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In Geneva, fifty-eight countries had signed a four-part treaty in the hope of limiting the horrors of war.
The Conventions thus adopted enshrine respect for the human person in time of armed conflict and require that persons not directly participating in hostilities, like those put out of action by disease, injury, captivity, be protected ; that those who suffer be rescued and cared for without any discrimination.
Are protected by the :
- Convention 1: wounded or sick soldiers, health personnel, chaplains,
- Convention 2 : The wounded, the sick ones, health personnel, chaplains of the armed forces at sea, the shipwrecked,
- Convention 3 : prisoners of war,
- Convention 4 : civilians in enemy or occupied territory.
By ratifying the Conventions, States Parties are committed to :
- heal friends and foes equally,
- respect human beings, his honor, family rights, religious convictions and the special protection of the child,
- prohibit inhuman treatment, hostage-taking, les exterminations, the torture, summary executions, deportations, looting and unjustified destruction of private property,
- allow ICRC delegates to visit prisoners of war, civilian internees and to interview detainees without witnesses.