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Geneva, 12 August 1949.
Chapter I : General provisions
- Art 1 - All parties are to respect the Convention - Art 2 - The Convention shall be implemented in peacetime, declared war and other armed conflicts - Art 3* - In the case of non-international armed conflict, prescribed minimum provisions are to be applied - Art 4 - In case of hostilities between land and naval forces, the provisions are to apply only to forces on board ship - Art 5 - Neutral powers shall apply the provisions of the Convention by analogy - Art 6 - No special arrangement shall adversely affect the situation of the wounded, sick and shipwrecked; and medical and religious personnel
- Art 7 - Wounded, sick, shipwrecked and medical and religious personnel shall not renounce their rights under the Convention - Art 8 - Cooperation with Protecting Powers – subject to the approval of the conflicting parties - Art 9 - Provisions of the Convention (subject to consent of the conflicting parties) constitute no obstacles to ICRC and other humanitarian bodies to undertake protection of the sick wounded and shipwrecked; and medical and religious personnel - Art 10 - Parties to the Convention to allow impartial organizations to carry out protection and humanitarian effort. If this is no longer possible / practicable the party may request for neutral state to take over. Failing this, international humanitarian organizations may take over - Art 11 - In cases of disagreement on interpretation of the provisions, Protecting Power may mediate, either on invitation or at its own initiative
Chapter II : Wounded, sick and ship
- Art 12 - Member of the armed forces and other persons mentioned who are wounded, sick and shipwrecked are to be protected. Shipwreck includes landings at sea by or from aircraft - Art 13* - The Convention shall apply to wounded, sick and shipwrecked belonging to prescribed categories - Art 14 - Warships of belligerent Party have the right to demand all wounded, sick and shipwrecked on military or other hospital ships, other vessels to be moved. Provided the facilities are adequate and the wounded and sick can move - Art 15 - When wounded, sick and shipwrecked are taken on board a neutral ship or aircraft, it must be ensured that they can no longer take part in hostilities
- Art 16 - Wounded, sick and shipwrecked taken into enemy’s hand shall be prisoners of war - Art 17 - Wounded, sick and shipwrecked who landed in neutral port with consent shall be guarded by the neutral power. Cannot take part in hostilities - Art 18 - After each engagement, parties to take measures to search for wounded, sick and shipwrecked and provide adequate care - Art 19* - In respect of the wounded, sick and shipwrecked; and the dead – record shall be made including the prescribed details - Art 20 - Burial at sea if possible to be carried out individually, preceded by medical examination. One half of identity disc to remain with the body - Art 21 - Parties may appeal to neutral merchant ships for the care and collection of the wounded, sick and shipwrecked and the dead. The ships will enjoy special protection so long as it remains neutral
Chapter III : Hospital ships
- Art 22 - Hospital ships should not be captured. At all times be protected and respected – their existence are to be notified ten days prior to employment to conflicting parties - Art 23 - Establishment ashore are protected by Convention I and shall be protected from attack from the sea - Art 24 - Hospital ships of National Red Cross societies or other relief societies or private persons are to be accorded the same treatment. They must be provided certificates from responsible authorities - Art 25 - The hospital ships shall exempt from capture provided they placed themselves under the control one of the parties to the conflict - Art 26 - Protection to hospital ships covers all ships and their lifeboats. For comfort parties are encouraged to utilize hospital ships of over 2,000 ton gross
- Art 27 - Under the same conditions small craft employed by the State or officially recognized lifeboats for coastal rescue operations are to be accorded the same treatment. This includes coastal installations for these boats - Art 28 - Should fighting occurs on board sick bays are to be protected and respected. Sick bay equipment are subject to laws of warfare and should not be diverted for other purposes - Art 29 - Hospital ships in port falling into enemy hands shall be allowed to leave. - Art 30 - Hospital ship shall provide relief and assistance to the sick, wounded and shipwrecked without distinction of nationality. They should not be use for military purpose, hamper movement of combatants and will act at their own risk
- Art 31 - Parties to the conflict shall have the right to control hospital ships. They may refuse assistance offered, ordered them off, determine their course, control their communication or detain them for a period not exceeding seven days if necessary - Art 32 - Hospital ships are not classified as warships during their stay at a neutral port - Art 33 - Merchant ships transformed into hospital ships shall not be put to any other use throughout the duration of the conflict - Art 34 - Protection to hospital ships shall not cease unless they commit violation outside their humanitarian duties. Protection may be lifted after warning and appropriate time given. Hospital ships must not posses secret code for their communication - Art 35 - Hospital ships or sick bays shall not be deprived of protection under the prescribed circumstances
Chapter IV : Personnel
- Art 36 - Religious, medical and hospital personnel of hospital ships shall not be captured whether or not there are wounded and sick on board - Art 37* - These personnel falling under enemy’s hands shall be respected and protected. They may continue carrying out their duties, be retained if their services are needed, and be released with their belongings as soon as it is practicable. Those retained will be subjected to rules prescribed under Convention I
Chapter V : Medical Transport
- Art 38 - Ships chartered to carry out medical equipment shall be notified to the adverse power. The adverse power may have the right to board the ship but not capture the equipment. Neutral observers may be placed on board - Art 39 - Medical aircraft may not be subject of attack. They must fly according to the route, height and time agreed. They shall be marked with distinctive emblem in the manner prescribed in Art 41. They must obey summons to land and be allowed to fly after examination. In the event of involuntary landing in enemy territory and they crews and the wounded, sick and shipwrecked being captured they shall be prisoners of war - Art 40 - Medical aircraft may fly over neutral territory subject to agreed upon route, time and prior notification. They shall be free from attack, but must land when summoned upon. Unless there is consent by the neutral power, wounded, sick and shipwrecked disembarked on a neutral territory may be detained. The cost of internment to be borne by the Power they depend
Chapter VI : The Distinctive Emblem
- Art 41 - The emblem of red cross, red crescent and red lion and sun shall be displayed on flags, armlets and equipment employed - Art 42 - The personnel must wear water resistant authorized armband on the left arm, carry the prescribed ID in addition to wearing their identity discs - Art 43 - Hospital ships must be painted white with distinctive emblem painted in red on the hull, horizontal surfaces, where they can be clearly visible. Similar rule applies to lifeboats and craft. Hospital ship captured by the enemy must haul down the flag of its previous instructing Power - Art 44 - The sign can only be used to provide protection to the ships – unless provided by other convention or agreement by conflicting parties concerned - Art 45 - The parties are to take through their legislations measures to ensure no prevention, repression, or abuse of the use of distinctive signs
Chapter VIII : Repression of abuses
- Art 50 - Parties are to enact legislation to provide penal sanction against person in breach of the Convention - Art 51 - Grave breaches of the Convention are – willful killing, torture or inhumane treatment, biological experiments, willfully causing great suffering or serious injury and excessive and wanton appropriation and destruction of property - Art 52 - No party can absolve itself from its liability in breaching the articles of the Convention - Art 53 - At the request of a Party to the conflict an inquiry can be instituted to investigate alleged violation of the Convention
- Art 54 - The text of the Convention is in English and French. Both are authentic - Art 55 - The Convention is open to signature until 12 February 1950. - Art 56 - The Convention is to be ratified by the parties as soon as possible - Art 57 - The Convention shall come into force for each party - six months after the deposit of the instrument of ratification - Art 58 - The Convention replaces the Xth Hague Convention of October 18, 1907 - Art 59 - From the date the Convention comes into force it shall be open for any party to accede to it - Art 60 - Accession is to be notified to the Swiss national Council - Art 61 – In the event of armed conflict as provided by Art 2 and 3, ratifications and accession deposited shall have immediate effect - Art 62 - Parties are at liberty to denounce the Convention. It should be transmitted to all governments parties to the Convention - Art 63 - The Convention shall be registered to the Secretariat of the United Nations
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