Geneva Conventions

International humanitarian laws and additional protocols that establish international legal standards for humanitarian treatment in war.

They extensively define the basic rights of wartime prisoners, civilians and military personnel; establish protections for the wounded and sick; and provide protections for the civilians in and around a war-zone.

The Geneva Conventions define the rights and protections afforded to non-combatants who fulfill the criteria of being protected persons. The Geneva Conventions concern only protected non-combatants in war.

In international law and diplomacy the term convention refers to an international agreement, or treaty.

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Common Article 2 relating to international armed conflict (IAC)

 

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Common Article 3 relating to non-international armed conflict (NIAC)

This article states that the certain minimum rules of war apply to armed conflicts “not of an international character.”[39] The International Committee of the Red Cross has explained that this language describes non-international armed conflict (NIAC) “where at least one Party is not a State.”[40] For example, it would apply to conflicts between state forces and non-state actors (NSAs), or between two NSAs, or to other conflicts that have all the characteristics of war, whether carried out within the confines of one country or not.[41]

There are two criteria to distinguish non-international armed conflicts from lower forms of violence. The level of violence has to be of certain intensity, for example when the state cannot contain the situation with regular police forces. Also, involved non-state groups need to have a certain level of organization, like a military command structure.[42]

The other Geneva Conventions are not applicable in this situation but only the provisions contained within Article 3,[25] and additionally within the language of Protocol II. The rationale for the limitation is to avoid conflict with the rights of Sovereign States that were not part of the treaties. When the provisions of this article apply, it states that:[43]

Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria. To this end, the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

  • violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
  • taking of hostages;
  • outrages upon dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment; and
  • the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.
  • The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.

Grave breaches

Not all violations of the treaty are treated equally. The most serious crimes are termed grave breaches and provide a legal definition of a war crime. Grave breaches of the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions include the following acts if committed against a person specifically protected by the conventions:

  • willful killing, torture or inhumane treatment, (including biological experiments)
  • willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health
  • compelling a protected person to serve in the armed forces of a hostile power
  • willfully depriving a protected person of the right to a fair trial if accused of a war crime.

Also considered grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention are the following:

Nations that are party to these treaties must enact and enforce legislation penalizing any of these crimes. Nations are also obligated to search for persons alleged to commit these crimes, or persons having ordered them to be committed, and to bring them to trial regardless of their nationality and regardless of the place where the crimes took place.[59]

The principle of universal jurisdiction also applies to the enforcement of grave breaches when the United Nations Security Council asserts its authority and jurisdiction from the UN Charter to apply universal jurisdiction. The UNSC did this when they established the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia to investigate and/or prosecute alleged violations.

 

 

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Protocol I (also Additional Protocol I and AP I)[4] is a 1977 amendment protocol to the Geneva Conventions

concerning the protection of civilian victims of international war, such as “armed conflicts in which peoples are fighting against colonial domination, alien occupation or racist regimes“.[5]

In practice, Additional Protocol I updated and reaffirmed the international laws of war stipulated in the Geneva Conventions of 1949 to accommodate developments of warfare since the Second World War (1937–1945).

Notable exceptions:
United States, Israel, Iran, Pakistan, India, and Turkey

In general, the protocol reaffirms the provisions of the original four Geneva Conventions. However, the following additional protections are added.

  • Article I states that the convention applies in “armed conflicts in which peoples are fighting against colonial domination and alien occupation and against racist régimes in the exercise of their right of self-determination”, which has been interpreted as favoring terrorism,[14][15] and denying protections to Israel[16].
  • Article 37 prohibits perfidy. It identifies four types of perfidy and differentiates ruses of war from perfidy. perfidy is a form of deception in which one side promises to act in good faith (such as by raising a flag of truce) with the intention of breaking that promise once the unsuspecting enemy is exposed (such as by coming out of cover to take the “surrendering” prisoners into custody). 
  • Article 40 prohibits no quarter, (none can be taken prisoner and all enemy combatants must be killed.) including that there are no survivors, to threaten an adversary as such, or to conduct hostilities on that basis.
  • Article 42 outlaws attacks on pilots and aircrews who are parachuting from an aircraft in distress. Once they landed in territory controlled by an adverse party, they must be given an opportunity to surrender before being attacked unless it is apparent that they are engaging in a hostile act or attempting to escape. Airborne troops, or agents who are parachuting from an aircraft, whether in distress or not, are not given the protection afforded by this Article and, therefore, may be attacked during their descent.
  • Article 43 deals with the identification of Armed Forces that are Party to a conflict, and states that combatants “shall be subject to an internal disciplinary system which, inter alia, shall enforce compliance with the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict.”
  • Article 47(1) “A mercenary shall not have the right to be a combatant or a prisoner of war.”
  • Articles 51 and 54 outlaw indiscriminate attacks on civilian populations, and destruction of food, water, and other materials needed for survival. Indiscriminate attacks include directly attacking civilian (non-military) targets, but also using technologies whose scope of destruction cannot be limited.[13] A total war that does not distinguish between civilian and military targets is considered a war crime.
  • Articles 56 and 53 outlaw attacks on dams, dikes, nuclear electrical-generating stations, and places of worship. The first three are “works and installations containing dangerous forces” and may be attacked only in ways that do not threaten to release the dangerous forces (i.e., it is permissible to capture them but not to destroy them).
  • Articles 76 and 77, 15 and 79 provide special protections for women, children, and civilian medical personnel, and provide measures of protection for journalists.
  • Article 77 forbids conscription of children under age 15 into the armed forces. It does allow, however, for persons under the age of 15 to participate voluntarily.[13]
  • Articles 43 and 44 clarify the military status of members of guerrilla forces. Combatant and prisoner of war status are granted to members of dissident forces when under the command of a central authority. Such combatants cannot conceal their allegiance; they must be recognizable as combatants while preparing for or during an attack.
  • Article 35 bans weapons that “cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering”, as well as means of warfare that “cause widespread, long-term, and severe damage to the natural environment“.
  • Article 85 states that it is a war crime to use one of the protective emblems recognized by the Geneva Conventions to deceive the opposing forces (perfidy).
  • Articles 17 and 81 authorize the ICRC, national societies, or other impartial humanitarian organizations to provide assistance to the victims of war.
  • Article 90 states that “The High Contracting Parties may at the time of signing, ratifying or acceding to the Protocol, or at any other subsequent time, declare that they recognize ipso facto and without special agreement, in relation to any other High Contracting Party accepting the same obligation, the competence of the [International Fact-Finding] Commission to enquire into allegations by such other Party, as authorized by this Article.”[17] 74 states have made such a declaration.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protocol_I

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Protocol II

is a 1977 amendment protocol to the Geneva Conventions relating to the protection of victims of non-international armed conflicts.

Protection for victims of internal armed conflicts that take place within the borders of a single country.

The scope of these laws is more limited than those of the rest of the Geneva Conventions out of respect for sovereign rights and duties of national governments.

These negotiations resulted in Article 3, common to all four of the basic treaties of the Geneva Conventions of 1949. Common Article 3 applies to armed conflicts that are not of an international character, but that are contained within the boundaries of a single country. It provides limited protection to victims, including:

  • Persons taking no active part in hostilities should be treated humanely (including military persons who have ceased to be active as a result of sickness, injury, or detention).
  • The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.

As of July 2020, the Protocol had been ratified by 169 countries,

with the United States, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Israel being notable exceptions.

However, the United States, Iran, and Pakistan signed it on 12 December 1977, which signifies an intention to work towards ratifying it.[3] The Iranian signature was given prior to the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protocol_II

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geneva_Conventions

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Syrian_civil_war

350000-650000

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Iraq_War

150000-460000

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_in_Afghanistan_(2001%E2%80%932021)

176000-212000

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Death By sanctions in Iraq

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanctions_against_Iraq

567000

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Yemen war

https://www.cfr.org/global-conflict-tracker/conflict/war-yemen

377000

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https://www.statista.com/statistics/1082077/deaths-of-migrants-in-the-mediterranean-sea/

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Major Episodes of Political Violence 1946-2019

https://www.systemicpeace.org/warlist/warlist.htm

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‘If we don’t support Ukraine, Ukraine will fall in a matter of days,’ says Josep Borrell

Published on 05/05/2023 

https://www.euronews.com/my-europe/2023/05/05/if-we-dont-support-ukraine-ukraine-will-fall-in-a-matter-of-days-says-josep-borrell

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Burkina Faso

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burkina_Faso

On 2 August 1984, on President Sankara’s initiative, the country’s name changed from “Upper Volta” to “Burkina Faso”, or land of the honest men; (the literal translation is land of the upright men.)[40][41][need quotation to verify][42][43] The presidential decree was confirmed by the National Assembly on 4 August. The demonym for people of Burkina Faso, “Burkinabè”, includes expatriates or descendants of people of Burkinabè origin.

Sankara’s government comprised the National Council for the Revolution (CNR – French: Conseil national révolutionnaire), with Sankara as its president, and established popular Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDRs). The Pioneers of the Revolution youth programme was also established.

Sankara launched an ambitious socioeconomic programme for change, one of the largest ever undertaken on the African continent.[39] His foreign policies centred on anti-imperialism, with his government rejecting all foreign aid, pushing for odious debt reduction, nationalising all land and mineral wealth and averting the power and influence of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. His domestic policies included a nationwide literacy campaign, land redistribution to peasants, railway and road construction and the outlawing of female genital mutilation, forced marriages and polygamy.[39][44]

Sankara pushed for agrarian self-sufficiency and promoted public health by vaccinating 2,500,000 children against meningitis, yellow fever, and measles.[44] His national agenda also included planting over 10,000,000 trees to halt the growing desertification of the Sahel. Sankara called on every village to build a medical dispensary and had over 350 communities build schools with their own labour.[39][45]

In the 1980s, when ecological awareness was still very low, Thomas Sankara was one of the few African leaders to consider environmental protection a priority. He engaged in three major battles: against bush fires “which will be considered as crimes and will be punished as such”; against cattle roaming “which infringes on the rights of peoples because unattended animals destroy nature”; and against the anarchic cutting of firewood “whose profession will have to be organized and regulated”. As part of a development program involving a large part of the population, ten million trees were planted in Burkina Faso in fifteen months during the revolution. To face the advancing desert and recurrent droughts, Thomas Sankara also proposed the planting of wooded strips of about fifty kilometers, crossing the country from east to west. He then thought of extending this vegetation belt to other countries. Cereal production, close to 1.1 billion tons before 1983, was predicted to rise to 1.6 billion tons in 1987. Jean Ziegler, former UN special rapporteur for the right to food, said that the country “had become food self-sufficient.”[46]

On 15 October 1987, Sankara, along with twelve other officials, was assassinated in a coup d’état organized by Blaise Compaoré, Sankara’s former colleague, who would go on to serve as Burkina Faso’s president from October 1987 until October 2014.[47]

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Protocol I

is a 1977 amendment protocol to the Geneva Conventions concerning the protection of civilian victims of international war, such as “armed conflicts in which peoples are fighting against colonial domination, alien occupation or racist regimes

As of February 2020, it had been ratified by 174 states,[6] with the United States, Israel, Iran, Pakistan, India, and Turkey being notable exceptions.

Protocol II

is a 1977 amendment protocol to the Geneva Conventions relating to the protection of victims of non-international armed conflicts. It defines certain international laws that strive to provide better protection for victims of internal armed conflicts that take place within the borders of a single country. The scope of these laws is more limited than those of the rest of the Geneva Conventions out of respect for sovereign rights and duties of national governments.

As of July 2020, the Protocol had been ratified by 169 countries, with the United States, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Israel being notable exceptions.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_parties_to_the_Geneva_Conventions

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US arming YPG ‘created a nightmare’ for Turkey – Senator Graham

https://www.trtworld.com/turkiye/us-arming-ypg-created-a-nightmare-for-turkey-senator-graham-12714159

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China’s Middle East Warship Flotilla Compared to US Carrier Strike Groups
Oct 25, 2023 at 11:56 AM EDT

China has tipped significant resources into developing its Navy, swelling its size in a few short years—and it shows few signs of slowing down. The U.S. is acutely aware of China’s status as “numerically the largest navy in the world” with 370 ships and submarines, as per the Pentagon’s annual report on the Chinese military, released last week.

https://www.newsweek.com/china-navy-middle-east-warships-us-carrier-strike-groups-israel-hamas-1837692

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https://www.forces.net/news/world/nato-which-countries-pay-their-share-defence

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