Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.
The undersigned Plenipotentiaries of the Governments represented at the Diplomatic Conference held at
Geneva from April 21 to August 12, 1949, for the purpose of establishing a Convention for the Protection of
Civilian Persons in Time of War, have agreed as follows:
Part I. General Provisions
Article 1. The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present
Convention in all circumstances.
Art. 2. In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peace-time, the present Convention shall
apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the
High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them.
The Convention shall also apply to all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory of a High
Contracting Party, even if the said occupation meets with no armed resistance.
Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are
parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations. They shall furthermore be bound by the
Convention in relation to the said Power, if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof.
Art. 3. In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the
High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following
(1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down
their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all
circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith,
sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.
To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with
respect to the above-mentioned persons:
(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
(b) taking of hostages;
(c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;
(d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a
regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by
(2) The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.
An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its
services to the Parties to the conflict.
The Parties to the conflict should further endeavour to bring into force, by means of special agreements, all