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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Prisoners of War

Robert M Chesney

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 17 June 2019

Armed forces — Prisoners of war — Armed conflict — Protected persons and property — Combatants, unlawful

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law under the direction of Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1 Some but not all persons who fall into the power of the enemy in the context of international armed conflict must be categorized as ‘prisoners of war’ (‘POWs’), as a consequence of both treaty obligations and customary international law (see also Armed Conflict, International ; Enemies and Enemy Subjects ). A POW may be held in the custody of the detaining power for the duration of hostilities. POW status entails numerous benefits in relation to that custody, including strict requirements of humane treatment and conditions of confinement as well as safeguards in...
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