judges is not elected on the first
ballot, successive ballots shall be held in accordance with the procedures
laid down in subparagraph (a) until the remaining places have been filled.
7. No two judges may be nationals of the same State. A person who, for the purposes
of membership of the Court, could be regarded as a national of more than one
State shall be deemed to be a national of the State in which that person ordinarily
exercises civil and political rights.
8. (a) The States Parties shall, in the selection of judges, take into account
the need, within the membership of the Court, for:
(i) The representation of the principal legal systems of the world;
(ii) Equitable geographical representation; and
(iii) A fair representation of female and male judges.
(b) States Parties shall also take into account the need to include judges with
legal expertise on specific issues, including, but not limited to, violence
against women or children.
9. (a) Subject to subparagraph (b), judges shall hold office for a term of nine
years and, subject to subparagraph (c) and to article 37, paragraph 2,
shall not be eligible for re-election.
(b) At the first election, one third of the judges elected shall be selected by lot
to serve for a term of three years; one third of the judges elected shall be
selected by lot to serve for a term of six years; and the remainder shall
serve for a term of nine years.
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(c) A judge who is selected to serve for a term of three years under
subparagraph (b) shall be eligible for re-election for a full term.
10. Notwithstanding paragraph 9, a judge assigned to a Trial or Appeals Chamber in
accordance with article 39 shall continue in office to complete any trial or appeal
the hearing of which has already commenced before that Chamber.
Article 37
Judicial vacancies
1. In the event of a vacancy, an election shall be held in accordance with article 36 to
fill the vacancy.
2. A judge elected to fill a vacancy shall serve for the remainder of the predecessor's
term and, if that period is three years or less, shall be eligible for re-election for a
full term under article 36.
Article 38
The Presidency
1. The President and the First and Second Vice-Presidents shall be elected by an
absolute majority of the judges. They shall each serve for a term of three years or
until the end of their respective terms of office as judges, whichever expires earlier.
They shall be eligible for re-election once.
2. The First Vice-President shall act in place of the President in the event that
the President is unavailable or disqualified. The Second Vice-President shall
act in place of the President in the event that both the President and the First
Vice-President are unavailable or disqualified.
3. The President, together with the First and Second Vice-Presidents, shall constitute
the Presidency, which shall be responsible for:
(a) The proper administration of the Court, with the exception of the Office of
the Prosecutor; and
(b) The other functions conferred upon it in accordance with this Statute.
4. In discharging its responsibility under paragraph 3 (a), the Presidency shall
coordinate with and seek the concurrence of the Prosecutor on all matters of
mutual concern.
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Article 39
Chambers
1. As soon as possible after the election of the judges, the Court shall organize itself
into the divisions specified in article 34, paragraph (b). The Appeals Division shall
be composed of the President and four other judges, the Trial Division of not less
than six judges and the Pre-Trial Division of not less than six judges. The
assignment of judges to divisions shall be based on the nature of the functions to
be performed by each division and the qualifications and experience of the judges
elected to the Court, in such a way that each division shall contain an appropriate
combination of expertise in criminal law and procedure and in international law.
The Trial and Pre-Trial Divisions shall be composed predominantly of judges with
criminal trial experience.
2. (a) The judicial functions of the Court shall be carried out in each
division by Chambers.
(b) (i) The Appeals Chamber shall be composed of all the judges of the
Appeals Division;
(ii) The functions of the Trial Chamber shall be carried out by three
judges of the Trial Division;
(iii) The functions of the Pre-Trial Chamber shall be carried out either by
three judges of the Pre-Trial Division or by a single judge of that
division in accordance with this Statute and the Rules of Procedure
and Evidence;
(c) Nothing in this paragraph shall preclude the simultaneous constitution of
more than one Trial Chamber or Pre-Trial Chamber when the efficient
management of the Court's workload so requires.
3. (a) Judges assigned to the Trial and Pre-Trial Divisions shall serve in those
divisions for a period of three years, and thereafter until the completion of
any case the hearing of which has already commenced in the division
concerned.
(b) Judges assigned to the Appeals Division shall serve in that division
for their entire term of office.
4. Judges assigned to the Appeals Division shall serve only in that division. Nothing
in this article shall, however, preclude the temporary attachment of judges from
the Trial Division to the Pre-Trial Division or vice versa, if the Presidency considers
that the efficient management of the Court's workload so requires, provided that
under no circumstances shall a judge who has participated in the pre-trial phase of
a case be eligible to sit on the Trial Chamber hearing that case.
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Article 40
Independence of the judges
1. The judges shall be independent in the performance of their functions.
2. Judges shall not engage in any activity which is likely to interfere with their
judicial functions or to affect confidence in their independence.
3. Judges required to serve on a full-time basis at the seat of the Court shall not
engage in any other occupation of a professional nature.
4. Any question regarding the application of paragraphs 2 and 3 shall be decided by
an absolute majority of the judges. Where any such question concerns an
individual judge, that judge shall not take part in the decision.
Article 41
Excusing and disqualification of judges
1. The Presidency may, at the request of a judge, excuse that judge from the exercise
of a function under this Statute, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure and
Evidence.
2. (a) A judge shall not participate in any case in which his or her impartiality
might reasonably be doubted on any ground. A judge shall be disqualified
from a case in accordance with this paragraph if, inter alia, that judge has
previously been involved in any capacity in that case before the Court or in
a related criminal case at the national level involving the person being
investigated or prosecuted. A judge shall also be disqualified on such other
grounds as may be provided for in the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
(b) The Prosecutor or the person being investigated or prosecuted may
request the disqualification of a judge under this paragraph.
(c) Any question as to the disqualification of a judge shall be decided by an
absolute majority of the judges. The challenged judge shall be entitled to
present his or her comments on the matter, but shall not take part in the
decision.
Article 42
The Office of the Prosecutor
1. The Office of the Prosecutor shall act independently as a separate organ of the
Court. It shall be responsible for receiving referrals and any substantiated
information on crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court, for examining them and
for conducting investigations and prosecutions before the Court. A member of the
Office shall not seek or act on instructions from any external source.
2. The Office shall be headed by the Prosecutor. The Prosecutor shall have full
authority over the management and administration of the Office, including the
staff, facilities and other resources thereof. The Prosecutor shall be assisted by one
or more Deputy Prosecutors, who shall be entitled to carry out any of the acts
required of the Prosecutor under this Statute. The Prosecutor and the Deputy
Prosecutors shall be of different nationalities. They shall serve on a full-time basis.
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3. The Prosecutor and the Deputy Prosecutors shall be persons of high moral
character, be highly competent in and have extensive practical experience in the
prosecution or trial of criminal cases. They shall have an excellent knowledge of
and be fluent in at least one of the working languages of the Court.
4. The Prosecutor shall be elected by secret ballot by an absolute majority of the
members of the Assembly of States Parties. The Deputy Prosecutors shall be
elected in the same way from a list of candidates provided by the Prosecutor. The
Prosecutor shall nominate three candidates for each position of Deputy Prosecutor
to be filled. Unless a shorter term is decided upon at the time of their election, the
Prosecutor and the Deputy Prosecutors shall hold office for a term of nine years
and shall not be eligible for re-election.
5. Neither the Prosecutor nor a Deputy Prosecutor shall engage in any activity which
is likely to interfere with his or her prosecutorial functions or to affect confidence
in his or her independence. They shall not engage in any other occupation of a
professional nature.
6. The Presidency may excuse the Prosecutor or a Deputy Prosecutor, at his or her
request, from acting in a particular case.
7. Neither the Prosecutor nor a Deputy Prosecutor shall participate in any matter in
which their impartiality might reasonably be doubted on any ground. They shall
be disqualified from a case in accordance with this paragraph if, inter alia, they
have previously been involved in any capacity in that case before the Court or in a
related criminal case at the national level involving the person being investigated
or prosecuted.
8. Any question as to the disqualification of the Prosecutor or a Deputy Prosecutor
shall be decided by the Appeals Chamber.
(a) The person being investigated or prosecuted may at any time request the
disqualification of the Prosecutor or a Deputy Prosecutor on the grounds
set out in this article;
(b) The Prosecutor or the Deputy Prosecutor, as appropriate, shall be entitled
to present his or her comments on the matter.
9. The Prosecutor shall appoint advisers with legal expertise on specific issues,
including, but not limited to, sexual and gender violence and violence against
children.
Article 43
The Registry
1. The Registry shall be responsible for the non-judicial aspects of the administration
and servicing of the Court, without prejudice to the functions and powers of the
Prosecutor in accordance with article 42.
2. The Registry shall be headed by the Registrar, who shall be the principal
administrative officer of the Court. The Registrar shall exercise his or her functions
under the authority of the President of the Court.
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3. The Registrar and the Deputy Registrar shall be persons of high moral character,
be highly competent and have an excellent knowledge of and be fluent in at least
one of the working languages of the Court.
4. The judges shall elect the Registrar by an absolute majority by secret ballot, taking
into account any recommendation by the Assembly of States Parties. If the need
arises and upon the recommendation of the Registrar, the judges shall elect, in the
same manner, a Deputy Registrar.
5. The Registrar shall hold office for a term of five years, shall be eligible for reelection
once and shall serve on a full-time basis. The Deputy Registrar shall hold
office for a term of five years or such shorter term as may be decided upon by an
absolute majority of the judges, and may be elected on the basis that the Deputy
Registrar shall be called upon to serve as required.
6. The Registrar shall set up a Victims and Witnesses Unit within the Registry. This
Unit shall provide, in consultation with the Office of the Prosecutor, protective
measures and security arrangements, counselling and other appropriate assistance
for witnesses, victims who appear before the Court, and others who are at risk on
account of testimony given by such witnesses. The Unit shall include staff with
expertise in trauma, including trauma related to crimes of sexual violence.
Article 44
Staff
1. The Prosecutor and the Registrar shall appoint such qualified staff as may be
required to their respective offices. In the case of the Prosecutor, this shall include
the appointment of investigators.
2. In the employment of staff, the Prosecutor and the Registrar shall ensure the
highest standards of efficiency, competency and integrity, and shall have regard,
mutatis mutandis, to the criteria set forth in article 36, paragraph 8.
3. The Registrar, with the agreement of the Presidency and the Prosecutor, shall
propose Staff Regulations which include the terms and conditions upon which the
staff of the Court shall be appointed, remunerated and dismissed. The Staff
Regulations shall be approved by the Assembly of States Parties.
4. The Court may, in exceptional circumstances, employ the expertise of gratis
personnel offered by States Parties, intergovernmental organizations or nongovernmental
organizations to assist with the work of any of the organs
of the Court. The Prosecutor may accept any such offer on behalf of the Office of
the Prosecutor. Such gratis personnel shall be employed in accordance with
guidelines to be established by the Assembly of States Parties.
Article 45
Solemn undertaking
Before taking up their respective duties under this Statute, the judges, the
Prosecutor, the Deputy Prosecutors, the Registrar and the Deputy Registrar shall
each make a solemn undertaking in open court to exercise his or her respective
functions impartially and conscientiously.
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Article 46
Removal from office
1. A judge, the Prosecutor, a Deputy Prosecutor, the Registrar or the Deputy Registrar
shall be removed from office if a decision to this effect is made in accordance with
paragraph 2, in cases where that person:
(a) Is found to have committed serious misconduct or a serious breach of his
or her duties under this Statute, as provided for in the Rules of Procedure
and Evidence; or
(b) Is unable to exercise the functions required by this Statute.
2. A decision as to the removal from office of a judge, the Prosecutor or a Deputy
Prosecutor under paragraph 1 shall be made by the Assembly of States Parties, by
secret ballot:
(a) In the case of a judge, by a two-thirds majority of the States Parties upon a
recommendation adopted by a two-thirds majority of the other judges;
(b) In the case of the Prosecutor, by an absolute majority of the States Parties;
(c) In the case of a Deputy Prosecutor, by an absolute majority of the States
Parties upon the recommendation of the Prosecutor.
3. A decision as to the removal from office of the Registrar or Deputy Registrar shall
be made by an absolute majority of the judges.
4. A judge, Prosecutor, Deputy Prosecutor, Registrar or Deputy Registrar whose
conduct or ability to exercise the functions of the office as required by this Statute
is challenged under this article shall have full opportunity to present and receive
evidence and to make submissions in accordance with the Rules of Procedure and
Evidence. The person in question shall not otherwise participate in the
consideration of the matter.
Article 47
Disciplinary measures
A judge, Prosecutor, Deputy Prosecutor, Registrar or Deputy Registrar who has committed
misconduct of a less serious nature than that set out in article 46, paragraph 1, shall be subject
to disciplinary measures, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
Article 48
Privileges and immunities
1. The Court shall enjoy in the territory of each State Party such privileges and
immunities as are necessary for the fulfilment of its purposes.
2. The judges, the Prosecutor, the Deputy Prosecutors and the Registrar shall, when
engaged on or with respect to the business of the Court, enjoy the same privileges
and immunities as are accorded to heads of diplomatic missions and shall, after
the expiry of their terms of office, continue to be accorded immunity from legal
process of every kind in respect of words spoken or written and acts performed by
them in their official capacity.
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3. The Deputy Registrar, the staff of the Office of the Prosecutor and the staff
of the Registry shall enjoy the privileges and immunities and facilities necessary
for the performance of their functions, in accordance with the agreement on the
privileges and immunities of the Court.
4. Counsel, experts, witnesses or any other person required to be present at the seat
of the Court shall be accorded such treatment as is necessary for the proper
functioning of the Court, in accordance with the agreement on the privileges and
immunities of the Court.
5. The privileges and immunities of:
(a) A judge or the Prosecutor may be waived by an absolute majority of the
judges;
(b) The Registrar may be waived by the Presidency;
(c) The Deputy Prosecutors and staff of the Office of the Prosecutor may be
waived by the Prosecutor;
(d) The Deputy Registrar and staff of the Registry may be waived by the
Registrar.
Article 49
Salaries, allowances and expenses
The judges, the Prosecutor, the Deputy Prosecutors, the Registrar and the Deputy Registrar
shall receive such salaries, allowances and expenses as may be decided upon by the Assembly
of States Parties. These salaries and allowances shall not be reduced during their terms of
office.
Article 50
Official and working languages
1. The official languages of the Court shall be Arabic, Chinese, English, French,
Russian and Spanish. The judgements of the Court, as well as other decisions
resolving fundamental issues before the Court, shall be published in the official
languages. The Presidency shall, in accordance with the criteria established by the
Rules of Procedure and Evidence, determine which decisions may be considered as
resolving fundamental issues for the purposes of this paragraph.
2. The working languages of the Court shall be English and French. The Rules of
Procedure and Evidence shall determine the cases in which other official
languages may be used as working languages.
3. At the request of any party to a proceeding or a State allowed to intervene in a
proceeding, the Court shall authorize a language other than English or French to
be used by such a party or State, provided that the Court considers such
authorization to be adequately justified.
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Article 51
Rules of Procedure and Evidence
1. The Rules of Procedure and Evidence shall enter into force upon adoption by a
two-thirds majority of the members of the Assembly of States Parties.
2. Amendments to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence may be proposed by:
(a) Any State Party;
(b) The judges acting by an absolute majority; or
(c) The Prosecutor.
Such amendments shall enter into force upon adoption by a two-thirds majority of
the members of the Assembly of States Parties.
3. After the adoption of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, in urgent cases where
the Rules do not provide for a specific situation before the Court, the judges may,
by a two-thirds majority, draw up provisional Rules to be applied until adopted,
amended or rejected at the next ordinary or special session of the Assembly of
States Parties.
4. The Rules of Procedure and Evidence, amendments thereto and any provisional
Rule shall be consistent with this Statute. Amendments to the Rules of Procedure
and Evidence as well as provisional Rules shall not be applied retroactively to the
detriment of the person who is being investigated or prosecuted or who has been
convicted.
5. In the event of conflict between the Statute and the Rules of Procedure and
Evidence, the Statute shall prevail.
Article 52
Regulations of the Court
1. The judges shall, in accordance with this Statute and the Rules of Procedure and
Evidence, adopt, by an absolute majority, the Regulations of the Court necessary
for its routine functioning.
2. The Prosecutor and the Registrar shall be consulted in the elaboration of the
Regulations and any amendments thereto.
3. The Regulations and any amendments thereto shall take effect upon adoption
unless otherwise decided by the judges. Immediately upon adoption, they shall be
circulated to States Parties for comments. If within six months there are no
objections from a majority of States Parties, they shall remain in force.
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Part V Investigation and prosecution
Article 53
Initiation of an investigation
1. The Prosecutor shall, having evaluated the information made available to him or
her, initiate an investigation unless he or she determines that there is no
reasonable basis to proceed under this Statute. In deciding whether to initiate an
investigation, the Prosecutor shall consider whether:
(a) The information available to the Prosecutor provides a reasonable basis to
believe that a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court has been or is
being committed;
(b) The case is or would be admissible under article 17; and
(c) Taking into account the gravity of the crime and the interests of victims,
there are nonetheless substantial reasons to believe that an investigation
would not serve the interests of justice.
If the Prosecutor determines that there is no reasonable basis to proceed and his or
her determination is based solely on subparagraph (c) above, he or she shall
inform the Pre-Trial Chamber.
2. If, upon investigation, the Prosecutor concludes that there is not a sufficient basis
for a prosecution because:
(a) There is not a sufficient legal or factual basis to seek a warrant or
summons under article 58;
(b) The case is inadmissible under article 17; or
(c) A prosecution is not in the interests of justice, taking into account
all the circumstances, including the gravity of the crime, the interests
of victims and the age or infirmity of the alleged perpetrator, and
his or her role in the alleged crime; the Prosecutor shall inform
the Pre-Trial Chamber and the State making a referral under article 14
or the Security Council in a case under article 13, paragraph (b), of his
or her conclusion and the reasons for the conclusion.
3. (a) At the request of the State making a referral under article 14 or the
Security Council under article 13, paragraph (b), the Pre-Trial Chamber
may review a decision of the Prosecutor under paragraph 1 or 2 not to
proceed and may request the Prosecutor to reconsider that decision.
(b) In addition, the Pre-Trial Chamber may, on its own initiative, review
a decision of the Prosecutor not to proceed if it is based solely on
paragraph 1 (c) or 2 (c). In such a case, the decision of the Prosecutor shall
be effective only if confirmed by the Pre-Trial Chamber.
4. The Prosecutor may, at any time, reconsider a decision whether to initiate an
investigation or prosecution based on new facts or information.
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Article 54
Duties and powers of the Prosecutor with respect to investigations
1. The Prosecutor shall:
(a) In order to establish the truth, extend the investigation to cover all
facts and evidence relevant to an assessment of whether there is
criminal responsibility under this Statute, and, in doing so, investigate
incriminating and exonerating circumstances equally;
(b) Take appropriate measures to ensure the effective investigation and
prosecution of crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court, and in doing so,
respect the interests and personal circumstances of victims and witnesses,
including age, gender as defined in article 7, paragraph 3, and health, and
take into account the nature of the crime, in particular where it involves
sexual violence, gender violence or violence against children; and
(c) Fully respect the rights of persons arising under this Statute.
2. The Prosecutor may conduct investigations on the territory of a State:
(a) In accordance with the provisions of Part 9; or
(b) As authorized by the Pre-Trial Chamber under article 57, paragraph 3 (d).
3. The Prosecutor may:
(a) Collect and examine evidence;
(b) Request the presence of and question persons being investigated, victims
and witnesses;
(c) Seek the cooperation of any State or intergovernmental organization or
arrangement in accordance with its respective competence and/or
mandate;
(d) Enter into such arrangements or agreements, not inconsistent with this
Statute, as may be necessary to facilitate the cooperation of a State,
intergovernmental organization or person;
(e) Agree not to disclose, at any stage of the proceedings, documents or
information that the Prosecutor obtains on the condition of confidentiality
and solely for the purpose of generating new evidence, unless the provider
of the information consents; and
(f) Take necessary measures, or request that necessary measures be taken, to
ensure the confidentiality of information, the protection of any person or
the preservation of evidence.
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Article 55
Rights of persons during an investigation
1. In respect of an investigation under this Statute, a person:
(a) Shall not be compelled to incriminate himself or herself or to confess guilt;
(b) Shall not be subjected to any form of coercion, duress or threat, to torture
or to any other form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment;
(c) Shall, if questioned in a language other than a language the person fully
understands and speaks, have, free of any cost, the assistance of a
competent interpreter and such translations as are necessary to meet the
requirements of fairness; and
(d) Shall not be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention, and shall not be
deprived of his or her liberty except on such grounds and in accordance
with such procedures as are established in this Statute.
2. Where there are grounds to believe that a person has committed a crime within
the jurisdiction of the Court and that person is about to be questioned either by
the Prosecutor, or by national authorities pursuant to a request made under Part 9,
that person shall also have the following rights of which he or she shall be
informed prior to being questioned:
(a) To be informed, prior to being questioned, that there are grounds to
believe that he or she has committed a crime within the jurisdiction of the
Court;
(b) To remain silent, without such silence being a consideration in the
determination of guilt or innocence;
(c) To have legal assistance of the person's choosing, or, if the person does not
have legal assistance, to have legal assistance assigned to him or her, in
any case where the interests of justice so require, and without payment by
the person in any such case if the person does not have sufficient means to
pay for it; and
(d) To be questioned in the presence of counsel unless the person has
voluntarily waived his or her right to counsel.
Article 56
Role of the Pre-Trial Chamber in relation to a unique investigative
opportunity
1. (a) Where the Prosecutor considers an investigation to present a unique
opportunity to take testimony or a statement from a witness or to examine,
collect or test evidence, which may not be available subsequently for the
purposes of a trial, the Prosecutor shall so inform the Pre-Trial Chamber.
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(b) In that case, the Pre-Trial Chamber may, upon request of the Prosecutor,
take such measures as may be necessary to ensure the efficiency and
integrity of the proceedings and, in particular, to protect the rights of the
defence.
(c) Unless the Pre-Trial Chamber orders otherwise, the Prosecutor shall
provide the relevant information to the person who has been arrested or
appeared in response to a summons in connection with the investigation
referred to in subparagraph (a), in order that he or she may be heard on
the matter.
2. The measures referred to in paragraph 1 (b) may include:
(a) Making recommendations or orders regarding procedures to be followed;
(b) Directing that a record be made of the proceedings;
(c) Appointing an expert to assist;
(d) Authorizing counsel for a person who has been arrested, or appeared
before the Court in response to a summons, to participate, or where there
has not yet been such an arrest or appearance or counsel has not been
designated, appointing another counsel to attend and represent the
interests of the defence;
(e) Naming one of its members or, if necessary, another available judge of the
Pre-Trial or Trial Division to observe and make recommendations or orders
regarding the collection and preservation of evidence and the questioning
of persons;
(f) Taking such other action as may be necessary to collect or preserve
evidence.
3. (a) Where the Prosecutor has not sought measures pursuant to this article but
the Pre-Trial Chamber considers that such measures are required to
preserve evidence that it deems would be essential for the defence at trial,
it shall consult with the Prosecutor as to whether there is good reason for
the Prosecutor's failure to request the measures. If upon consultation, the
Pre-Trial Chamber concludes that the Prosecutor's failure to request such
measures is unjustified, the Pre-Trial Chamber may take such measures on
its own initiative.
(b) A decision of the Pre-Trial Chamber to act on its own initiative under this
paragraph may be appealed by the Prosecutor. The appeal shall be heard
on an expedited basis.
4. The admissibility of evidence preserved or collected for trial pursuant to this
article, or the record thereof, shall be governed at trial by article 69, and given such
weight as determined by the Trial Chamber.
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Article 57
Functions and powers of the Pre-Trial Chamber
1. Unless otherwise provided in this Statute, the Pre-Trial Chamber shall exercise its
functions in accordance with the provisions of this article.
2. (a) Orders or rulings of the Pre-Trial Chamber issued under articles 15, 18, 19,
54, paragraph 2, 61, paragraph 7, and 72 must be concurred in by a
majority of its judges.
(b) In all other cases, a single judge of the Pre-Trial Chamber may exercise the
functions provided for in this Statute, unless otherwise provided for in
the Rules of Procedure and Evidence or by a majority of the Pre-Trial
Chamber.
3. In addition to its other functions under this Statute, the Pre-Trial Chamber may:
(a) At the request of the Prosecutor, issue such orders and warrants as may be
required for the purposes of an investigation;
(b) Upon the request of a person who has been arrested or has appeared
pursuant to a summons under article 58, issue such orders, including
measures such as those described in article 56, or seek such cooperation
pursuant to Part 9 as may be necessary to assist the person in the
preparation of his or her defence;
(c) Where necessary, provide for the protection and privacy of victims and
witnesses, the preservation of evidence, the protection of persons who
have been arrested or appeared in response to a summons, and the
protection of national security information;
(d) Authorize the Prosecutor to take specific investigative steps within the
territory of a State Party without having secured the cooperation of that
State under Part 9 if, whenever possible having regard to the views of the
State concerned, the Pre-Trial Chamber has determined in that case that
the State is clearly unable to execute a request for cooperation due to the
unavailability of any authority or any component of its judicial system
competent to execute the request for cooperation under Part 9;
(e) Where a warrant of arrest or a summons has been issued under article 58,
and having due regard to the strength of the evidence and the rights of the
parties concerned, as provided for in this Statute and the Rules of
Procedure and Evidence, seek the cooperation of States pursuant to article
93, paragraph 1 (k), to take protective measures for the purpose of
forfeiture, in particular for the ultimate benefit of victims.
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Article 58
Issuance by the Pre-Trial Chamber of a warrant of arrest or a
summons to appear
1. At any time after the initiation of an investigation, the Pre-Trial Chamber shall, on
the application of the Prosecutor, issue a warrant of arrest of a person if, having
examined the application and the evidence or other information submitted by the
Prosecutor, it is satisfied that:
(a) There are reasonable grounds to believe that the person has committed a
crime within the jurisdiction of the Court; and
(b) The arrest of the person appears necessary:
(i) To ensure the person's appearance at trial;
(ii) To ensure that the person does not obstruct or endanger the
investigation or the court proceedings; or
(iii) Where applicable, to prevent the person from continuing with the
commission of that crime or a related crime which is within the
jurisdiction of the Court and which arises out of the same
circumstances.
2. The application of the Prosecutor shall contain:
(a) The name of the person and any other relevant identifying information;
(b) A specific reference to the crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court
which the person is alleged to have committed;
(c) A concise statement of the facts which are alleged to constitute those
crimes;
(d) A summary of the evidence and any other information which establish
reasonable grounds to believe that the person committed those crimes;
and
(e) The reason why the Prosecutor believes that the arrest of the person is
necessary.
3. The warrant of arrest shall contain:
(a) The name of the person and any other relevant identifying information;
(b) A specific reference to the crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court for
which the person's arrest is sought; and
(c) A concise statement of the facts which are alleged to constitute those
crimes.
4. The warrant of arrest shall remain in effect until otherwise ordered by the Court.
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5. On the basis of the warrant of arrest, the Court may request the provisional arrest
or the arrest and surrender of the person under Part 9.
6. The Prosecutor may request the Pre-Trial Chamber to amend the warrant of arrest
by modifying or adding to the crimes specified therein. The Pre-Trial Chamber
shall so amend the warrant if it is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to
believe that the person committed the modified or additional crimes.
7. As an alternative to seeking a warrant of arrest, the Prosecutor may submit an
application requesting that the Pre-Trial Chamber issue a summons for the person
to appear. If the Pre-Trial Chamber is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to
believe that the person committed the crime alleged and that a summons is
sufficient to ensure the person's appearance, it shall issue the summons, with or
without conditions restricting liberty (other than detention) if provided for by
national law, for the person to appear. The summons shall contain:
(a) The name of the person and any other relevant identifying information;
(b) The specified date on which the person is to appear;
(c) A specific reference to the crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court
which the person is alleged to have committed; and
(d) A concise statement of the facts which are alleged to constitute the crime.
The summons shall be served on the person.
Article 59
Arrest proceedings in the custodial State
1. A State Party which has received a request for provisional arrest or for arrest and
surrender shall immediately take steps to arrest the person in question in
accordance with its laws and the provisions of Part 9.
2. A person arrested shall be brought promptly before the competent judicial
authority in the custodial State which shall determine, in accordance with the law
of that State, that:
(a) The warrant applies to that person;
(b) The person has been arrested in accordance with the proper process; and
(c) The person's rights have been respected.
3. The person arrested shall have the right to apply to the competent authority in the
custodial State for interim release pending surrender.
4. In reaching a decision on any such application, the competent authority in the
custodial State shall consider whether, given the gravity of the alleged crimes,
there are urgent and exceptional circumstances to justify interim release and
whether necessary safeguards exist to ensure that the custodial State can fulfil its
duty to surrender the person to the Court. It shall not be open to the competent
authority of the custodial State to consider whether the warrant of arrest was
properly issued in accordance with article 58, paragraph 1 (a) and (b).
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5. The Pre-Trial Chamber shall be notified of any request for interim release and shall
make recommendations to the competent authority in the custodial State. The
competent authority in the custodial State shall give full consideration to such
recommendations, including any recommendations on measures to prevent the
escape of the person, before rendering its decision.
6. If the person is granted interim release, the Pre-Trial Chamber may request
periodic reports on the status of the interim release.
7. Once ordered to be surrendered by the custodial State, the person shall be
delivered to the Court as soon as possible.
Article 60
Initial proceedings before the Court
1. Upon the surrender of the person to the Court, or the person's appearance before
the Court voluntarily or pursuant to a summons, the Pre-Trial Chamber shall
satisfy itself that the person has been informed of the crimes which he or she is
alleged to have committed, and of his or her rights under this Statute, including
the right to apply for interim release pending trial.
2. A person subject to a warrant of arrest may apply for interim release pending trial.
If the Pre-Trial Chamber is satisfied that the conditions set forth in article 58,
paragraph 1, are met, the person shall continue to be detained. If it is not so
satisfied, the Pre-Trial Chamber shall release the person, with or without
conditions.
3. The Pre-Trial Chamber shall periodically review its ruling on the release or
detention of the person, and may do so at any time on the request of the
Prosecutor or the person. Upon such review, it may modify its ruling as to
detention, release or conditions of release, if it is satisfied that changed
circumstances so require.
4. The Pre-Trial Chamber shall ensure that a person is not detained for an
unreasonable period prior to trial due to inexcusable delay by the Prosecutor. If
such delay occurs, the Court shall consider releasing the person, with or without
conditions.
5. If necessary, the Pre-Trial Chamber may issue a warrant of arrest to secure the
presence of a person who has been released.
Article 61
Confirmation of the charges before trial
1. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 2, within a reasonable time after the
person's surrender or voluntary appearance before the Court, the Pre-Trial
Chamber shall hold a hearing to confirm the charges on which the Prosecutor
intends to seek trial. The hearing shall be held in the presence of the
Prosecutor and the person charged, as well as his or her counsel.
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2. The Pre-Trial Chamber may, upon request of the Prosecutor or on its own motion,
hold a hearing in the absence of the person charged to confirm the charges on
which the Prosecutor intends to seek trial when the person has:
(a) Waived his or her right to be present; or
(b) Fled or cannot be found and all reasonable steps have been taken to secure
his or her appearance before the Court and to inform the person of the
charges and that a hearing to confirm those charges will be held.
In that case, the person shall be represented by counsel where the Pre-Trial
Chamber determines that it is in the interests of justice.
3. Within a reasonable time before the hearing, the person shall:
(a) Be provided with a copy of the document containing the charges on which
the Prosecutor intends to bring the person to trial; and
(b) Be informed of the evidence on which the Prosecutor intends to rely at the
hearing.
The Pre-Trial Chamber may issue orders regarding the disclosure of information
for the purposes of the hearing.
4. Before the hearing, the Prosecutor may continue the investigation and may amend
or withdraw any charges. The person shall be given reasonable notice before the
hearing of any amendment to or withdrawal of charges. In case of a withdrawal of
charges, the Prosecutor shall notify the Pre-Trial Chamber of the reasons for the
withdrawal.
5. At the hearing, the Prosecutor shall support each charge with sufficient evidence
to establish substantial grounds to believe that the person committed the crime
charged. The Prosecutor may rely on documentary or summary evidence and need
not call the witnesses expected to testify at the trial.
6. At the hearing, the person may:
(a) Object to the charges;
(b) Challenge the evidence presented by the Prosecutor; and
(c) Present evidence.
7. The Pre-Trial Chamber shall, on the basis of the hearing, determine whether there
is sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe that the person
committed each of the crimes charged. Based on its determination, the Pre-Trial
Chamber shall:
(a) Confirm those charges in relation to which it has determined that there is
sufficient evidence, and commit the person to a Trial Chamber for trial on
the charges as confirmed;
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(b) Decline to confirm those charges in relation to which it has determined
that there is insufficient evidence;
(c) Adjourn the hearing and request the Prosecutor to consider:
(i) Providing further evidence or conducting further investigation with
respect to a particular charge; or
(ii) Amending a charge because the evidence submitted appears to
establish a different crime within the jurisdiction of the Court.
8. Where the Pre-Trial Chamber declines to confirm a charge, the Prosecutor shall
not be precluded from subsequently requesting its confirmation if the request is
supported by additional evidence.
9. After the charges are confirmed and before the trial has begun, the Prosecutor may,
with the permission of the Pre-Trial Chamber and after notice to the accused,
amend the charges. If the Prosecutor seeks to add additional charges or to
substitute more serious charges, a hearing under this article to confirm those
charges must be held. After commencement of the trial, the Prosecutor may, with
the permission of the Trial Chamber, withdraw the charges.
10. Any warrant previously issued shall cease to have effect with respect to any
charges which have not been confirmed by the Pre-Trial Chamber or which have
been withdrawn by the Prosecutor.
11. Once the charges have been confirmed in accordance with this article, the
Presidency shall constitute a Trial Chamber which, subject to paragraph 9 and to
article 64, paragraph 4, shall be responsible for the conduct of subsequent
proceedings and may exercise any function of the Pre-Trial Chamber that is
relevant and capable of application in those proceedings.
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Part VI The trial
Article 62
Place of trial
Unless otherwise decided, the place of the trial shall be the seat of the Court.
Article 63
Trial in the presence of the accused
1. The accused shall be present during the trial.
2. If the accused, being present before the Court, continues to disrupt the trial, the
Trial Chamber may remove the accused and shall make provision for him or her to
observe the trial and instruct counsel from outside the courtroom, through the use
of communications technology, if required. Such measures shall be taken only in
exceptional circumstances after other reasonable alternatives have proved
inadequate, and only for such duration as is strictly required.
Article 64
Functions and powers of the Trial Chamber
1. The functions and powers of the Trial Chamber set out in this article shall be
exercised in accordance with this Statute and the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
2. The Trial Chamber shall ensure that a trial is fair and expeditious and is conducted
with full respect for the rights of the accused and due regard for the protection of
victims and witnesses.
3. Upon assignment of a case for trial in accordance with this Statute, the Trial
Chamber assigned to deal with the case shall:
(a) Confer with the parties and adopt such procedures as are necessary to
facilitate the fair and expeditious conduct of the proceedings;
(b) Determine the language or languages to be used at trial; and
(c) Subject to any other relevant provisions of this Statute, provide for
disclosure of documents or information not previously disclosed,
sufficiently in advance of the commencement of the trial to enable
adequate preparation for trial.
4. The Trial Chamber may, if necessary for its effective and fair functioning, refer
preliminary issues to the Pre-Trial Chamber or, if necessary, to another available
judge of the Pre-Trial Division.
5. Upon notice to the parties, the Trial Chamber may, as appropriate, direct that there
be joinder or severance in respect of charges against more than one accused.
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6. In performing its functions prior to trial or during the course of a trial, the Trial
Chamber may, as necessary:
(a) Exercise any functions of the Pre-Trial Chamber referred to in article 61,
paragraph 11;
(b) Require the attendance and testimony of witnesses and production of
documents and other evidence by obtaining, if necessary, the assistance of
States as provided in this Statute;
(c) Provide for the protection of confidential information;
(d) Order the production of evidence in addition to that already collected prior
to the trial or presented during the trial by the parties;
(e) Provide for the protection of the accused, witnesses and victims; and
(f) Rule on any other relevant matters.
7. The trial shall be held in public. The Trial Chamber may, however, determine that
special circumstances require that certain proceedings be in closed session for the
purposes set forth in article 68, or to protect confidential or sensitive information
to be given in evidence.
8. (a) At the commencement of the trial, the Trial Chamber shall have read to
the accused the charges previously confirmed by the Pre-Trial Chamber.
The Trial Chamber shall satisfy itself that the accused understands the
nature of the charges. It shall afford him or her the opportunity to make an
admission of guilt in accordance with article 65 or to plead not guilty.
(b) At the trial, the presiding judge may give directions for the conduct of
proceedings, including to ensure that they are conducted in a fair and
impartial manner. Subject to any directions of the presiding judge, the
parties may submit evidence in accordance with the provisions of this
Statute.
9. The Trial Chamber shall have, inter alia, the power on application of a party or on
its own motion to:
(a) Rule on the admissibility or relevance of evidence; and
(b) Take all necessary steps to maintain order in the course of a hearing.
10. The Trial Chamber shall ensure that a complete record of the trial, which
accurately reflects the proceedings, is made and that it is maintained and
preserved by the Registrar.
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Article 65
Proceedings on an admission of guilt
1. Where the accused makes an admission of guilt pursuant to article 64, paragraph
8 (a), the Trial Chamber shall determine whether:
(a) The accused understands the nature and consequences of the admission of
guilt;
(b) The admission is voluntarily made by the accused after sufficient
consultation with defence counsel; and
(c) The admission of guilt is supported by the facts of the case that are
contained in:
(i) The charges brought by the Prosecutor and admitted by the accused;
(ii) Any materials presented by the Prosecutor which supplement the
charges and which the accused accepts; and
(iii) Any other evidence, such as the testimony of witnesses, presented
by the Prosecutor or the accused.
2. Where the Trial Chamber is satisfied that the matters referred to in paragraph 1 are
established, it shall consider the admission of guilt, together with any additional
evidence presented, as establishing all the essential facts that are required to prove
the crime to which the admission of guilt relates, and may convict the accused of
that crime.
3. Where the Trial Chamber is not satisfied that the matters referred to in paragraph
1 are established, it shall consider the admission of guilt as not having been made,
in which case it shall order that the trial be continued under the ordinary trial
procedures provided by this Statute and may remit the case to another Trial
Chamber.
4. Where the Trial Chamber is of the opinion that a more complete presentation of
the facts of the case is required in the interests of justice, in particular the interests
of the victims, the Trial Chamber may:
(a) Request the Prosecutor to present additional evidence, including the
testimony of witnesses; or
(b) Order that the trial be continued under the ordinary trial procedures
provided by this Statute, in which case it shall consider the admission of
guilt as not having been made and may remit the case to another Trial
Chamber.
5. Any discussions between the Prosecutor and the defence regarding modification
of the charges, the admission of guilt or the penalty to be imposed shall not be
binding on the Court.
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Article 66
Presumption of innocence
1. Everyone shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty before the Court in
accordance with the applicable law.
2. The onus is on the Prosecutor to prove the guilt of the accused.
3. In order to convict the accused, the Court must be convinced of the guilt of the
accused beyond reasonable doubt.
Article 67
Rights of the accused
1. In the determination of any charge, the accused shall be entitled to a public
hearing, having regard to the provisions of this Statute, to a fair hearing conducted
impartially, and to the following minimum guarantees, in full equality:
(a) To be informed promptly and in detail of the nature, cause and content of
the charge, in a language which the accused fully understands and speaks;
(b) To have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of the defence and
to communicate freely with counsel of the accused's choosing in
confidence;
(c) To be tried without undue delay;
(d) Subject to article 63, paragraph 2, to be present at the trial, to conduct the
defence in person or through legal assistance of the accused's choosing, to
be informed, if the accused does not have legal assistance, of this right and
to have legal assistance assigned by the Court in any case where the
interests of justice so require, and without payment if the accused lacks
sufficient means to pay for it;
(e) To examine, or have examined, the witnesses against him or her and to
obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his or her behalf
under the same conditions as witnesses against him or her. The accused
shall also be entitled to raise defences and to present other evidence
admissible under this Statute;
(f) To have, free of any cost, the assistance of a competent interpreter and such
translations as are necessary to meet the requirements of fairness, if any of
the proceedings of or documents presented to the Court are not in a
language which the accused fully understands and speaks;
(g) Not to be compelled to testify or to confess guilt and to remain silent,
without such silence being a consideration in the determination of guilt or
innocence;
(h) To make an unsworn oral or written statement in his or her defence; and
(i) Not to have imposed on him or her any reversal of the burden of proof or
any onus of rebuttal.
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2. In addition to any other disclosure provided for in this Statute, the Prosecutor
shall, as soon as practicable, disclose to the defence evidence in the Prosecutor's
possession or control which he or she believes shows or tends to show the
innocence of the accused, or to mitigate the guilt of the accused, or which may
affect the credibility of prosecution evidence. In case of doubt as to the application
of this paragraph, the Court shall decide.
Article 68
Protection of the victims and witnesses and their participation in the
proceedings
1. The Court shall take appropriate measures to protect the safety, physical and
psychological well-being, dignity and privacy of victims and witnesses. In so
doing, the Court shall have regard to all relevant factors, including age, gender as
defined in article 7, paragraph 3, and health, and the nature of the crime, in
particular, but not limited to, where the crime involves sexual or gender violence
or violence against children. The Prosecutor shall take such measures particularly
during the investigation and prosecution of such crimes. These measures shall not
be prejudicial to or inconsistent with the rights of the accused and a fair and
impartial trial.
2. As an exception to the principle of public hearings provided for in article 67, the
Chambers of the Court may, to protect victims and witnesses or an accused,
conduct any part of the proceedings in camera or allow the presentation of
evidence by electronic or other special means. In particular, such measures shall be
implemented in the case of a victim of sexual violence or a child who is a victim or
a witness, unless otherwise ordered by the Court, having regard to all the
circumstances, particularly the views of the victim or witness.
3. Where the personal interests of the victims are affected, the Court shall permit
their views and concerns to be presented and considered at stages of the
proceedings determined to be appropriate by the Court and in a manner which is
not prejudicial to or inconsistent with the rights of the accused and a fair and
impartial trial. Such views and concerns may be presented by the legal
representatives of the victims where the Court considers it appropriate, in
accordance with the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
4. The Victims and Witnesses Unit may advise the Prosecutor and the Court on
appropriate protective measures, security arrangements, counselling and
assistance as referred to in article 43, paragraph 6.
5. Where the disclosure of evidence or information pursuant to this Statute may lead
to the grave endangerment of the security of a witness or his or her family, the
Prosecutor may, for the purposes of any proceedings conducted prior to the
commencement of the trial, withhold such evidence or information and instead
submit a summary thereof. Such measures shall be exercised in a manner which is
not prejudicial to or inconsistent with the rights of the accused and a fair and
impartial trial.
6. A State may make an application for necessary measures to be taken in respect of
the protection of its servants or agents and the protection of confidential or
sensitive information.
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Article 69
Evidence
1. Before testifying, each witness shall, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure
and Evidence, give an undertaking as to the truthfulness of the evidence to be
given by that witness.
2. The testimony of a witness at trial shall be given in person, except to the extent
provided by the measures set forth in article 68 or in the Rules of Procedure and
Evidence. The Court may also permit the giving of viva voce (oral) or recorded
testimony of a witness by means of video or audio technology, as well as the
introduction of documents or written transcripts, subject to this Statute and in
accordance with the Rules of Procedure and Evidence. These measures shall not be
prejudicial to or inconsistent with the rights of the accused.
3. The parties may submit evidence relevant to the case, in accordance with article
64. The Court shall have the authority to request the submission of all evidence
that it considers necessary for the determination of the truth.
4. The Court may rule on the relevance or admissibility of any evidence, taking into
account, inter alia, the probative value of the evidence and any prejudice that such
evidence may cause to a fair trial or to a fair evaluation of the testimony of a
witness, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
5. The Court shall respect and observe privileges on confidentiality as provided for in
the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
6. The Court shall not require proof of facts of common knowledge but may take
judicial notice of them.
7. Evidence obtained by means of a violation of this Statute or internationally
recognized human rights shall not be admissible if:
(a) The violation casts substantial doubt on the reliability of the evidence; or
(b) The admission of the evidence would be antithetical to and would
seriously damage the integrity of the proceedings.
8. When deciding on the relevance or admissibility of evidence collected by a State,
the Court shall not rule on the application of the State's national law.
Article 70
Offences against the administration of justice
1. The Court shall have jurisdiction over the following offences against its
administration of justice when committed intentionally:
(a) Giving false testimony when under an obligation pursuant to article 69,
paragraph 1, to tell the truth;
(b) Presenting evidence that the party knows is false or forged;
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(c) Corruptly influencing a witness, obstructing or interfering with the
attendance or testimony of a witness, retaliating against a witness for
giving testimony or destroying, tampering with or interfering with the
collection of evidence;
(d) Impeding, intimidating or corruptly influencing an official of the Court for
the purpose of forcing or persuading the official not to perform, or to
perform improperly, his or her duties;
(e) Retaliating against an official of the Court on account of duties performed
by that or another official;
(f) Soliciting or accepting a bribe as an official of the Court in connection with
his or her official duties.
2. The principles and procedures governing the Court's exercise of jurisdiction over
offences under this article shall be those provided for in the Rules of Procedure
and Evidence. The conditions for providing international cooperation to the Court
with respect to its proceedings under this article shall be governed by the domestic
laws of the requested State.
3. In the event of conviction, the Court may impose a term of imprisonment not
exceeding five years, or a fine in accordance with the Rules of Procedure and
Evidence, or both.
4. (a) Each State Party shall extend its criminal laws penalizing offences against
the integrity of its own investigative or judicial process to offences against
the administration of justice referred to in this article, committed on its
territory, or by one of its nationals;
(b) Upon request by the Court, whenever it deems it proper, the State Party
shall submit the case to its competent authorities for the purpose of
prosecution. Those authorities shall treat such cases with diligence and
devote sufficient resources to enable them to be conducted effectively.
Article 71
Sanctions for misconduct before the Court
1. The Court may sanction persons present before it who commit misconduct,
including disruption of its proceedings or deliberate refusal to comply with its
directions, by administrative measures other than imprisonment, such as
temporary or permanent removal from the courtroom, a fine or other similar
measures provided for in the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
2. The procedures governing the imposition of the measures set forth in paragraph 1
shall be those provided for in the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
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Article 72
Protection of national security information
1. This article applies in any case where the disclosure of the information or
documents of a State would, in the opinion of that State, prejudice its national
security interests. Such cases include those falling within the scope of article 56,
paragraphs 2 and 3, article 61, paragraph 3, article 64, paragraph 3, article 67,
paragraph 2, article 68, paragraph 6, article 87, paragraph 6 and article 93, as well
as cases arising at any other stage of the proceedings where such disclosure may
be at issue.
2. This article shall also apply when a person who has been requested to give
information or evidence has refused to do so or has referred the matter to the State
on the ground that disclosure would prejudice the national security interests of a
State and the State concerned confirms that it is of the opinion that disclosure
would prejudice its national security interests.
3. Nothing in this article shall prejudice the requirements of confidentiality
applicable under article 54, paragraph 3 (e) and (f), or the application of article 73.
4. If a State learns that information or documents of the State are being, or are likely
to be, disclosed at any stage of the proceedings, and it is of the opinion that
disclosure would prejudice its national security interests, that State shall have the
right to intervene in order to obtain resolution of the issue in accordance with this
article.
5. If, in the opinion of a State, disclosure of information would prejudice its national
security interests, all reasonable steps will be taken by the State, acting in
conjunction with the Prosecutor, the defence or the Pre-Trial Chamber or Trial
Chamber, as the case may be, to seek to resolve the matter by cooperative means.
Such steps may include:
(a) Modification or clarification of the request;
(b) A determination by the Court regarding the relevance of the information
or evidence sought, or a determination as to whether the evidence, though
relevant, could be or has been obtained from a source other than the
requested State;
(c) Obtaining the information or evidence from a different source or in a
different form; or
(d) Agreement on conditions under which the assistance could be provided
including, among other things, providing summaries or redactions,
limitations on disclosure, use of in camera or ex parte proceedings, or other
protective measures permissible under the Statute and the Rules of
Procedure and Evidence.
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6. Once all reasonable steps have been taken to resolve the matter through
cooperative means, and if the State considers that there are no means or
conditions under which the information or documents could be provided or
disclosed without prejudice to its national security interests, it shall so notify the
Prosecutor or the Court of the specific reasons for its decision, unless a specific
description of the reasons would itself necessarily result in such prejudice to the
State's national security interests.
7. Thereafter, if the Court determines that the evidence is relevant and necessary for
the establishment of the guilt or innocence of the accused, the Court may
undertake the following actions:
(a) Where disclosure of the information or document is sought pursuant to a
request for cooperation under Part 9 or the circumstances described in
paragraph 2, and the State has invoked the ground for refusal referred to
in article 93, paragraph 4:
(i) The Court may, before making any conclusion referred to in
subparagraph 7 (a) (ii), request further consultations for the purpose
of considering the State's representations, which may include, as
appropriate, hearings in camera and ex parte;
(ii) If the Court concludes that, by invoking the ground for refusal
under article 93, paragraph 4, in the circumstances of the case, the
requested State is not acting in accordance with its obligations
under this Statute, the Court may refer the matter in accordance
with article 87, paragraph 7, specifying the reasons for its
conclusion; and
(iii) The Court may make such inference in the trial of the accused as to
the existence or non-existence of a fact, as may be appropriate in the
circumstances; or
(b) In all other circumstances:
(i) Order disclosure; or
(ii) To the extent it does not order disclosure, make such inference in
the trial of the accused as to the existence or non-existence of a fact,
as may be appropriate in the circumstances.
Article 73
Third-party information or documents
If a State Party is requested by the Court to provide a document or information in its custody,
possession or control, which was disclosed to it in confidence by a State, intergovernmental
organization or international organization, it shall seek the consent of the originator to
disclose that document or information. If the originator is a State Party, it shall either consent
to disclosure of the information or document or undertake to resolve the issue of disclosure
with the Court, subject to the provisions of article 72. If the originator is not a State Party and
refuses to consent to disclosure, the requested State shall inform the Court that it is unable to
provide the document or information because of a pre-existing obligation of confidentiality to
the originator.
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Article 74
Requirements for the decision
1. All the judges of the Trial Chamber shall be present at each stage of the trial and
throughout their deliberations. The Presidency may, on a case-by-case basis,
designate, as available, one or more alternate judges to be present at each stage of
the trial and to replace a member of the Trial Chamber if that member is unable to
continue attending.
2. The Trial Chamber's decision shall be based on its evaluation of the evidence and
the entire proceedings. The decision shall not exceed the facts and circumstances
described in the charges and any amendments to the charges. The Court may base
its decision only on evidence submitted and discussed before it at the trial.
3. The judges shall attempt to achieve unanimity in their decision, failing which the
decision shall be taken by a majority of the judges.
4. The deliberations of the Trial Chamber shall remain secret.
5. The decision shall be in writing and shall contain a full and reasoned statement of
the Trial Chamber's findings on the evidence and conclusions. The Trial Chamber
shall issue one decision. When there is no unanimity, the Trial Chamber's decision
shall contain the views of the majority and the minority. The decision or a
summary thereof shall be delivered in open court.
Article 75
Reparations to victims
1. The Court shall establish principles relating to reparations to, or in respect of,
victims, including restitution, compensation and rehabilitation. On this basis, in
its decision the Court may, either upon request or on its own motion in
exceptional circumstances, determine the scope and extent of any damage, loss
and injury to, or in respect of, victims and will state the principles on which it is
acting.
2. The Court may make an order directly against a convicted person specifying
appropriate reparations to, or in respect of, victims, including restitution,
compensation and rehabilitation.
Where appropriate, the Court may order that the award for reparations be made
through the Trust Fund provided for in article 79.
3. Before making an order under this article, the Court may invite and shall take
account of representations from or on behalf of the convicted person, victims,
other interested persons or interested States.
4. In exercising its power under this article, the Court may, after a person is convicted
of a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court, determine whether, in order to give
effect to an order which it may make under this article, it is necessary to seek
measures under article 93, paragraph 1.
5. A State Party shall give effect to a decision under this article as if the provisions of
article 109 were applicable to this article.
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6. Nothing in this article shall be interpreted as prejudicing the rights of victims
under national or international law.
Article 76
Sentencing
1. In the event of a conviction, the Trial Chamber shall consider the appropriate
sentence to be imposed and shall take into account the evidence presented and
submissions made during the trial that are relevant to the sentence.
2. Except where article 65 applies and before the completion of the trial, the Trial
Chamber may on its own motion and shall, at the request of the Prosecutor or the
accused, hold a further hearing to hear any additional evidence or submissions
relevant to the sentence, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
3. Where paragraph 2 applies, any representations under article 75 shall be heard
during the further hearing referred to in paragraph 2 and, if necessary, during any
additional hearing.
4. The sentence shall be pronounced in public and, wherever possible, in the
presence of the accused.
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Part VII Penalties
Article 77
Applicable penalties
1. Subject to article 110, the Court may impose one of the following penalties on a
person convicted of a crime referred to in article 5 of this Statute:
(a) Imprisonment for a specified number of years, which may not exceed a
maximum of 30 years; or
(b) A term of life imprisonment when justified by the extreme gravity of the
crime and the individual circumstances of the convicted person.
2. In addition to imprisonment, the Court may order:
(a) A fine under the criteria provided for in the Rules of Procedure and
Evidence;
(b) A forfeiture of proceeds, property and assets derived directly or indirectly
from that crime, without prejudice to the rights of bona fide third parties.
Article 78
Determination of the sentence
1. In determining the sentence, the Court shall, in accordance with the Rules of
Procedure and Evidence, take into account such factors as the gravity of the crime
and the individual circumstances of the convicted person.
2. In imposing a sentence of imprisonment, the Court shall deduct the time, if any,
previously spent in detention in accordance with an order of the Court. The Court
may deduct any time otherwise spent in detention in connection with conduct
underlying the crime.
3. When a person has been convicted of more than one crime, the Court shall
pronounce a sentence for each crime and a joint sentence specifying the total
period of imprisonment. This period shall be no less than the highest individual
sentence pronounced and shall not exceed 30 years imprisonment or a sentence of
life imprisonment in conformity with article 77, paragraph 1 (b).
Article 79
Trust Fund
1. A Trust Fund shall be established by decision of the Assembly of States Parties for
the benefit of victims of crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court, and of the
families of such victims.
2. The Court may order money and other property collected through fines or
forfeiture to be transferred, by order of the Court, to the Trust Fund.
3. The Trust Fund shall be managed according to criteria to be determined by the
Assembly of States Parties.
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Article 80
Non-prejudice to national application of penalties and national laws
Nothing in this Part affects the application by States of penalties prescribed by their national
law, nor the law of States which do not provide for penalties prescribed in this Part.
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Part VIII Appeal and Revision
Article 81
Appeal against decision of acquittal or conviction or against sentence
1. A decision under article 74 may be appealed in accordance with the Rules of
Procedure and Evidence as follows:
(a) The Prosecutor may make an appeal on any of the following grounds:
(i) Procedural error,
(ii) Error of fact, or
(iii) Error of law;
(b) The convicted person, or the Prosecutor on that person's behalf, may make
an appeal on any of the following grounds:
(i) Procedural error,
(ii) Error of fact,
(iii) Error of law, or
(iv) Any other ground that affects the fairness or reliability of the
proceedings or decision.
2. (a) A sentence may be appealed, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure
and Evidence, by the Prosecutor or the convicted person on the ground of
disproportion between the crime and the sentence;
(b) If on an appeal against sentence the Court considers that there are
grounds on which the conviction might be set aside, wholly or in part, it
may invite the Prosecutor and the convicted person to submit grounds
under article 81, paragraph 1 (a) or (b), and may render a decision on
conviction in accordance with article 83;
(c) The same procedure applies when the Court, on an appeal against
conviction only, considers that there are grounds to reduce the sentence
under paragraph 2 (a).
3. (a) Unless the Trial Chamber orders otherwise, a convicted person shall
remain in custody pending an appeal;
(b) When a convicted person's time in custody exceeds the sentence of
imprisonment imposed, that person shall be released, except that if the
Prosecutor is also appealing, the release may be subject to the conditions
under subparagraph (c) below;
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(c) In case of an acquittal, the accused shall be released immediately, subject
to the following:
(i) Under exceptional circumstances, and having regard, inter alia, to
the concrete risk of flight, the seriousness of the offence charged
and the probability of success on appeal, the Trial Chamber, at the
request of the Prosecutor, may maintain the detention of the person
pending appeal;
(ii) A decision by the Trial Chamber under subparagraph (c) (i) may be
appealed in accordance with the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
4. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 3 (a) and (b), execution of the decision or
sentence shall be suspended during the period allowed for appeal and for the
duration of the appeal proceedings.
Article 82
Appeal against other decisions
1. Either party may appeal any of the following decisions in accordance with
the Rules of Procedure and Evidence:
(a) A decision with respect to jurisdiction or admissibility;
(b) A decision granting or denying release of the person being investigated or
prosecuted;
(c) A decision of the Pre-Trial Chamber to act on its own initiative under
article 56, paragraph 3;
(d) A decision that involves an issue that would significantly affect the fair and
expeditious conduct of the proceedings or the outcome of the trial, and for
which, in the opinion of the Pre-Trial or Trial Chamber, an immediate
resolution by the Appeals Chamber may materially advance the
proceedings.
2. A decision of the Pre-Trial Chamber under article 57, paragraph 3 (d), may be
appealed against by the State concerned or by the Prosecutor, with the leave of the
Pre-Trial Chamber. The appeal shall be heard on an expedited basis.
3. An appeal shall not of itself have suspensive effect unless the Appeals Chamber so
orders, upon request, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
4. A legal representative of the victims, the convicted person or a bona fide owner of
property adversely affected by an order under article 75 may appeal against the
order for reparations, as provided in the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
Article 83
Proceedings on appeal
1. For the purposes of proceedings under article 81 and this article, the Appeals
Chamber shall have all the powers of the Trial Chamber.
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2. If the Appeals Chamber finds that the proceedings appealed from were unfair in a
way that affected the reliability of the decision or sentence, or that the decision or
sentence appealed from was materially affected by error of fact or law or
procedural error, it may:
(a) Reverse or amend the decision or sentence; or
(b) Order a new trial before a different Trial Chamber.
For these purposes, the Appeals Chamber may remand a factual issue to the
original Trial Chamber for it to determine the issue and to report back accordingly,
or may itself call evidence to determine the issue. When the decision or sentence
has been appealed only by the person convicted, or the Prosecutor on that
person's behalf, it cannot be amended to his or her detriment.
3. If in an appeal against sentence the Appeals Chamber finds that the sentence is
disproportionate to the crime, it may vary the sentence in accordance with Part 7.
4. The judgement of the Appeals Chamber shall be taken by a majority of the judges
and shall be delivered in open court. The judgement shall state the reasons on
which it is based. When there is no unanimity, the judgement of the Appeals
Chamber shall contain the views of the majority and the minority, but a judge may
deliver a separate or dissenting opinion on a question of law.
5. The Appeals Chamber may deliver its judgement in the absence of the person
acquitted or convicted.
Article 84
Revision of conviction or sentence
1. The convicted person or, after death, spouses, children, parents or one person
alive at the time of the accused's death who has been given express written
instructions from the accused to bring such a claim, or the Prosecutor on the
person's behalf, may apply to the Appeals Chamber to revise the final judgement
of conviction or sentence on the grounds that:
(a) New evidence has been discovered that:
(i) Was not available at the time of trial, and such unavailability was
not wholly or partially attributable to the party making application;
and
(ii) Is sufficiently important that had it been proved at trial it would
have been likely to have resulted in a different verdict;
(b) It has been newly discovered that decisive evidence, taken into account at
trial and upon which the conviction depends, was false, forged or falsified;
(c) One or more of the judges who participated in conviction or confirmation
of the charges has committed, in that case, an act of serious misconduct or
serious breach of duty of sufficient gravity to justify the removal of that
judge or those judges from office under article 46.
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2. The Appeals Chamber shall reject the application if it considers it to be
unfounded. If it determines that the application is meritorious, it may, as
appropriate:
(a) Reconvene the original Trial Chamber;
(b) Constitute a new Trial Chamber; or
(c) Retain jurisdiction over the matter,
with a view to, after hearing the parties in the manner set forth in the Rules of
Procedure and Evidence, arriving at a determination on whether the judgement
should be revised.
Article 85
Compensation to an arrested or convicted person
1. Anyone who has been the victim of unlawful arrest or detention shall have
an enforceable right to compensation.
2. When a person has by a final decision been convicted of a criminal offence, and
when subsequently his or her conviction has been reversed on the ground that a
new or newly discovered fact shows conclusively that there has been a miscarriage
of justice, the person who has suffered punishment as a result of such conviction
shall be compensated according to law, unless it is proved that the non-disclosure
of the unknown fact in time is wholly or partly attributable to him or her.
3. In exceptional circumstances, where the Court finds conclusive facts showing that
there has been a grave and manifest miscarriage of justice, it may in its discretion
award compensation, according to the criteria provided in the Rules of Procedure
and Evidence, to a person who has been released from detention following a final
decision of acquittal or a termination of the proceedings for that reason.
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Part IX International cooperation and judicial assistance
Article 86
General obligation to cooperate
States Parties shall, in accordance with the provisions of this Statute, cooperate fully with the
Court in its investigation and prosecution of crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court.
Article 87
Requests for cooperation: general provisions
1. (a) The Court shall have the authority to make requests to States Parties for
cooperation. The requests shall be transmitted through the diplomatic
channel or any other appropriate channel as may be designated by each
State Party upon ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.
Subsequent changes to the designation shall be made by each State Party in
accordance with the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
(b) When appropriate, without prejudice to the provisions of subparagraph
(a), requests may also be transmitted through the International Criminal
Police Organization or any appropriate regional organization.
2. Requests for cooperation and any documents supporting the request shall either
be in or be accompanied by a translation into an official language of the requested
State or one of the working languages of the Court, in accordance with the choice
made by that State upon ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.
Subsequent changes to this choice shall be made in accordance with the Rules of
Procedure and Evidence.
3. The requested State shall keep confidential a request for cooperation and any
documents supporting the request, except to the extent that the disclosure is
necessary for execution of the request.
4. In relation to any request for assistance presented under this Part, the Court may
take such measures, including measures related to the protection of information,
as may be necessary to ensure the safety or physical or psychological well-being of
any victims, potential witnesses and their families. The Court may request that any
information that is made available under this Part shall be provided and handled
in a manner that protects the safety and physical or psychological well-being of
any victims, potential witnesses and their families.
5. (a) The Court may invite any State not party to this Statute to provide
assistance under this Part on the basis of an ad hoc arrangement, an
agreement with such State or any other appropriate basis.
(b) Where a State not party to this Statute, which has entered into an ad hoc
arrangement or an agreement with the Court, fails to cooperate with
requests pursuant to any such arrangement or agreement, the Court may
so inform the Assembly of States Parties or, where the Security Council
referred the matter to the Court, the Security Council.
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6. The Court may ask any intergovernmental organization to provide information or
documents. The Court may also ask for other forms of cooperation and assistance
which may be agreed upon with such an organization and which are in accordance
with its competence or mandate.
7. Where a State Party fails to comply with a request to cooperate by the Court
contrary to the provisions of this Statute, thereby preventing the Court from
exercising its functions and powers under this Statute, the Court may make a
finding to that effect and refer the matter to the Assembly of States Parties or,
where the Security Council referred the matter to the Court, to the Security
Council.
Article 88
Availability of procedures under national law
States Parties shall ensure that there are procedures available under their national law for all
of the forms of cooperation which are specified under this Part.
Article 89
Surrender of persons to the Court
1. The Court may transmit a request for the arrest and surrender of a person,
together with the material supporting the request outlined in article 91, to any
State on the territory of which that person may be found and shall request the
cooperation of that State in the arrest and surrender of such a person. States
Parties shall, in accordance with the provisions of this Part and the procedure
under their national law, comply with requests for arrest and surrender.
2. Where the person sought for surrender brings a challenge before a national court
on the basis of the principle of ne bis in idem as provided in article 20, the
requested State shall immediately consult with the Court to determine if there has
been a relevant ruling on admissibility. If the case is admissible, the requested
State shall proceed with the execution of the request. If an admissibility ruling is
pending, the requested State may postpone the execution of the request for
surrender of the person until the Court makes a determination on admissibility.
3. (a) A State Party shall authorize, in accordance with its national procedural
law, transportation through its territory of a person being surrendered to
the Court by another State, except where transit through that State would
impede or delay the surrender.
(b) A request by the Court for transit shall be transmitted in accordance with
article 87. The request for transit shall contain:
(i) A description of the person being transported;
(ii) A brief statement of the facts of the case and their legal
characterization; and
(iii) The warrant for arrest and surrender;
(c) A person being transported shall be detained in custody during the period
of transit;
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(d) No authorization is required if the person is transported by air and no
landing is scheduled on the territory of the transit State;
(e) If an unscheduled landing occurs on the territory of the transit State, that
State may require a request for transit from the Court as provided for in
subparagraph (b). The transit State shall detain the person being
transported until the request for transit is received and the transit is
effected, provided that detention for purposes of this subparagraph may
not be extended beyond 96 hours from the unscheduled landing unless the
request is received within that time.
4. If the person sought is being proceeded against or is serving a sentence in
the requested State for a crime different from that for which surrender to the Court
is sought, the requested State, after making its decision to grant the request, shall
consult with the Court.
Article 90
Competing requests
1. A State Party which receives a request from the Court for the surrender of a person
under article 89 shall, if it also receives a request from any other State for the
extradition of the same person for the same conduct which forms the basis of the
crime for which the Court seeks the person's surrender, notify the Court and the
requesting State of that fact.
2. Where the requesting State is a State Party, the requested State shall give priority
to the request from the Court if:
(a) The Court has, pursuant to article 18 or 19, made a determination that the
case in respect of which surrender is sought is admissible and that
determination takes into account the investigation or prosecution
conducted by the requesting State in respect of its request for extradition;
or
(b) The Court makes the determination described in subparagraph (a)
pursuant to the requested State's notification under paragraph 1.
3. Where a determination under paragraph 2 (a) has not been made, the requested
State may, at its discretion, pending the determination of the Court under
paragraph 2 (b), proceed to deal with the request for extradition from the
requesting State but shall not extradite the person until the Court has determined
that the case is inadmissible. The Court's determination shall be made on an
expedited basis.
4. If the requesting State is a State not Party to this Statute the requested State, if it is
not under an international obligation to extradite the person to the requesting
State, shall give priority to the request for surrender from the Court, if the Court
has determined that the case is admissible.
5. Where a case under paragraph 4 has not been determined to be admissible by the
Court, the requested State may, at its discretion, proceed to deal with the request
for extradition from the requesting State.
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6. In cases where paragraph 4 applies except that the requested State is under an
existing international obligation to extradite the person to the requesting State not
Party to this Statute, the requested State shall determine whether to surrender the
person to the Court or extradite the person to the requesting State. In making its
decision, the requested State shall consider all the relevant factors, including but
not limited to:
(a) The respective dates of the requests;
(b) The interests of the requesting State including, where relevant, whether
the crime was committed in its territory and the nationality of the victims
and of the person sought; and
(c) The possibility of subsequent surrender between the Court and the
requesting State.
7. Where a State Party which receives a request from the Court for the surrender of a
person also receives a request from any State for the extradition of the same
person for conduct other than that which constitutes the crime for which the
Court seeks the person's surrender:
(a) The requested State shall, if it is not under an existing international
obligation to extradite the person to the requesting State, give priority to
the request from the Court;
(b) The requested State shall, if it is under an existing international obligation
to extradite the person to the requesting State, determine whether to
surrender the person to the Court or to extradite the person to the
requesting State. In making its decision, the requested State shall consider
all the relevant factors, including but not limited to those set out in
paragraph 6, but shall give special consideration to the relative nature and
gravity of the conduct in question.
. Where pursuant to a notification under this article, the Court has determined a
case to be inadmissible, and subsequently extradition to the requesting State is
refused, the requested State shall notify the Court of this decision.
Article 91
Contents of request for arrest and surrender
1. A request for arrest and surrender shall be made in writing. In urgent cases, a
request may be made by any medium capable of delivering a written record,
provided that the request shall be confirmed through the channel provided for in
article 87, paragraph 1 (a).
2. In the case of a request for the arrest and surrender of a person for whom a
warrant of arrest has been issued by the Pre-Trial Chamber under article 58, the
request shall contain or be supported by:
(a) Information describing the person sought, sufficient to identify the person,
and information as to that person's probable location;
(b) A copy of the warrant of arrest; and
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(c) Such documents, statements or information as may be necessary to meet
the requirements for the surrender process in the requested State, except
that those requirements should not be more burdensome than those
applicable to requests for extradition pursuant to treaties or arrangements
between the requested State and other States and should, if possible, be
less burdensome, taking into account the distinct nature of the Court.
3. In the case of a request for the arrest and surrender of a person already convicted,
the request shall contain or be supported by:
(a) A copy of any warrant of arrest for that person;
(b) A copy of the judgement of conviction;
(c) Information to demonstrate that the person sought is the one referred to
in the judgement of conviction; and
(d) If the person sought has been sentenced, a copy of the sentence imposed
and, in the case of a sentence for imprisonment, a statement of any time
already served and the time remaining to be served.
4. Upon the request of the Court, a State Party shall consult with the Court, either
generally or with respect to a specific matter, regarding any requirements under its
national law that may apply under paragraph 2 (c). During the consultations, the
State Party shall advise the Court of the specific requirements of its national law.
Article 92
Provisional arrest
1. In urgent cases, the Court may request the provisional arrest of the person sought,
pending presentation of the request for surrender and the documents supporting
the request as specified in article 91.
2. The request for provisional arrest shall be made by any medium capable of
delivering a written record and shall contain:
(a) Information describing the person sought, sufficient to identify the person,
and information as to that person's probable location;
(b) A concise statement of the crimes for which the person's arrest is sought
and of the facts which are alleged to constitute those crimes, including,
where possible, the date and location of the crime;
(c) A statement of the existence of a warrant of arrest or a judgement of
conviction against the person sought; and
(d) A statement that a request for surrender of the person sought will follow.
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3. A person who is provisionally arrested may be released from custody if the
requested State has not received the request for surrender and the documents
supporting the request as specified in article 91 within the time limits specified in
the Rules of Procedure and Evidence. However, the person may consent to
surrender before the expiration of this period if permitted by the law of the
requested State. In such a case, the requested State shall proceed to surrender the
person to the Court as soon as possible.
4. The fact that the person sought has been released from custody pursuant to
paragraph 3 shall not prejudice the subsequent arrest and surrender of that person
if the request for surrender and the documents supporting the request are
delivered at a later date.
Article 93
Other forms of cooperation
1. States Parties shall, in accordance with the provisions of this Part and under
procedures of national law, comply with requests by the Court to provide the
following assistance in relation to investigations or prosecutions:
(a) The identification and whereabouts of persons or the location of items;
(b) The taking of evidence, including testimony under oath, and the
production of evidence, including expert opinions and reports necessary to
the Court;
(c) The questioning of any person being investigated or prosecuted;
(d) The service of documents, including judicial documents;
(e) Facilitating the voluntary appearance of persons as witnesses or experts
before the Court;
(f) The temporary transfer of persons as provided in paragraph 7;
(g) The examination of places or sites, including the exhumation and
examination of grave sites;
(h) The execution of searches and seizures;
(i) The provision of records and documents, including official records and
documents;
(j) The protection of victims and witnesses and the preservation of evidence;
(k) The identification, tracing and freezing or seizure of proceeds, property
and assets and instrumentalities of crimes for the purpose of eventual
forfeiture, without prejudice to the rights of bona fide third parties; and
(l) Any other type of assistance which is not prohibited by the law of
the requested State, with a view to facilitating the investigation and
prosecution of crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court.
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2. The Court shall have the authority to provide an assurance to a witness or an
expert appearing before the Court that he or she will not be prosecuted, detained
or subjected to any restriction of personal freedom by the Court in respect of any
act or omission that preceded the departure of that person from the requested
State.
3. Where execution of a particular measure of assistance detailed in a request
presented under paragraph 1, is prohibited in the requested State on the basis of
an existing fundamental legal principle of general application, the requested State
shall promptly consult with the Court to try to resolve the matter. In the
consultations, consideration should be given to whether the assistance can be
rendered in another manner or subject to conditions. If after consultations the
matter cannot be resolved, the Court shall modify the request as necessary.
4. In accordance with article 72, a State Party may deny a request for assistance, in
whole or in part, only if the request concerns the production of any documents or
disclosure of evidence which relates to its national security.
5. Before denying a request for assistance under paragraph 1 (l), the requested State
shall consider whether the assistance can be provided subject to specified
conditions, or whether the assistance can be provided at a later date or in an
alternative manner, provided that if the Court or the Prosecutor accepts the
assistance subject to conditions, the Court or the Prosecutor shall abide by them.
6. If a request for assistance is denied, the requested State Party shall promptly
inform the Court or the Prosecutor of the reasons for such denial.
7. (a) The Court may request the temporary transfer of a person in custody for
purposes of identification or for obtaining testimony or other assistance.
The person may be transferred if the following conditions are fulfilled:
(i) The person freely gives his or her informed consent to the transfer;
and
(ii) The requested State agrees to the transfer, subject to such conditions
as that State and the Court may agree.
(b) The person being transferred shall remain in custody. When the purposes
of the transfer have been fulfilled, the Court shall return the person
without delay to the requested State.
8. (a) The Court shall ensure the confidentiality of documents and information,
except as required for the investigation and proceedings described in the
request.
(b) The requested State may, when necessary, transmit documents or
information to the Prosecutor on a confidential basis. The Prosecutor may
then use them solely for the purpose of generating new evidence.
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(c) The requested State may, on its own motion or at the request of the
Prosecutor, subsequently consent to the disclosure of such documents or
information. They may then be used as evidence pursuant to the
provisions of Parts 5 and 6 and in accordance with the Rules of Procedure
and Evidence.
9. (a) (i) In the event that a State Party receives competing requests, other
than for surrender or extradition, from the Court and from another
State pursuant to an international obligation, the State Party shall
endeavour, in consultation with the Court and the other State, to
meet both requests, if necessary by postponing or attaching
conditions to one or the other request.
(ii) Failing that, competing requests shall be resolved in accordance
with the principles established in article 90.
(b) Where, however, the request from the Court concerns information,
property or persons which are subject to the control of a third State or an
international organization by virtue of an international agreement, the
requested States shall so inform the Court and the Court shall direct its
request to the third State or international organization.
10. (a) The Court may, upon request, cooperate with and provide assistance to a
State Party conducting an investigation into or trial in respect of conduct
which constitutes a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court or which
constitutes a serious crime under the national law of the requesting State.
(b) (i) The assistance provided under subparagraph (a) shall include,
inter alia:
a. The transmission of statements, documents or other types of
evidence obtained in the course of an investigation or a trial
conducted by the Court; and
b. The questioning of any person detained by order of the Court;
(ii) In the case of assistance under subparagraph (b) (i) a:
a. If the documents or other types of evidence have been
obtained with the assistance of a State, such transmission shall
require the consent of that State;
b. If the statements, documents or other types of evidence have
been provided by a witness or expert, such transmission shall be
subject to the provisions of article 68.
(c) The Court may, under the conditions set out in this paragraph, grant a
request for assistance under this paragraph from a State which is not a
Party to this Statute.
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Article 94
Postponement of execution of a request in respect of ongoing
investigation or prosecution
1. If the immediate execution of a request would interfere with an ongoing
investigation or prosecution of a case different from that to which the request
relates, the requested State may postpone the execution of the request for a period
of time agreed upon with the Court. However, the postponement shall be no
longer than is necessary to complete the relevant investigation or prosecution in
the requested State. Before making a decision to postpone, the requested State
should consider whether the assistance may be immediately provided subject to
certain conditions.
2. If a decision to postpone is taken pursuant to paragraph 1, the Prosecutor
may, however, seek measures to preserve evidence, pursuant to article 93,
paragraph 1 (j).
Article 95
Postponement of execution of a request in respect of an admissibility
challenge
Where there is an admissibility challenge under consideration by the Court pursuant to article
18 or 19, the requested State may postpone the execution of a request under this Part pending
a determination by the Court, unless the Court has specifically ordered that the Prosecutor
may pursue the collection of such evidence pursuant to article 18 or 19.
Article 96
Contents of request for other forms of assistance under article 93
1. A request for other forms of assistance referred to in article 93 shall be made in
writing. In urgent cases, a request may be made by any medium capable of
delivering a written record, provided that the request shall be confirmed through
the channel provided for in article 87, paragraph 1 (a).
2. The request shall, as applicable, contain or be supported by the following:
(a) A concise statement of the purpose of the request and the assistance
sought, including the legal basis and the grounds for the request;
(b) As much detailed information as possible about the location or
identification of any person or place that must be found or identified in
order for the assistance sought to be provided;
(c) A concise statement of the essential facts underlying the request;
(d) The reasons for and details of any procedure or requirement to be
followed;
(e) Such information as may be required under the law of the requested State
in order to execute the request; and
(f) Any other information relevant in order for the assistance sought to be
provided.
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3. Upon the request of the Court, a State Party shall consult with the Court, either
generally or with respect to a specific matter, regarding any requirements under its
national law that may apply under paragraph 2 (e). During the consultations, the
State Party shall advise the Court of the specific requirements of its national law.
4. The provisions of this article shall, where applicable, also apply in respect of a
request for assistance made to the Court.
Article 97
Consultations
Where a State Party receives a request under this Part in relation to which it identifies
problems which may impede or prevent the execution of the request, that State shall consult
with the Court without delay in order to resolve the matter. Such problems may include, inter
alia:
(a) Insufficient information to execute the request;
(b) In the case of a request for surrender, the fact that despite best efforts, the
person sought cannot be located or that the investigation conducted has
determined that the person in the requested State is clearly not the person
named in the warrant; or
(c) The fact that execution of the request in its current form would require the
requested State to breach a pre-existing treaty obligation undertaken with
respect to another State.
Article 98
Cooperation with respect to waiver of immunity and consent to
surrender
1. The Court may not proceed with a request for surrender or assistance which would
require the requested State to act inconsistently with its obligations under
international law with respect to the State or diplomatic immunity of a person or
property of a third State, unless the Court can first obtain the cooperation of that
third State for the waiver of the immunity.
2. The Court may not proceed with a request for surrender which would require the
requested State to act inconsistently with its obligations under international
agreements pursuant to which the consent of a sending State is required to
surrender a person of that State to the Court, unless the Court can first obtain the
cooperation of the sending State for the giving of consent for the surrender.
Article 99
Execution of requests under articles 93 and 96
1. Requests for assistance shall be executed in accordance with the relevant
procedure under the law of the requested State and, unless prohibited by such law,
in the manner specified in the request, including following any procedure outlined
therein or permitting persons specified in the request to be present at and assist in
the execution process.
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2. In the case of an urgent request, the documents or evidence produced in response
shall, at the request of the Court, be sent urgently.
3. Replies from the requested State shall be transmitted in their original language
and form.
4. Without prejudice to other articles in this Part, where it is necessary for the
successful execution of a request which can be executed without any compulsory
measures, including specifically the interview of or taking evidence from a person
on a voluntary basis, including doing so without the presence of the authorities of
the requested State Party if it is essential for the request to be executed, and the
examination without modification of a public site or other public place, the
Prosecutor may execute such request directly on the territory of a State as follows:
(a) When the State Party requested is a State on the territory of which the
crime is alleged to have been committed, and there has been a
determination of admissibility pursuant to article 18 or 19, the Prosecutor
may directly execute such request following all possible consultations with
the requested State Party;
(b) In other cases, the Prosecutor may execute such request following
consultations with the requested State Party and subject to any reasonable
conditions or concerns raised by that State Party. Where the requested
State Party identifies problems with the execution of a request pursuant to
this subparagraph it shall, without delay, consult with the Court to resolve
the matter.
5. Provisions allowing a person heard or examined by the Court under article 72 to
invoke restrictions designed to prevent disclosure of confidential information
connected with national security shall also apply to the execution of requests for
assistance under this article.
Article 100
Costs
1. The ordinary costs for execution of requests in the territory of the requested State
shall be borne by that State, except for the following, which shall be borne by the
Court:
(a) Costs associated with the travel and security of witnesses and experts or
the transfer under article 93 of persons in custody;
(b) Costs of translation, interpretation and transcription;
(c) Travel and subsistence costs of the judges, the Prosecutor, the Deputy
Prosecutors, the Registrar, the Deputy Registrar and staff of any organ of
the Court;
(d) Costs of any expert opinion or report requested by the Court;
(e) Costs associated with the transport of a person being surrendered to the
Court by a custodial State; and
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(f) Following consultations, any extraordinary costs that may result from the
execution of a request.
2. The provisions of paragraph 1 shall, as appropriate, apply to requests from States
Parties to the Court. In that case, the Court shall bear the ordinary costs of
execution.
Article 101
Rule of speciality
1. A person surrendered to the Court under this Statute shall not be proceeded
against, punished or detained for any conduct committed prior to surrender, other
than the conduct or course of conduct which forms the basis of the crimes for
which that person has been surrendered.
2. The Court may request a waiver of the requirements of paragraph 1 from the State
which surrendered the person to the Court and, if necessary, the Court shall
provide additional information in accordance with article 91. States Parties
shall have the authority to provide a waiver to the Court and should endeavour to
do so.
Article 102
Use of terms
For the purposes of this Statute:
(a) "surrender" means the delivering up of a person by a State to the Court,
pursuant to this Statute.
(b) "extradition" means the delivering up of a person by one State to another
as provided by treaty, convention or national legislation.
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Part X Enforcement
Article 103
Role of States in enforcement of sentences of imprisonment
1. (a) A sentence of imprisonment shall be served in a State designated by the
Court from a list of States which have indicated to the Court their
willingness to accept sentenced persons.
(b) At the time of declaring its willingness to accept sentenced persons, a
State may attach conditions to its acceptance as agreed by the Court and in
accordance with this Part.
(c) A State designated in a particular case shall promptly inform the Court
whether it accepts the Court's designation.
2. (a) The State of enforcement shall notify the Court of any circumstances,
including the exercise of any conditions agreed under paragraph 1, which
could materially affect the terms or extent of the imprisonment. The Court
shall be given at least 45 days' notice of any such known or foreseeable
circumstances. During this period, the State of enforcement shall take no
action that might prejudice its obligations under article 110.
(b) Where the Court cannot agree to the circumstances referred to in
subparagraph (a), it shall notify the State of enforcement and proceed in
accordance with article 104, paragraph 1.
3. In exercising its discretion to make a designation under paragraph 1, the Court
shall take into account the following:
(a) The principle that States Parties should share the responsibility for
enforcing sentences of imprisonment, in accordance with principles of
equitable distribution, as provided in the Rules of Procedure and Evidence;
(b) The application of widely accepted international treaty standards
governing the treatment of prisoners;
(c) The views of the sentenced person;
(d) The nationality of the sentenced person;
(e) Such other factors regarding the circumstances of the crime or the person
sentenced, or the effective enforcement of the sentence, as may be
appropriate in designating the State of enforcement.
4. If no State is designated under paragraph 1, the sentence of imprisonment shall be
served in a prison facility made available by the host State, in accordance with the
conditions set out in the headquarters agreement referred to in article 3,
paragraph 2. In such a case, the costs arising out of the enforcement of a sentence
of imprisonment shall be borne by the Court.
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Article 104
Change in designation of State of enforcement
1. The Court may, at any time, decide to transfer a sentenced person to a prison of
another State.
2. A sentenced person may, at any time, apply to the Court to be transferred from the
State of enforcement.
Article 105
Enforcement of the sentence
1. Subject to conditions which a State may have specified in accordance with article
103, paragraph 1 (b), the sentence of imprisonment shall be binding on the States
Parties, which shall in no case modify it.
2. The Court alone shall have the right to decide any application for appeal and
revision. The State of enforcement shall not impede the making of any such
application by a sentenced person.
Article 106
Supervision of enforcement of sentences and conditions of
imprisonment
1. The enforcement of a sentence of imprisonment shall be subject to the supervision
of the Court and shall be consistent with widely accepted international treaty
standards governing treatment of prisoners.
2. The conditions of imprisonment shall be governed by the law of the State
of enforcement and shall be consistent with widely accepted international treaty
standards governing treatment of prisoners; in no case shall such conditions be
more or less favourable than those available to prisoners convicted of similar
offences in the State of enforcement.
3. Communications between a sentenced person and the Court shall be unimpeded
and confidential.
Article 107
Transfer of the person upon completion of sentence
1. Following completion of the sentence, a person who is not a national of the State
of enforcement may, in accordance with the law of the State of enforcement, be
transferred to a State which is obliged to receive him or her, or to another State
which agrees to receive him or her, taking into account any wishes of the person to
be transferred to that State, unless the State of enforcement authorizes the person
to remain in its territory.
2. If no State bears the costs arising out of transferring the person to another State
pursuant to paragraph 1, such costs shall be borne by the Court.
3. Subject to the provisions of article 108, the State of enforcement may also, in
accordance with its national law, extradite or otherwise surrender the person to a
State which has requested the extradition or surrender of the person for purposes
of trial or enforcement of a sentence.
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Article 108
Limitation on the prosecution or punishment of other offences
1. A sentenced person in the custody of the State of enforcement shall not be subject
to prosecution or punishment or to extradition to a third State for any conduct
engaged in prior to that person's delivery to the State of enforcement, unless such
prosecution, punishment or extradition has been approved by the Court at the
request of the State of enforcement.
2. The Court shall decide the matter after having heard the views of the sentenced
person.
3. Paragraph 1 shall cease to apply if the sentenced person remains voluntarily for
more than 30 days in the territory of the State of enforcement after having served
the full sentence imposed by the Court, or returns to the territory of that State
after having left it.
Article 109
Enforcement of fines and forfeiture measures
1. States Parties shall give effect to fines or forfeitures ordered by the Court under
Part 7, without prejudice to the rights of bona fide third parties, and in accordance
with the procedure of their national law.
2. If a State Party is unable to give effect to an order for forfeiture, it shall take
measures to recover the value of the proceeds, property or assets ordered by the
Court to be forfeited, without prejudice to the rights of bona fide third parties.
3. Property, or the proceeds of the sale of real property or, where appropriate, the sale
of other property, which is obtained by a State Party as a result of its enforcement
of a judgement of the Court shall be transferred to the Court.
Article 110
Review by the Court concerning reduction of sentence
1. The State of enforcement shall not release the person before expiry of the sentence
pronounced by the Court.
2. The Court alone shall have the right to decide any reduction of sentence, and shall
rule on the matter after having heard the person.
3. When the person has served two thirds of the sentence, or 25 years in the case of
life imprisonment, the Court shall review the sentence to determine whether it
should be reduced. Such a review shall not be conducted before that time.
4. In its review under paragraph 3, the Court may reduce the sentence if it finds that
one or more of the following factors are present:
(a) The early and continuing willingness of the person to cooperate with the
Court in its investigations and prosecutions;
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Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
(b) The voluntary assistance of the person in enabling the enforcement of the
judgements and orders of the Court in other cases, and in particular
providing assistance in locating assets subject to orders of fine, forfeiture
or reparation which may be used for the benefit of victims; or
(c) Other factors establishing a clear and significant change of circumstances
sufficient to justify the reduction of sentence, as provided in the Rules of
Procedure and Evidence.
5. If the Court determines in its initial review under paragraph 3 that it is not
appropriate to reduce the sentence, it shall thereafter review the question of
reduction of sentence at such intervals and applying such criteria as provided for
in the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
Article 111
Escape
If a convicted person escapes from custody and flees the State of enforcement, that State may,
after consultation with the Court, request the person's surrender from the State in which the
person is located pursuant to existing bilateral or multilateral arrangements, or may request
that the Court seek the person's surrender, in accordance with Part 9. It may direct that the
person be delivered to the State in which he or she was serving the sentence or to another
State designated by the Court.
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Part XI Assembly of states parties
Article 112
Assembly of States Parties
1. An Assembly of States Parties to this Statute is hereby established. Each State
Party shall have one representative in the Assembly who may be accompanied by
alternates and advisers. Other States which have signed this Statute or the Final
Act may be observers in the Assembly.
2. The Assembly shall:
(a) Consider and adopt, as appropriate, recommendations of the Preparatory
Commission;
(b) Provide management oversight to the Presidency, the Prosecutor and the
Registrar regarding the administration of the Court;
(c) Consider the reports and activities of the Bureau established under
paragraph 3 and take appropriate action in regard thereto;
(d) Consider and decide the budget for the Court;
(e) Decide whether to alter, in accordance with article 36, the number of
judges;
(f) Consider pursuant to article 87, paragraphs 5 and 7, any question relating
to non-cooperation;
(g) Perform any other function consistent with this Statute or the Rules of
Procedure and Evidence.
3. (a) The Assembly shall have a Bureau consisting of a President, two
Vice-Presidents and 18 members elected by the Assembly for three-year
terms.
(b) The Bureau shall have a representative character, taking into account, in
particular, equitable geographical distribution and the adequate
representation of the principal legal systems of the world.
(c) The Bureau shall meet as often as necessary, but at least once a year. It
shall assist the Assembly in the discharge of its responsibilities.
4. The Assembly may establish such subsidiary bodies as may be necessary, including
an independent oversight mechanism for inspection, evaluation and investigation
of the Court, in order to enhance its efficiency and economy.
5. The President of the Court, the Prosecutor and the Registrar or their
representatives may participate, as appropriate, in meetings of the Assembly and
of the Bureau.
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6. The Assembly shall meet at the seat of the Court or at the Headquarters of the
United Nations once a year and, when circumstances so require, hold special
sessions. Except as otherwise specified in this Statute, special sessions shall be
convened by the Bureau on its own initiative or at the request of one third of the
States Parties.
7. Each State Party shall have one vote. Every effort shall be made to reach decisions
by consensus in the Assembly and in the Bureau. If consensus cannot be reached,
except as otherwise provided in the Statute:
(a) Decisions on matters of substance must be approved by a two-thirds
majority of those present and voting provided that an absolute majority of
States Parties constitutes the quorum for voting;
(b) Decisions on matters of procedure shall be taken by a simple majority of
States Parties present and voting.
8. A State Party which is in arrears in the payment of its financial contributions
towards the costs of the Court shall have no vote in the Assembly and in the
Bureau if the amount of its arrears equals or exceeds the amount of the
contributions due from it for the preceding two full years. The Assembly may,
nevertheless, permit such a State Party to vote in the Assembly and in the Bureau
if it is satisfied that the failure to pay is due to conditions beyond the control of the
State Party.
9. The Assembly shall adopt its own rules of procedure.
10. The official and working languages of the Assembly shall be those of the General
Assembly of the United Nations.
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Part XII Financing
Article 113
Financial Regulations
Except as otherwise specifically provided, all financial matters related to the Court and the
meetings of the Assembly of States Parties, including its Bureau and subsidiary bodies, shall
be governed by this Statute and the Financial Regulations and Rules adopted by the Assembly
of States Parties.
Article 114
Payment of expenses
Expenses of the Court and the Assembly of States Parties, including its Bureau and subsidiary
bodies, shall be paid from the funds of the Court.
Article 115
Funds of the Court and of the Assembly of States Parties
The expenses of the Court and the Assembly of States Parties, including its Bureau and
subsidiary bodies, as provided for in the budget decided by the Assembly of States Parties,
shall be provided by the following sources:
(a) Assessed contributions made by States Parties;
(b) Funds provided by the United Nations, subject to the approval of the
General Assembly, in particular in relation to the expenses incurred due to
referrals by the Security Council.
Article 116
Voluntary contributions
Without prejudice to article 115, the Court may receive and utilize, as additional funds,
voluntary contributions from Governments, international organizations, individuals,
corporations and other entities, in accordance with relevant criteria adopted by the Assembly
of States Parties.
Article 117
Assessment of contributions
The contributions of States Parties shall be assessed in accordance with an agreed scale of
assessment, based on the scale adopted by the United Nations for its regular budget and
adjusted in accordance with the principles on which that scale is based.
Article 118
Annual audit
The records, books and accounts of the Court, including its annual financial statements, shall
be audited annually by an independent auditor.
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Part XIII Final clauses
Article 119
Settlement of disputes
1. Any dispute concerning the judicial functions of the Court shall be settled by the
decision of the Court.
2. Any other dispute between two or more States Parties relating to the
interpretation or application of this Statute which is not settled through
negotiations within three months of their commencement shall be referred to the
Assembly of States Parties. The Assembly may itself seek to settle the dispute or
may make recommendations on further means of settlement of the dispute,
including referral to the International Court of Justice in conformity with the
Statute of that Court.
Article 120
Reservations
No reservations may be made to this Statute.
Article 121
Amendments
1. After the expiry of seven years from the entry into force of this Statute, any State
Party may propose amendments thereto. The text of any proposed amendment
shall be submitted to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall
promptly circulate it to all States Parties.
2. No sooner than three months from the date of notification, the Assembly of States
Parties, at its next meeting, shall, by a majority of those present and voting, decide
whether to take up the proposal. The Assembly may deal with the proposal
directly or convene a Review Conference if the issue involved so warrants.
3. The adoption of an amendment at a meeting of the Assembly of States Parties or
at a Review Conference on which consensus cannot be reached shall require a
two-thirds majority of States Parties.
4. Except as provided in paragraph 5, an amendment shall enter into force for all
States Parties one year after instruments of ratification or acceptance have been
deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations by seven-eighths of
them.
5. Any amendment to articles 5, 6, 7 and 8 of this Statute shall enter into force for
those States Parties which have accepted the amendment one year after the
deposit of their instruments of ratification or acceptance. In respect of a State
Party which has not accepted the amendment, the Court shall not exercise its
jurisdiction regarding a crime covered by the amendment when committed by that
State Party's nationals or on its territory.
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6. If an amendment has been accepted by seven-eighths of States Parties in
accordance with paragraph 4, any State Party which has not accepted the
amendment may withdraw from this Statute with immediate effect,
notwithstanding article 127, paragraph 1, but subject to article 127, paragraph 2,
by giving notice no later than one year after the entry into force of such
amendment.
7. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall circulate to all States Parties
any amendment adopted at a meeting of the Assembly of States Parties or at a
Review Conference.
Article 122
Amendments to provisions of an institutional nature
1. Amendments to provisions of this Statute which are of an exclusively institutional
nature, namely, article 35, article 36, paragraphs 8 and 9, article 37, article 38,
article 39, paragraphs 1 (first two sentences), 2 and 4, article 42, paragraphs 4 to 9,
article 43, paragraphs 2 and 3, and articles 44, 46, 47 and 49, may be proposed at
any time, notwithstanding article 121, paragraph 1, by any State Party. The text of
any proposed amendment shall be submitted to the Secretary-General of the
United Nations or such other person designated by the Assembly of States Parties
who shall promptly circulate it to all States Parties and to others participating in
the Assembly.
2. Amendments under this article on which consensus cannot be reached shall be
adopted by the Assembly of States Parties or by a Review Conference, by a twothirds
majority of States Parties. Such amendments shall enter into force for all
States Parties six months after their adoption by the Assembly or, as the case may
be, by the Conference.
Article 123
Review of the Statute
1. Seven years after the entry into force of this Statute the Secretary-General of the
United Nations shall convene a Review Conference to consider any amendments
to this Statute. Such review may include, but is not limited to, the list of crimes
contained in article 5. The Conference shall be open to those participating in the
Assembly of States Parties and on the same conditions.
2. At any time thereafter, at the request of a State Party and for the purposes set out
in paragraph 1, the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall, upon approval
by a majority of States Parties, convene a Review Conference.
3. The provisions of article 121, paragraphs 3 to 7, shall apply to the adoption and
entry into force of any amendment to the Statute considered at a Review
Conference.
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Article 124
Transitional Provision
Notwithstanding article 12, paragraphs 1 and 2, a State, on becoming a party to this Statute,
may declare that, for a period of seven years after the entry into force of this Statute for the
State concerned, it does not accept the jurisdiction of the Court with respect to the category of
crimes referred to in article 8 when a crime is alleged to have been committed by its nationals
or on its territory. A declaration under this article may be withdrawn at any time. The
provisions of this article shall be reviewed at the Review Conference convened in accordance
with article 123, paragraph 1.
Article 125
Signature, ratification, acceptance, approval or accession
1. This Statute shall be open for signature by all States in Rome, at the headquarters
of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, on 17 July 1998.
Thereafter, it shall remain open for signature in Rome at the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs of Italy until 17 October 1998. After that date, the Statute shall
remain open for signature in New York, at United Nations Headquarters, until 31
December 2000.
2. This Statute is subject to ratification, acceptance or approval by signatory States.
Instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval shall be deposited with the
Secretary-General of the United Nations.
3. This Statute shall be open to accession by all States. Instruments of accession shall
be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Article 126
Entry into force
1. This Statute shall enter into force on the first day of the month after the 60th day
following the date of the deposit of the 60th instrument of ratification, acceptance,
approval or accession with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
2. For each State ratifying, accepting, approving or acceding to this Statute after the
deposit of the 60th instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession,
the Statute shall enter into force on the first day of the month after the 60th day
following the deposit by such State of its instrument of ratification, acceptance,
approval or accession.
Article 127
Withdrawal
1. A State Party may, by written notification addressed to the Secretary-General of
the United Nations, withdraw from this Statute. The withdrawal shall take effect
one year after the date of receipt of the notification, unless the notification
specifies a later date.
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2. A State shall not be discharged, by reason of its withdrawal, from the obligations
arising from this Statute while it was a Party to the Statute, including any financial
obligations which may have accrued. Its withdrawal shall not affect any
cooperation with the Court in connection with criminal investigations and
proceedings in relation to which the withdrawing State had a duty to cooperate
and which were commenced prior to the date on which the withdrawal became
effective, nor shall it prejudice in any way the continued consideration of any
matter which was already under consideration by the Court prior to the date on
which the withdrawal became effective.
Article 128
Authentic texts
The original of this Statute, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and
Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the
United Nations, who shall send certified copies thereof to all States.
Inwitness whereof, the undersigned, being duly authorized thereto by their respective
Governments, have signed this Statute.
Done at Rome, this 17th day of July 1998.

Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land and
its annex: Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on
Land. The Hague, 18 October 1907.
(List of Contracting Parties)
Seeing that while seeking means to preserve peace and prevent armed
conflicts between nations, it is likewise necessary to bear in mind the
case where the appeal to arms has been brought about by events
which their care was unable to avert;
Animated by the desire to serve, even in this extreme case, the
interests of humanity and the ever progressive needs of civilization;
Thinking it important, with this object, to revise the general laws and
customs of war, either with a view to defining them with greater
precision or to confining them within such limits as would mitigate their
severity as far as possible;
Have deemed it necessary to complete and explain in certain
particulars the work of the First Peace Conference, which, following on
the Brussels Conference of 1874, and inspired by the ideas dictated by
a wise and generous forethought, adopted provisions intended to
define land govern the usages of war on land.
According to the views of the High Contracting Parties, these
provisions, the wording of which has been inspired by the desire to
diminish the evils of war, as far as military requirements permit, are
intended to serve as a general rule of conduct for the belligerents in
their mutual relations and in their relations with the inhabitants.
It has not, however, been found possible at present to concert
regulations covering all the circumstances which arise in practice;
On the other hand, the High Contracting Parties clearly do not intend
that unforeseen cases should, in the absence of a written undertaking,
be left to the arbitrary judgment of military commanders.
Until a more complete code of the laws of war has been issued, the
High Contracting Parties deem it expedient to declare that, in cases not
included in the Regulations adopted by them, the inhabitants and the
belligerents remain under the protection and the rule 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.
They declare that it is in this sense especially that Articles I and 2 of
the Regulations adopted must be understood.
The High Contracting Parties, wishing to conclude a fresh Convention
to this effect, have appointed the
following as their Plenipotentiaries:
(Here follow the names of Plenipotentiaries)
Who, after having deposited their full powers, found in good and due
form, have agreed upon the following:
Article 1. The Contracting Powers shall issue instructions to their
armed land forces which shall be in conformity with the Regulations
respecting the laws and customs of war on land, annexed to the
present Convention.
Art. 2. The provisions contained in the Regulations referred to in Article
1, as well as in the present Convention, do not apply except between
Contracting powers, and then only if all the belligerents are parties to
the Convention.
Art. 3. A belligerent party which violates the provisions of the said
Regulations shall, if the case demands, be liable to pay compensation.
It shall be responsible for all acts committed by persons forming part of
its armed forces.
Art. 4. The present Convention, duly ratified, shall as between the
Contracting Powers, be substituted for the Convention of 29 July 1899,
respecting the laws land customs of war on land.
The Convention of 1899 remains in force as between the Powers which
signed it, and which do not also ratify the present Convention.
Art. 5. The present Convention shall be ratified as soon as possible.
The ratifications shall be deposited at The Hague.
The first deposit of ratifications shall be recorded in a procès-verbal
signed by the Representatives of the Powers which take part therein
and by the Netherlands Minister for Foreign Affairs.
The subsequent deposits of ratifications shall be made by means of a
written notification, addressed to the Netherlands Government and
accompanied by the instrument of ratification.
A duly certified copy of the procès-verbal relative to the first deposit of
ratifications, of the notifications mentioned in the preceding paragraph,
as well as of the instruments of ratification, shall be immediately sent
by the Netherlands Government, through the diplomatic channel, to the
powers invited to the Second Peace Conference, as well as to the
other Powers which have adhered to the Convention. In the cases
contemplated in the preceding paragraph the said Government shall at
the same time inform them of the date on which it received the
notification.
Art. 6. Non-Signatory Powers may adhere to the present Convention.
The Power which desires to adhere notifies in writing its intention to the
Netherlands Government, forwarding to it the act of adhesion, which
shall be deposited in the archives of the said Government.
This Government shall at once transmit to all the other Powers a duly
certified copy of the notification as well as of the act of adhesion,
mentioning the date on which it received the notification.
Art. 7. The present Convention shall come into force, in the case of the
Powers which were a party to the first deposit of ratifications, sixty days
after the date of the procès-verbal of this deposit, and, in the case of
the Powers which ratify subsequently or which adhere, sixty days after
the notification of their ratification or of their adhesion has been
received by the Netherlands Government.
Art. 8. In the event of one of the Contracting Powers wishing to
denounce the present Convention, the denunciation shall be notified in
writing to the Netherlands Government, which shall at once
communicate a duly certified copy of the notification to all the other
Powers, informing them of the date on which it was received.
The denunciation shall only have effect in regard to the notifying
Power, land one year after the notification has reached the Netherlands
Government.
Art. 9. A register kept by the Netherlands Ministry for Foreign Affairs
shall give the date of the deposit of ratifications made in virtue of Article
5, paragraphs 3 land 4, as well as the date on which the notifications of
adhesion (Article 6, paragraph 2), or of denunciation (Article 8,
paragraph 1) were received.
Each Contracting Power is entitled to have access to this register and
to be supplied with duly certified extracts.
In faith whereof the Plenipotentiaries have appended their signatures to
the present Convention.
Done at The Hague 18 October 1907, in a single copy, which shall
remain deposited in the archives of the Netherlands Government, and
duly certified copies of which shall be sent, through the diplomatic
channel to the Powers which have been invited to the Second Peace
Conference.
(Here follow signatures)
ANNEX TO THE CONVENTION
REGULATIONS RESPECTING THE LAWS AND CUSTOMS OF WAR
ON LAND
SECTION I
ON BELLIGERENTS
CHAPTER I
The qualifications of belligerents
Article 1. The laws, rights, and duties of war apply not only to armies,
but also to militia and volunteer
corps fulfilling the following conditions:
1. To be commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
2. To have a fixed distinctive emblem recognizable at a distance;
3. To carry arms openly; and
4. To conduct their operations in accordance with the laws and
customs of war.
In countries where militia or volunteer corps constitute the army, or
form part of it, they are included under the denomination "army."
Art. 2. The inhabitants of a territory which has not been occupied, who,
on the approach of the enemy, spontaneously take up arms to resist
the invading troops without having had time to organize themselves in
accordance with Article 1, shall be regarded as belligerents if they carry
arms openly and if they respect the laws and customs of war.
Art. 3. The armed forces of the belligerent parties may consist of
combatants and non-combatants. In the case of capture by the enemy,
both have a right to be treated as prisoners of war.
CHAPTER II
Prisoners of war
Art. 4. Prisoners of war are in the power of the hostile Government, but
not of the individuals or corps who capture them.
They must be humanely treated.
All their personal belongings, except arms, horses, and military papers,
remain their property.
Art. 5. Prisoners of war may be interned in a town, fortress, camp, or
other place, and bound not to go beyond certain fixed limits; but they
cannot be confined except as in indispensable measure of safety land
only while the circumstances which necessitate the measure continue
to exist.
Art. 6. The State may utilize the labour of prisoners of war according to
their rank and aptitude, officers excepted. The tasks shall not be
excessive and shall have no connection with the operations of the war.
Prisoners may be authorized to work for the public service, for private
persons, or on their own account.
Work done for the State is paid for at the rates in force for work of a
similar kind done by soldiers of the national army, or, if there are none
in force, at a rate according to the work executed.
When the work is for other branches of the public service or for private
persons the conditions are settled in agreement with the military
authorities.
The wages of the prisoners shall go towards improving their position,
and the balance shall be paid them on their release, after deducting the
cost of their maintenance.
Art. 7. The Government into whose hands prisoners of war have fallen
is charged with their maintenance.
In the absence of a special agreement between the belligerents,
prisoners of war shall be treated as regards board, lodging, and
clothing on the same footing as the troops of the Government who
captured them.
Art. 8. Prisoners of war shall be subject to the laws, regulations, and
orders in force in the army of the State in whose power they are. Any
act of insubordination justifies the adoption towards them of such
measures of severity as may be considered necessary.
Escaped prisoners who are retaken before being able to rejoin their
own army or before leaving the territory occupied by the army which
captured them are liable to disciplinary punishment.
Prisoners who, after succeeding in escaping, are again taken
prisoners, are not liable to any punishment on account of the previous
flight.
Art. 9. Every prisoner of war is bound to give, if he is questioned on the
subject, his true name and rank, and if he infringes this rule, he is liable
to have the advantages given to prisoners of his class curtailed.
Art. 10. Prisoners of war may be set at liberty on parole if the laws of
their country allow, and, in such cases, they are bound, on their
personal honour, scrupulously to fulfil, both towards their own
Government and the Government by whom they were made prisoners,
the engagements they have contracted.
In such cases their own Government is bound neither to require of nor
accept from them any service incompatible with the parole given.
Art. 11. A prisoner of war cannot be compelled to accept his liberty on
parole; similarly the hostile Government is not obliged to accede to the
request of the prisoner to be set at liberty on parole.
Art. 12. Prisoners of war liberated on parole and recaptured bearing
arms against the Government to whom they had pledged their honour,
or against the allies of that Government, forfeit their right to be treated
as prisoners of war, and can be brought before the courts.
Art. 13. Individuals who follow an army without directly belonging to it,
such as newspaper correspondents and reporters, sutlers and
contractors, who fall into the enemy's hands and whom the latter thinks
expedient to detain, are entitled to be treated as prisoners of war,
provided they are in possession of a certificate from the military
authorities of the army which they were accompanying.
Art. 14. An inquiry office for prisoners of war is instituted on the
commencement of hostilities in each of the belligerent States, and,
when necessary, in neutral countries which have received belligerents
in their territory. It is the function of this office to reply to all inquiries
about the prisoners. It receives from the various services concerned full
information respecting internments arid transfers. releases on parole,
exchanges, escapes, admissions into hospital, deaths, as well as other
information necessary to enable it to make out land keep up to date an
individual return for each prisoner of war. The office must state in this
return the regimental number, name and surname, age, place of origin,
rank, unit, wounds, date and place of capture, internment, wounding,
and death, as well as any observations of a special character. The
individual return shall be sent to the Government of the other
belligerent after the conclusion of peace.
It is likewise the function of the inquiry office to receive and collect all
objects of personal use, valuables, letters, etc., found on the field of
battle or left by prisoners who have been released on parole, or
exchanged, or who have escaped, or died in hospitals or ambulances,
and to forward them to those concerned.
Art. 15. Relief societies for prisoners of war, which are properly
constituted in accordance with the laws of their country and with the
object of serving as the channel for charitable effort shall receive from
the belligerents, for themselves and their duly accredited agents every
facility for the efficient performance of their humane task within the
bounds imposed by military necessities and administrative regulations.
Agents of these societies may be admitted to the places of internment
for the purpose of distributing relief, as also to the halting places of
repatriated prisoners, if furnished with a personal permit by the military
authorities, and on giving an undertaking in writing to comply with all
measures of order and police which the latter may issue.
Art. 16. Inquiry offices enjoy the privilege of free postage. Letters,
money orders, and valuables, as well as parcels by post, intended for
prisoners of war, or dispatched by them, shall be exempt from all postal
duties in the countries of origin and destination, as well as in the
countries they pass through.
Presents and relief in kind for prisoners of war shall be admitted free of
all import or other duties, as well as of payments for carriage by the
State railways.
Art. 17. Officers taken prisoners shall receive the same rate of pay as
officers of corresponding rank in the country where they are detained,
the amount to be ultimately refunded by their own Government.
Art. 18. Prisoners of war shall enjoy complete liberty in the exercise of
their religion, including attendance at the services of whatever church
they may belong to, on the sole condition that they comply with the
measures of order and police issued by the military authorities.
Art. 19. The wills of prisoners of war are received or drawn up in the
same way as for soldiers of the national army.
The same rules shall be observed regarding death certificates as well
as for the burial of prisoners of war, due regard being paid to their
grade and rank.
Art. 20. After the conclusion of peace, the repatriation of prisoners of
war shall be carried out as quickly as possible.
CHAPTER III
The sick and wounded
Art. 21. The obligations of belligerents with regard to the sick and
wounded are governed by the Geneva Convention.
SECTION II
HOSTILITIES
CHAPTER I
Means of injuring the enemy, sieges, and bombardments
Art. 22. The right of belligerents to adopt means of injuring the enemy
is not unlimited.
Art. 23. In addition to the prohibitions provided by special Conventions,
it is especially forbidden
(a) To employ poison or poisoned weapons;
(b) To kill or wound treacherously individuals belonging to the hostile
nation or army;
(c) To kill or wound an enemy who, having laid down his arms, or
having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion;
(d) To declare that no quarter will be given;
(e) To employ arms, projectiles, or material calculated to cause
unnecessary suffering;
(f) To make improper use of a flag of truce, of the national flag or of the
military insignia and uniform of the enemy, as well as the distinctive
badges of the Geneva Convention;
(g) To destroy or seize the enemy's property, unless such destruction
or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war;
(h) To declare abolished, suspended, or inadmissible in a court of law
the rights and actions of the nationals of the hostile party. A belligerent
is likewise forbidden to compel the nationals of the hostile party to take
part in the operations of war directed against their own country, even if
they were in the belligerent's service before the commencement of the
war.
Art. 24. Ruses of war and the employment of measures necessary for
obtaining information about the enemy and the country are considered
permissible.
Art. 25. The attack or bombardment, by whatever means, of towns,
villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended is prohibited.
Art. 26. The officer in command of an attacking force must, before
commencing a bombardment, except in cases of assault, do all in his
power to warn the authorities.
Art. 27. In sieges and bombardments all necessary steps must be
taken to spare, as far as possible, buildings dedicated to religion, art,
science, or charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospitals, and
places where the sick and wounded are collected, provided they are
not being used at the time for military purposes.
It is the duty of the besieged to indicate the presence of such buildings
or places by distinctive and visible signs, which shall be notified to the
enemy beforehand.
Art. 28. The pillage of a town or place, even when taken by assault, is
prohibited.
CHAPTER II
Spies
Art. 29. A person can only be considered a spy when, acting
clandestinely or on false pretences, he obtains or endeavours to obtain
information in the zone of operations of a belligerent, with the intention
of communicating it to the hostile party.
Thus, soldiers not wearing a disguise who have penetrated into the
zone of operations of the hostile army, for the purpose of obtaining
information, are not considered spies. Similarly, the following are not
considered spies: Soldiers and civilians, carrying out their mission
openly, entrusted with the delivery of despatches intended either for
their own army or for the enemy's army. To this class belong likewise
persons sent in balloons for the purpose of carrying despatches and,
generally, of maintaining communications between the different parts of
an army or a territory.
Art. 30. A spy taken in the act shall not be punished without previous
trial.
Art. 31. A spy who, after rejoining the army to which he belongs, is
subsequently captured by the enemy, is treated as a prisoner of war,
and incurs no responsibility for his previous acts of espionage.
CHAPTER III
Flags of truce
Art. 32. A person is regarded as a parlementaire who has been
authorized by one of the belligerents to enter into communication with
the other, and who advances bearing a white flag. He has a right to
inviolability, as well as the trumpeter, bugler or drummer, the flagbearer
and interpreter who may accompany him.
Art. 33. The commander to whom a parlementaire is sent is not in all
cases obliged to receive him.
He may take all the necessary steps to prevent the parlementaire
taking advantage of his mission to obtain information.
In case of abuse, he has the right to detain the parlementaire
temporarily.
Art. 34. The parlementaire loses his rights of inviolability if it is proved
in a clear and incontestable manner that he has taken advantage of his
privileged position to provoke or commit an act of treason.
CHAPTER IV
Capitulations
Art. 35. Capitulations agreed upon between the Contracting Parties
must take into account the rules of military honour.
Once settled, they must be scrupulously observed by both parties.
CHAPTER V
Armistices
Art. 36. An armistice suspends military operations by mutual
agreement between the belligerent parties. If its duration is not defined,
the belligerent parties may resume operations at any time, provided
always that the enemy is warned within the time agreed upon, in
accordance with the terms of the armistice.
Art. 37. An armistice may be general or local. The first suspends the
military operations of the belligerent States everywhere; the second
only between certain fractions of the belligerent armies and within a
fixed radius.
Art. 38. An armistice must be notified officially and in good time to the
competent authorities and to the troops. Hostilities are suspended
immediately after the notification, or on the date fixed.
Art. 39. It rests with the Contracting Parties to settle, in the terms of the
armistice, what communications may be held in the theatre of war with
the inhabitants and between the inhabitants of one belligerent State
and those of the other.
Art. 40. Any serious violation of the armistice by one of the parties
gives the other party the right of denouncing it, and even, in cases of
urgency, of recommencing hostilities immediately.
Art. 41. A violation of the terms of the armistice by private persons
acting on their own initiative only entitles the injured party to demand
the punishment of the offenders or, if necessary, compensation for the
losses sustained.
SECTION III
MILITARY AUTHORITY OVER THE TERRITORY OF THE HOSTILE
STATE
Art. 42. Territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed
under the authority of the hostile army.
The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has
been established and can be exercised.
Art. 43. The authority of the legitimate power having in fact passed into
the hands of the occupant, the latter shall take all the measures in his
power to restore, and ensure, as far as possible, public order and
safety, while respecting, unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force
in the country.
Art. 44. A belligerent is forbidden to force the inhabitants of territory
occupied by it to furnish information about the army of the other
belligerent, or about its means of defense.
Art. 45. It is forbidden to compel the inhabitants of occupied territory to
swear allegiance to the hostile Power.
Art. 46. Family honour and rights, the lives of persons, and private
property, as well as religious convictions and practice, must be
respected.
Private property cannot be confiscated.
Art. 47. Pillage is formally forbidden.
Art. 48. If, in the territory occupied, the occupant collects the taxes,
dues, and tolls imposed for the benefit of the State, he shall do so, as
far as is possible, in accordance with the rules of assessment and
incidence in force, and shall in consequence be bound to defray the
expenses of the administration of the occupied territory to the same
extent as the legitimate Government was so bound.
Art. 49. If, in addition to the taxes mentioned in the above article, the
occupant levies other money contributions in the occupied territory, this
shall only be for the needs of the army or of the administration of the
territory in question.
Art. 50. No general penalty, pecuniary or otherwise, shall be inflicted
upon the population on account of the acts of individuals for which they
cannot be regarded as jointly and severally responsible.
Art. 51. No contribution shall be collected except under a written order,
and on the responsibility of a commander-in-chief.
The collection of the said contribution shall only be effected as far as
possible in accordance with the rules of assessment and incidence of
the taxes in force.
For every contribution a receipt shall be given to the contributors.
Art. 52. Requisitions in kind and services shall not be demanded from
municipalities or inhabitants except for the needs of the army of
occupation. They shall be in proportion to the resources of the country,
and of such a nature as not to involve the inhabitants in the obligation
of taking part in military operations against their own country.
Such requisitions and services shall only be demanded on the authority
of the commander in the locality occupied.
Contributions in kind shall as far is possible be paid for in cash; if not, a
receipt shall be given land the payment of the amount due shall be
made as soon as possible.
Art. 53. An army of occupation can only take possession of cash,
funds, and realizable securities which are strictly the property of the
State, depots of arms, means of transport, stores and supplies, and,
generally, all movable property belonging to the State which may be
used for military operations.
All appliances, whether on land, at sea, or in the air, adapted for the
transmission of news, or for the transport of persons or things,
exclusive of cases governed by naval law, depots of arms, and,
generally, all kinds of munitions of war, may be seized, even if they
belong to private individuals, but must be restored and compensation
fixed when peace is made.
Art. 54. Submarine cables connecting an occupied territory with a
neutral territory shall not be seized or destroyed except in the case of
absolute necessity. They must likewise be restored and compensation
fixed when peace is made.
Art. 55. The occupying State shall be regarded only as administrator
and usufructuary of public buildings, real estate, forests, and
agricultural estates belonging to the hostile State, and situated in the
occupied country. It must safeguard the capital of these properties, and
administer them in accordance with the rules of usufruct.
Art. 56. The property of municipalities, that of institutions dedicated to
religion, charity and education, the arts and sciences, even when State
property, shall be treated as private property.
All seizure of, destruction or wilful damage done to institutions of this
character, historic monuments, works of art and science, is forbidden,
and should be made the subject of legal proceedings.

Proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 36/55 of 25 November 1981
The General Assembly,
Considering that one of the basic principles of the Charter of the United Nations is that of the dignity
and equality inherent in all human beings, and that all Member States have pledged themselves to
take joint and separate action in co-operation with the Organization to promote and encourage
universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without
distinction as to race, sex, language or religion,
Considering that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants on Human
Rights proclaim the principles of non-discrimination and equality before the law and the right to
freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief,
Considering that the disregard and infringement of human rights and fundamental freedoms, in
particular of the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or whatever belief, have brought,
directly or indirectly, wars and great suffering to mankind, especially where they serve as a means of
foreign interference in the internal affairs of other States and amount to kindling hatred between
peoples and nations,
Considering that religion or belief, for anyone who professes either, is one of the fundamental
elements in his conception of life and that freedom of religion or belief should be fully respected and
guaranteed,
Considering that it is essential to promote understanding, tolerance and respect in matters relating to
freedom of religion and belief and to ensure that the use of religion or belief for ends inconsistent with
the Charter of the United Nations, other relevant instruments of the United Nations and the purposes
and principles of the present Declaration is inadmissible,
Convinced that freedom of religion and belief should also contribute to the attainment of the goals of
world peace, social justice and friendship among peoples and to the elimination of ideologies or
practices of colonialism and racial discrimination,
Noting with satisfaction the adoption of several, and the coming into force of some, conventions, under
the aegis of the United Nations and of the specialized agencies, for the elimination of various forms of
discrimination,
Concerned by manifestations of intolerance and by the existence of discrimination in matters of religion
or belief still in evidence in some areas of the world,
Resolved to adopt all necessary measures for the speedy elimination of such intolerance in all its forms
and manifestations and to prevent and combat discrimination on the ground of religion or belief,
Proclaims this Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on
Religion or Belief:
Article 1
1. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include
freedom to have a religion or whatever belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in
community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship,
observance, practice and teaching.
2. No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have a religion or belief of his
choice.
2
3. Freedom to manifest one's religion or belief may be subject only to such limitations as are
prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health or morals or the
fundamental rights and freedoms of others.
Article 2
1. No one shall be subject to discrimination by any State, institution, group of persons, or person on
the grounds of religion or other belief.
2. For the purposes of the present Declaration, the expression "intolerance and discrimination based
on religion or belief" means any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on religion or
belief and having as its purpose or as its effect nullification or impairment of the recognition,
enjoyment or exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis.
Article 3
Discrimination between human beings on the grounds of religion or belief constitutes an affront to
human dignity and a disavowal of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and shall be
condemned as a violation of the human rights and fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and enunciated in detail in the International Covenants on Human Rights,
and as an obstacle to friendly and peaceful relations between nations.
Article 4
1. All States shall take effective measures to prevent and eliminate discrimination on the grounds of
religion or belief in the recognition, exercise and enjoyment of human rights and fundamental
freedoms in all fields of civil, economic, political, social and cultural life.
2. All States shall make all efforts to enact or rescind legislation where necessary to prohibit any such
discrimination, and to take all appropriate measures to combat intolerance on the grounds of religion
or other beliefs in this matter.
Article 5
1. The parents or, as the case may be, the legal guardians of the child have the right to organize the
life within the family in accordance with their religion or belief and bearing in mind the moral education
in which they believe the child should be brought up.
2. Every child shall enjoy the right to have access to education in the matter of religion or belief in
accordance with the wishes of his parents or, as the case may be, legal guardians, and shall not be
compelled to receive teaching on religion or belief against the wishes of his parents or legal guardians,
the best interests of the child being the guiding principle.
3. The child shall be protected from any form of discrimination on the ground of religion or belief. He
shall be brought up in a spirit of understanding, tolerance, friendship among peoples, peace and
universal brotherhood, respect for freedom of religion or belief of others, and in full consciousness that
his energy and talents should be devoted to the service of his fellow men.
4. In the case of a child who is not under the care either of his parents or of legal guardians, due
account shall be taken of their expressed wishes or of any other proof of their wishes in the matter of
religion or belief, the best interests of the child being the guiding principle.
5. Practices of a religion or belief in which a child is brought up must not be injurious to his physical or
mental health or to his full development, taking into account article 1, paragraph 3, of the present
Declaration.
Article 6
3
In accordance with article 1 of the present Declaration, and subject to the provisions of article 1,
paragraph 3, the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief shall include, inter alia , the
following freedoms:
( a ) To worship or assemble in connection with a religion or belief, and to establish and maintain
places for these purposes;
( b ) To establish and maintain appropriate charitable or humanitarian institutions;
( c ) To make, acquire and use to an adequate extent the necessary articles and materials related to
the rites or customs of a religion or belief;
( d ) To write, issue and disseminate relevant publications in these areas;
( e ) To teach a religion or belief in places suitable for these purposes;
( f ) To solicit and receive voluntary financial and other contributions from individuals and institutions;
( g ) To train, appoint, elect or designate by succession appropriate leaders called for by the
requirements and standards of any religion or belief;
( h ) To observe days of rest and to celebrate holidays and ceremonies in accordance with the precepts
of one's religion or belief;
( i ) To establish and maintain communications with individuals and communities in matters of religion
and belief at the national and international levels.
Article 7
The rights and freedoms set forth in the present Declaration shall be accorded in national legislation in
such a manner that everyone shall be able to avail himself of such rights and freedoms in practice.
Article 8
Nothing in the present Declaration shall be construed as restricting or derogating from any right
defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants on Human
Rights.

Adopted on 27 June 1989 by the General Conference
of the International Labour Organisation at its
seventy-sixth session
Entry into force: 5 September 1991
The General Conference of the International Labour Organisation,
Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office,
and having met in its seventy-sixth session on 7 June 1989, and
Noting the international standards contained in the Indigenous and Tribal Populations
Convention and Recommendation, 1957, and
Recalling the terms of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant
on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights, and the many international instruments on the prevention of discrimination, and
Considering that the developments which have taken place in international law since 1957, as
well as developments in the situation of indigenous and tribal peoples in all regions of the
world, have made it appropriate to adopt new international standards on the subject with a
view to removing the assimilationist orientation of the earlier standards, and
Recognising the aspirations of these peoples to exercise control over their own institutions,
ways of life and economic development and to maintain and develop their identities,
languages and religions, within the framework of the States in which they live, and
Noting that in many parts of the world these peoples are unable to enjoy their fundamental
human rights to the same degree as the rest of the population of the States within which they
live, and that their laws, values, customs and perspectives have often been eroded, and
Calling attention to the distinctive contributions of indigenous and tribal peoples to the
cultural diversity and social and ecological harmony of humankind and to international
co-operation and understanding, and
Noting that the following provisions have been framed with the co-operation of the United
Nations, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the World Health Organization, as well
as of the Inter-American Indian Institute, at appropriate levels and in their respective fields,
and that it is proposed to continue this co-operation in promoting and securing the application
of these provisions, and
Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to the partial revision of
the Indigenous and Tribal Populations Convention, 1957 (No. 107), which is the fourth item
on the agenda of the session, and
Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of an international Convention
revising the Indigenous and Tribal Populations Convention, 1957,
Adopts this twenty-seventh day of June of the year one thousand nine hundred and
eighty-nine the following Convention, which may be cited as the Indigenous and Tribal
Peoples Convention, 1989:
Part I. General policy
Article 1
1. This Convention applies to:
(a) Tribal peoples in independent countries whose social, cultural and economic conditions
distinguish them from other sections of the national community, and whose status is
regulated wholly or partially by their own customs or traditions or by special laws or
regulations;
(b) Peoples in independent countries who are regarded as indigenous on account of their
descent from the populations which inhabited the country, or a geographical region to which
the country belongs, at the time of conquest or colonisation or the establishment of present
State boundaries and who, irrespective of their legal status, retain some or all of their own
social, economic, cultural and political institutions.
2. Self-identification as indigenous or tribal shall be regarded as a fundamental criterion for
determining the groups to which the provisions of this Convention apply.
3. The use of the term "peoples" in this Convention shall not be construed as having any
implications as regards the rights which may attach to the term under international law.
Article 2
1. Governments shall have the responsibility for developing, with the participation of the
peoples concerned, co-ordinated and systematic action to protect the rights of these peoples
and to guarantee respect for their integrity.
2. Such action shall include measures for:
(a) Ensuring that members of these peoples benefit on an equal footing from the rights and
opportunities which national laws and regulations grant to other members of the population;
(b) Promoting the full realisation of the social, economic and cultural rights of these peoples
with respect for their social and cultural identity, their customs and traditions and their
institutions;
(c) Assisting the members of the peoples concerned to eliminate socio-economic gaps that
may exist between indigenous and other members of the national community, in a manner
compatible with their aspirations and ways of life.
Article 3
1. Indigenous and tribal peoples shall enjoy the full measure of human rights and
fundamental freedoms without hindrance or discrimination. The provisions of the Convention
shall be applied without discrimination to male and female members of these peoples.
2. No form of force or coercion shall be used in violation of the human rights and fundamental
freedoms of the peoples concerned, including the rights contained in this Convention.
Article 4
1. Special measures shall be adopted as appropriate for safeguarding the persons,
institutions, property, labour, cultures and environment of the peoples concerned.
2. Such special measures shall not be contrary to the freely-expressed wishes of the peoples
concerned.
3. Enjoyment of the general rights of citizenship, without discrimination, shall not be
prejudiced in any way by such special measures.
Article 5
In applying the provisions of this Convention:
(a) The social, cultural, religious and spiritual values and practices of these peoples shall be
recognised and protected, and due account shall be taken of the nature of the problems
which face them both as groups and as individuals;
(b) The integrity of the values, practices and institutions of these peoples shall be respected;
(c) Policies aimed at mitigating the difficulties experienced by these peoples in facing new
conditions of life and work shall be adopted, with the participation and co-operation of the
peoples affected.
Article 6
1. In applying the provisions of this Convention, Governments shall:
(a) Consult the peoples concerned, through appropriate procedures and in particular through
their representative institutions, whenever consideration is being given to legislative or
administrative measures which may affect them directly;
(b) Establish means by which these peoples can freely participate, to at least the same extent
as other sectors of the population, at all levels of decision-making in elective institutions and
administrative and other bodies responsible for policies and programmes which concern
them;
(c) Establish means for the full development of these peoples' own institutions and initiatives,
and in appropriate cases provide the resources necessary for this purpose.
2. The consultations carried out in application of this Convention shall be undertaken, in good
faith and in a form appropriate to the circumstances, with the objective of achieving
agreement or consent to the proposed measures.
Article 7
1. The peoples concerned shall have the right to decide their own priorities for the process of
development as it affects their lives, beliefs, institutions and spiritual well-being and the lands
they occupy or otherwise use, and to exercise control, to the extent possible, over their own
economic, social and cultural development. In addition, they shall participate in the
formulation, implementation and evaluation of plans and programmes for national and
regional development which may affect them directly.
2. The improvement of the conditions of life and work and levels of health and education of
the peoples concerned, with their participation and co-operation, shall be a matter of priority
in plans for the overall economic development of areas they inhabit. Special projects for
development of the areas in question shall also be so designed as to promote such
improvement.
3. Governments shall ensure that, whenever appropriate, studies are carried out, in
co-operation with the peoples concerned, to assess the social, spiritual, cultural and
environmental impact on them of planned development activities. The results of these studies
shall be considered as fundamental criteria for the implementation of these activities.
4. Governments shall take measures, in co-operation with the peoples concerned, to protect
and preserve the environment of the territories they inhabit.
Article 8
1. In applying national laws and regulations to the peoples concerned, due regard shall be
had to their customs or customary laws.
2. These peoples shall have the right to retain their own customs and institutions, where
these are not incompatible with fundamental rights defined by the national legal system and
with internationally recognized human rights. Procedures shall be established, whenever
necessary, to resolve conflicts which may arise in the application of this principle.
3. The application of paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article shall not prevent members of these
peoples from exercising the rights granted to all citizens and from assuming the
corresponding duties.
Article 9
1. To the extent compatible with the national legal system and internationally recognised
human rights, the methods customarily practised by the peoples concerned for dealing with
offences committed by their members shall be respected.
2. The customs of these peoples in regard to penal matters shall be taken into consideration
by the authorities and courts dealing with such cases.
Article 10
1. In imposing penalties laid down by general law on members of these peoples account shall
be taken of their economic, social and cultural characteristics.
2. Preference shall be given to methods of punishment other than confinement in prison.
Article 11
The exaction from members of the peoples concerned of compulsory personal services in any
form, whether paid or unpaid, shall be prohibited and punishable by law, except in cases
prescribed by law for all citizens.
Article 12
The peoples concerned shall be safeguarded against the abuse of their rights and shall be
able to take legal proceedings, either individually or through their representative bodies, for
the effective protection of these rights. Measures shall be taken to ensure that members of
these peoples can understand and be understood in legal proceedings, where necessary
through the provision of interpretation or by other effective means.
Part II. Land
Article 13
1. In applying the provisions of this Part of the Convention governments shall respect the
special importance for the cultures and spiritual values of the peoples concerned of their
relationship with the lands or territories, or both as applicable, which they occupy or
otherwise use, and in particular the collective aspects of this relationship.
2. The use of the term "lands" in Articles 15 and 16 shall include the concept of territories,
which covers the total environment of the areas which the peoples concerned occupy or
otherwise use.
Article 14
1. The rights of ownership and possession of the peoples concerned over the lands which they
traditionally occupy shall be recognised. In addition, measures shall be taken in appropriate
cases to safeguard the right of the peoples concerned to use lands not exclusively occupied
by them, but to which they have traditionally had access for their subsistence and traditional
activities. Particular attention shall be paid to the situation of nomadic peoples and shifting
cultivators in this respect.
2. Governments shall take steps as necessary to identify the lands which the peoples
concerned traditionally occupy, and to guarantee effective protection of their rights of
ownership and possession.
3. Adequate procedures shall be established within the national legal system to resolve land
claims by the peoples concerned.
Article 15
1. The rights of the peoples concerned to the natural resources pertaining to their lands shall
be specially safeguarded. These rights include the right of these peoples to participate in the
use, management and conservation of these resources.
2. In cases in which the State retains the ownership of mineral or sub-surface resources or
rights to other resources pertaining to lands, governments shall establish or maintain
procedures through which they shall consult these peoples, with a view to ascertaining
whether and to what degree their interests would be prejudiced, before undertaking or
permitting any programmes for the exploration or exploitation of such resources pertaining to
their lands. The peoples concerned shall wherever possible participate in the benefits of such
activities, and shall receive fair compensation for any damages which they may sustain as a
result of such activities.
Article 16
1. Subject to the following paragraphs of this Article, the peoples concerned shall not be
removed from the lands which they occupy.
2. Where the relocation of these peoples is considered necessary as an exceptional measure,
such relocation shall take place only with their free and informed consent. Where their
consent cannot be obtained, such relocation shall take place only following appropriate
procedures established by national laws and regulations, including public inquiries where
appropriate, which provide the opportunity for effective representation of the peoples
concerned.
3. Whenever possible, these peoples shall have the right to return to their traditional lands,
as soon as the grounds for relocation cease to exist.
4. When such return is not possible, as determined by agreement or, in the absence of such
agreement, through appropriate procedures, these peoples shall be provided in all possible
cases with lands of quality and legal status at least equal to that of the lands previously
occupied by them, suitable to provide for their present needs and future development. Where
the peoples concerned express a preference for compensation in money or in kind, they shall
be so compensated under appropriate guarantees.
5. Persons thus relocated shall be fully compensated for any resulting loss or injury.
Article 17
1. Procedures established by the peoples concerned for the transmission of land rights among
members of these peoples shall be respected.
2. The peoples concerned shall be consulted whenever consideration is being given to their
capacity to alienate their lands or otherwise transmit their rights outside their own
community.
3. Persons not belonging to these peoples shall be prevented from taking advantage of their
customs or of lack of understanding of the laws on the part of their members to secure the
ownership, possession or use of land belonging to them.
Article 18
Adequate penalties shall be established by law for unauthorised intrusion upon, or use of, the
lands of the peoples concerned, and governments shall take measures to prevent such
offences.
Article 19
National agrarian programmes shall secure to the peoples concerned treatment equivalent to
that accorded to other sectors of the population with regard to:
(a) The provision of more land for these peoples when they have not the area necessary for
providing the essentials of a normal existence, or for any possible increase in their numbers;
(b) The provision of the means required to promote the development of the lands which these
peoples already possess.
Part III. Recruitment and conditions of employment
Article 20
1. Governments shall, within the framework of national laws and regulations, and in
co-operation with the peoples concerned, adopt special measures to ensure the effective
protection with regard to recruitment and conditions of employment of workers belonging to
these peoples, to the extent that they are not effectively protected by laws applicable to
workers in general.
2. Governments shall do everything possible to prevent any discrimination between workers
belonging to the peoples concerned and other workers, in particular as regards:
(a) Admission to employment, including skilled employment, as well as measures for
promotion and advancement;
(b) Equal remuneration for work of equal value;
(c) Medical and social assistance, occupational safety and health, all social security benefits
and any other occupationally related benefits, and housing;
(d) The right of association and freedom for all lawful trade union activities, and the right to
conclude collective agreements with employers or employers' organisations.
3. The measures taken shall include measures to ensure:
(a) That workers belonging to the peoples concerned, including seasonal, casual and migrant
workers in agricultural and other employment, as well as those employed by labour
contractors, enjoy the protection afforded by national law and practice to other such workers
in the same sectors, and that they are fully informed of their rights under labour legislation
and of the means of redress available to them;
(b) That workers belonging to these peoples are not subjected to working conditions
hazardous to their health, in particular through exposure to pesticides or other toxic
substances;
(c) That workers belonging to these peoples are not subjected to coercive recruitment
systems, including bonded labour and other forms of debt servitude;
(d) That workers belonging to these peoples enjoy equal opportunities and equal treatment in
employment for men and women, and protection from sexual harassment.
4. Particular attention shall be paid to the establishment of adequate labour inspection
services in areas where workers belonging to the peoples concerned undertake wage
employment, in order to ensure compliance with the provisions of this Part of this
Convention.
Part IV. Vocational training, handicrafts and rural industries
Article 21
Members of the peoples concerned shall enjoy opportunities at least equal to those of other
citizens in respect of vocational training measures.
Article 22
1. Measures shall be taken to promote the voluntary participation of members of the peoples
concerned in vocational training programmes of general application.
2. Whenever existing programmes of vocational training of general application do not meet
the special needs of the peoples concerned, governments shall, with the participation of these
peoples, ensure the provision of special training programmes and facilities.
3. Any special training programmes shall be based on the economic environment, social and
cultural conditions and practical needs of the peoples concerned. Any studies made in this
connection shall be carried out in co-operation with these peoples, who shall be consulted on
the organisation and operation of such programmes. Where feasible, these peoples shall
progressively assume responsibility for the organisation and operation of such special training
programmes, if they so decide.
Article 23
1. Handicrafts, rural and community-based industries, and subsistence economy and
traditional activities of the peoples concerned, such as hunting, fishing, trapping and
gathering, shall be recognised as important factors in the maintenance of their cultures and in
their economic self-reliance and development. Governments shall, with the participation of
these peoples and whenever appropriate, ensure that these activities are strengthened and
promoted.
2. Upon the request of the peoples concerned, appropriate technical and financial assistance
shall be provided wherever possible, taking into account the traditional technologies and
cultural characteristics of these peoples, as well as the importance of sustainable and
equitable development.
Part V. Social security and health
Article 24
Social security schemes shall be extended progressively to cover the peoples concerned, and
applied without discrimination against them.
Article 25
1. Governments shall ensure that adequate health services are made available to the peoples
concerned, or shall provide them with resources to allow them to design and deliver such
services under their own responsibility and control, so that they may enjoy the highest
attainable standard of physical and mental health.
2. Health services shall, to the extent possible, be community-based. These services shall be
planned and administered in co-operation with the peoples concerned and take into account
their economic, geographic, social and cultural conditions as well as their traditional
preventive care, healing practices and medicines.
3. The health care system shall give preference to the training and employment of local
community health workers, and focus on primary health care while maintaining strong links
with other levels of health care services.
4. The provision of such health services shall be co-ordinated with other social, economic and
cultural measures in the country.
Part VI. Education and means of communication
Article 26
Measures shall be taken to ensure that members of the peoples concerned have the
opportunity to acquire education at all levels on at least an equal footing with the rest of the
national community.
Article 27
1. Education programmes and services for the peoples concerned shall be developed and
implemented in co-operation with them to address their special needs, and shall incorporate
their histories, their knowledge and technologies, their value systems and their further social,
economic and cultural aspirations.
2. The competent authority shall ensure the training of members of these peoples and their
involvement in the formulation and implementation of education programmes, with a view to
the progressive transfer of responsibility for the conduct of these programmes to these
peoples as appropriate.
3. In addition, governments shall recognise the right of these peoples to establish their own
educational institutions and facilities, provided that such institutions meet minimum
standards established by the competent authority in consultation with these peoples.
Appropriate resources shall be provided for this purpose.
Article 28
1. Children belonging to the peoples concerned shall, wherever practicable, be taught to read
and write in their own indigenous language or in the language most commonly used by the
group to which they belong. When this is not practicable, the competent authorities shall
undertake consultations with these peoples with a view to the adoption of measures to
achieve this objective.
2. Adequate measures shall be taken to ensure that these peoples have the opportunity to
attain fluency in the national language or in one of the official languages of the country.
3. Measures shall be taken to preserve and promote the development and practice of the
indigenous languages of the peoples concerned.
Article 29
The imparting of general knowledge and skills that will help children belonging to the peoples
concerned to participate fully and on an equal footing in their own community and in the
national community shall be an aim of education for these peoples.
Article 30
1. Governments shall adopt measures appropriate to the traditions and cultures of the
peoples concerned, to make known to them their rights and duties, especially in regard to
labour, economic opportunities, education and health matters, social welfare and their rights
deriving from this Convention.
2. If necessary, this shall be done by means of written translations and through the use of
mass communications in the languages of these peoples.
Article 31
Educational measures shall be taken among all sections of the national community, and
particularly among those that are in most direct contact with the peoples concerned, with the
object of eliminating prejudices that they may harbour in respect of these peoples. To this
end, efforts shall be made to ensure that history textbooks and other educational materials
provide a fair, accurate and informative portrayal of the societies and cultures of these
peoples.
Part VII. Contacts and co-operation across borders
Article 32
Governments shall take appropriate measures, including by means of international
agreements, to facilitate contacts and co-operation between indigenous and tribal peoples
across borders, including activities in the economic, social, cultural, spiritual and
environmental fields.
Part VIII. Administration
Article 33
1. The governmental authority responsible for the matters covered in this Convention shall
ensure that agencies or other appropriate mechanisms exist to administer the programmes
affecting the peoples concerned, and shall ensure that they have the means necessary for the
proper fulfilment of the functions assigned to them.
2. These programmes shall include:
(a) The planning, co-ordination, execution and evaluation, in co-operation with the peoples
concerned, of the measures provided for in this Convention;
(b) The proposing of legislative and other measures to the competent authorities and
supervision of the application of the measures taken, in co-operation with the peoples
concerned.
Part IX. General provisions
Article 34
The nature and scope of the measures to be taken to give effect to this Convention shall be
determined in a flexible manner, having regard to the conditions characteristic of each
country.
Article 35
The application of the provisions of this Convention shall not adversely affect rights and
benefits of the peoples concerned pursuant to other Conventions and Recommendations,
international instruments, treaties, or national laws, awards, custom or agreements.
Part X. Final provisions
Article 36
This Convention revises the Indigenous and Tribal Populations Convention, 1957.
Article 37
The formal ratifications of this Convention shall be communicated to the Director-General of
the International Labour Office for registration.
Article 38
1. This Convention shall be binding only upon those Members of the International Labour
Organisation whose ratifications have been registered with the Director-General.
2. It shall come into force twelve months after the date on which the ratifications of two
Members have been registered with the Director-General.
3. Thereafter, this Convention shall come into force for any Member twelve months after the
date on which its ratification has been registered.
Article 39
1. A Member which has ratified this Convention may denounce it after the expiration of ten
years from the date on which the Convention first comes into force, by an act communicated
to the Director-General of the International Labour Office for registration. Such denunciation
shall not take effect until one year after the date on which it is registered.
2. Each Member which has ratified this Convention and which does not, within the year
following the expiration of the period of ten years mentioned in the preceding paragraph,
exercise the right of denunciation provided for in this Article, will be bound for another period
of ten years and, thereafter, may denounce this Convention at the expiration of each period
of ten years under the terms provided for in this Article.
Article 40
1. The Director-General of the International Labour Office shall notify all Members of the
International Labour Organisation of the registration of all ratifications and denunciations
communicated to him by the Members of the Organisation.
2. When notifying the Members of the Organisation of the registration of the second
ratification communicated to him, the Director-General shall draw the attention of the
Members of the Organisation to the date upon which the Convention will come into force.
Article 41
The Director-General of the International Labour Office shall communicate to the
Secretary-General of the United Nations for registration in accordance with Article 102 of the
Charter of the United Nations full particulars of all ratifications and acts of denunciation
registered by him in accordance with the provisions of the preceding Articles.
Article 42
At such times as it may consider necessary the Governing Body of the International Labour
Office shall present to the General Conference a report on the working of this Convention and
shall examine the desirability of placing on the agenda of the Conference the question of its
revision in whole or in part.
Article 43
1. Should the Conference adopt a new Convention revising this Convention in whole or in
part, then, unless the new Convention otherwise provides:
(a) The ratification by a Member of the new revising Convention shall ipso jure involve the
immediate denunciation of this Convention, notwithstanding the provisions of Article 39
above, if and when the new revising Convention shall have come into force;
(b) As from the date when the new revising Convention comes into force this Convention
shall cease to be open to ratification by the Members.
2. This Convention shall in any case remain in force in its actual form and content for those
Members which have ratified it but have not ratified the revising Convention.
Article 44
The English and French versions of the text of this Convention are equally authoritative.

Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly
resolution 44/25 of 20 November 1989
entry into force 2 September 1990, in accordance with article 49
Preamble
The States Parties to the present Convention,
Considering that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations,
recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human
family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Bearing in mind that the peoples of the United Nations have, in the Charter, reaffirmed their faith in
fundamental human rights and in the dignity and worth of the human person, and have determined to
promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
Recognizing that the United Nations has, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the
International Covenants on Human Rights, proclaimed and agreed that everyone is entitled to all the
rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex,
language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status,
Recalling that, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations has proclaimed that
childhood is entitled to special care and assistance,
Convinced that the family, as the fundamental group of society and the natural environment for the
growth and well-being of all its members and particularly children, should be afforded the necessary
protection and assistance so that it can fully assume its responsibilities within the community,
Recognizing that the child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should
grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding,
Considering that the child should be fully prepared to live an individual life in society, and brought up
in the spirit of the ideals proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, and in particular in the spirit
of peace, dignity, tolerance, freedom, equality and solidarity,
Bearing in mind that the need to extend particular care to the child has been stated in the Geneva
Declaration of the Rights of the Child of 1924 and in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child adopted
by the General Assembly on 20 November 1959 and recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (in particular in articles 23 and 24), in
the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (in particular in article 10) and in
the statutes and relevant instruments of specialized agencies and international organizations
concerned with the welfare of children,
Bearing in mind that, as indicated in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, "the child, by reason of
his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal
protection, before as well as after birth",
Recalling the provisions of the Declaration on Social and Legal Principles relating to the Protection and
Welfare of Children, with Special Reference to Foster Placement and Adoption Nationally and
Internationally; the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice
(The Beijing Rules) ; and the Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and
Armed Conflict, Recognizing that, in all countries in the world, there are children living in exceptionally
difficult conditions, and that such children need special consideration,
2
Taking due account of the importance of the traditions and cultural values of each people for the
protection and harmonious development of the child, Recognizing the importance of international cooperation
for improving the living conditions of children in every country, in particular in the
developing countries,
Have agreed as follows:
PART I
Article 1
For the purposes of the present Convention, a child means every human being below the age of
eighteen years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier.
Article 2
1. States Parties shall respect and ensure the rights set forth in the present Convention to each child
within their jurisdiction without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child's or his or her
parent's or legal guardian's race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national,
ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status.
2. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that the child is protected against all
forms of discrimination or punishment on the basis of the status, activities, expressed opinions, or
beliefs of the child's parents, legal guardians, or family members.
Article 3
1. In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare
institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child
shall be a primary consideration.
2. States Parties undertake to ensure the child such protection and care as is necessary for his or her
well-being, taking into account the rights and duties of his or her parents, legal guardians, or other
individuals legally responsible for him or her, and, to this end, shall take all appropriate legislative and
administrative measures.
3. States Parties shall ensure that the institutions, services and facilities responsible for the care or
protection of children shall conform with the standards established by competent authorities,
particularly in the areas of safety, health, in the number and suitability of their staff, as well as
competent supervision.
Article 4
States Parties shall undertake all appropriate legislative, administrative, and other measures for the
implementation of the rights recognized in the present Convention. With regard to economic, social
and cultural rights, States Parties shall undertake such measures to the maximum extent of their
available resources and, where needed, within the framework of international co-operation.
Article 5
States Parties shall respect the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents or, where applicable, the
members of the extended family or community as provided for by local custom, legal guardians or
other persons legally responsible for the child, to provide, in a manner consistent with the evolving
capacities of the child, appropriate direction and guidance in the exercise by the child of the rights
recognized in the present Convention.
Article 6
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1. States Parties recognize that every child has the inherent right to life. 2. States Parties shall ensure
to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child.
Article 7
1. The child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name,
the right to acquire a nationality and. as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or
her parents.
2. States Parties shall ensure the implementation of these rights in accordance with their national law
and their obligations under the relevant international instruments in this field, in particular where the
child would otherwise be stateless.
Article 8
1. States Parties undertake to respect the right of the child to preserve his or her identity, including
nationality, name and family relations as recognized by law without unlawful interference.
2. Where a child is illegally deprived of some or all of the elements of his or her identity, States Parties
shall provide appropriate assistance and protection, with a view to re-establishing speedily his or her
identity.
Article 9
1. States Parties shall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his or her parents against their
will, except when competent authorities subject to judicial review determine, in accordance with
applicable law and procedures, that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child.
Such determination may be necessary in a particular case such as one involving abuse or neglect of
the child by the parents, or one where the parents are living separately and a decision must be made
as to the child's place of residence.
2. In any proceedings pursuant to paragraph 1 of the present article, all interested parties shall be
given an opportunity to participate in the proceedings and make their views known.
3. States Parties shall respect the right of the child who is separated from one or both parents to
maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis, except if it is
contrary to the child's best interests.
4. Where such separation results from any action initiated by a State Party, such as the detention,
imprisonment, exile, deportation or death (including death arising from any cause while the person is
in the custody of the State) of one or both parents or of the child, that State Party shall, upon request,
provide the parents, the child or, if appropriate, another member of the family with the essential
information concerning the whereabouts of the absent member(s) of the family unless the provision of
the information would be detrimental to the well-being of the child. States Parties shall further ensure
that the submission of such a request shall of itself entail no adverse consequences for the person(s)
concerned.
Article 10
1. In accordance with the obligation of States Parties under article 9, paragraph 1, applications by a
child or his or her parents to enter or leave a State Party for the purpose of family reunification shall
be dealt with by States Parties in a positive, humane and expeditious manner. States Parties shall
further ensure that the submission of such a request shall entail no adverse consequences for the
applicants and for the members of their family.
2. A child whose parents reside in different States shall have the right to maintain on a regular basis,
save in exceptional circumstances personal relations and direct contacts with both parents. Towards
that end and in accordance with the obligation of States Parties under article 9, paragraph 1, States
Parties shall respect the right of the child and his or her parents to leave any country, including their
4
own, and to enter their own country. The right to leave any country shall be subject only to such
restrictions as are prescribed by law and which are necessary to protect the national security, public
order (ordre public), public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others and are consistent
with the other rights recognized in the present Convention.
Article 11
1. States Parties shall take measures to combat the illicit transfer and non-return of children abroad.
2. To this end, States Parties shall promote the conclusion of bilateral or multilateral agreements or
accession to existing agreements.
Article 12
1. States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to
express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due
weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.
2. For this purpose, the child shall in particular be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial
and administrative proceedings affecting the child, either directly, or through a representative or an
appropriate body, in a manner consistent with the procedural rules of national law.
Article 13
1. The child shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek,
receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or
in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child's choice.
2. The exercise of this right may be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are
provided by law and are necessary:
(a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others; or
(b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or
morals.
Article 14
1. States Parties shall respect the right of the child to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
2. States Parties shall respect the rights and duties of the parents and, when applicable, legal
guardians, to provide direction to the child in the exercise of his or her right in a manner consistent
with the evolving capacities of the child.
3. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are
prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health or morals, or the
fundamental rights and freedoms of others.
Article 15
1. States Parties recognize the rights of the child to freedom of association and to freedom of peaceful
assembly.
2. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of these rights other than those imposed in
conformity with the law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national
security or public safety, public order (ordre public), the protection of public health or morals or the
protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
Article 16
5
1. No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, home
or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his or her honour and reputation.
2. The child has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
Article 17
States Parties recognize the important function performed by the mass media and shall ensure that the
child has access to information and material from a diversity of national and international sources,
especially those aimed at the promotion of his or her social, spiritual and moral well-being and physical
and mental health.
To this end, States Parties shall:
(a) Encourage the mass media to disseminate information and material of social and cultural benefit to
the child and in accordance with the spirit of article 29;
(b) Encourage international co-operation in the production, exchange and dissemination of such
information and material from a diversity of cultural, national and international sources;
(c) Encourage the production and dissemination of children's books;
(d) Encourage the mass media to have particular regard to the linguistic needs of the child who
belongs to a minority group or who is indigenous;
(e) Encourage the development of appropriate guidelines for the protection of the child from
information and material injurious to his or her well-being, bearing in mind the provisions of articles 13
and 18.
Article 18
1. States Parties shall use their best efforts to ensure recognition of the principle that both parents
have common responsibilities for the upbringing and development of the child. Parents or, as the case
may be, legal guardians, have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the
child. The best interests of the child will be their basic concern.
2. For the purpose of guaranteeing and promoting the rights set forth in the present Convention,
States Parties shall render appropriate assistance to parents and legal guardians in the performance of
their child-rearing responsibilities and shall ensure the development of institutions, facilities and
services for the care of children.
3. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that children of working parents have
the right to benefit from child-care services and facilities for which they are eligible.
Article 19
1. States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures
to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent
treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal
guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.
2. Such protective measures should, as appropriate, include effective procedures for the establishment
of social programmes to provide necessary support for the child and for those who have the care of the
child, as well as for other forms of prevention and for identification, reporting, referral, investigation,
treatment and follow-up of instances of child maltreatment described heretofore, and, as appropriate,
for judicial involvement.
Article 20
6
1. A child temporarily or permanently deprived of his or her family environment, or in whose own best
interests cannot be allowed to remain in that environment, shall be entitled to special protection and
assistance provided by the State.
2. States Parties shall in accordance with their national laws ensure alternative care for such a child.
3. Such care could include, inter alia, foster placement, kafalah of Islamic law, adoption or if necessary
placement in suitable institutions for the care of children. When considering solutions, due regard shall
be paid to the desirability of continuity in a child's upbringing and to the child's ethnic, religious,
cultural and linguistic background.
Article 21
States Parties that recognize and/or permit the system of adoption shall ensure that the best interests
of the child shall be the paramount consideration and they shall:
(a) Ensure that the adoption of a child is authorized only by competent authorities who determine, in
accordance with applicable law and procedures and on the basis of all pertinent and reliable
information, that the adoption is permissible in view of the child's status concerning parents, relatives
and legal guardians and that, if required, the persons concerned have given their informed consent to
the adoption on the basis of such counselling as may be necessary;
(b) Recognize that inter-country adoption may be considered as an alternative means of child's care, if
the child cannot be placed in a foster or an adoptive family or cannot in any suitable manner be cared
for in the child's country of origin;
(c) Ensure that the child concerned by inter-country adoption enjoys safeguards and standards
equivalent to those existing in the case of national adoption;
(d) Take all appropriate measures to ensure that, in inter-country adoption, the placement does not
result in improper financial gain for those involved in it;
(e) Promote, where appropriate, the objectives of the present article by concluding bilateral or
multilateral arrangements or agreements, and endeavour, within this framework, to ensure that the
placement of the child in another country is carried out by competent authorities or organs.
Article 22
1. States Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure that a child who is seeking refugee status
or who is considered a refugee in accordance with applicable international or domestic law and
procedures shall, whether unaccompanied or accompanied by his or her parents or by any other
person, receive appropriate protection and humanitarian assistance in the enjoyment of applicable
rights set forth in the present Convention and in other international human rights or humanitarian
instruments to which the said States are Parties.
2. For this purpose, States Parties shall provide, as they consider appropriate, co-operation in any
efforts by the United Nations and other competent intergovernmental organizations or nongovernmental
organizations co-operating with the United Nations to protect and assist such a child and
to trace the parents or other members of the family of any refugee child in order to obtain information
necessary for reunification with his or her family. In cases where no parents or other members of the
family can be found, the child shall be accorded the same protection as any other child permanently or
temporarily deprived of his or her family environment for any reason , as set forth in the present
Convention.
Article 23
7
1. States Parties recognize that a mentally or physically disabled child should enjoy a full and decent
life, in conditions which ensure dignity, promote self-reliance and facilitate the child's active
participation in the community.
2. States Parties recognize the right of the disabled child to special care and shall encourage and
ensure the extension, subject to available resources, to the eligible child and those responsible for his
or her care, of assistance for which application is made and which is appropriate to the child's condition
and to the circumstances of the parents or others caring for the child.
3. Recognizing the special needs of a disabled child, assistance extended in accordance with paragraph
2 of the present article shall be provided free of charge, whenever possible, taking into account the
financial resources of the parents or others caring for the child, and shall be designed to ensure that
the disabled child has effective access to and receives education, training, health care services,
rehabilitation services, preparation for employment and recreation opportunities in a manner conducive
to the child's achieving the fullest possible social integration and individual development, including his
or her cultural and spiritual development
4. States Parties shall promote, in the spirit of international cooperation, the exchange of appropriate
information in the field of preventive health care and of medical, psychological and functional
treatment of disabled children, including dissemination of and access to information concerning
methods of rehabilitation, education and vocational services, with the aim of enabling States Parties to
improve their capabilities and skills and to widen their experience in these areas. In this regard,
particular account shall be taken of the needs of developing countries.
Article 24
1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of
health and to facilities for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health. States Parties shall
strive to ensure that no child is deprived of his or her right of access to such health care services.
2. States Parties shall pursue full implementation of this right and, in particular, shall take appropriate
measures:
(a) To diminish infant and child mortality;
(b) To ensure the provision of necessary medical assistance and health care to all children with
emphasis on the development of primary health care;
(c) To combat disease and malnutrition, including within the framework of primary health care,
through, inter alia, the application of readily available technology and through the provision of
adequate nutritious foods and clean drinking-water, taking into consideration the dangers and risks of
environmental pollution;
(d) To ensure appropriate pre-natal and post-natal health care for mothers;
(e) To ensure that all segments of society, in particular parents and children, are informed, have
access to education and are supported in the use of basic knowledge of child health and nutrition, the
advantages of breastfeeding, hygiene and environmental sanitation and the prevention of accidents;
(f) To develop preventive health care, guidance for parents and family planning education and
services.
3. States Parties shall take all effective and appropriate measures with a view to abolishing traditional
practices prejudicial to the health of children.
4. States Parties undertake to promote and encourage international co-operation with a view to
achieving progressively the full realization of the right recognized in the present article. In this regard,
particular account shall be taken of the needs of developing countries.
8
Article 25
States Parties recognize the right of a child who has been placed by the competent authorities for the
purposes of care, protection or treatment of his or her physical or mental health, to a periodic review
of the treatment provided to the child and all other circumstances relevant to his or her placement.
Article 26
1. States Parties shall recognize for every child the right to benefit from social security, including social
insurance, and shall take the necessary measures to achieve the full realization of this right in
accordance with their national law.
2. The benefits should, where appropriate, be granted, taking into account the resources and the
circumstances of the child and persons having responsibility for the maintenance of the child, as well
as any other consideration relevant to an application for benefits made by or on behalf of the child.
Article 27
1. States Parties recognize the right of every child to a standard of living adequate for the child's
physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development.
2. The parent(s) or others responsible for the child have the primary responsibility to secure, within
their abilities and financial capacities, the conditions of living necessary for the child's development.
3. States Parties, in accordance with national conditions and within their means, shall take appropriate
measures to assist parents and others responsible for the child to implement this right and shall in
case of need provide material assistance and support programmes, particularly with regard to
nutrition, clothing and housing.
4. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to secure the recovery of maintenance for the
child from the parents or other persons having financial responsibility for the child, both within the
State Party and from abroad. In particular, where the person having financial responsibility for the
child lives in a State different from that of the child, States Parties shall promote the accession to
international agreements or the conclusion of such agreements, as well as the making of other
appropriate arrangements.
Article 28
1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to education, and with a view to achieving this right
progressively and on the basis of equal opportunity, they shall, in particular:
(a) Make primary education compulsory and available free to all;
(b) Encourage the development of different forms of secondary education, including general and
vocational education, make them available and accessible to every child, and take appropriate
measures such as the introduction of free education and offering financial assistance in case of need;
(c) Make higher education accessible to all on the basis of capacity by every appropriate means;
(d) Make educational and vocational information and guidance available and accessible to all children;
(e) Take measures to encourage regular attendance at schools and the reduction of drop-out rates.
2. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that school discipline is administered in
a manner consistent with the child's human dignity and in conformity with the present Convention.
3. States Parties shall promote and encourage international cooperation in matters relating to
education, in particular with a view to contributing to the elimination of ignorance and illiteracy
9
throughout the world and facilitating access to scientific and technical knowledge and modern teaching
methods. In this regard, particular account shall be taken of the needs of developing countries.
Article 29
1. States Parties agree that the education of the child shall be directed to:
(a) The development of the child's personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest
potential;
(b) The development of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and for the principles
enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations;
(c) The development of respect for the child's parents, his or her own cultural identity, language and
values, for the national values of the country in which the child is living, the country from which he or
she may originate, and for civilizations different from his or her own;
(d) The preparation of the child for responsible life in a free society, in the spirit of understanding,
peace, tolerance, equality of sexes, and friendship among all peoples, ethnic, national and religious
groups and persons of indigenous origin;
(e) The development of respect for the natural environment.
2. No part of the present article or article 28 shall be construed so as to interfere with the liberty of
individuals and bodies to establish and direct educational institutions, subject always to the observance
of the principle set forth in paragraph 1 of the present article and to the requirements that the
education given in such institutions shall conform to such minimum standards as may be laid down by
the State.
Article 30
In those States in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities or persons of indigenous origin exist, a
child belonging to such a minority or who is indigenous shall not be denied the right, in community
with other members of his or her group, to enjoy his or her own culture, to profess and practise his or
her own religion, or to use his or her own language.
Article 31
1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational
activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.
2. States Parties shall respect and promote the right of the child to participate fully in cultural and
artistic life and shall encourage the provision of appropriate and equal opportunities for cultural,
artistic, recreational and leisure activity.
Article 32
1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from
performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child's education, or to be
harmful to the child's health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.
2. States Parties shall take legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to ensure the
implementation of the present article. To this end, and having regard to the relevant provisions of
other international instruments, States Parties shall in particular:
(a) Provide for a minimum age or minimum ages for admission to employment;
(b) Provide for appropriate regulation of the hours and conditions of employment;
10
(c) Provide for appropriate penalties or other sanctions to ensure the effective enforcement of the
present article.
Article 33
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures, including legislative, administrative, social and
educational measures, to protect children from the illicit use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic
substances as defined in the relevant international treaties, and to prevent the use of children in the
illicit production and trafficking of such substances.
Article 34
States Parties undertake to protect the child from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.
For these purposes, States Parties shall in particular take all appropriate national, bilateral and
multilateral measures to prevent:
(a) The inducement or coercion of a child to engage in any unlawful sexual activity;
(b) The exploitative use of children in prostitution or other unlawful sexual practices;
(c) The exploitative use of children in pornographic performances and materials.
Article 35
States Parties shall take all appropriate national, bilateral and multilateral measures to prevent the
abduction of, the sale of or traffic in children for any purpose or in any form.
Article 36
States Parties shall protect the child against all other forms of exploitation prejudicial to any aspects of
the child's welfare.
Article 37
States Parties shall ensure that:
(a) No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be
imposed for offences committed by persons below eighteen years of age;
(b) No child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or
imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last
resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time;
(c) Every child deprived of liberty shall be treated with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of
the human person, and in a manner which takes into account the needs of persons of his or her age.
In particular, every child deprived of liberty shall be separated from adults unless it is considered in
the child's best interest not to do so and shall have the right to maintain contact with his or her family
through correspondence and visits, save in exceptional circumstances;
(d) Every child deprived of his or her liberty shall have the right to prompt access to legal and other
appropriate assistance, as well as the right to challenge the legality of the deprivation of his or her
liberty before a court or other competent, independent and impartial authority, and to a prompt
decision on any such action.
Article 38
1. States Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for rules of international humanitarian law
applicable to them in armed conflicts which are relevant to the child.
11
2. States Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons who have not attained the age
of fifteen years do not take a direct part in hostilities.
3. States Parties shall refrain from recruiting any person who has not attained the age of fifteen years
into their armed forces. In recruiting among those persons who have attained the age of fifteen years
but who have not attained the age of eighteen years, States Parties shall endeavour to give priority to
those who are oldest.
4. In accordance with their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect the civilian
population in armed conflicts, States Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure protection and
care of children who are affected by an armed conflict.
Article 39
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to promote physical and psychological recovery and
social reintegration of a child victim of: any form of neglect, exploitation, or abuse; torture or any
other form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; or armed conflicts. Such recovery
and reintegration shall take place in an environment which fosters the health, self-respect and dignity
of the child.
Article 40
1. States Parties recognize the right of every child alleged as, accused of, or recognized as having
infringed the penal law to be treated in a manner consistent with the promotion of the child's sense of
dignity and worth, which reinforces the child's respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms
of others and which takes into account the child's age and the desirability of promoting the child's
reintegration and the child's assuming a constructive role in society.
2. To this end, and having regard to the relevant provisions of international instruments, States Parties
shall, in particular, ensure that:
(a) No child shall be alleged as, be accused of, or recognized as having infringed the penal law by
reason of acts or omissions that were not prohibited by national or international law at the time they
were committed;
(b) Every child alleged as or accused of having infringed the penal law has at least the following
guarantees:
(i) To be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law;
(ii) To be informed promptly and directly of the charges against him or her, and, if appropriate,
through his or her parents or legal guardians, and to have legal or other appropriate assistance in the
preparation and presentation of his or her defence;
(iii) To have the matter determined without delay by a competent, independent and impartial authority
or judicial body in a fair hearing according to law, in the presence of legal or other appropriate
assistance and, unless it is considered not to be in the best interest of the child, in particular, taking
into account his or her age or situation, his or her parents or legal guardians;
(iv) Not to be compelled to give testimony or to confess guilt; to examine or have examined adverse
witnesses and to obtain the participation and examination of witnesses on his or her behalf under
conditions of equality;
(v) If considered to have infringed the penal law, to have this decision and any measures imposed in
consequence thereof reviewed by a higher competent, independent and impartial authority or judicial
body according to law;
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(vi) To have the free assistance of an interpreter if the child cannot understand or speak the language
used;
(vii) To have his or her privacy fully respected at all stages of the proceedings.
3. States Parties shall seek to promote the establishment of laws, procedures, authorities and
institutions specifically applicable to children alleged as, accused of, or recognized as having infringed
the penal law, and, in particular:
(a) The establishment of a minimum age below which children shall be presumed not to have the
capacity to infringe the penal law;
(b) Whenever appropriate and desirable, measures for dealing with such children without resorting to
judicial proceedings, providing that human rights and legal safeguards are fully respected. 4. A variety
of dispositions, such as care, guidance and supervision orders; counselling; probation; foster care;
education and vocational training programmes and other alternatives to institutional care shall be
available to ensure that children are dealt with in a manner appropriate to their well-being and
proportionate both to their circumstances and the offence.
Article 41
Nothing in the present Convention shall affect any provisions which are more conducive to the
realization of the rights of the child and which may be contained in:
(a) The law of a State party; or
(b) International law in force for that State.
PART II
Article 42
States Parties undertake to make the principles and provisions of the Convention widely known, by
appropriate and active means, to adults and children alike.
Article 43
1. For the purpose of examining the progress made by States Parties in achieving the realization of the
obligations undertaken in the present Convention, there shall be established a Committee on the
Rights of the Child, which shall carry out the functions hereinafter provided.
2. The Committee shall consist of ten experts of high moral standing and recognized competence in
the field covered by this Convention. The members of the Committee shall be elected by States Parties
from among their nationals and shall serve in their personal capacity, consideration being given to
equitable geographical distribution, as well as to the principal legal systems.
3. The members of the Committee shall be elected by secret ballot from a list of persons nominated by
States Parties. Each State Party may nominate one person from among its own nationals.
4. The initial election to the Committee shall be held no later than six months after the date of the
entry into force of the present Convention and thereafter every second year. At least four months
before the date of each election, the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall address a letter to
States Parties inviting them to submit their nominations within two months. The Secretary-General
shall subsequently prepare a list in alphabetical order of all persons thus nominated, indicating States
Parties which have nominated them, and shall submit it to the States Parties to the present
Convention.
5. The elections shall be held at meetings of States Parties convened by the Secretary-General at
United Nations Headquarters. At those meetings, for which two thirds of States Parties shall constitute
13
a quorum, the persons elected to the Committee shall be those who obtain the largest number of votes
and an absolute majority of the votes of the representatives of States Parties present and voting.
6. The members of the Committee shall be elected for a term of four years. They shall be eligible for
re-election if renominated. The term of five of the members elected at the first election shall expire at
the end of two years; immediately after the first election, the names of these five members shall be
chosen by lot by the Chairman of the meeting.
7. If a member of the Committee dies or resigns or declares that for any other cause he or she can no
longer perform the duties of the Committee, the State Party which nominated the member shall
appoint another expert from among its nationals to serve for the remainder of the term, subject to the
approval of the Committee.
8. The Committee shall establish its own rules of procedure.
9. The Committee shall elect its officers for a period of two years.
10. The meetings of the Committee shall normally be held at United Nations Headquarters or at any
other convenient place as determined by the Committee. The Committee shall normally meet annually.
The duration of the meetings of the Committee shall be determined, and reviewed, if necessary, by a
meeting of the States Parties to the present Convention, subject to the approval of the General
Assembly.
11. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall provide the necessary staff and facilities for the
effective performance of the functions of the Committee under the present Convention.
12. With the approval of the General Assembly, the members of the Committee established under the
present Convention shall receive emoluments from United Nations resources on such terms and
conditions as the Assembly may decide.
Article 44
1. States Parties undertake to submit to the Committee, through the Secretary-General of the United
Nations, reports on the measures they have adopted which give effect to the rights recognized herein
and on the progress made on the enjoyment of those rights
(a) Within two years of the entry into force of the Convention for the State Party concerned;
(b) Thereafter every five years.
2. Reports made under the present article shall indicate factors and difficulties, if any, affecting the
degree of fulfilment of the obligations under the present Convention. Reports shall also contain
sufficient information to provide the Committee with a comprehensive understanding of the
implementation of the Convention in the country concerned.
3. A State Party which has submitted a comprehensive initial report to the Committee need not, in its
subsequent reports submitted in accordance with paragraph 1 (b) of the present article, repeat basic
information previously provided.
4. The Committee may request from States Parties further information relevant to the implementation
of the Convention.
5. The Committee shall submit to the General Assembly, through the Economic and Social Council,
every two years, reports on its activities.
6. States Parties shall make their reports widely available to the public in their own countries.
Article 45
14
In order to foster the effective implementation of the Convention and to encourage international cooperation
in the field covered by the Convention:
(a) The specialized agencies, the United Nations Children's Fund, and other United Nations organs shall
be entitled to be represented at the consideration of the implementation of such provisions of the
present Convention as fall within the scope of their mandate. The Committee may invite the
specialized agencies, the United Nations Children's Fund and other competent bodies as it may
consider appropriate to provide expert advice on the implementation of the Convention in areas falling
within the scope of their respective mandates. The Committee may invite the specialized agencies, the
United Nations Children's Fund, and other United Nations organs to submit reports on the
implementation of the Convention in areas falling within the scope of their activities;
(b) The Committee shall transmit, as it may consider appropriate, to the specialized agencies, the
United Nations Children's Fund and other competent bodies, any reports from States Parties that
contain a request, or indicate a need, for technical advice or assistance, along with the Committee's
observations and suggestions, if any, on these requests or indications;
(c) The Committee may recommend to the General Assembly to request the Secretary-General to
undertake on its behalf studies on specific issues relating to the rights of the child;
(d) The Committee may make suggestions and general recommendations based on information
received pursuant to articles 44 and 45 of the present Convention. Such suggestions and general
recommendations shall be transmitted to any State Party concerned and reported to the General
Assembly, together with comments, if any, from States Parties.
PART III
Article 46
The present Convention shall be open for signature by all States.
Article 47
The present Convention is subject to ratification. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the
Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Article 48
The present Convention shall remain open for accession by any State. The instruments of accession
shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Article 49
1. The present Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day following the date of deposit with
the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the twentieth instrument of ratification or accession.
2. For each State ratifying or acceding to the Convention after the deposit of the twentieth instrument
of ratification or accession, the Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the deposit
by such State of its instrument of ratification or accession.
Article 50
1. Any State Party may propose an amendment and file it with the Secretary-General of the United
Nations. The Secretary-General shall thereupon communicate the proposed amendment to States
Parties, with a request that they indicate whether they favour a conference of States Parties for the
purpose of considering and voting upon the proposals. In the event that, within four months from the
date of such communication, at least one third of the States Parties favour such a conference, the
Secretary-General shall convene the conference under the auspices of the United Nations. Any
15
amendment adopted by a majority of States Parties present and voting at the conference shall be
submitted to the General Assembly for approval.
2. An amendment adopted in accordance with paragraph 1 of the present article shall enter into force
when it has been approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations and accepted by a twothirds
majority of States Parties.
3. When an amendment enters into force, it shall be binding on those States Parties which have
accepted it, other States Parties still being bound by the provisions of the present Convention and any
earlier amendments which they have accepted.
Article 51
1. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall receive and circulate to all States the text of
reservations made by States at the time of ratification or accession.
2. A reservation incompatible with the object and purpose of the present Convention shall not be
permitted.
3. Reservations may be withdrawn at any time by notification to that effect addressed to the
Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall then inform all States. Such notification shall take
effect on the date on which it is received by the Secretary-General
Article 52
A State Party may denounce the present Convention by written notification to the Secretary-General of
the United Nations. Denunciation becomes effective one year after the date of receipt of the
notification by the Secretary-General.
Article 53
The Secretary-General of the United Nations is designated as the depositary of the present
Convention.
Article 54
The original of the present Convention, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and
Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United
Nations. IN WITNESS THEREOF the undersigned plenipotentiaries, being duly authorized thereto by
their respective governments, have signed the present Convention.

Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 39/46 of 10 December 1984 entry into force 26 June 1987, in accordance with article 27 (1)
The States Parties to this Convention,
Considering that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, recognition of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Recognizing that those rights derive from the inherent dignity of the human person,
Considering the obligation of States under the Charter, in particular Article 55, to promote universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms,
Having regard to article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which provide that no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,
Having regard also to the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Being Subjected to Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, adopted by the General Assembly on 9 December 1975,
Desiring to make more effective the struggle against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment throughout the world,
Have agreed as follows:
PART I
Article 1
1. For the purposes of this Convention, the term "torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.
2. This article is without prejudice to any international instrument or national legislation which does or may contain provisions of wider application.
Article 2
1. Each State Party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.
2. No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.
3. An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture.
Article 3
1. No State Party shall expel, return ("refouler") or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.
2. For the purpose of determining whether there are such grounds, the competent authorities shall take into account all relevant considerations including, where applicable, the existence in the State concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights.
Article 4
1. Each State Party shall ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law. The same shall apply to an attempt to commit torture and to an act by any person which constitutes complicity or participation in torture. 2. Each State Party shall make these offences punishable by appropriate penalties which take into account their grave nature.
Article 5
1. Each State Party shall take such measures as may be necessary to establish its jurisdiction over the offences referred to in article 4 in the following cases:
(a) When the offences are committed in any territory under its jurisdiction or on board a ship or aircraft registered in that State;
(b) When the alleged offender is a national of that State;
(c) When the victim is a national of that State if that State considers it appropriate.
2. Each State Party shall likewise take such measures as may be necessary to establish its jurisdiction over such offences in cases where the alleged offender is present in any territory
under its jurisdiction and it does not extradite him pursuant to article 8 to any of the States mentioned in paragraph I of this article.
3. This Convention does not exclude any criminal jurisdiction exercised in accordance with internal law.
Article 6
1. Upon being satisfied, after an examination of information available to it, that the circumstances so warrant, any State Party in whose territory a person alleged to have committed any offence referred to in article 4 is present shall take him into custody or take other legal measures to ensure his presence. The custody and other legal measures shall be as provided in the law of that State but may be continued only for such time as is necessary to enable any criminal or extradition proceedings to be instituted.
2. Such State shall immediately make a preliminary inquiry into the facts.
3. Any person in custody pursuant to paragraph I of this article shall be assisted in communicating immediately with the nearest appropriate representative of the State of which he is a national, or, if he is a stateless person, with the representative of the State where he usually resides.
4. When a State, pursuant to this article, has taken a person into custody, it shall immediately notify the States referred to in article 5, paragraph 1, of the fact that such person is in custody and of the circumstances which warrant his detention. The State which makes the preliminary inquiry contemplated in paragraph 2 of this article shall promptly report its findings to the said States and shall indicate whether it intends to exercise jurisdiction.
Article 7
1. The State Party in the territory under whose jurisdiction a person alleged to have committed any offence referred to in article 4 is found shall in the cases contemplated in article 5, if it does not extradite him, submit the case to its competent authorities for the purpose of prosecution.
2. These authorities shall take their decision in the same manner as in the case of any ordinary offence of a serious nature under the law of that State. In the cases referred to in article 5, paragraph 2, the standards of evidence required for prosecution and conviction shall in no way be less stringent than those which apply in the cases referred to in article 5, paragraph 1.
3. Any person regarding whom proceedings are brought in connection with any of the offences referred to in article 4 shall be guaranteed fair treatment at all stages of the proceedings.
Article 8
1. The offences referred to in article 4 shall be deemed to be included as extraditable offences in any extradition treaty existing between States Parties. States Parties undertake to include such offences as extraditable offences in every extradition treaty to be concluded between them.
2. If a State Party which makes extradition conditional on the existence of a treaty receives a request for extradition from another State Party with which it has no extradition treaty, it may consider this Convention as the legal basis for extradition in respect of such offences. Extradition shall be subject to the other conditions provided by the law of the requested State.
3. States Parties which do not make extradition conditional on the existence of a treaty shall recognize such offences as extraditable offences between themselves subject to the conditions provided by the law of the requested State.
4. Such offences shall be treated, for the purpose of extradition between States Parties, as if they had been committed not only in the place in which they occurred but also in the territories of the States required to establish their jurisdiction in accordance with article 5, paragraph 1.
Article 9
1. States Parties shall afford one another the greatest measure of assistance in connection with criminal proceedings brought in respect of any of the offences referred to in article 4, including the supply of all evidence at their disposal necessary for the proceedings.
2. States Parties shall carry out their obligations under paragraph I of this article in conformity with any treaties on mutual judicial assistance that may exist between them.
Article 10
1. Each State Party shall ensure that education and information regarding the prohibition against torture are fully included in the training of law enforcement personnel, civil or military, medical personnel, public officials and other persons who may be involved in the custody, interrogation or treatment of any individual subjected to any form of arrest, detention or imprisonment.
2. Each State Party shall include this prohibition in the rules or instructions issued in regard to the duties and functions of any such person.
Article 11
Each State Party shall keep under systematic review interrogation rules, instructions, methods and practices as well as arrangements for the custody and treatment of persons subjected to any form of arrest, detention or imprisonment in any territory under its jurisdiction, with a view to preventing any cases of torture.
Article 12
Each State Party shall ensure that its competent authorities proceed to a prompt and impartial investigation, wherever there is reasonable ground to believe that an act of torture has been committed in any territory under its jurisdiction.
Article 13
Each State Party shall ensure that any individual who alleges he has been subjected to torture in any territory under its jurisdiction has the right to complain to, and to have his case promptly and impartially examined by, its competent authorities. Steps shall be taken to ensure that the complainant and witnesses are protected against all ill-treatment or intimidation as a consequence of his complaint or any evidence given.
Article 14
1. Each State Party shall ensure in its legal system that the victim of an act of torture obtains redress and has an enforceable right to fair and adequate compensation, including the means for as full rehabilitation as possible. In the event of the death of the victim as a result of an act of torture, his dependants shall be entitled to compensation.
2. Nothing in this article shall affect any right of the victim or other persons to compensation which may exist under national law.
Article 15
Each State Party shall ensure that any statement which is established to have been made as a result of torture shall not be invoked as evidence in any proceedings, except against a person accused of torture as evidence that the statement was made.
Article 16
1. Each State Party shall undertake to prevent in any territory under its jurisdiction other acts of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment which do not amount to torture as defined in article I, when such acts are committed by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. In particular, the obligations contained in articles 10, 11, 12 and 13 shall apply with the substitution for references to torture of references to other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
2. The provisions of this Convention are without prejudice to the provisions of any other international instrument or national law which prohibits cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment or which relates to extradition or expulsion.
PART II
Article 17
1. There shall be established a Committee against Torture (hereinafter referred to as the Committee) which shall carry out the functions hereinafter provided. The Committee shall consist of ten experts of high moral standing and recognized competence in the field of human rights, who shall serve in their personal capacity. The experts shall be elected by the States Parties, consideration being given to equitable geographical distribution and to the usefulness of the participation of some persons having legal experience.
2. The members of the Committee shall be elected by secret ballot from a list of persons nominated by States Parties. Each State Party may nominate one person from among its own nationals. States Parties shall bear in mind the usefulness of nominating persons who are also members of the Human Rights Committee established under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and who are willing to serve on the Committee against Torture.
3. Elections of the members of the Committee shall be held at biennial meetings of States Parties convened by the Secretary-General of the United Nations. At those meetings, for which two thirds of the States Parties shall constitute a quorum, the persons elected to the Committee shall be those who obtain the largest number of votes and an absolute majority of the votes of the representatives of States Parties present and voting.
4. The initial election shall be held no later than six months after the date of the entry into force of this Convention. At. Ieast four months before the date of each election, the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall address a letter to the States Parties inviting them to submit their nominations within three months. The Secretary-General shall prepare a list in alphabetical order of all persons thus nominated, indicating the States Parties which have nominated them, and shall submit it to the States Parties.
5. The members of the Committee shall be elected for a term of four years. They shall be eligible for re-election if renominated. However, the term of five of the members elected at the first election shall expire at the end of two years; immediately after the first election the names of these five members shall be chosen by lot by the chairman of the meeting referred to in paragraph 3 of this article.
6. If a member of the Committee dies or resigns or for any other cause can no longer perform his Committee duties, the State Party which nominated him shall appoint another expert from among its nationals to serve for the remainder of his term, subject to the approval of the majority of the States Parties. The approval shall be considered given unless half or more of the States Parties respond negatively within six weeks after having been informed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the proposed appointment.
7. States Parties shall be responsible for the expenses of the members of the Committee while they are in performance of Committee duties.
Article 18
1. The Committee shall elect its officers for a term of two years. They may be re-elected.
2. The Committee shall establish its own rules of procedure, but these rules shall provide, inter alia, that:
(a) Six members shall constitute a quorum;
(b) Decisions of the Committee shall be made by a majority vote of the members present.
3. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall provide the necessary staff and facilities for the effective performance of the functions of the Committee under this Convention.
4. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall convene the initial meeting of the Committee. After its initial meeting, the Committee shall meet at such times as shall be provided in its rules of procedure.
5. The States Parties shall be responsible for expenses incurred in connection with the holding of meetings of the States Parties and of the Committee, including reimbursement to the United Nations for any expenses, such as the cost of staff and facilities, incurred by the United Nations pursuant to paragraph 3 of this article.
Article 19
1. The States Parties shall submit to the Committee, through the Secretary-General of the United Nations, reports on the measures they have taken to give effect to their undertakings under this Convention, within one year after the entry into force of the Convention for the State Party concerned. Thereafter the States Parties shall submit supplementary reports every four years on any new measures taken and such other reports as the Committee may request.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit the reports to all States Parties.
3. Each report shall be considered by the Committee which may make such general comments on the report as it may consider appropriate and shall forward these to the State Party concerned. That State Party may respond with any observations it chooses to the Committee.
4. The Committee may, at its discretion, decide to include any comments made by it in accordance with paragraph 3 of this article, together with the observations thereon received from the State Party concerned, in its annual report made in accordance with article 24. If so requested by the State Party concerned, the Committee may also include a copy of the report submitted under paragraph I of this article.
Article 20
1. If the Committee receives reliable information which appears to it to contain well-founded indications that torture is being systematically practised in the territory of a State Party, the Committee shall invite that State Party to co-operate in the examination of the information and to this end to submit observations with regard to the information concerned.
2. Taking into account any observations which may have been submitted by the State Party concerned, as well as any other relevant information available to it, the Committee may, if it decides that this is warranted, designate one or more of its members to make a confidential inquiry and to report to the Committee urgently.
3. If an inquiry is made in accordance with paragraph 2 of this article, the Committee shall seek the co-operation of the State Party concerned. In agreement with that State Party, such an inquiry may include a visit to its territory.
4. After examining the findings of its member or members submitted in accordance with paragraph 2 of this article, the Commission shall transmit these findings to the State Party concerned together with any comments or suggestions which seem appropriate in view of the situation.
5. All the proceedings of the Committee referred to in paragraphs I to 4 of th is article s hall be con fidential , and at all stages of the proceedings the co-operation of the State Party shall be sought. After such proceedings have been completed with regard to an inquiry made in accordance with paragraph 2, the Committee may, after consultations with the State Party concerned, decide to include a summary account of the results of the proceedings in its annual report made in accordance with article 24.
Article 21
1. A State Party to this Convention may at any time declare under this article that it recognizes the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications to the effect that a State Party claims that another State Party is not fulfilling its obligations under this Convention. Such communications may be received and considered according to the procedures laid down in this article only if submitted by a State Party which has made a declaration recognizing in regard to itself the competence of the Committee. No communication shall be dealt with by the Committee under this article if it concerns a State Party which has not made such a declaration. Communications received under this article shall be dealt with in accordance with the following procedure;
(a) If a State Party considers that another State Party is not giving effect to the provisions ofthis Convention, it may, by written communication, bring the matter to the attention of that State Party. Within three months after the receipt of the communication the receiving State shall afford the State which sent the communication an explanation or any other statement in writing clarifying the matter, which should include, to the extent possible and pertinent, reference to domestic procedures and remedies taken, pending or available in the matter;
(b) If the matter is not adjusted to the satisfaction of both States Parties concerned within six months after the receipt by the receiving State of the initial communication, either State shall have the right to refer the matter to the Committee, by notice given to the Committee and to the other State;
(c) The Committee shall deal with a matter referred to it under this article only after it has ascertained that all domestic remedies have been invoked and exhausted in the matter, in conformity with the generally recognized principles of international law. This shall not be the rule where the application of the remedies is unreasonably prolonged or is unlikely to bring effective relief to the person who is the victim of the violation of this Convention;
(d) The Committee shall hold closed meetings when examining communications under this article; (e) Subject to the provisions of subparagraph
(e), the Committee shall make available its good offices to the States Parties concerned with a view to a friendly solution of the matter on the basis of respect for the obligations provided for in this Convention. For this purpose, the Committee may, when appropriate, set up an ad hoc conciliation commission;
(f) In any matter referred to it under this article, the Committee may call upon the States Parties concerned, referred to in subparagraph (b), to supply any relevant information;
(g) The States Parties concerned, referred to in subparagraph (b), shall have the right to be represented when the matter is being considered by the Committee and to make submissions orally and/or in writing;
(h) The Committee shall, within twelve months after the date of receipt of notice under subparagraph (b), submit a report:
(i) If a solution within the terms of subparagraph (e) is reached, the Committee shall confine its report to a brief statement of the facts and of the solution reached;
(ii) If a solution within the terms of subparagraph (e) is not reached, the Committee shall confine its report to a brief statement of the facts; the written submissions and record of the oral submissions made by the States Parties concerned shall be attached to the report.
In every matter, the report shall be communicated to the States Parties concerned.
2. The provisions of this article shall come into force when five States Parties to this Convention have made declarations under paragraph 1 of this article. Such declarations shall be deposited by the States Parties with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall transmit copies thereof to the other States Parties. A declaration may be withdrawn at any time by notification to the Secretary-General. Such a withdrawal shall not prejudice the consideration of any matter which is the subject of a communication already transmitted under this article; no further communication by any State Party shall be received under this article after the notification of withdrawal of the declaration has been received by the Secretary-General, unless the State Party concerned has made a new declaration.
Article 22
1. A State Party to this Convention may at any time declare under this article that it recognizes the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications from or on behalf of individuals subject to its jurisdiction who claim to be victims of a violation by a State Party of the provisions of the Convention. No communication shall be received by the Committee if it concerns a State Party which has not made such a declaration.
2. The Committee shall consider inadmissible any communication under this article which is anonymous or which it considers to be an abuse of the right of submission of such communications or to be incompatible with the provisions of this Convention.
3. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 2, the Committee shall bring any communications submitted to it under this article to the attention of the State Party to this Convention which has made a declaration under paragraph I and is alleged to be violating any provisions of the Convention. Within six months, the receiving State shall submit to the Committee written explanations or statements clarifying the matter and the remedy, if any, that may have been taken by that State.
4. The Committee shall consider communications received under this article in the light of all information made available to it by or on behalf of the individual and by the State Party concerned. 5. The Committee shall not consider any communications from an individual under this article unless it has ascertained that:
(a) The same matter has not been, and is not being, examined under another procedure of international investigation or settlement;
(b) The individual has exhausted all available domestic remedies; this shall not be the rule where the application of the remedies is unreasonably prolonged or is unlikely to bring effective reliefto the person who is the victim of the violation of this Convention.
6. The Committee shall hold closed meetings when examining communications under this article.
7. The Committee shall forward its views to the State Party concerned and to the individual.
8. The provisions of this article shall come into force when five States Parties to this Convention have made declarations under paragraph 1 of this article. Such declarations shall be deposited by the States Parties with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall transmit copies thereof to the other States Parties. A declaration may be withdrawn at any time by notification to the Secretary-General. Such a withdrawal shall not prejudice the consideration of any matter which is the subject of a communication already transmitted under this article; no further communication by or on behalf of an individual shall be received under this article after the notification of withdrawal of the declaration has been received by the SecretaryGeneral, unless the State Party has made a new declaration.
Article 23
The members of the Committee and of the ad hoc conciliation commissions which may be appointed under article 21, paragraph I (e), shall be entitled to the facilities, privileges and immunities of experts on mission for the United Nations as laid down in the relevant sections of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations.
Article 24
The Committee shall submit an annual report on its activities under this Convention to the States Parties and to the General Assembly of the United Nations.
PART III
Article 25
1. This Convention is open for signature by all States. 2. This Convention is subject to ratification. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Article 26
This Convention is open to accession by all States. Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of accession with the SecretaryGeneral of the United Nations.
Article 27
1. This Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date of the deposit with the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the twentieth instrument of ratification or accession.
2. For each State ratifying this Convention or acceding to it after the deposit of the twentieth instrument of ratification or accession, the Convention shall enter into force onthe thirtieth day after the date of the deposit of its own instrument of ratification or accession.
Article 28
1. Each State may, at the time of signature or ratification of this Convention or accession thereto, declare that it does not recognize the competence of the Committee provided for in article 20.
2. Any State Party having made a reservation in accordance with paragraph I of this article may, at any time, withdraw this reservation by notification to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Article 29
1 . Any State Party to this Convention may propose an amendment and file it with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The SecretaryGeneral shall thereupon communicate the proposed amendment to the States Parties with a request that they notify him whether they favour a
conference of States Parties for the purpose of considering an d voting upon the proposal. In the event that within four months from the date of such communication at least one third of the States Parties favours such a conference, the SecretaryGeneral shall convene the conference under the auspices of the United Nations. Any amendment adopted by a majority of the States Parties present and voting at the conference shall be submitted by the Secretary-General to all the States Parties for acceptance.
2. An amendment adopted in accordance with paragraph I of this article shall enter into force when two thirds of the States Parties to this Convention have notified the Secretary-General of the United Nations that they have accepted it in accordance with their respective constitutional processes.
3. When amendments enter into force, they shall be binding on those States Parties which have accepted them, other States Parties still being bound by the provisions of this Convention and any earlier amendments which they have accepted.
Article 30
1. Any dispute between two or more States Parties concerning the interpretation or application of this Convention which cannot be settled through negotiation shall, at the request of one of them, be submitted to arbitration. If within six months from thc date of the request for arbitration the Parties are unable to agree on the organization of the arbitration, any one of those Parties may refer the dispute to the International Court of Justice by request in conformity with the Statute of the Court.
2. Each State may, at the time of signature or ratification of this Con vention or accession thereto, declare that it does not consider itself bound by paragraph I of this article. The other States Parties shall not be bound by paragraph I of this article with respect to any State Party having made such a reservation.
3. Any State Party having made a reservation in accordance with paragraph 2 of this article may at any time withdraw this reservation by notification to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Article 31
1. A State Party may denounce this Convention by written notification to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Denunciation becomes effective one year after the date of receipt of- the notification by the Secretary-General .
2. Such a denunciation shall not have the effect of releasing the State Party from its obligations under this Convention in regard to any act or omission which occurs prior to the date at which the denunciation becomes effective, nor shall denunciation prejudice in any way the continued consideration of any matter which is already under consideration by the Committee prior to the date at which the denunciation becomes effective.
3. Following the date at which the denunciation of a State Party becomes effective, the Committee shall not commence consideration of any new matter regarding that State.
Article 32
The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all States Members of the United Nations and all States which have signed this Convention or acceded to it of the following:
(a) Signatures, ratifications and accessions under articles 25 and 26;
(b) The date of entry into force of this Convention under article 27 and the date of the entry into force of any amendments under article 29;
(c) Denunciations under article 31.
Article 33
1. This Convention, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit certified copies of this Convention to all States.

Proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 2856 (XXVI) of 20 December 1971
The General Assembly ,
Mindful of the pledge of the States Members of the United Nations under the Charter to take joint and
separate action in co-operation with the Organization to promote higher standards of living, full
employment and conditions of economic and social progress and development,
Reaffirming faith in human rights and fundamental freedoms and in the principles of peace, of the
dignity and worth of the human person and of social justice proclaimed in the Charter,
Recalling the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on
Human Rights, the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the standards already set for social
progress in the constitutions, conventions, recommendations and resolutions of the International
Labour Organisation, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the World
Health Organization, the United Nations Children's Fund and other organizations concerned,
Emphasizing that the Declaration on Social Progress and Development has proclaimed the necessity of
protecting the rights and assuring the welfare and rehabilitation of the physically and mentally
disadvantaged,
Bearing in mind the necessity of assisting mentally retarded persons to develop their abilities in
various fields of activities and of promoting their integration as far as possible in normal life,
Aware that certain countries, at their present stage of development, can devote only limited efforts to
this end,
Proclaims this Declaration on the Rights of Mentally Retarded Persons and calls for national and
international action to en sure that it will be used as a common basis and frame of reference for the
protection of these rights:
1. The mentally retarded person has, to the maximum degree of feasibility, the same rights as other
human beings.
2. The mentally retarded person has a right to proper medical care and physical therapy and to such
education, training, rehabilitation and guidance as will enable him to develop his ability and maximum
potential.
3. The mentally retarded person has a right to economic security and to a decent standard of living. He
has a right to perform productive work or to engage in any other meaningful occupation to the fullest
possible extent of his capabilities.
4. Whenever possible, the mentally retarded person should live with his own family or with foster
parents and participate in different forms of community life. The family with which he lives should
receive assistance. If care in an institution becomes necessary, it should be provided in surroundings
and other circumstances as close as possible to those of normal life.
5. The mentally retarded person has a right to a qualified guardian when this is required to protect his
personal well-being and interests.
6. The mentally retarded person has a right to protection from exploitation, abuse and degrading
treatment. If prosecuted for any offence, he shall have a right to due process of law with full
recognition being given to his degree of mental responsibility.
7. Whenever mentally retarded persons are unable, because of the severity of their handicap, to
exercise all their rights in a meaningful way or it should become necessary to restrict or deny some or
2
all of these rights, the procedure used for that restriction or denial of rights must contain proper legal
safeguards against every form of abuse. This procedure must be based on an evaluation of the social
capability of the mentally retarded person by qualified experts and must be subject to periodic review
and to the right of appeal to higher authorities.

Adopted and proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization at its twentieth session, on 27 November 1978
Preamble
The General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization,
meeting at Paris at its twentieth session, from 24 October to 28 November 1978,
Whereas it is stated in the Preamble to the Constitution of UNESCO, adopted on 16 November 1945,
that "the great and terrible war which has now ended was a war made possible by the denial of the
democratic principles of the dignity, equality and mutual respect of men, and by the propagation, in
their place, through ignorance and prejudice, of the doctrine of the inequality of men and races", and
whereas, according to Article 1 of the said Constitution, the purpose of UNESCO "is to contribute to
peace and security by promoting collaboration among the nations through education, science and
culture in order to further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and
fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex,
language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations",
Recognizing that, more than three decades after the founding of UNESCO, these principles are just as
significant as they were when they were embodied in its Constitution,
Mindful of the process of decolonization and other historical changes which have led most of the
peoples formerly under foreign rule to recover their sovereignty, making the international community a
universal and diversified whole and creating new opportunities of eradicating the scourge of racism and
of putting an end to its odious manifestations in all aspects of social and political life, both nationally
and internationally,
Convinced that the essential unity of the human race and consequently the fundamental equality of all
human beings and all peoples, recognized in the loftiest expressions of philosophy, morality and
religion, reflect an ideal towards which ethics and science are converging today,
Convinced that all peoples and all human groups, whatever their composition or ethnic origin,
contribute according to their own genius to the progress of the civilizations and cultures which, in their
plurality and as a result of their interpenetration, constitute the common heritage of mankind,
Confirming its attachment to the principles proclaimed in the United Nations Charter and the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and its determination to promote the implementation of the International
Covenants on Human Rights as well as the Declaration on the Establishment of a New International
Economic Order,
Determined also to promote the implementation of the United Nations Declaration and the
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,
Noting the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the International
Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid and the Convention on the
Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity,
Recalling also the international instruments already adopted by UNESCO, including in particular the
Convention and Recommendation against Discrimination in Education, the Recommendation concerning
the Status of Teachers, the Declaration of the Principles of International Cultural Co-operation, the
Recommendation concerning Education for International Understanding, Co-operation and Peace and
Education relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the Recommendations on the Status
of Scientific Researchers, and the Recommendation on participation by the people at large in cultural
life and their contribution to it,
Bearing in mind the four statements on the race question adopted by experts convened by UNESCO,
2
Reaffirming its desire to play a vigorous and constructive part in the implementation of the programme
of the Decade for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination, as defined by the General
Assembly of the United Nations at its twenty-eighth session,
Noting with the gravest concern that racism, racial discrimination, colonialism and apartheid continue
to afflict the world in ever-changing forms, as a result both of the continuation of legislative provisions
and government and administrative practices contrary to the principles of human rights and also of the
continued existence of political and social structures, and of relationships and attitudes, characterized
by injustice and contempt for human beings and leading to the exclusion, humiliation and exploitation,
or to the forced assimilation, of the members of disadvantaged groups,
Expressing its indignation at these offences against human dignity, deploring the obstacles they place
in the way of mutual understanding between peoples and alarmed at the danger of their seriously
disturbing international peace and security,
Adopts and solemnly proclaims this Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice:
Article 1
1. All human beings belong to a single species and are descended from a common stock. They are
born equal in dignity and rights and all form an integral part of humanity.
2. All individuals and groups have the right to be different, to consider themselves as different and to
be regarded as such. However, the diversity of life styles and the right to be different may not, in any
circumstances, serve as a pretext for racial prejudice; they may not justify either in law or in fact any
discriminatory practice whatsoever, nor provide a ground for the policy of apartheid , which is the
extreme form of racism.
3. Identity of origin in no way affects the fact that human beings can and may live differently, nor does
it preclude the existence of differences based on cultural, environmental and historical diversity nor the
right to maintain cultural identity.
4. All peoples of the world possess equal faculties for attaining the highest level in intellectual,
technical, social, economic, cultural and political development.
5. The differences between the achievements of the different peoples are entirely attributable to
geographical, historical, political, economic, social and cultural factors. Such differences can in no case
serve as a pretext for any rank-ordered classification of nations or peoples.
Article 2
1. Any theory which involves the claim that racial or ethnic groups are inherently superior or inferior,
thus implying that some would be entitled to dominate or eliminate others, presumed to be inferior, or
which bases value judgements on racial differentiation, has no scientific foundation and is contrary to
the moral and ethical principles of humanity.
2. Racism includes racist ideologies, prejudiced attitudes, discriminatory behaviour, structural
arrangements and institutionalized practices resulting in racial inequality as well as the fallacious
notion that discriminatory relations between groups are morally and scientifically justifiable; it is
reflected in discriminatory provisions in legislation or regulations and discriminatory practices as well
as in anti-social beliefs and acts; it hinders the development of its victims, perverts those who practise
it, divides nations internally, impedes international co-operation and gives rise to political tensions
between peoples; it is contrary to the fundamental principles of international law and, consequently,
seriously disturbs international peace and security.
3. Racial prejudice, historically linked with inequalities in power, reinforced by economic and social
differences between individuals and groups, and still seeking today to justify such inequalities, is
totally without justification.
3
Article 3
Any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, ethnic or national origin or
religious intolerance motivated by racist considerations, which destroys or compromises the sovereign
equality of States and the right of peoples to self-determination, or which limits in an arbitrary or
discriminatory manner the right of every human being and group to full development is incompatible
with the requirements of an international order which is just and guarantees respect for human rights;
the right to full development implies equal access to the means of personal and collective
advancement and fulfilment in a climate of respect for the values of civilizations and cultures, both
national and world-wide.
Article 4
1. Any restriction on the complete self-fulfilment of human beings and free communication between
them which is based on racial or ethnic considerations is contrary to the principle of equality in dignity
and rights; it cannot be admitted.
2. One of the most serious violations of this principle is represented by apartheid , which, like
genocide, is a crime against humanity, and gravely disturbs international peace and security.
3. Other policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination constitute crimes against the
conscience and dignity of mankind and may lead to political tensions and gravely endanger
international peace and security.
Article 5
1. Culture, as a product of all human beings and a common heritage of mankind, and education in its
broadest sense, offer men and women increasingly effective means of adaptation, enabling them not
only to affirm that they are born equal in dignity and rights, but also to recognize that they should
respect the right of all groups to their own cultural identity and the development of their distinctive
cultural life within the national and international contexts, it being understood that it rests with each
group to decide in complete freedom on the maintenance, and, if appropriate, the adaptation or
enrichment of the values which it regards as essential to its identity.
2. States, in accordance with their constitutional principles and procedures, as well as all other
competent authorities and the entire teaching profession, have a responsibility to see that the
educational resources of all countries are used to combat racism, more especially by ensuring that
curricula and textbooks include scientific and ethical considerations concerning human unity and
diversity and that no invidious distinctions are made with regard to any people; by training teachers to
achieve these ends; by making the resources of the educational system available to all groups of the
population without racial restriction or discrimination; and by taking appropriate steps to remedy the
handicaps from which certain racial or ethnic groups suffer with regard to their level of education and
standard of living and in particular to prevent such handicaps from being passed on to children.
3. The mass media and those who control or serve them, as well as all organized groups within
national communities, are urged-with due regard to the principles embodied in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, particularly the principle of freedom of expression-to promote
understanding, tolerance and friendship among individuals and groups and to contribute to the
eradication of racism, racial discrimination and racial prejudice, in particular by refraining from
presenting a stereotyped, partial, unilateral or tendentious picture of individuals and of various human
groups. Communication between racial and ethnic groups must be a reciprocal process, enabling them
to express themselves and to be fully heard without let or hindrance. The mass media should therefore
be freely receptive to ideas of individuals and groups which facilitate such communication.
Article 6
1. The State has prime responsibility for ensuring human rights and fundamental freedoms on an
entirely equal footing in dignity and rights for all individuals and all groups.
4
2. So far as its competence extends and in accordance with its constitutional principles and
procedures, the State should take all appropriate steps, inter alia by legislation, particularly in the
spheres of education, culture and communication, to prevent, prohibit and eradicate racism, racist
propaganda, racial segregation and apartheid and to encourage the dissemination of knowledge and
the findings of appropriate research in natural and social sciences on the causes and prevention of
racial prejudice and racist attitudes, with due regard to the principles embodied in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
3. Since laws proscribing racial discrimination are not in themselves sufficient, it is also incumbent on
States to supplement them by administrative machinery for the systematic investigation of instances
of racial discrimination, by a comprehensive framework of legal remedies against acts of racial
discrimination, by broadly based education and research programmes designed to combat racial
prejudice and racial discrimination and by programmes of positive political, social, educational and
cultural measures calculated to promote genuine mutual respect among groups. Where circumstances
warrant, special programmes should be undertaken to promote the advancement of disadvantaged
groups and, in the case of nationals, to ensure their effective participation in the decision-making
processes of the community.
Article 7
In addition to political, economic and social measures, law is one of the principal means of ensuring
equality in dignity and rights among individuals, and of curbing any propaganda, any form of
organization or any practice which is based on ideas or theories referring to the alleged superiority of
racial or ethnic groups or which seeks to justify or encourage racial hatred and discrimination in any
form. States should adopt such legislation as is appropriate to this end and see that it is given effect
and applied by all their services, with due regard to the principles embodied in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights. Such legislation should form part of a political, economic and social
framework conducive to its implementation. Individuals and other legal entities, both public and
private, must conform with such legislation and use all appropriate means to help the population as a
whole to understand and apply it.
Article 8
1. Individuals, being entitled to an economic, social, cultural and legal order, on the national and
international planes, such as to allow them to exercise all their capabilities on a basis of entire equality
of rights and opportunities, have corresponding duties towards their fellows, towards the society in
which they live and towards the international community. They are accordingly under an obligation to
promote harmony among the peoples, to combat racism and racial prejudice and to assist by every
means available to them in eradicating racial discrimination in all its forms.
2. In the field of racial prejudice and racist attitudes and practices, specialists in natural and social
sciences and cultural studies, as well as scientific organizations and associations, are called upon to
undertake objective research on a wide interdisciplinary basis; all States should encourage them to
this end.
3. It is, in particular, incumbent upon such specialists to ensure, by all means available to them, that
their research findings are not misinterpreted, and also that they assist the public in understanding
such findings.
Article 9
1. The principle of the equality in dignity and rights of all human beings and all peoples, irrespective of
race, colour and origin, is a generally accepted and recognized principle of international law.
Consequently any form of racial discrimination practised by a State constitutes a violation of
international law giving rise to its international responsibility.
2. Special measures must be taken to ensure equality in dignity and rights for individuals and groups
wherever necessary, while ensuring that they are not such as to appear racially discriminatory. In this
respect, particular attention should be paid to racial or ethnic groups which are socially or economically
5
disadvantaged, so as to afford them, on a completely equal footing and without discrimination or
restriction, the protection of the laws and regulations and the advantages of the social measures in
force, in particular in regard to housing, employment and health; to respect the authenticity of their
culture and values; and to facilitate their social and occupational advancement, especially through
education.
3. Population groups of foreign origin, particularly migrant workers and their families who contribute to
the development of the host country, should benefit from appropriate measures designed to afford
them security and respect for their dignity and cultural values and to facilitate their adaptation to the
host environment and their professional advancement with a view to their subsequent reintegration in
their country of origin and their contribution to its development; steps should be taken to make it
possible for their children to be taught their mother tongue.
4. Existing disequilibria in international economic relations contribute to the exacerbation of racism and
racial prejudice; all States should consequently endeavour to contribute to the restructuring of the
international economy on a more equitable basis.
Article 10
International organizations, whether universal or regional, governmental or non-governmental, are
called upon to co-operate and assist, so far as their respective fields of competence and means allow,
in the full and complete implementation of the principles set out in this Declaration, thus contributing
to the legitimate struggle of all men, born equal in dignity and rights, against the tyranny and
oppression of racism, racial segregation, apartheid and genocide, so that all the peoples of the world
may be forever delivered from these scourges.

Proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 3318 (XXIX)
of 14 December 1974
The General Assembly ,
Having considered the recommendation of the Economic and Social Council contained in its
resolution 1861 (LVI) of 16 May 1974,
Expressing its deep concern over the sufferings of women and children belonging to the
civilian population who in periods of emergency and armed conflict in the struggle for peace,
self-determination, national liberation and independence are too often the victims of inhuman
acts and consequently suffer serious harm,
Aware of the suffering of women and children in many areas of the world, especially in those
areas subject to suppression, aggression, colonialism, racism, alien domination and foreign
subjugation,
Deeply concerned by the fact that, despite general and unequivocal condemnation,
colonialism, racism and alien and foreign domination continue to subject many peoples under
their yoke, cruelly suppressing the national liberation movements and inflicting heavy losses
and incalculable sufferings on the populations under their domination, including women and
children,
Deploring the fact that grave attacks are still being made on fundamental freedoms and the
dignity of the human person and that colonial and racist foreign domination Powers continue
to violate international humanitarian law,
Recalling the relevant provisions contained in the instruments of international humanitarian
law relative to the protection of women and children in time of peace and war,
Recalling , among other important documents, its resolutions 2444 (XXIII) of 19 December
1968, 2597 (XXIV) of 16 December 1969 and 2674 (XXV) and 2675 (XXV) of 9 December
1970, on respect for human rights and on basic principles for the protection of civilian
populations in armed conflicts, as well as Economic and Social Council resolution 1515 (XLVIII)
of 28 May 1970 in which the Council requested the General Assembly to consider the
possibility of drafting a declaration on the protection of women and children in emergency or
wartime,
Conscious of its responsibility for the destiny of the rising generation and for the destiny of
mothers, who play an important role in society, in the family and particularly in the upbringing
of children,
Bearing in mind the need to provide special protection of women and children belonging to the
civilian population,
Solemnly proclaims this Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency
and Armed Conflict and calls for the strict observance of the Declaration by all Member States:
1. Attacks and bombings on the civilian population, inflicting incalculable suffering, especially
on women and children, who are the most vulnerable members of the population, shall be
prohibited, and such acts shall be condemned.
2
2. The use of chemical and bacteriological weapons in the course of military operations
constitutes one of the most flagrant violations of the Geneva Protocol of 1925, the Geneva
Conventions of 1949 and the principles of international humanitarian law and inflicts heavy
losses on civilian populations, including defenceless women and children, and shall be severely
condemned.
3. All States shall abide fully by their obligations under the Geneva Protocol of 1925 and the
Geneva Conventions of 1949, as well as other instruments of international law relative to
respect for human rights in armed conflicts, which offer important guarantees for the
protection of women and children.
4. All efforts shall be made by States involved in armed conflicts, military operations in foreign
territories or military operations in territories still under colonial domination to spare women
and children from the ravages of war. All the necessary steps shall be taken to ensure the
prohibition of measures such as persecution, torture, punitive measures, degrading treatment
and violence, particularly against that part of the civilian population that consists of women
and children.
5. All forms of repression and cruel and inhuman treatment of women and children, including
imprisonment, torture, shooting, mass arrests, collective punishment, destruction of dwellings
and forcible eviction, committed by belligerents in the course of military operations or in
occupied territories shall be considered criminal.
6. Women and children belonging to the civilian population and finding themselves in
circumstances of emergency and armed conflict in the struggle for peace, self-determination,
national liberation and independence, or who live in occupied territories, shall not be deprived
of shelter, food, medical aid or other inalienable rights, in accordance with the provisions of
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Declaration of
the Rights of the Child or other instruments of international law.

Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious
and Linguistic Minorities
Adopted in New York 18 December 1992
(GA resolution 47/135)
The General Assembly,
Reaffirming that one of the main purposes of
the United Nations, as proclaimed in the
Charter of the United Nations, is to achieve
international cooperation in promoting and
encouraging respect for human rights and
for fundamental freedoms for all without
distinction as to race, sex, language or religion,
Noting the importance of the even more
effective implementation of international
human rights instruments with regard to the
rights of persons belonging to national or
ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities,
Welcoming the increased attention given by
human rights treaty bodies to the nondiscrimination
and protection of minorities,
Aware of the provisions of article 27 of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights 1 concerning the rights of persons
belonging to ethnic, religious or linguistic
minorities,
Considering that the United Nations has an
increasingly important role to play regarding
the protection of minorities,
Bearing in mind the work done so far within
the United Nations system, in particular
through the relevant mechanisms of the
Commission on Human Rights and the Subcommission
on Prevention of Discrimination
and Protection of Minorities, in promoting
and protecting the rights of persons
belonging to national or ethnic, religious and
linguistic minorities,
Recognizing the important achievements in
this regard in regional, subregional and bilateral
frameworks, which can provide a useful
source of inspiration for future United Nations
activities,
Stressing the need to ensure for all, without
discrimination of any kind, full enjoyment
1 See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
and exercise of human rights and fundamental
freedoms, and emphasizing the importance
of the draft Declaration on the Rights
of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic,
Religious and Linguistic Minorities in that
regard,
Recalling its resolution 46/115 of 17 December
1991 and taking note of Commission
on Human Rights resolution 1992/16
of 21 February 1992,2 by which the Commission
approved the text of the draft declaration
on the rights of persons belonging to
national or ethnic, religious and linguistic
minorities, and Economic and Social Council
resolution 1992/4 of 20 July 1992, in
which the Council recommended it to the
General Assembly for adoption and further
action,
Having considered the note by the Secretary-
General,3
1. Adopts the Declaration on the Rights of
Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic,
Religious and Linguistic Minorities, the
text of which is annexed to the present
resolution;
2. Requests the Secretary-General to ensure
the distribution of the Declaration as
widely as possible and to include the text
of the Declaration in the next edition of
Human Rights: A Compilation o f International
Instruments;
3. Invites United Nations agencies and organizations
and intergovernmental and
non-governmental organizations to intensify
their efforts with a view to disseminating
information on the Declaration
and to promoting understanding thereof;
4. Invites the relevant organs and bodies of
the United Nations, including treaty bodies,
as well as representatives of the
2 See Official Records of the Economic and Social Council,
1992. Supplement No. 2 (E/1992/22), chap. II, sect. A.
3 A/47/501.
DECLARATION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS BELONGING TO NATIONAL OR ETHNIC, RELIGIOUS
AND LINGUISTIC MINORITIES
2
Commission on Human Rights and the
Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination
and Protection of Minorities,
to give due regard to the Declaration
within their mandates;
5. Requests the Secretary-General to consider
appropriate ways for the effective promotion
of the Declaration and to make proposals
thereon;
6. Also requests the Secretary-General to report
to the General Assembly at its fortyeighth
session on the implementation of
the present resolution under the item entitled
»Human rights questions».
92nd plenary meeting
18 December 1992
The General Assembly,
Reaffirming that one of the basic aims of the
United Nations, as proclaimed in the Charter,
is to promote and encourage respect for
human rights and for fundamental freedoms
for all, without distinction as to race, sex,
language or religion,
Reaffirming faith in fundamental human
rights, in the dignity and worth of the human
person, in the equal rights of men and
women and of nations large and small,
Desiring to promote the realization of the
principles contained in the Charter, the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, 4 the
convention on the Prevention and Punishment
of the Crime of Genocide,5 the International
Convention on the Elimination of
All Forms of Racial Discrimination, 6 the
International Covenant on Civil and political
Rights,7 the International Covenant on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights,8 the Declaration
on the Elimination of All Forms of
Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on
Religion or Belief,9 and the Convention on
the Rights of the Child,10 as well as other
4 Resolution 217 A (III).
5 Resolution 260 A (III), annex.
6 Resolution 2106 A (XX), annex.
7 See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
8 See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
9 Resolution 36/55.
10 Resolution 44/25, annex.
relevant international instruments that have
been adopted at the universal or regional
level and those concluded between individual
States Members of the United Nations,
Inspired by the provisions of article 27 of
the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights concerning the rights of persons
belonging to ethnic, religious or linguistic
minorities,
Considering that the promotion and protection
of the rights of persons belonging to
national or ethnic, religious and linguistic
minorities contribute to the political and
social stability of States in which they live,
Emphasizing that the constant promotion
and realization of the rights of persons belonging
to national or ethnic, religious and
linguistic minorities, as an integral part of
the development of society as a whole and
within a democratic framework based on the
rule of law, would contribute to the
strengthening of friendship and cooperation
among peoples and States,
Considering that the United Nations has an
important role to play regarding the protection
of minorities,
Bearing in mind the work done so far within
the United Nations system, in particular by
the Commission on Human Rights, the Subcommission
on Prevention of Discrimination
and Protection of Minorities and the
bodies established pursuant to the International
Covenants on Human Rights 11 and
other relevant international human rights
instruments in promoting and protecting the
rights of persons belonging to national or
ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities,
Taking into account the important work
which is done by intergovernmental and
non-governmental organizations in protecting
minorities and in promoting and protecting
the rights of persons belonging to national
or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities,
Recognizing the need to ensure even more
effective implementation of international
human rights instruments with regard to the
rights of persons belonging to national or
ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities,
11 See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
DECLARATION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS BELONGING TO NATIONAL OR ETHNIC, RELIGIOUS
AND LINGUISTIC MINORITIES
3
Proclaims this Declaration on the Rights of
Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic,
Religious and Linguistic Minorities:
Article 1
1. States shall protect the existence and the
national or ethnic, cultural, religious and
linguistic identity of minorities within
their respective territories and shall encourage
conditions for the promotion of
that identity.
2. States shall adopt appropriate legislative
and other measures to achieve those
ends.
Article 2
1. Persons belonging to national or ethnic,
religious and linguistic minorities (hereinafter
referred to as persons belonging to
minorities) have the right to enjoy their
own culture, to profess and practise their
own religion, and to use their own language,
in private and in public, freely and
without interference or any form of discrimination.
2. Persons belonging to minorities have the
right to participate effectively in cultural,
religious, social, economic and public life.
3. Persons belonging to minorities have the
right to participate effectively in decisions
on the national and, where appropriate,
regional level concerning the minority to
which they be long or the regions in
which they live, in a manner not incompatible
with national legislation.
4. Persons belonging to minorities have the
right to establish and maintain their own
associations.
5. Persons belonging to minorities have the
right to establish and maintain, without
any discrimination, free and peaceful contacts
with other members of their group
and with persons belonging to other minorities,
as well as contacts across frontiers
with citizens of other States to
whom they are related by national or ethnic,
religious or linguistic ties.
Article 3
1. Persons belonging to minorities may exercise
their rights, including those set forth
in the present Declaration, individually as
well as in community with other members
of their group, without any discrimination.
2. No disadvantage shall result for any person
belonging to a minority as the consequence
of the exercise or non-exercise of
the rights set forth in the present Declaration.
Article 4
1. States shall take measures where required
to ensure that persons belonging to minorities
may exercise fully and effectively
all their human rights and fundamental
freedoms without any discrimination and
in full equality before the law.
2. States shall take measures to create favourable
conditions to enable persons belonging
to minorities to express their
characteristics and to develop their culture,
language, religion, traditions and
customs, except where specific practices
are in violation of national law and contrary
to international standards.
3. States should take appropriate measures
so that, wherever possible, persons belonging
to minorities may have adequate
opportunities to learn their mother
tongue or to have instruction in their
mother tongue.
4. States should, where appropriate, take
measures in the field of education, in order
to encourage knowledge of the history,
traditions, language and culture of
the minorities existing within their territory.
Persons belonging to minorities
should have adequate opportunities to
gain knowledge of the society as a whole.
5. States should consider appropriate measures
so that persons belonging to minorities
may participate fully in the economic
progress and development in their country.
Article 5
1. National policies and programmes shall be
planned and implemented with due regard
for the legitimate interests of persons
belonging to minorities.
2. Programmes of cooperation and assistance
among States should be planned
DECLARATION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS BELONGING TO NATIONAL OR ETHNIC, RELIGIOUS
AND LINGUISTIC MINORITIES
4
and implemented with due regard for the
legitimate interests of persons belonging
to minorities.
Article 6
States should cooperate on questions relating
to persons belonging to minorities, inter
alia, exchanging information and experiences,
in order to promote mutual understanding
and confidence.
Article 7
States should cooperate in order to promote
respect for the rights set forth in the present
Declaration.
Article 8
1. Nothing in the present Declaration shall
prevent the fulfilment of international
obligations of States in relation to persons
belonging to minorities. In particular
States shall fulfil in good faith the obligations
and commitments they have assumed
under international treaties and
agreements to which they are parties.
2. The exercise of the rights set forth in the
present Declaration shall not prejudice
the enjoyment by all persons of universally
recognized human rights and fundamental
freedoms.
3. Measures taken by States to ensure the
effective enjoyment of the rights set forth
in the present Declaration shall not prima
facie be considered contrary to the principle
of equality contained in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights.
4. Nothing in the present Declaration may
be construed as permitting any activity
contrary to the purposes and principles of
the United Nations, including sovereign
equality, territorial integrity and political
independence of States.
Article 9
The specialized agencies and other organizations
of the United Nations system shall
contribute to the full realization of the rights
and principles set forth in the present Declaration,
within their respective fields of competence.

By Djamchid Momtaz
Professor, University of Teheran
Former Chairman of the International Law Commission
At the conclusion of the first International Conference on Human Rights, held in
Teheran from 22 April to 13 May 1968 at the invitation of the United Nations General
Assembly (resolution 2081 (XX) of 20 December 1965), the representatives of the 120
participating States adopted the Proclamation of Teheran by consensus. It was annexed to
the Final Act of the Conference (A/CONF.32/41) and endorsed that same year by the
General Assembly in its resolution 2442 (XXIII) of 19 December 1968. The Proclamation
assessed progress achieved since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights on 10 December 1948 and set forth a plan of action for the future.
The assertion, at the beginning of the Proclamation, that the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights “constitutes an obligation for the members of the
international community” (para. 2) did little to settle the dispute over the Declaration’s
legal standing. Certainly, the statement bolstered the position of those who, at the time,
wanted the Declaration to be treated as an authentic interpretation of the human rights
provisions of the Charter of the United Nations. It appears that the drafters of the
Proclamation were aware of the position taken in that regard a few months earlier in the
Montreal Statement of the Assembly for Human Rights, which was adopted on 27 March
1968 by a group of experts gathered in Montreal at the initiative of Louis Bruno Sohn.
The Proclamation took the same approach to the Declaration on the Granting of
Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (General Assembly resolution 1514
(XV) of 14 December 1960), asserting that States should “conform” to it (para. 3).
While recognizing that since the adoption of the Declaration, substantial progress
had been made in defining standards for the enjoyment and protection of human rights,
the Proclamation recognized that much remained to be done to ensure the genuine
exercise of those rights. Two key areas were the eradication of apartheid and
decolonization (paras. 7 and 9). The Proclamation appeared to assign greater importance
to combating apartheid, which it described as a crime against humanity, echoing the
position taken two years earlier by the General Assembly in its resolution 2202 A (XXI)
of 16 December 1966. It went on to state that “the struggle against apartheid is recognized
as legitimate” (para. 7). The exact meaning of this statement is unclear. Short of
interpreting it as justifying a potential recourse to armed force, it can only be regarded as
an expression of support for the various activities conducted by United Nations organs in
the context of the struggle against apartheid.
However, when it came to the ongoing struggle to put an end to the colonial
powers’ policies that prevented indigenous peoples from exercising their right to selfdetermination,
the Proclamation lagged strangely behind the positions taken by the
General Assembly. It chose not to reiterate the Assembly’s characterization of the
violation of the economic and political rights of colonial peoples as a crime against
humanity (resolution 2184 (XXI) of 12 December 1966). Similarly, while the Assembly
had recognized “the legitimacy of the struggle by peoples under colonial rule” (resolution
2105 (XX) of 20 December 1965), the Proclamation made no mention of that issue.
Economic underdevelopment was cited, along with discrimination on the basis of
race, religion or belief, as an impediment to the full realization of human rights (paras. 11
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2
and 12). The question of the economic basis of human rights was a matter of some
concern at the Teheran conference. A study devoted to the subject (A/CONF.32/2) was
the basis for the adoption by that Conference of resolution XVII, entitled “Economic
Development and Human Rights”. The main idea behind this resolution, that human
rights are indivisible and that the full realization of civil and political rights without the
enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights is impossible, is echoed in the
Proclamation (para. 13). The idea of the indivisibility of human rights remains
controversial along lines that reflect the North-South ideological divide, with the
emphasis placed by the poorest States on the right to economic development viewed by
opponents as an obstacle to progress in the field of human rights.
The future plan of action envisaged in the Proclamation emphasized protection
of the most vulnerable, in particular illiterate persons and women. The Proclamation
pronounced the existence of over 700 million illiterates an “enormous obstacle” to all
efforts at realizing the aims and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations and the
provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and called for urgent
international action aimed at eradicating the scourge of illiteracy (para. 14). To this day,
the international community has not put forward an adequate response to this problem.
The Proclamation devoted two paragraphs to women’s rights. One maintains that
an inferior status for women is contrary to the Charter of the United Nations and the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (para. 15). In what was unquestionably a first, the
Proclamation also recognized the basic right of parents “to determine freely and
responsibly the number and the spacing of their children” (para. 16), implicitly
recognizing the right of women to terminate a pregnancy that is at the root of national
family planning policies.
Lastly, the Proclamation of Teheran heralded the emergence of third-generation
human rights, later called “solidarity rights”. Specifically, it mentions the right to peace,
noting that aggression and armed conflict produce massive denials of human rights and
that it is the obligation of the international community to cooperate in eradicating such
scourges (para. 10). It is in this context that we must place the Proclamation’s assertion
that scientific and technological progress may endanger the rights and freedoms of
individuals (para. 18). The experience of the two world wars had shown that scientific
discoveries had helped develop weapons of enormous destructive capacity. Thus, the
Proclamation stated that “general and complete disarmament is one of the highest
aspirations of all peoples” and that human and material resources devoted to military
purposes should be used for the promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms
(para. 19).
Despite its many innovations, the Proclamation of Teheran aroused little interest
within the United Nations system. The General Assembly has never made reference to it
except in its resolution 33/165 of 20 December 1978 on the status of persons refusing
service in military or police forces used to enforce apartheid. Of the human rights
monitoring bodies, it appears that only the Sub-Commission on Prevention of
Discrimination and Protection of Minorities has ever mentioned it, citing the Proclamation
in its condemnation of Pakistan’s 28 April 1984 Ordinance declaring the practices of the
Ahmadi community to be apostasy. The Sub-Commission deemed that Ordinance to be a
flagrant violation of the right to freedom of conscience and religion (Sub-Commission on
Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities resolution 1985/21 of 29
August 1985 (E/CN.4/1986/5)) recognized in the Proclamation of Teheran.
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Related Materials
A. Documents
General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960 (Declaration on the
Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples)
General Assembly resolution 2081 (XX) of 20 December 1965 (International Year of
Human Rights)
General Assembly resolution 2105 (XX) of 20 December 1965 (Implementation of the
Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples)
General Assembly resolution 2184 (XXI) of 12 December 1966 (Question of territories
under Portuguese administration)
General Assembly resolution 2202 A (XXI) of 16 December 1966 (The policies of
apartheid of the government of the republic of South Africa)
General Assembly resolution 2442 (XXIII) of 19 December 1968 (International
Conference on Human Rights)
General Assembly resolution 33/165 of 20 December 1978 (Status of persons refusing
Service in Military or Police forces used to enforce apartheid)
Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities resolution
1985/21 of 29 August 1985 (The situation in Pakistan), reproduced in the Report of the
Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities on its
thirty-eighth session (E/CN.4/1986/5)
B. Doctrine
United Nations Action in the Field of Human Rights, New York, United Nations, 1974.
René Cassin, « Droits de l’homme et méthode comparative », Revue de droit international
comparé, vol. 20, 1968, pp. 449-492.
Jo M. Pasqualucci, Louis Sohn: “Grandfather of International Human Rights Law in the
United States”, Human Rights Quarterly, vol. 20, 1998, pp. 924-944.

By Edward McWhinney
Professor of international law
The Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 14 December 1960. The deliberate location of the United Nations vote – in the General Assembly rather than in the Security Council where a permanent member’s veto would always be available to any one or more of the three permanent members that still had “colonial” legal ties or associations – was an obvious enough choice for the political activist States sponsoring resolution 1514 (XV). And the timing of the vote – in 1960, when the decolonisation process was already well under way – was hardly fortuitous. A working majority in favour of a patently anti-colonialist measure would not become politically possible until the General Assembly’s transformation from its original very narrow base of representation limited to the States members of the victorious wartime Alliance against Fascism to something more nearly reflective in cultural and ideological terms of the world community at large. By 1960, this had begun to be achieved, albeit on an intermittent, or casual, step-by-step basis, over the decade and a half from War’s end. The numerical breakthrough had occurred as late as 1955, when 16 new States had been admitted in one big step to membership, bringing the total to 76. In 1960 itself, 19 new States had been admitted, sealing the emergence of what became, in Cold War terms, a neutralist or uncommitted, majority voting coalition variously styled as the Non-Aligned bloc, the Group of 77, the Bandoeng group, the Developing or Third World countries. It was this informal electoral alliance, that provided the intellectual cohesiveness and also the political-tactical competence to secure the adoption of resolution 1514 (XV) without a single expressed dissent in the General Assembly.
Why a Declaration, and not something with more obvious and immediate concrete political and legal consequences? The answer must be that it was partly tactical, to convert potential negative votes in the General Assembly into softer, legally ineffective abstentions. But it also has something to do with the patently French civiliste, legal-systemic influences on its styling and drafting. The paradigm-model for resolution 1514 (XV) must be the great French Déclaration des droits de l’homme et du citoyen (Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen) of 1789. Resolution 1514 (XV), like that historical example, is short and succinct, and written in clear, non-technical, often poetic language.
In the end, the persuasiveness, in both political and legal terms, of resolution 1514 (XV) as Declaration must rest upon its claims to be an authoritative, interpretive gloss upon the Charter of the United Nations as originally written, amplifying and extending the Charter’s original historical imperatives so as to encompass the new historical reality of the post-World War II international society of the drives for access to full sovereignty and independence of erstwhile subject-peoples, in an emerging new, culturally inclusive, representative, pluralist world community.
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In its substantive law stipulations, the Declaration postulates what may be described
as ordering principles, intended to guide the progressive development of international law
in accordance with the General Assembly’s own explicit mandate under Article 13,
paragraph 1 (a), of the Charter of the United Nations:
– that the subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation
constitutes a denial of fundamental human rights (art. 1);
– that all peoples have the right to self-determination, but that this necessarily
includes the right freely to determine their political status and freely to pursue their
economic, social and cultural development (art. 2);
– that all armed action or repressive measures of all kinds directed against
dependent peoples shall cease (art. 4);
– that immediate steps shall be taken, in United Nations Trust and Non-Self-
Governing Territories or all other territories which have not yet attained
independence, to transfer all powers to the peoples of those territories (art. 5).
And there is the warning, in the premonition of possible future post-decolonisation
conflicts (as, at the time, in the former Belgian Congo), against any attempt aimed at the
partial or total disruption of the national unity and the territorial integrity of a (postdecolonisation)
country (art. 6); and as to the obligation of all States to observe the Charter
of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as to equality and
non-interference in the internal affairs of all States, and respect for the sovereign rights of
all peoples and their territorial integrity (art. 7).
The Declaration’s subsequent history, as a call for legislative activism – affirmative
action – within the General Assembly (and, if politically opportune, within the Security
Council) and certainly also for parallel initiatives in other coordinate United Nations
institutions and agencies (the International Court of Justice in particular), has helped in a
process of elevating the Declaration’s claimed juridical status to the rank of imperative
principles of international law (jus cogens), binding, as such, on the United Nations as
authoritative interpretation of the Charter’s norms and entering into general international
law in the result.
The Declaration was at the core of Security Council and General Assembly
legislative initiatives that provided a legal base for reference to the International Court of
Justice for Advisory Opinion in Namibia in 1971. The Declaration is also reflected, in its
full spirit, in the International Court’s Advisory Opinion ruling on Western Sahara in
1975.
In the immediate political context of the drafting and the diplomatic lobbying
leading on to its adoption, the Declaration was generally understood as being directed to
“salt-water” Colonialism – occupation of the lands and territories of indigenous, native or
aboriginal peoples, in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, who were physically separated by
the oceans from their colonial Powers. There is nothing in the language or the spirit of
resolution 1514 (XV) inhibiting its legal extension to situations involving relations
between European colonial Powers and other European or European-derived peoples
overseas. In a major ruling, the International Court of Justice, being seised of a legal
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complaint of military and paramilitary support by the United States Government for forces
from outside Nicaragua attempting to overthrow Nicaragua’s elected government, may
have come close in its strong judicial majorities to making such a connection.
Within the General Assembly itself, the Declaration gave birth immediately to
further legislative acts whose ties of consanguinity to resolution 1514 (XV) are clear:
resolution 1515 (XV) of 15 December 1960, on the sovereign right of States to dispose of
their own wealth and natural resources and resolution 1803 (XVII) of 14 December 1962,
on States’ permanent sovereignty over those natural resources. The further Declaration on
the Establishment of a New International Economic Order and the related Programme of
Action (resolutions 3201 (S-VI) and 3202 (S-VI) of 1 May 1974), and the Charter of
Economic Rights and Duties of States (resolution 3281 (XXIX) of 12 December 1974) are
demonstrations of the prophetic quality of resolution 1514 (XV) in providing an inevitable
legal linkage between self-determination and its goal of decolonisation, and a postulated
new international law-based right of freedom also in economic self-determination.
Collateral questions arising from resolution 1514 (XV) concern its consequences for
the continued validity in legal terms of the former territorial frontiers from the colonial era
in the post-decolonisation context. The new Organisation of African Unity had displayed,
in the early post-decolonisation period, a concern for avoiding the internecine conflicts
over territorial frontiers and the resultant pursuit by military means of “natural frontiers”.
The pragmatic conclusion was that it might be wisest for the new African States to accept,
at least for the moment, the legitimacy of their own newly-inherited territorial
demarcations even where, as very often happened, they had arbitrarily divided indigenous
peoples or “nations” belonging to distinct ethno-cultural communities. Openings in judicial
terms to the Latin American legal doctrine of uti possidetis, as in the legal discussion in
Frontier Dispute (Burkina Faso/Mali), a ruling in 1986 by a Special Chamber of the
International Court of Justice, perhaps do not take full account of that doctrine’s own
special, intrinsically regional character as a concept limited to disputes inter se of the
South American Succession States to the former Spanish and Portuguese colonial Powers.
The Badinter Commission’s attempt in 1992 to extrapolate the Latin American uti
possidetis doctrine to the international boundaries of the succession States to the Former
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia may be questioned substantively on the same
basis.
The large conclusion must be that the Declaration has essentially fulfilled its
original legislative objective of consolidating the political process, already entered upon, of
legally terminating the old Colonial Empires, and of pressing on with all deliberate speed
to successful conclusion of the process. With political and economic self-determination
now assured for the new succession States, and their control over their own natural and
other economic resources guaranteed, the way would be open to pursuing supervening,
collateral issues now being canvassed – rectification of inherited frontiers, autonomous
development of economic resources on a fully regional basis, and related regional security
questions – under other, different legal categories and in other, predominantly diplomaticlegal
arenas in aid to the General Assembly’s original great legislative act.
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Related materials
A. Jurisprudence
International Court of Justice, South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa; Liberia v.
South Africa). Second Phase, Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1966, p. 6.
International Court of Justice, Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of
South Africa in Namibia (South West Africa) notwithstanding Security Council Resolution
276 (1970), Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1971, p. 16.
International Court of Justice, Western Sahara, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1975, p.
12.
International Court of Justice, Frontier Dispute (Burkina Faso/Mali), Judgment, I.C.J.
Reports 1986, p. 554.
International Court of Justice, Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against
Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States of America), Merits, Judgment, I.C.J. Reports
1986, p. 14.
B. Doctrine
M. Bedjaoui, Terra nullius, ‘droits’ historiques et autodétérmination, The Hague: Sijthoff,
1975.
M. Bedjaoui, “Non-alignement et droit international”, Recueil des Cours, vol. 151, 1976,
p.406.
B. Boutros-Ghali, “The Arab League 1945-1970”, Revue Egyptienne de Droit
International, vol. 25, 1969, p.67.
C.J.R. Dugard, “Organisation of African Unity and Colonisation”, International and
Comparative Law Quarterly, vol. 16, 1967, pp. 157-190.
E. McWhinney, Self-Determination of Peoples and Plural-Ethnic States in Contemporary
International Law, Leiden, Boston, Martinus Nijhoff, 2007, particularly chapters 1-4.
E. McWhinney, United Nations Law Making: Cultural and Ideological Relativism and
International Law Making for an Era of Transition, Paris, UNESCO; New York, Holmes
and Meier, 1984, particularly Chapter 9 [French version: Les Nations Unies et la formation
du Droit, Paris, UNESCO, Pedone, 1986].
E. McWhinney, The World Court and the Contemporary International Law-Making
Process, Alphen aan den Rijn, Sithoff & Noordhoff, 1979, particularly Chapters 2 and 4.
M. Mushkat, “Process of Decolonisation: International Legal Aspects”, University of
Baltimore Law Review, vol. 2, 1972-1973, pp. 16-34.
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United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law
A. Zamora R. (ed.), Actividades Militares y Paramilitares en y contra Nicaragua,
(Nicaragua c. Estados Unidos), (Corte Internacional de Justicia), Managua, Nicaragua,
1999.
Copyright

Adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna on 25 June 1993
The World Conference on Human Rights ,
Considering that the promotion and protection of human rights is a matter of priority for the
international community, and that the Conference affords a unique opportunity to carry out a
comprehensive analysis of the international human rights system and of the machinery for the
protection of human rights, in order to enhance and thus promote a fuller observance of those rights,
in a just and balanced manner,
Recognizing and affirming that all human rights derive from the dignity and worth inherent in the
human person, and that the human person is the central subject of human rights and fundamental
freedoms, and consequently should be the principal beneficiary and should participate actively in the
realization of these rights and freedoms,
Reaffirming their commitment to the purposes and principles contained in the Charter of the United
Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
Reaffirming the commitment contained in Article 56 of the Charter of the United Nations to take joint
and separate action, placing proper emphasis on developing effective international cooperation for the
realization of the purposes set out in Article 55, including universal respect for, and observance of,
human rights and fundamental freedoms for all,
Emphasizing the responsibilities of all States, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations, to
develop and encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction
as to race, sex, language or religion,
Recalling the Preamble to the Charter of the United Nations, in particular the determination to reaffirm
faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, and in the equal
rights of men and women and of nations large and small,
Recalling also the determination expressed in the Preamble of the Charter of the United Nations to
save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, to establish conditions under which justice and
respect for obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained,
to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom, to practice tolerance and
good neighbourliness, and to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and
social advancement of all peoples,
Emphasizing that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which constitutes a common standard of
achievement for all peoples and all nations, is the source of inspiration and has been the basis for the
United Nations in making advances in standard setting as contained in the existing international
human rights instruments, in particular the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,
Considering the major changes taking place on the international scene and the aspirations of all the
peoples for an international order based on the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United
Nations, including promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for
all and respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, peace, democracy,
justice, equality, rule of law, pluralism, development, better standards of living and solidarity,
Deeply concerned by various forms of discrimination and violence, to which women continue to be
exposed all over the world,
Recognizing that the activities of the United Nations in the field of human rights should be rationalized
and enhanced in order to strengthen the United Nations machinery in this field and to further the
objectives of universal respect for observance of international human rights standards,
2
Having taken into account the Declarations adopted by the three regional meetings at Tunis, San José
and Bangkok and the contributions made by Governments, and bearing in mind the suggestions made
by intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as the studies prepared by
independent experts during the preparatory process leading to the World Conference on Human
Rights,
Welcoming the International Year of the World's Indigenous People 1993 as a reaffirmation of the
commitment of the international community to ensure their enjoyment of all human rights and
fundamental freedoms and to respect the value and diversity of their cultures and identities,
Recognizing also that the international community should devise ways and means to remove the
current obstacles and meet challenges to the full realization of all human rights and to prevent the
continuation of human rights violations resulting therefrom throughout the world,
Invoking the spirit of our age and the realities of our time which call upon the peoples of the world and
all States Members of the United Nations to rededicate themselves to the global task of promoting and
protecting all human rights and fundamental freedoms so as to secure full and universal enjoyment of
these rights,
Determined to take new steps forward in t