ICRC databases on international humanitarian law
  • Print page
    Annex I. Regulations Concerning Identification

    CHAPTER I. IDENTITY CARDS

    Article 1 Identity card for permanent civilian medical and religious personnel

    1. The identity card for permanent civilian medical and religious personnel referred to in Article 18, paragraph 3, of the Protocol should:
    a) bear the distinctive emblem and be of such size that it can be carried in the pocket;
    b) be as durable as practicable;
    c) be worded in the national or official language (and may in addition be worded in other languages);
    d) mention the name, the date of birth (or, if that date is not available, the age at the time of issue) and the identity number, if any, of the holder;
    e) state in what capacity the holder is entitled to the protection of the Conventions and of the Protocol; bear the photograph of the holder as well as his signature or his thumb-print, or both;
    g) bear the stamp and signature of the competent authority;
    h) state the date of issue and date of expiry of the card.

    2. The identity card shall be uniform throughout the territory of each High Contracting Party and, as far as possible, of the same type for all Parties to the conflict. The Parties to the conflict may be guided by the single- language model shown in Figure 1. At the outbreak of hostilities, they shall transmit to each other a specimen of the model they are using, if such model differs from that shown in Figure 1. The identity card shall be made out, if possible, in duplicate, one copy being kept by the issuing authority, which should maintain control of the cards which it has issued.

    3. In no circumstances may permanent civilian medical and religious personnel be deprived of their identity cards. In the event of the loss of a card, they shall be entitled to obtain a duplicate copy.


    Article 2 - Identity card for temporary civilian medical and religious personnel

    1. The identity card for temporary civilian medical and religious personnel should, whenever possible, be similar to that provided for in Article 1 of these Regulations. The Parties to the conflict may be guided by the model shown in Figure 1.

    2. When circumstances preclude the provision to temporary civilian medical and religious personnel of identity cards similar to those described in Article 1 of these Regulations, the said personnel may be provided with a certificate signed by the competent authority certifying that the person to whom it is issued is assigned to duty as temporary personnel and stating, if possible, the duration of such assignment and his right to wear the distinctive emblem. The certificate should mention the holder's name and date of birth (or if that date is not available, his age at the time when the certificate was issued), his function and identity number, if any. It shall bear his signature or his thumb-print, or both.



    Fig 1. Model of Identity card (74mm x 105mm)

    CHAPTER II. THE DISTINCTIVE EMBLEM

    Article 3 - Shape and nature

    1. The distinctive emblem (red on a white ground) shall be as large as appropriate under the circumstances. For the shapes of the cross, the crescent or the lion and sun, the High Contracting Parties may be guided by the models shown in Figure 2.
    2. At night or when visibility is reduced, the distinctive emblem may be lighted or illuminated; it may also be made of materials rendering it recognizable by technical means of detection.


    Fig. 2: Distinctive emblems in red on a white ground


    Article 4 Use

    1. The distinctive emblem shall, whenever possible, be displayed on a flat surface or on flags visible from as many directions and from as far away as possible.
    2. Subject to the instructions of the competent authority, medical and religious personnel carrying out their duties in the battle area shall, as far as possible, wear headgear and clothing bearing the distinctive emblem.

    CHAPTER III. DISTINCTIVE SIGNALS

    Article 5 - Optional Use

    1. Subject to the provisions of Article 6 of these Regulations, the signals specified in this Chapter for exclusive use by medical units and transports shall not be used for any other purpose. The use of all signals referred to in this Chapter is optional.
    2. Temporary medical aircraft which cannot, either for lack of time or because of their characteristics, be marked with the distinctive emblem, may use the distinctive signals authorized in this Chapter. The best method of effective identification and recognition of medical aircraft is, however, the use of a visual signal, either the distinctive emblem or the light signal specified in Article 6, or both, supplemented by the other signals referred to in Articles 7 and 8 of these Regulations.


    Article 6 - Light signal

    1. The light signal, consisting of a flashing blue light, is established for the use of medical aircraft to signal their identity. No other aircraft shall use this signal. The recommended blue colour is obtained by using, as trichromatic co-ordinates:

    green boundary y = 0.065 + 0.805x
    white boundary y = 0.400 - x
    purple boundary x = 0.133 + 0.600y

    The recommended flashing rate of the blue light is between sixty and one hundred flashes per minute. 2. Medical aircraft should be equipped with such lights as may be necessary to make the light signal visible in as many directions as possible. 3. In the absence of a special agreement between the Parties to the conflict reserving the use of flashing blue lights for the identification of medical vehicles and ships and craft, the use of such signals for other vehicles or ships is not prohibited.


    Article 7 - Radio signal

    1. The radio signal shall consist of a radiotelephonic or radiotelegraphic message preceded by a distinctive priority signal to be designated and approved by a World Administrative Radio Conference of the International Telecommunication Union. It shall be transmitted three times before the call sign of the medical transport involved. This message shall be transmitted in English at appropriate intervals on a frequency or frequencies specified pursuant to paragraph j. The use of the priority signal shall be restricted exclusively to medical units and transports.

    2. The radio message preceded by the distinctive priority signal mentioned in paragraph 1 shall convey the following data:
    a) call sign of the medical transport;
    b) position of the medical transport;
    c) number and type of medical transports;
    d) intended route;
    e) estimated time en route and of departure and arrival, as appropriate; any other information such as flight altitude, radio frequencies guarded, languages and secondary surveillance radar modes and codes.

    3. In order to facilitate the communications referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2, as well as the communications referred to in Articles 22, 23, 25, 26,27, 28, 29, 30 and 31 of the Protocol, the High Contracting Parties, the Parties to a conflict, or one of the Parties to a conflict, acting in agreement or alone, may designate, in accordance with the Table of Frequency Allocations in the Radio Regulations annexed to the International Telecommunication Convention, and publish selected national frequencies to be used by them for such communications. These frequency shall be notified to the International Telecommunication Union in accordance with procedures to be approved by a World Administrative Radio Conference.


    Article 8 - Electronic identification

    1. The Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR) system, as specified in Annex 10 to the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation of 7 December1944, as amended from time to time, may be used to identify and to follow the course of medical aircraft. The SSR mode and code to be reserved for the exclusive use of medical aircraft shall be established by the High Contracting Parties, the Parties to a conflict, or one of the Parties to a conflict, acting in agreement or alone, in accordance with procedures to be recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

    2. Parties to a conflict may, by special agreement between them, establish for their use a similar electronic system for the identification of medical vehicles, and medical ships and craft.

    CHAPTER IV. COMMUNICATIONS

    Article 9 - Radiocommunications

    The priority signal provided for in Article 7 of these Regulations may precede appropriate radiocommunications by medical units and transports in the application of the procedures carried out under Articles 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31 of the Protocol.


    Article 10 Use of international codes

    Medical units and transports may also use the codes and signals laid down by the International Telecommunication Union, the International Civil Aviation Organization and the Inter-Governmental Maritime Con- sultative Organization. These codes and signals shall be used in accordance with the standards, practices and procedures established by these Organizations.


    Article 11 Other means of communication

    When two-way radiocommunication is not possible, the signals provided for in the International Code of Signals adopted by the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization or in the appropriate Annex to the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation of 7 December 1944, as amended from time to time, may be used.


    Article 12 - Flight plans

    The agreements and notifications relating to flight plans provided for in Article 29 of the Protocol shall as far as possible be formulated in accordance with procedures laid down by the International Civil Aviation Organization.


    Article 13 - Signals and procedures for the interception of medical aircraft

    If an intercepting aircraft is used to verify the identity of a medical aircraft in flight or to require it to land in accordance with Articles 30 and 31 of the Protocol, the standard visual and radio interception procedures prescribed by Annex 2 to the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation of 7 December 1944, as amended from time to time, should be used by the intercepting and the medical aircraft.



    Fig 3. Model identity card for civil defence personnel (format: 74mm x 105mm)

    CHAPTER V. CIVIL DEFENCE

    Article 14 Identity card

    1. The identity card of the civil defence personnel provided for in Article 66, paragraph 3, of the Protocol is governed by the relevant provisions of Article 1 of these Regulations.
    2. The identity card for civil defence personnel may follow the model shown in Figure 3.
    3. If civil defence personnel are permitted to carry light individual weapons,


    Article 15 International distinctive sign

    1. The international distinctive sign of civil defence provided for in Article 66, paragraph 4, of the Protocol is an equilateral blue triangle on an orange ground. A model is shown in Figure 4:
    2. It is recommended that:
    a) if the blue triangle is on a flag or armlet or tabard, the ground to the triangle be the orange flag, armlet or tabard;
    b) one of the angles of the triangle be pointed vertically upwards;
    c) no angle of the triangle touch the edge of the orange ground.



    Fig 4: Blue triangle on an orange background

    3. The international distinctive sign shall be as large as appropriate under the circumstances. The distinctive sign shall, whenever possible, be displayed on flat surfaces or on flags visible from as many directions and from as far away as possible. Subject to the instructions of the competent authority, civil defence personnel shall, as far as possible, wear headgear and clothing bearing the international distinctive sign. At night or when visibility is reduced, the sign may be lighted or illuminated; it may also be made of materials rendering it recognizable by technical means of detection.


    CHAPTER VI. WORKS AND INSTALLATIONS CONTAINING DANGEROUS FORCES

    Article 16 International special sign

    1. The international special sign for works and installations containing dangerous forces, as provided for in Article 56, paragraph 7, of the Protocol, shall be a group of three bright orange circles of equal size, placed on the same axis, the distance between each circle being one radius, in accordance with Figure 5 illustrated below,
    2. The sign shall be as large as appropriate under the circumstances. When displayed over an extended surface it may be repeated as often as appropriate under the circumstances. It shall, whenever possible, be displayed on flat surfaces or on flags so as to be visible from as many directions and from as far away as possible.
    3. On a flag, the distance between the outer limits of the sign and the adjacent sides of the flag shall be one radius of a circle. The flag shall be rectangular and shall have a white ground.
    4. At night or when visibility is reduced, the sign may be lighted or illuminated. It may also be made of materials rendering it recognizable by technical means of detection.



    Fig. 5: International special sign for works and installations containing dangerous forces


<< Previous     Up     Next >>