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Geneva Convention

Why is it in the news?

  • Ukraine accuses Russia of violating the Geneva Convention in the ongoing conflict.
  • Russia executed two unarmed Ukrainian soldiers who had signalled their intention to surrender.


About the Geneva Convention

  • The Geneva Conventions are a set of treaties and protocols established to guide countries during wartime.
  • Objective is to protect individuals not participating in the fighting (civilians, medics, aid workers) and those unable to fight (wounded, sick, shipwrecked troops, prisoners of war).

Four Geneva Conventions (1949)

  • First Convention: Protection of wounded and sick soldiers on land during war.
  • Second Convention: Protection of wounded, sick, and shipwrecked military personnel at sea during war.
  • Third Convention: Applies to prisoners of war (POWs), outlining humane treatment during captivity.
  • Fourth Convention: Offers protections to civilians, including those in occupied territories.


Three Additional Protocols

  • Protocol I (1977): Addresses victims in international conflicts, including wars of liberation and conflicts against racist regimes.
  • Protocol II (1977): Focuses on protecting victims in non-international armed conflicts, such as civil wars.
  • Protocol III (2005): Introduces the Red Crystal emblem, having the same international status as the Red Cross and Red Crescent emblems.


Signatories to the Geneva Convention

  • Ratified by 196 states, including all UN member states.
  • India: Signatory to the Geneva Conventions and ratified Protocol III (2005) but did not ratify Protocols I and II (1977).


Role of the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC)

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Humanitarian organization based in Geneva, Switzerland.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Mandate: Given by state parties to the Geneva Convention to protect victims of international and internal armed conflicts.


War Crimes

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Refers to grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, including wilful killing, torture, inhuman treatment, and biological experiments.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) grants jurisdiction for war crimes.

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