Geneva Convention

  • 01 Mar 2019

Why is it in News?

Geneva Convention came into the light when Pakistan had captured Wing Commander of India Abhinandan Varthaman.

What are the Geneva Conventions?

  • The 1949 Geneva Conventions are a set of international treaties that ensure that warring parties conduct themselves in a humane way with non-combatants such as civilians and medical personnel, as well as with combatants no longer actively engaged in fighting, such as prisoners of war, and wounded or sick soldiers.
  • All countries are signatories to the Geneva Conventions. There are four conventions, with three protocols added on since 1949.

Is it applicable only during the Wars?

The provisions of the conventions apply in peacetime situations, in declared wars, and in conflicts that are not recognized as war by one or more of the parties.

Does the case of Wg. Cmdr. Abhinandan Varthaman fall under the ambit of Geneva Conventions?

Yes, even if both the countries are not engaged in a declared war, provisions of Geneva conventions are still applicable as the Wing Commander is not charged on espionage (in case of espionage, Geneva Conventions do not apply). It must be noted that the Geneva Conventions covers a very broad range of issues.

What are Rights given to Prisoners of War (POW) under the Convention?

  • He must be protected against public insult treated humanely under all circumstances.
  • He shall not be subjected to physical or mental tortures.
  • The minimum conditions of detention have also been defined which includes accommodation, food, clothing, hygiene and medical care.
  • He shall not be forced to provide information of any kind.

Who Monitors the Release of POW?

International Committee of Red Cross acts as a mediator in the cases related to POW.

Source: IE