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What is the Geneva Convention

By Anuj Cariappa
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New Delhi, Feb 27: The Geneva Convention is one of the trends on Twitter today. The Geneva Convention is and the additional protocols are set to determine how soldiers and civilians must be treated during the time of war.

The Geneva Convention also defines the rights of wartime prisoners, established protections for the wounded and sick and established protection for civilians in and around a war zone.

What is the Geneva Convention

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Although the Geneva Conventions and Additional protectors we're adopted in 1949 following the Second World War, there are four Geneva Conventions that apply to armed conflicts today.

Protocols:

The 1949 conventions have been modified with three amendment protocols:

Protocol I (1977) relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts

Protocol II (1977) relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts

Protocol III (2005) relating to the Adoption of an Additional Distinctive Emblem

In all there are 196 countries that have signed and ratified the 1949 conventions over the years. As of the year 2010, there are 170 nations that have ratified Protocol 1 and 165 Protocol II.

The Geneva Conventions:

Convention 1: This protects wounded and infirm soldiers. It also ensures humane treatment without discrimination founded on race, colour, sex, religion, faith, birth or wealth. It also prohibits from torture, assault and execution without judgment. It further entitles the right to proper medical treatment and care.

Convention 2: This is extended to shipwrecked soldiers and other naval forces. It also offers special protection to hospital ships.

Convention 3: This describes a Prisoner of War. It states that such prisoners be accorded proper treatment as specified under Convention 1. It also states that prisoners of war give only their names, ranks and serial numbers to their captors. No nation may use torture to extract information from the PoWs.

Convention 4: This accords protection to civilians from inhumane treatment and attack afforded to sick and wounded soldiers.

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