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What Is the Geneva Law

The terrible suffering Dunant saw hit him so hard that in 1862 he wrote a first-hand account entitled A Memory of Solferino. But not only did he write about what he had observed, but he also proposed a solution: all nations come together to form trained and volunteer relief groups, to treat the wounded on the battlefield, and to offer humanitarian aid to those affected by the war. The Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols constitute a body of international law, also known as the humanitarian law of armed conflict, whose purpose is to ensure minimum protection, standards of humane treatment and fundamental guarantees of respect for persons affected by armed conflict. The Geneva Conventions are a set of treaties on the treatment of civilians, prisoners of war and soldiers who are otherwise rendered hors de combat (French, literally „hors combat“) or incapable. The first convention was initiated by the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (ICRC). This convention led to a treaty designed to protect wounded and sick soldiers during the war. The Swiss government agreed to hold the conventions in Geneva, and a few years later a similar agreement was reached to protect the shipwrecked soldiers. In 1949, after the Second World War, two new conventions were added and the Geneva Conventions entered into force on 21 October 1950. Ratification has grown steadily over the decades: 74 states ratified the conventions in the 1950s, 48 states did so in the 1960s, 20 states signed in the 1970s, and another 20 states did so in the 1980s. Twenty-six countries ratified the conventions in the early 1990s, particularly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and the former Yugoslavia. Seven new ratifications since 2000 have brought the total number of States parties to 194, making the Geneva Conventions universally applicable. While the Geneva Conventions of 1949 have generally been ratified, the Additional Protocols have not. At present, 168 States are parties to Additional Protocol I and 164 States to Additional Protocol II, making the 1977 Additional Protocols one of the most widely used legal instruments in the world.

Although he played an important role in the development of the International Committee of the Red Cross, continued his work as an advocate for the war wounded and prisoners of war, and won the first Nobel Peace Prize, Dunant lived and died in near poverty. Not all offences are treated in the same way. The most serious crimes are called serious crimes and provide a legal definition of a war crime. Grave violations of the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions include the following acts when committed against a person protected by the Convention: In international law, the term Convention does not have its common meaning as an assembly of persons. Rather, it is used in diplomacy to refer to an international agreement or treaty. The new updates indicate that all prisoners will be treated with compassion and will have to live in decent conditions. It also established rules for the daily lives of prisoners and established the International Red Cross as the main neutral organization responsible for collecting and transmitting data on prisoners of war and the wounded or killed. Geneva Conventions, a series of international treaties concluded in Geneva between 1864 and 1949 to mitigate the effects of war on soldiers and civilians. Two additional protocols to the 1949 Agreement were approved in 1977. The Convention is an important step towards banning this method of warfare, which causes unnecessary injury and suffering. However, the problem is far from solved. The level of ratification is still low and with millions of mines already laid, civilians will continue to be killed or injured.

National societies have an important role to play in ensuring that the provisions of the Convention are implemented and respected at the national level. Through discussions and cooperation with their Governments, Parties may endeavour to promote the adoption of effective national legislation or other administrative measures to ensure the achievement of the objectives of the Convention. In addition, children must be well cared for and educated, and the following is prohibited: The 1949 Conventions were amended with three protocols of amendment: In the decades following the Second World War, the large number of anti-colonial and insurgent wars threatened to make the Geneva Conventions obsolete. After four years of negotiations sponsored by the Red Cross, two Additional Protocols to the 1949 Conventions were adopted in 1977, covering both combatants and civilians. The first, Protocol I, extended protection under the Geneva and Hague Conventions to persons involved in wars of „self-determination“ redefined as international conflicts. The Protocol has also made it possible to establish commissions of inquiry into alleged violations of the Convention. The second Protocol, Protocol II, extended the protection of human rights to persons involved in serious civil wars not covered by the 1949 Conventions. In particular, it prohibits collective punishment, torture, hostage-taking, acts of terrorism, slavery and „outrages upon the dignity of the person, in particular degrading and degrading treatment, rape, forced prostitution and any form of indecent assault“.

The Geneva Conventions provide for universal jurisdiction, as opposed to a more traditional (and limited) territorial jurisdiction designed to respect the sovereignty of states over their citizens. The doctrine of universal jurisdiction is based on the idea that certain crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity, torture and war crimes are so extraordinarily serious that they affect the fundamental interests of the international community as a whole. It transfers persons convicted or accused of such crimes to the jurisdiction of all signatory States, regardless of their nationality or the territoriality of their crime. This article states that certain minimum rules of war apply to armed conflicts „in which at least one party is not a State“. [37] The interpretation of the term „armed conflict“ and thus the applicability of this article are controversial. [23] For example, it would apply to conflicts between the government and rebel forces, or between two rebel forces, or to other conflicts that have all the characteristics of a war, whether or not they are fought within a country`s borders. [38] There are two criteria for distinguishing non-international armed conflicts from inferior forms of violence. The level of violence must be of a certain intensity, for example if the state cannot contain the situation with the regular police forces. In addition, participating non-state groups must have some degree of organization, such as a military command structure. [39] In October 1863, delegates from 16 countries, as well as military medical personnel, went to Geneva to discuss the terms of a wartime humanitarian agreement. This meeting and the resulting treaty, signed by 12 nations, became known as the first Geneva Convention.

The 1864 Convention was ratified in three years by all the major European powers as well as by many other states. It was amended and extended in 1906 by the Second Geneva Convention, and its provisions were applied to naval warfare by the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907. The third Geneva Convention, the Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners of War (1929), required that prisoners of war be treated humanely, provide information about them and authorize official visits by representatives of neutral States to prison camps. Some rights were considered so important that they cannot be derogated from. In the three conventions, there are four common and non-derogable rights. These include the right to life, the right to be free from torture and other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the right to be free from slavery or serfdom, and the right not to apply criminal laws retroactively. These rights are also called peremptory norms of international law or norms ius cogens. Unlike the „Hague Law“, the „Geneva Law“ is a colloquial term for a set of laws that deals primarily with the protection of victims of armed conflicts in the power of a party, i.e. non-combatants and those no longer taking part in hostilities. This body of legislation was systematically codified in the city of Geneva from 1864 with the adoption of the first Geneva Convention on the Wounded and Sick. However, Germany signed the 1929 Convention, which did not prevent it from committing horrific acts on and off the battlefield and in its military prisoner camps and civilian concentration camps during World War II. .