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12 Protection of the Wounded, Sick, and Shipwrecked

Dieter Fleck

From: The Handbook of International Humanitarian Law (4th Edition)

Edited By: Dieter Fleck

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 27 September 2023

Armed conflict — Care for the sick and wounded

This chapter studies the protection of the wounded, sick, and shipwrecked. The definition of persons protected under the various treaties for the protection of the wounded, sick, and shipwrecked evolved constantly from the adoption of the 1864 Geneva Convention, which only applied to ‘combatants’. The 1906 Geneva Convention subsequently broadened the scope of application to add ‘other persons officially attached to the armed forces’, and the 1929 Geneva Convention similarly referred to ‘officers and soldiers and other persons officially attached to the armed forces’. As far as warfare at sea was concerned, the Hague Convention (III) of 1899 applied to ‘sailors and soldiers who are taken on board’, while the 1907 Hague Convention (X) added to this definition ‘other persons officially attached to fleets or armies’ in analogy to the 1906 Geneva Convention. The chapter then looks at the protection of medical personnel and the rules of international humanitarian law on the dead and missing persons. It also details the development which has led to the adoption of a new protective emblem: the Red Crystal.

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