The Convention on the Protection of Civilians in Wartime


During wartime, certain protected persons cannot be arrested, prosecuted, or tried. These include women who have been displaced due to war, and children under the age of seven. In addition, nationals of an occupying power cannot be arrested, prosecuted, or tried for crimes committed before the occupation. However, such persons may be extradited if the crimes occurred during peacetime.

The protection of civilians is one of the main objectives of the Convention. Its provisions apply to entire populations of countries in conflict. The provisions do not discriminate on the basis of race, nationality, religion, or political opinions, but aim at alleviating the suffering of war. The provisions also specify that hospitals and safe zones may be established by Parties to the Convention.

In addition, parties to a conflict shall try to establish local agreements regarding the evacuation of civilians from areas besieged or surrounded by hostile forces. They must also respect civilian hospitals. They must ensure that civilians do not suffer unnecessary suffering. It also requires that military personnel should refrain from engaging in acts that endanger civilians.

Parties to a conflict shall apply the Convention with the assistance of the Protecting Powers. The Protecting Powers are responsible for protecting the interests of all Parties to a conflict. Each Protecting Power may appoint delegates from their nationals or from the nationals of neutral Powers to assist the Convention. These delegates shall be subject to approval by the Power with which they are to carry out their duties.

Parties shall take all appropriate measures to identify and register children and parents. They should also make arrangements for their maintenance and education. All protected persons shall not be compelled to serve in the auxiliary forces. This includes those who are under the age of five and pregnant. For the under-seven-year-old children, a special section of the Bureau is responsible.