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The Geneva Conventions

The Geneva Conventions

Context:

The International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) requested to Indian and Chinese governments that they observe the Geneva Conventions to which both countries are signatories.

  • The committee has requested after the Galwan clash in Ladakh in June 2020.

The Geneva Conventions (1949):

  • It is an international treaty that contains the most important rules limiting the barbarity of war.
  • It protects people who do not take part in the fighting (civilians, medics, aid workers) and those who can no longer fight (wounded, sick and shipwrecked troops, prisoners of war).

Features:

  • The first Geneva Convention: It protects wounded and sick soldiers on land during the war.
  • The second Geneva Convention: It protects wounded, sick, and shipwrecked military personnel at sea during the war.
  • The third Geneva Convention: It applies to prisoners of war.
  • The fourth Geneva Convention: It affords protection to civilians, including in occupied territory.

Article 3 of Geneva Conventions:

  • This article is common to the four Geneva Conventions.
  • It covers situations of non-international armed conflicts.
    • They include traditional civil wars, internal armed conflicts that spill over into other States, or internal conflicts in which a third State or a multinational force intervenes alongside the government.

Protocols of 1977:

  • Additional to the four 1949 Geneva Conventions were adopted in 1977. They strengthen the protection of victims of international (Protocol I) and non-international (Protocol II) armed conflicts and place limits on the way wars are fought.
  • In 2005, a third Additional Protocol was adopted creating an additional emblem, the Red Crystal, which has the same international status as the Red Cross and Red Crescent emblems.

The International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC):

  • It is an international humanitarian organization established in 1863.
  • It has the mandate to monitor that signatories follow the rules in situations of conflict.
  • The ICRC operates worldwide, helping people affected by conflict and armed violence and promoting the laws that protect victims of war.
  • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.
  • The ICRC is funded mainly by voluntary donations from governments and from National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Source: Indian Express