The Laws of Armed Conflicts: A Collection of Conventions, Resolutions, and Other Documents

By Dietrich Schindler; Jiri Toman | Go to book overview

No. 40
CONVENTION (I) FOR THE AMELIORATION OF
THE CONDITION OF THE WOUNDED AND SICK
IN ARMED FORCES IN THE FIELD

Signed at Geneva, 12 August 1949

INTRODUCTORY NOTE: This Convention represents the fourth version of the Geneva Convention on the wounded and sick after those adopted in 1864, 1906 and 1929 (see Nos. 38, 42 and 45). The fundamental principles as well as the division into chapters remained the same as in the preceding version with the exception of the new introductory chapter on general provisions. Changes were made especially in Chapter IV (personnel). Hitherto, medical personnel and chaplains falling into enemy hands had to be immediately repatriated. The 1949 Convention, taking account of changed conditions of warfare, provides that they may in certain circumstances be retained to care for prisoners of war. The provisions on medical equipment were correspondingly altered. In the chapter on medical transports it was provided that medical aircraft may in certain circumstances fly over neutral territory. Some clarifications were made as regards the article on the use of the emblem (Article 44).

ENTRY INTO FORCE: 21 October 1950.

AUTHENTIC TEXTS: English and French. The text below is reprinted from the Final Record of the Diplomatic Conference of Geneva of 1949, Vol. I, Federal Political Department, Berne, pp. 205–224.

The marginal titles added to the articles of the present Convention have no official character and were not adopted by the Diplomatic Conference. They were drafted by the Conference Secretariat and are used in the edition of the Geneva Convention published by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

TEXT PUBLISHED IN: See indications under No. 48.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Articles
Preamble
Chapter I. General provisions1–11
Respect for the Convention1
Application of the Conventions2
Conflicts not of an international character3
Application by neutral Powers4
Duration of application5
Special agreements6
Non-renunciation of rights7
Protecting Powers9
Activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross9

-459-

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