ICRC databases on international humanitarian law
  • Print page
Protection from the effects of minefields, mined areas, mines, booby-traps and other devices
    Article 12 - Protection from the effects of minefields, mined areas, mines, booby-traps and other devices

    1. Application

    (a) With the exception of the forces and missions referred to in sub-paragraph 2(a) (i) of this Article, this Article applies only to missions which are performing functions in an area with the consent of the High Contracting Party on whose territory the functions are performed.

    (b) The application of the provisions of this Article to parties to a conflict which are not High Contracting Parties shall not change their legal status or the legal status of a disputed territory, either explicitly or implicitly.

    (c) The provisions of this Article are without prejudice to existing international humanitarian law, or other international instruments as applicable, or decisions by the Security Council of the United Nations, which provide for a higher level of protection to personnel functioning in accordance with this Article.

    2. Peace-keeping and certain other forces and missions

    (a) This paragraph applies to:

    (i) any United Nations force or mission performing peace-keeping, observation or similar functions in any area in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations;

    (ii) any mission established pursuant to Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations and performing its functions in the area of a conflict.

    (b) Each High Contracting Party or party to a conflict, if so requested by the head of a force or mission to which this paragraph applies, shall:

    (i) so far as it is able, take such measures as are necessary to protect the force or mission from the effects of mines, booby-traps and other devices in any area under its control;

    (ii) if necessary in order effectively to protect such personnel, remove or render harmless, so far as it is able, all mines, booby-traps and other devices in that area; and

    (iii) inform the head of the force or mission of the location of all known minefields, mined areas, mines, booby-traps and other devices in the area in which the force or mission is performing its functions and, so far as is feasible, make available to the head of the force or mission all information in its possession concerning such minefields, mined areas, mines, booby-traps and other devices.

    3. Humanitarian and fact-finding missions of the United Nations System

    (a) This paragraph applies to any humanitarian or fact-finding mission of the United Nations System.

    (b) Each High Contracting Party or party to a conflict, if so requested by the head of a mission to which this paragraph applies, shall:

    (i) provide the personnel of the mission with the protections set out in sub-paragraph 2(b) (i) of this Article; and

    (ii) if access to or through any place under its control is necessary for the performance of the mission's functions and in order to provide the personnel of the mission with safe passage to or through that place:

    (aa) unless on-going hostilities prevent, inform the head of the mission of a safe route to that place if such information is available; or

    (bb) if information identifying a safe route is not provided in accordance with sub-paragraph (aa), so far as is necessary and feasible, clear a lane through minefields.

    4. Missions of the International Committee of the Red Cross

    (a) This paragraph applies to any mission of the International Committee of the Red Cross performing functions with the consent of the host State or States as provided for by the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and, where applicable, their Additional Protocols.

    (b) Each High Contracting Party or party to a conflict, if so requested by the head of a mission to which this paragraph applies, shall:

    (i) provide the personnel of the mission with the protections set out in sub-paragraph 2(b) (i) of this Article; and

    (ii) take the measures set out in sub-paragraph 3(b) (ii) of this Article.

    5. Other humanitarian missions and missions of enquiry

    (a) Insofar as paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 above do not apply to them, this paragraph applies to the following missions when they are performing functions in the area of a conflict or to assist the victims of a conflict:

    (i) any humanitarian mission of a national Red Cross or Red Crescent Society or of their International Federation;

    (ii) any mission of an impartial humanitarian organization, including any impartial humanitarian demining mission; and

    (iii) any mission of enquiry established pursuant to the provisions of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and, where applicable, their Additional Protocols.

    (b) Each High Contracting Party or party to a conflict, if so requested by the head of a mission to which this paragraph applies, shall, so far as is feasible:

    (i) provide the personnel of the mission with the protections set out in sub-paragraph 2(b) (i) of this Article, and

    (ii) take the measures set out in sub-paragraph 3(b) (ii) of this Article.

    6. Confidentiality

    All information provided in confidence pursuant to this Article shall be treated by the recipient in strict confidence and shall not be released outside the force or mission concerned without the express authorization of the provider of the information.

    7. Respect for laws and regulations

    Without prejudice to such privileges and immunities as they may enjoy or to the requirements of their duties, personnel participating in the forces and missions referred to in this Article shall:

    (a) respect the laws and regulations of the host State; and

    (b) refrain from any action or activity incompatible with the impartial and international nature of their duties.


<< Previous     Up     Next >>