Geneva Conventions

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Common Article 3

As the bodies which adopt, ratify and bring into effect international treaties, they are uniquely placed to drive change where it is needed. MPs can also oversee whether treaties and conventions are domesticated into national law and that these national laws are being applied effectively. They also ensure that the rules of international humanitarian law are known and understood by the population, army, security forces and all other state bodies. In practical terms this can mean approving the allocating funds for training, ensuring that domestic legislation complies with international norms and making sure the perpetrators are brought to justice.

To help parliaments and MPs in this vital work, we raise awareness where the Conventions and protocols have not been fully implemented or are simply not being honoured.

The Endurance of the Geneva Conventions Shows Us What is Possible

We offer guidance and practical support where necessary. This work includes broad support for parliaments as key institutions of democracy, strengthening them and their members in countries emerging from conflict, and training and encouraging MPs to lobby their governments for action where it is needed.

Our Handbook for Parliamentarians on International Humanitarian Law produced with the International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC provides essential information on how parliaments and parliamentarians can address the issue effectively. First Convention - protects wounded and sick soldiers on land during war, and medical and religious personnel.

Media professionals: find out more about international humanitarian law

Third Convention - protects prisoners of war, defining the conditions and places in which they should be held and all other aspects of their captivity and eventual release. Fourth Convention - protects civilians, including those in occupied territory, with provisions covering areas such as humanitarian relief and internment. Second additional protocol - increases protection for victims of non-international conflict. Geneva Conventions and protocols in full.

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OHCHR | Protocol II Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August

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1949 Geneva conventions and additional protocols 1977