3 Combatants and Non-combatants
Edited By: Dieter Fleck
- Combatants — Principle of distinction — Armed conflict — Prisoners of war
1. International law regarding persons taking part in or affected by an international armed conflict makes a fundamental distinction between combatants and civilians, a distinction being the leading principle and the unchangeable core of international humanitarian law applicable in international armed conflicts. 1 This distinction determines the international legal status of these two categories. They indicate the primary status of persons in the event of an international armed conflict. The acquisition of a new, secondary status is linked to this primary status...