ICRC databases on international humanitarian law
  • Print page
Commentary - Role of the civilian population and of aid societies
    [p.209] Article 17 -- Role of the civilian population and of aid

    [p.210] General remarks

    690 The foremost reason for this provision is once again to protect the interests of the wounded, sick and shipwrecked, and its immediate aim is to permit the civilian population and aid societies to assist such victims, either on their own initiative or at the request of the authorities.

    691 The draft Protocol additional to the fourth Convention, presented by the ICRC at the first session of the Conference of Government Experts in 1971, contained an article entitled "Role of the civilian population", which more or less covered the scope of the present Article 17 , paragraph 1.

    692 This provision was inspired by Article 18 , paragraphs 2, 3 and 4, of the First Convention -- the principle of which Lame from the original Convention of 22 August 1864 (Article 5 ) -- and it was aimed at extending the scope of Article 18 to the civilian wounded and sick. In fact, Article 18 applies only to the military wounded and sick, as defined in Article 13 of the First Convention.

    693 A first addition was made to this text in the draft presented by the ICRC at the second session of the Conference of Government Experts in 1972: the ICRC included the shipwrecked, in addition to the wounded and sick. In doing so, it extended the scope of the provisions of Article 21 of the Second Convention, which permits an "appeal to the charity of commanders of neutral merchant vessels,yachts or other craft", and guarantees special protection for vessels responding to this appeal, or for those "having of their own accord collected wounded, sick or shipwrecked persons". The Committee which dealt with this question during the second session of the Conference of Government Experts in 1972 considered that it was appropriate to introduce in the draft a paragraph corresponding more closely to Article 21 of the Second Convention, but covering all victims protected in the draft, including in particular shipwrecked civilians who are not covered by the Second Convention.

    694 In the 1973 draft a new addition was made with the introduction of a paragraph inspired by Article 18 , paragraph 1, of the First Convention. This provides for the possibility of military authorities appealing to the charity of the civilian population to collect the wounded and sick. The new paragraph extended its scope in two respects: first, like the whole of the new article, it also covered the civilian wounded and sick; secondly, it allowed for the possibility of appealing to the civilian population, as does Article 18 of the First Convention, and also to aid societies. (1)

    [p.211] 695 As regards the structure of the article, the 1973 draft adopted a division into five paragraphs, of which the first four formed a corollary to part of Article 18 of the First Convention, while the fifth supplemented Article 21 of the Second Convention.

    696 Though the substance of this draft article was retained during the CDDH with one exception, its structure was again modified. The first three paragraphs were combined to form a single paragraph, the fourth therefore remained as a separate paragraph (which became the second paragraph of the present article), and the fifth was deleted.

    697 The main modification of the substance of the draft during the CDDH consisted of the deletion of the fifth paragraph, although it was ultimately of less importance than it had first seemed. In fact, the deletion of this paragraph (2) should be considered in conjunction with the reintroduction of the term "shipwrecked" in the first and second paragraphs, which thus became complementary to Article 21 of the Second Convention.

    698 Thus the main reason for the deletion of this paragraph was that it no longer seemed to have much purpose. (3) Moreover, this argument is strengthened by the new regulations adopted for medical ships and craft. (4) However, it is appropriate to point out that perhaps an attempt to increase the scope of this paragraph was not unrelated either lo the decision finally taken to delete it. In presenting the article, the ICRC representative had actually already mentioned that the lack of any mention of aircraft (5) in paragraph 5 of the draft meant that there was something missing, and an amendment was put forward to include aircraft and vehicles in this paragraph. (6) This amendment was hotly disputed, particularly because such a vague provision relating to aircraft entailed the risk of reintroducing the fear that medical aircraft might abuse their privileges while detailed regulations had just been established for medical aircraft. (7) It was after this debate that the decision to delete the paragraph was taken by Committee II. (8)

    Paragraph 1

    ' First sentence '

    699 This paragraph confirms a traditional rule which the civilian population should observe. It is the only place in the Protocol where the rule is explicitly addressed to the civilian population. Nevertheless, as with any rule in the Protocol, it is appropriate to recall that it is up to the High Contracting Parties to respect and [p.212] to ensure respect for it in all circumstances, (9) and therefore to instruct the civilian population accordingly.

    700 The civilian population is defined in Article 50 of the Protocol ' (Definition of civilians and civilian population) '. (10)

    701 The duty imposed here upon the civilian population is only to ' respect ' the wounded, sick and shipwrecked, and not to ' protect ' them. (11) Thus it is above all an obligation to refrain from action, i.e., to commit no act of violence against the wounded or take advantage of their condition. There is no positive obligation to assist a wounded person, though obviously the possibility of imposing such an obligation remains open for national legislation, and in several countries the law has indeed provided for the obligation to assist persons who are in danger, on pain of penal sanctions.

    702 The obligation is imposed with respect to the ' wounded, sick and shipwrecked ' as they are defined in Article 8 ' (Terminology) '. (12) Such an obligation had already been laid down with respect to the wounded and sick covered by the First Convention, but not with respect to the shipwrecked covered by the SecondConvention. A proposal had been made to add to this list "combatants ' hors de combat '", (13) but the point of view which finally prevailed was that the problem of combatants ' hors de combat ' without also being wounded, sick or shipwrecked, should not be dealt with in Part II, which is devoted to the wounded, sick and shipwrecked. (14) At a later stage Committee II even rejected the suggestion of Committee III that Article 17 should refer to the protection of persons ' hors de combat. ' (15)

    703 The obligation is unconditional, and it was considered proper to recall that it exists even if the victims ' belong to the adverse Party. ' This stipulation was not indispensable and a proposal was made to delete it: (16) clearly, it is the members of the adverse Party with which this provision is primarily concerned, as violence committed against victims of one's own Party, or against neutral victims, is undoubtedly already prohibited by national legislation. However, despite this, it was retained to make sure that there could be no ambiguity.

    704 The clause "and shall commit no act of violence against them" at first sight also seems superfluous. Would it actually be possible to respect a wounded person and at the same time commit an act of violence against him? This wording was already contained in the draft presented to the CDDH by the ICRC, and it is in fact an approximate transcription of Article 18 , paragraph 2, second sentence, of the [p.213] First Convention. (17) Thus the act of violence must be considered as an aspect of disrespect which deserves to be emphasized. This is certainly the way in which this clause of paragraph 1 should be understood. In this respect it should also be noted that the violence which is prohibited is not necessarily physical violence. For example, threatening or harassing a wounded person would certainly constitute reprehensible moral violence against him, and in any case this would be in violation of the duty imposed by this provision to ' respect ' him.

    ' Second sentence '

    705 The first sentence was concerned with instilling in the civilian population an attitude at least of neutrality with regard to any victim. The second sentence is aimed at permitting civilians, including aid societies, to adopt a positive attitude towards such victims, if they desire to do so. In other words, the civilian population ' must respect ' and ' may protect '.

    706 This sentence is concerned, in addition to the civilian population, with ' aid societies, ' which are also mentioned in Article 18 of the First Convention.

    707 The mention of such societies had formed the subject of discussion during the second session of the Conference of Government Experts in 1972. The opinion had been voiced that such societies did not need to be mentioned specifically, as they form part of the civilian population, but the opposite view prevailed. It was admitted that as the population often organizes aid societies of different kinds, it was opportune to mention such societies. (18)

    708 The draft did not contain any example of such societies, though various amendments were put forward, proposing that the National Red Cross (Red Crescent, Red Lion and Sun) Societies should be mentioned by way of example, in view of their prominent role in this type of activity. (19) The principle of such a mention was adopted by Committee II. (20) However, as stated above, such a mention is given only by way of example, and when it was adopted by consensus at a plenary meeting of the Conference, one delegation considered that it was appropriate to recall that the mention of such societies "doesnot imply any limitation on the initiative and the action of other aid societies". (21) However, ' aid societies ' should be understood to mean "voluntary aid societies duly recognized and authorized by their governments", i.e., the societies covered by Article 26 of the First Convention. This was the intention of the authors of the draft, (22) and it was not contested by anyone during the CDDH. A profit-making society or a society established without complying with the rules imposed by national legislation, could therefore not fall under this provision.

    [p.214] 709 The civilian population and aid societies "shall be permitted, even on their own initiative" to undertake the described activities (see below). This wording might lead one to suppose that authorization should be requested (which, in principle, should be granted). Yet this is not the case. In the absence of any provision to the contrary, there is a presumption that the activities described are permitted. In fact, this wording is taken from the First Convention where the commentary is very clear on this subject: assistance to the wounded is a duty and

    "it is impossible a fortiori to deny those who wish to come to the help of the wounded their right to do so. That right is the natural appanage of all persons; and no one can prevent the civilian population from carrying out, in all circumstances, their humanitarian duty towards the wounded [...]" (23)

    At most, the authorities could prevent the civilian population from reaching the victims by prohibiting certain movements, provided that there are valid reasons for such action, in particular, reasons of security. However, it is up to them to justify such a prohibition. In fact, this interpretation is reinforced by the expression "even on their own initiative". There can actually be no question of requesting authorization when people act on their own initiative. Otherwise, they would no longer really be acting on their own initiative. Thus the authorization referred to here applies generally and is given once and for all. It is the expression of a right. (24)

    710 However, it should also be noted that the expression ' even on their own initiative ' was only finally adopted after lengthy discussions. Article 18 of the First Convention, like the 1973 draft, used the term ' spontaneously. ' This expression was considered inadequate, as on the one hand, it seemed to exclude organized aid, and on the other hand, did not apply very accurately to the societies whose activities do, after all, necessarily require some degree of concerted cooperation. (25) The expression which was finally chosen is appropriate, since the word ' even ' does not exclude organized activities, and the expression ' on their own initiative ' does not necessarily imply improvized action. It means that the aid societies can take their decision in accordance with their respective decision making processes, without external consultations.

    711 Permission is given to ' collect and care for the wounded, sick and shipwrecked. ' The original 1864 Convention had already stated that "the presence of any wounded combatant receiving shelter and care in a house shall ensure its protection". The principle went very far and it was subsequently slightly diluted, (26) but the concepts expressed by the terms "collect" and "care" were retained, for, as the Commentary to the First Convention states, "to ' collect ' a wounded man is to receive him into one's house. But it may also mean to bring him in from where he is lying wounded". (27) Apart from the reference to "collect", the 1973 draft refers to "care or assistance". However, this proposal led to heated [p.215] discussion in Committee II and several proposals were made to amend it. (28) Some were afraid that the term "assistance" entailed a "possibility of conflict with domestic legislation concerning treason or other crimes or unlawful acts". (29) Others thought that the term "care", as well as the expressions "medical assistance" or "medical the exclusion of a more general term, "would restrict the scope of the article in a way that was incompatible with its humanitarian aim". (30) In their opinion, "warm clothing or a packet of biscuits could be just as useful as medical care". (31) The solution which was finally adopted -- to "care" (French: "prodiguer des soins") -- is at the same time a general and a restrictive term. It is general in that there was no attempt to restrict aid solely to medical care, but the intention was to include any act contributing to the victim's relief; it is restrictive to the extent that it excluded assistance not directly intended to relieve the victim, in order to avoid any confusion with acts of treason or other punishable acts. Thus the criterion is undeniably the purely humanitarian character of the acts, as confirmed in the last sentence of the paragraph, which qualifies them as "humanitarian acts".

    712 There remains the thorny problem of supervision and the possible obligation for the civilian population or aid societies to report the wounded they have collected or cared for to the authorities. On this point the article is silent, as is Article 18 of the First Convention. In this respect it is appropriate to refer to the commentary on this article, which also applies to Article 17 , paragraph 1, of the Protocol:

    "But the Diplomatic Conference refused to make the permission granted to the inhabitants to give spontaneous help dependent on the acceptance of military supervision, or on any kind of compulsory statement, which would be tantamount to informing against those cared for. They pointed out that the absence from the Convention of any allusion to control did not necessarily mean that control was prohibited, and that in actual fact the military authorities could undoubtedly issue regulations of this kind where such a course was indicated by circumstances." (32)

    713 Finally, the authorization applies "even in invaded or occupied areas". In fact, the right of the civilian population and aid societies to collect and care for the wounded, sick and shipwrecked is an absolute right and this clarification was by no means necessary. It was already present in Article 18 of the First Convention, and was retained during the Conference of Government Experts and the CDDH. It is actually in invaded or occupied areas that the respect for this right of the civilian population is most at risk, since it applies to the relationship between the authorities of one Party to the conflict and the civilian population of the adverse Party. Hence, this point was made explicitly to avoid any ambiguity. However, it should be noted that during the Conference of Government Experts in 1972, one delegation proposed deleting this phrase, given that in practical terms such areas [p.216] are the only ones where the rule can be effectively applied. (33) This is not strictly correct. The rule also applies to the authorities of a Party to the conflict with respect to its own population, even though, in such cases, there should be fewer problems regarding its implementation. During the CDDH it was also proposed to make a distinction between situation "in invaded areas, which would probably be immediately behind the battlefield, and occupied areas". (34) However, this proposal was not adopted. Finally, it should be noted that no definition was given of "invaded or occupied areas". In fact, it is a question of degree. An area will be considered to be invaded, but not occupied, when combatants have entered without yet having set up the administrative machinery of occupation. Thus it is a transitional period, and at the end the invader will either withdraw or establish a proper form of occupation with all the juridical consequences implicit in this, particularly the integral application of the fourth Convention. (35)

    ' Third sentence '

    714 The last sentence of paragraph 1 is a corollary of the previous sentence. The civilian population enjoys a right, and it follows logically that it cannot be punished for the sole reason of having exercised this right.

    715 The term "no one" is used deliberately, and it extends the scope of the sentence. Not only civilians, but anyone, whether civilian or military, the nationals of any Party, is covered by this sentence if he has performed the acts referred to.

    716 For such acts it is prohibited to ' harm, prosecute, convict or punish ' the persons concerned. Article 18 of the First Convention used only the words ' molested or convicted; ' the word "prosecuted" was added in the 1973 draft and Committee II of the CDDH decided to introduce a second addition, i.e., the verb "punish". These terms were added for the sake of being complete. The aim of the provision is to prevent any repression, whether or not this is judicial (' prosecute ' refers in particular to the examining magistrate and the public prosecutor, who should not bring such a case before the court, ' convict ' refers to the court which must acquit anyone who is nonetheless brought before it on such a charge; ' harm ' may refer to the investigation stage, which should not be embarked upon only for such a reason). There may actually also be an extra-judiciary form of repression. It is possible to harm someone with threats, whether these are open or anonymous. As regards the meaning of ' punish, ' this is very broad and has already been discussed. (36)

    717 By referring to "such humanitarian acts", this obviously indicates the acts enumerated in the preceding sentence, i.e., collecting and caring for the wounded, sick and shipwrecked. In this way, as shown above, it is also confirmed that the permitted acts must have humanitarian motives: to collect a wounded [p.217] person in the hope of financial reward is no longer a humanitarian act. For the rest, the rule cannot be invoked to shirk an obligation to report the wounded that have been collected in the event that such an obligation had been imposed by the authorities. On this point there is certainly a difference to be made as compared with medical personnel. (37)

    Paragraph 2

    718 Since it is important that the civilian population can act on its own initiative for the benefit of the wounded, sick and shipwrecked, without fear of being punished, it is no less important that it can carry out such tasks at the request of the Parties to the conflict, especially when the medical services of the latter are overworked. This second aspect of the participation of civilians in activities for the benefit of victims is absolutely fundamental. It was such an appeal that Dunant made to the local population in Solferino, based at that time only upon his moral authority, long before the founding of the Red Cross and the adoption of the Geneva Convention of 22 August 1864.

    719 Such a provision was contained in all the versions of the Geneva Convention, and it was included in 1949 in Article 18 , paragraph 1, of the First Convention and Article 21 of the Second Convention. The reason that it is repeated in the Protocol is that the victims -- with regard to whom the civilian population may be called upon to help -- are no longer only the military wounded and sick (as defined in Article 13 of the First Convention), but military land civilian wounded, sick ' and shipwrecked. '

    720 It is the ' Parties to the conflict ' which may make such an appeal, whereas the First Convention stipulated that this should be the ' military authorities. ' The solution given in the Protocol is very suitable, leaving the competence to the highest authorities of the Parties to the conflict, whether civilian or military -- i.e., for States, to the government -- while giving the latter the possibility of delegating this competence to subordinate bodies.

    721 The 1973 draft referred to the possibility of appealing to the ' charity ' of the civilian population, the word used in the First Convention. During the CDDH the proposal to delete this word, which was considered "out of date" (38) was adopted. Various replacements for this term -- "goodwill", "humanitarian feelings", "generous feelings" -- were also rejected (39) and Committee II finally adopted a proposal "that al reference to feelings should be deleted" from paragraph 2 of Article 17 . (40) In fact, this reference to the feelings of the population hardly seems to be necessary, though with one reservation. Two representatives expressed the fear that the absence of such a reference would permit the provisions of paragraph 2 to be interpreted as being mandatory for the civilian p.218] population. (41) The present text is actually ambiguous on this point and it is appropriate to stress in this commentary that the drafters' intention was to retain an optional character for this provision, both with regard to the Parties to the conflict (who may make an appeal or refrain from so doing) and with regard to the civilian population and aid societies (who remain free to respond as they wish). This provision should not be seen a a sort of "right to mobilize" civilians for humanitarian purposes.

    722 The appeal is made to the civilian population and the aid societies referred to in paragraph 1. (42)

    723 The appeal can be made only for specific tasks. The first two of these, "to collect and [to] care for the wounded, sick and shipwrecked", are identical to those described in paragraph 1. (43)

    724 However, the civilian population and aid societies may also be called upon for a third task, and it is appropriate to consider this here. The task referred to is "to search for the dead and report their location". This task is not contained in Article 18 of the First Convention (44) and had not been introduced in the 1973 draft. Curiously, it was introduced by the Drafting Committee of Committee II, who were concerned to make this paragraph accord with paragraph 5 of the 1973 draft, which related to the appeal to commanders of civilian ships and craft, and which contained a similar provision. Yet, as mentioned above, this paragraph 5 was deleted, (45) though the addition made to paragraph 2 was retained, admittedly in a modified form. The Drafting Committee of Committee II had actually proposed the expression "to collect the dead", but one delegation remarked that "it was not right that civilian populations and relief societies should be expected to collect the dead, with the possible exception of those at sea". (46) The present text was then proposed in an amendment which was adopted by consensus at the 44th meeting of Committee II. (47) The possibility of asking the civilian population and aid societies to deal with the dead is not mentioned. This omission seems justified, particularly for reasons of hygiene. On the other hand, it is certainly possible to appeal to them to search for the dead, and if they should find them, to report their location to the authorities.

    725 Next it is specified that the Parties to the conflict which have made such an appeal to the civilian population or aid societies should grant "protection and the necessary facilities to those who respond to this appeal". This is a logical and indispensable requirement. It would not be possible to appeal to the civilian population and to aid societies without granting them sufficient protection and assistance. Such a provision is also contained in similar terms in Article 18 , paragraph 1, of the First Convention. (48)

    [p.219] 726 What constitutes such protection and ' necessary ' facilities? This refers to such protection and facilities without which the task of the population or the aid societies would be too difficult or dangerous. The assessment of such necessity is left in the first instance to the competent authorities of the Party to the conflict which made the appeal, but this Party must take into account, as far as possible, the wishes and views of the societies or persons prepared to respond to the appeal. Such protection and facilities will essentially depend on the circumstances and can therefore not be listed exhaustively.

    727 However, it should be noted that the protection which can be granted in this context does not automatically include the right to use the red cross emblem, as the use of this emblem must be reserved to situations explicitly provided for by the Conventions and the Protocol. This restriction is justified because the risk of abuse is so great. However, there is nothing to prevent the Parties to the conflict from increasing the strength of their temporary medical personnel or the number of their temporary medical units. The Protocol is very flexible in this respect. However, such measures imply strict supervision and do not fall under the scope of this article.

    728 Finally, Article 17 imposes an obligation on the adverse Party to afford the same protection and facilities for as long as they are needed, if it gains or regains control of the area. The logic of this obligation is not the same as that for the previous obligation, as in this case a Party to the conflict is required to afford protection and facilities to persons or societies to which it has not made an appeal itself. However, it is in the interests of the wounded and sick that the population or the societies to which an appeal had been made for help by the often overloaded authorities, can continue their humanitarian task, even under the authorities of the adverse Party. A similar provision had been introduced in Article 18 of the First Convention in 1949 to fill the gap which was felt to exist in the 1929 Convention. (49)

    729 It should be noted that this phrase refers to a Party which ' gains or regains ' control of the area. The determining factor is the need, and not the fact that one Party or the other controls the area. In this respect it is of little or no importance whether the area is occupied or not. The facilities must be afforded if they are needed, and must continue to be afforded by the adversary if the need continues.

    730 However, the maintenance of such protection and such facilities remains obligatory only for "so long as they are needed". This specific stipulation was made neither in Article 18 of the First Convention, nor in the 1973 draft. It was added during the CDDH on the basis of an amendment. (50) Nevertheless, it is justified. A change in the control of territory can totally change the parameters of a problem. Some measures of protection or assistance may no longer be necessary. It may no longer be useful to resort lo the civilian population or to aid societies, particularly if the medical services of the Party gaining or regaining control of the area can easily cope with their task. As regards an assessment of what is ' necessary, ' what was said above also applies here (51)

    [p.220] 731 Moreover, it should be recalled that the civilian population and aid societies obviously retain the right to collect and care for the wounded, sick and shipwrecked on their own initiative in accordance with paragraph 1, independently of any protection and facilities which the Parties to the conflict might grant them or withhold from them.

    Y. S.

    NOTES (1) However, it should be noted that in this second case there is not really a substantial change. According to ' Commentary I ', it is clear that relief societies are covered by the generic term "inhabitants". Cf. p. 189 of that ' Commentary ';

    (2) On this subject, cf. O.R. XII, p. 50, CDDH/II/SR.59, para. 78.

    (3) On this subject, cf. ibid., pp. 49-50, paras. 72 and 77;

    (4) Cf. Arts. 22 and 23 with the commentary thereon, infra, p. 253;

    (5) Cf. O.R. XI, p. 157, CDDH/II/SR.17, para. 18;

    (6) Cf. O.R. III, pp. 85-86, CDDH/II/203;

    (7) Cf. O.R. XII, pp. 48-50, CDDH/II/SR.59, paras. 67, 72 and 74. As regards medical aircraft, cf. Arts. 24-31, with the commentary thereon, infra, p. 279;

    (8) Cf. O.R. XII, p. 50, CDDH/II/SR.59, para. 78;

    (9) Cf. Art. 1, para. 1;

    (10) Cf. commentary Art. 50, infra, p. 609;

    (11) On the meaning of these two terms, cf. commentary Art. 10, supra, p. 145;

    (12) Cf. commentary Art. 8, sub-paras. (a) and b), supra, pp. 116-124;

    (13) Cf. O.R. III, p. 83, CDDH/II/14;

    (14) Cf. O.R. XI, pp. 158-161, CDDH/II/SR.17, paras. 34-56;

    (15) Cf. O.R. XIII, p. 66, CDDH/236/Rev. 1, para. 25. According to the Rapporteur of Committee III, speaking on persons hors de combat, it seemed undeniable that such persons should be respected by the civilian population. However, Committee III considered that a provision on this point would be more appropriate in Art. 17, which is why it was referred to Committee II, which refused to take up the question for the reason mentioned above. For further details on this matter, cf. commentary Art. 41 and Art. 42, infra, p. 479;

    (16) Cf. O.R. III, p. 85, CDDH/II/203;

    (17) This sentence is worded as follows: "The civilian population shall respect these wounded and sick, and in particular abstain from offering them violence";

    (18) ' CE 1972, Report, ' vol. I, p. 40, para. 1.58;

    (19) Cf. O.R. III, p. 82-84, CDDH/II/1, 11, 16, 19;

    (20) By 45 votes to none against and seven abstentions: cf. O.R. XI, p. 162, CDDH/II/SR.17, paras. 62 and 63;

    (21) O.R. VI p. 78, CDDH/SR.37, Annex (Holy See);

    (22) Cf. ' Commentary Drafts, ' p. 26 (Art. 17, para. 2);

    (23) ' Commentary I, ' p. 189;

    (24) On this subject, cf. also O.R. XI, p. 243, CDDH/II/SR.24, para. 59;

    (25) Cf. in particular O.R. XI, pp. 238-243, CDDH/II/SR.24, paras. 21-66;

    (26) On this subject, cf. ' Commentary I, ' pp. 184 ff.;

    (27) Ibid., p. 187;

    (28) Cf. O.R. III, pp. 83 and 85, CDDH/II/12, 54 and 203;

    (29) O.R. XI, p. 158, CDDH/II/SR.17, para. 32;

    (30) Ibid., p. 159, para. 35;

    (31) Ibid., para. 43;

    (32) ' Commentary I, ' pp. 190-191;

    (33) ' CE 1972, Report, ' vol. II, p. 27 (Art. 20);

    (34) O.R. XI, p. 238, CDDH/II/SR.24, para. 24;

    (35) Cf. in addition commentary Art. 44, infra, pp. 532-533 and note 53;

    (36) Cf. commentary Art. 16, para. 1, supra, p. 199. On the subject of this sentence, cf. also ' Commentary I, ' pp. 192-193 (Art. 18, para. 3);

    (37) On this subject, cf. commentary Art. 16, para. 3, supra, pp. 204-208;

    (38) Cf. in particular O.R. XI, p. 241, CDDH/II/SR.24, para. 49;

    (39) Cf. in particular ibid., pp. 237-244, paras. 17, 30, 40-42, 46, 49-51, 55, 57, 60, 67-70;

    (40) Ibid., p. 244, CDDH/II/SR.24, para. 70. This proposal was approved by 27 votes for, 8 against and 14 abstentions;

    (41) Cf. ibid., p. 242, CDDH/II/SR.24, paras. 55 and 57;

    (42) On this subject, cf. commentary para. 1, supra, pp. 211-216;

    (43) On this subject, cf. ibid;

    (44) However, the Parties to the conflict could also rely on Art. 15, para. 1, of the First Convention to approach the civilian population for these purposes;

    (45) On this subject, cf. supra, p. 211;

    (46) O.R. XI, p. 486, CDDH/II/SR.44, para. 8;

    (47) Cf. O.R. III, p. 86, CDDH/II/256, and O.R. XIII, p. 94, CDDH/221/Rev. 1, para. 87;

    (48) On this subject, reference could be made to ' Commentary I, ' pp. 186 ff. The following remarks are largely inspired by this;

    (49) Cf. ' Commentary I, ' p. 188;

    (50) Cf. O.R. III, p. 85, CDDH/II/54; O.R. XIII, pp. 91 and 93, CDDH/221/Rev. 1, para. 83;

    (51) Cf. supra;