ICRC databases on international humanitarian law
  • Print page
Commentary - Part III : Captivity #Section III : Labour of prisoners of war
    [p.259] SECTION III


    ' LABOUR OF PRISONERS OF WAR '

    The work done by prisoners of war is of value for the Detaining Power, since it can make a substantial contribution to the latter's economic resources; it is also a matter of interest to the Power of Origin, which may fear that prisoners of war may thereby contribute to the enemy's war effort. For the prisoners themselves, work is an essential antidote to the trials of captivity, and that is why the 1907 Hague Regulations, in Article 6 , introduced the possibility of work by prisoners of war. During the First World War, this clause was the subject of numerous implementing directives which in turn led to a codification in the 1929 Convention. The rules contained in the 1929 text have been maintained and developed by the present Section (1).


    * (1) [(1) p.259] See ' Report of the International Committee of
    the Red Cross on its activities during the Second World
    War ', Vol. I., pp. 327 ff.; ' Report on the Work of the
    Conference of Government Experts, ' p. 170; BRETONNI RE:
    op. cit., p. 162;