Archive/File: imt/nca/nca-06/nca-06-3738-ps.01 Last-Modified: 1999/11/17 COPY OF DOCUMENT 3738-PS GENEVA (PRISONERS OF WAR) CONVENTION OF 27 JuLY 1929 (47 Stat. 2021; Treaty Series No. 846; Malloy, Treaties, Vol. IV, p. 5224) [Translation] CONVENTION RELATIVE TO THE TREATMENT OF PRISONERS OF WAR [Here follows the list of Sovereigns and Heads of States who sent PleniPotentiaries to the Conference.] recognizing that, in the extreme case of a war, it will be the duty of every Power to diminish, so far as possible, the unavoidable rigors thereof and to mitigate the fate of prisoners of war; desirous of developing the principles which inspired the international conventions of The Hague, in particular the Convention relative to the laws and customs of war and the Regulations annexed thereto; [Page 600] have decided to conclude a Convention to that end, and have appointed the following as their Plenipotentiaries, namely: [Here follow the names of Plenipotentiaries.] Who, after having communicated to each other their full powers, found to be in good and due form, have agreed as follows: TITLE 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS ARTICLE 1 The present Convention shall apply, without prejudice to the stipulations of Title VII: (1) To all persons mentioned in Articles 1, 2 and 3 of the Regulations annexed to the Hague Convention respecting the laws and customs of war on land, of October 18, 1907, and captured by the enemy. (2) To all persons belonging to the armed forces of belligerent parties, captured by the enemy in the course of military operations at sea or in the air, except for such derogations as might be rendered inevitable by the conditions of capture. However, such derogations shall not infringe upon the fundamental principles of the present Convention; they shall cease from the moment when the persons captured have rejoined a prisoners-of-war camp. ARTICLE 2 Prisoners of war are in the power of the hostile Power, but not of the individuals or corps who have captured them. They must at all times be humanely treated and protected, particularly against acts of violence, insults and public curiosity. Measures of reprisal against them are prohibited. ARTICLE 3 Prisoners of war have the right to have their person and their honor respected. Women shall 6e treated with all the regard due to their sex. Prisoners retain their full civil status. ARTICLE 4 The Power detaining prisoners of war is bound to provide for their maintenance. Difference in treatment among prisoners is lawful only when it is based on the military rank, state of physical or mental health, professional qualifications or sex of those who profit thereby. [Page 601] TITLE II. CAPTURE ARTICLE 5 Every prisoner of war is bound to give, if he is questioned on the subject, his true name and rank, or else his regimental number. If he infringes this rule, he is liable to have the advantages given to prisoners of his class curtailed. No coercion may be used on prisoners to secure information relative to the condition of their army or country. Prisoners who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to unpleasant or diss advantageous treatment of any kind whatever. If, because of his physical or mental condition, a prisoner is unable to identify himself, he shall be turned over to the medical corps. ARTICLE 6 All effects and objects of personal use -- except arms, horses, military equipment and military papers-shall remain in the posssession of prisoners of war, as well as metal helmets and gas masks. Money in the possession of prisoners may not be taken away from them except by order of an officer and after the amount is determined. A receipt shall be given. Money thus taken away shall be entered to the account of each prisoner. Identification documents, insignia of rank, decorations and objects of value may not be taken from prisoners. TITLE 111. CAPTIVITY SECTION L-EVACUATION OF PRISONERS OF WAR ARTICLE 7 Prisoners of war shall be evacuated within the shortest possible period after their capture, to depots located in a region far enough from the zone of combat for them to be out of danger. Only prisoners who, because of wounds or sickness, would run greater risks by being evacuated than by remaining where they are may be temporarily kept in a dangerous zone. Prisoners shall not be needlessly exposed to danger while awaiting their evacuation from the combat zone. Evacuation of prisoners on foot may normally be effected only by stages of 20 kilometers a day, unless the necessity of reaching water and food depots requir" longer stages. [Page 602] Belligerents are bound mutually to notify each other of their capture of prisoners within the shortest period possible, through the intermediary of the information bureaus. such as are organized according to Article 77. They are likewise bound to inform each other of the official addresses to which the correspondence of the families may be sent to prisoners of war. As soon as possible, every prisoner must be enabled to correspond with his family himself, under the conditions provided in Articles 36 et seq. As regards prisoners captured at sea, the provisions of the present article shall be observed as soon as possible after arrival at port. SECTION II.-PRISONERS-OF-WAR CAMPS ARTICLE 9 Prisoners of war may be interned in a town, fortress, or other place, and bound not to go beyond certain fixed limits. They may also be interned in enclosed camps; they may not be confined or imprisoned except as an indispensable measure of safety or sanitation, and only while the circumstances which necessitate the measure continue to exist. Prisoners captured in unhealthful regions or where the climate is injurious for persons coming from temperate regions, shall be transported, as soon as possible, to a more favorable climate. Belligerents shall, so far as possible, avoid assembling in a single camp prisoners of different races or nationalities. No prisoner may, at any time, be sent into a region where he might be exposed to the fire of the combat zone, nor used to give protection from bombardment to certain points or certain regions by his presence. CHAPTER I-Installation of Camps ARTICLE 10 Prisoners of war shall be lodged in buildings or in barracks affording all possible guarantees of hygiene and healthfulness. The quarters must be fully protected from dampness, sufficiently heated and lighted. All precautions must be taken against danger of fire. With regard to dormitories -- he total surface, minimum cubic amount of air, arrangement and material of bedding-the conditions shall be the same as for the troops at base. camps of the detaining Power. [Page 603] CHAPTER 2.-Food and Clothing of Prisoners of War ARTICLE 11 The food ration of prisoners of war shall be equal in quantity and quality to that of troops at base camps. Furthermore, prisoners shall receive facilities for preparing themselves, additional food which they might have. A sufficiency of potable water shall be furnished them. The use of tobacco shall be permitted. Prisoners may be employed in the kitchens. All collective disciplinary measures affecting the food are prohibited. ARTICLE 12 Clothing, linen and footwear shall be furnished prisoners of war by the detaining Power. Replacement and repairing of these effects must be assured regularly. In addition, laborers must receive work clothes wherever the nature of the work requires it. Canteens shall be installed in all camps where prisoners may obtain, at the local market price, food products and ordinary objects. Profits made by the canteens for camp administrations shall be used for the benefit of prisoners. CHAPTER 13.-Sanitary Service in Camps ARTICLE 13 Belligerents shall be bound to take all sanitary measures necessary to assure the cleanliness and healthfulness of camps and to prevent epidemics. Prisoners of war shall have at their disposal, day and night, installations conforming to sanitary rules and constantly maintained in a state of cleanliness. Furthermore, and without prejudice to baths and showers with which the camp shall be as well provided as possible, prisoners shall be furnished a sufficient quantity of water for the care of their own bodily cleanliness. It shall be possible for them to take physical exercise and enjoy, the open air. ARTICLE 14 Every camp shall have an Infirmary, where prisoners of war shall receive every kind of attention they need. If necessary, isolated quarters shall be reserved for the sick affected with contagious diseases. [Page 604] Expenses of treatment, including therein those of temporary prosthetic equipment, shall be borne by the detaining Power. Upon request, belligerents shall be bound to deliver to every prisoner treated an official statement showing the nature and duration of his illness as well as the attention received. It shall be lawful for belligerents reciprocally to authorize, by means of private arrangements, the retention in the camps of physicians and attendants to care for prisoners of their own country. Prisoners affected with a serious illness or whose condition necessitates an important surgical operation, must be admitted, at the expense of the detaining Power, to any military or civil medical unit qualified to treat them. ARTICLE 15 Medical inspections of prisoners of war shall be arranged at least once a month. Their purpose shall be the supervision of the general state of health and cleanliness, and the detection of contagious diseases, particularly tuberculosis and venereal diseases. CHAPTER 4-Intellectual and Moral Needs Of Prisoners Of War ARTICLE 16 Prisoners of war shall enjoy complete liberty in the exercise of their religion, including attendance at the services of their faith, on the sole condition that they comply with the measures of order and police issued by the military authorities. Ministers of a religion, prisoners of war, whatever their religious denomination, shall be allowed to minister fully to members of the same religion. ARTICLE 17 So far as possible, belligerents shall encourage intellectual diversions and sports organized by prisoners of war. CHAPTER 5-Internal Discipline of Camps ARTICLE 18 Every camp of prisoners of war shall be placed under the command of a responsible officer. Besides the external marks of respect provided by the regulations in force in their armies with regard to their nationals, prisoners of war must salute all officers of the detaining Power. Officers who are prisoners of war are bound to salute only officers of a higher or equal rank of that Power. [Page 605] ARTICLE 19 The wearing of insignia of rank and of decorations shall be permitted. ARTICLE 20 Regulations, orders, notices and proclamations of every, kind njust be communicated to prisoners of war in a language which they understand. The same principle shall be applied in examinations. CHAPTER 6.-Special Provisions Regarding Officers and Persons of Equivalent Status ARTICLE 21 Upon the beginning of hostilities, belligerents shall be bound to communicate to one another the titles and ranks in use in their respective armies, with a view to assuring equality of treatment between corresponding ranks of officers and persons of equivalent status. Officers and persons of equivalent status who are prisoners of war shall be treated with the regard due their rank and age. ARTICLE 22 In order to assure service in officers' camps, soldiers of the same army who are prisoners of war and, wherever possible, who speak the same language, shall be assigned thereto, in sufficient numbers, considering the rank of the officers and persons of equivalent status. The latter shall secure their food and clothing from the pay which shall be aranted them by the detaining Power. Administration of the mess-fund by the officers themselves must be facilitated in every way. CHAPTER 7.-Financial Resources of Prisoners of War ARTICLE 23 Subject to private arrangements between belligerent Powers, and particularly those provided in Article 24, officers and persons of equivalent status who are prisoners of war shall receive from the detaining Power the same pay as officers of corresponding rank in the armies of that Power, on the condition, however, that this pay does not exceed that to which they are entitled in the armies of the country, which they have served. This pay shall be granted them in full, once a Month if possible, and without being liable to any deduction for expenses incumbent on the detaining Power, even when they are in favor of the prisoners. [Page 606] An agreement between the belligerents shall fix the rate of exchange applicable to this payment; in the absence of such an agreement, the rate adopted shall be that in force at the opening of hostilities. All payments made to prisoners of war as pay must be reimbursed, at the end of hostilities, by the Power which they have served. ARTICLE 24 Upon the outbreak of hostilities, the belligerents shall, by common agreement, fix the maximum amount of ready money which prisoners of war of various ranks and classes shall be allowed to keep in their possession. Any surplus taken or withheld from a prisoner shall be entered to his account, the same as any deposit of money effected by him, and may not be converted into another currency without his consent. Pay to the credit of their accounts shall be given to prisoners of war at the end of their captivity. During their imprisonment, facilities shall be granted them for the transfer of these amounts, in whole or in part, to banks or private persons in their country of origin. CHAPTER 8-Transfer of Prisoners of War ARTICLE 25 Unless the conduct of military operations so requires, sick and wounded prisoners of war shall not be transferred as long as their recovery might be endangered by the trip. ARTICLE 26 In case of transfer, prisoners of war shall be officially notified of their new destination in advance; they shall be allowed to take with them their personal effects, their correspondence and packages which have arrived for them. All due measures shall be taken that correspondence and packages addressed to their former camp may be forwarded to them without delay. Money deposited to the account of transferred prisoners shall be transmitted to the competent authority of their new place of residence. The expenses occasioned by the transfer shall be charged to the detaining Power.
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