Treaties, States Parties and Commentaries
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Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Additional Protocols, and their Commentaries
Historical Treaties and Documents
Additional Articles relating to the Condition of the Wounded in War. Geneva, 20 October 1868.
Art. 13. The hospital ships which are equipped at the expense of the aid societies, recognized by the governments signing this Convention, and which are furnished with a commission emanating from the Sovereign, who shall have given express authority for their being fitted out, and with a certificate from the proper naval authority that they have been placed under his control during their fitting out and on their final departure and that they were then appropriated solely to the purpose of their mission, shall be considered neutral as well as the whole of their staff.
They shall be recognized and protected by the belligerents.
They shall make themselves known by hoisting, together with their national flag, the white flag with a red cross. The distinctive mark of their staff, while performing their duties, shall be an armlet of the same colours.
The outer painting of these hospital ships shall be white, with red strake.
These ships shall bear aid and assistance to the wounded and wrecked belligerents, without distinction of nationality.
They must take care not to interfere in any way with the movements of the combatants.
During and after the battle they must do their duty at their own risk and peril.
The belligerents shall have the right of controlling and visiting them; they will be at liberty to refuse their assistance, to order them to depart, and to detain them if the exigencies of the case require such a step.
The wounded and wrecked picked up by these ships cannot be reclaimed by either of the combatants, and they will be required not to serve during the continuance of the war.