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Annex I (to Protocol Additional I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949) : Regulations concerning identification, 6 June 1977
Identity card for temporary civilian medical and religious personnel
[p.1161] Annex I, Article 2
-- Identity card for temporary civilian medical and religions personnel
[p.1162] General remarks
4001 The temporary civilian medical and religious personnel referred to in this article are defined in sub-paragraphs (c), (d) and (k) of
' (Terminology) ' of the Protocol; since they are entitled
to respect and protection they should be able, if the need arises, to prove their right to wear the protective distinctive emblem by
showing the identity card provided for in Article 18
' (Identification), ' paragraph 3, of the Protocol. Since the
Protocol does not distinguish between "permanent" and "temporary"
status for civilian medical and religious personnel, the identity
cards intended respectively for these two categories of personnel are
based on one and the same provision.
4002 As we have seen, only the first of the two articles of the Annex devoted to these identity cards refers to paragraph 3 of Article 18
' (Identification) ' of the Protocol, in which the terms "permanent"
and "temporary" do not appear.
4003 In cases of emergency, when an identity card based on the national model or on the model in figure 1 cannot be drawn up for
temporary personnel, the competent authority may issue a similar
document, namely, the certificate referred to in paragraph 2 of this article. Like the identity card provided for in Article 18
' (Identification), ' paragraph 3, of the Protocol, the certificate
issued to temporary civilian medical and religious personnel states
their right to wear the distinctive emblem as well as their right to
respect and protection.
4004 The model identity card proposed in figure 1 was designed by the Technical Sub-Committee so that it could also be issued to temporary
civilian medical and religious personnel. All that is required is to
strike out the word "permanent" which appears in the model. The
essential features which serve to identify an individual are the
same, irrespective of whether permanent or temporary personnel are
4005 Temporary personnel, who are required to meet the conditions laid down in Article 8
' (Terminology), ' sub-paragraphs (c), (d) and (k),
of the Protocol, may be called upon at short notice. (1) Their
mission should not be delayed by the administrative formalities
involved in issuing the identity card certifying their right to wear
the distinctive emblem. A single model of identity card which can be
used for both permanent and temporary personnel facilitates both
control and issuance procedures throughout the national territory and
at any time; the forms may be printed, left blank and distributed in
advance to the authorities responsible for issuing and controlling
the identity cards.
[p.1163] Paragraph 2
4006 Where circumstances preclude the provision of identity cards based on the national model or the model in Figure 1 to temporary
civilian medical and religious personnel in occupied territories or
in the areas referred to in paragraph 3 of Article 18
' (Identification) ' of the Protocol, the competent authority may
issue a certificate as proof of the status of the person to whom it
4007 The certificate should contain the following particulars:
' Certificate for temporary civilian medical and religious
' Name: '
' Date of birth: '
(or age when the certificate was issued).
' Holder's function: '
' Identity No. ' (if any):
The holder has the right to wear the distinctive emblem conferring
His assignment to duty as temporary medical/religious personnel
(date of issue)
Signature of holder Signature of the competent
or thumbprint or both authority issuing the certificate
4008 In exceptional circumstances or emergencies, it is not compulsory for the certificate to bear the distinctive emblem and the competent
authority's stamp. Neither do certificates of this kind need to bear
the holder's photograph. By analogy with the provisions governing the
identity card, temporary personnel provided with this certificate
should not have it removed from them and may in no circumstances be
deprived of it during their assignment. In the event of loss, they
should be provided with a duplicate copy. The issuing authority
should, if possible, keep a control of the certificates it issues,
for example by keeping a list of names. The material to be used is
not specified and could, for example, be ordinary typing paper
without an official letterhead.
4009 If the holder does not know his date of birth, paragraph 2 recommends that his age at the time of issue should be mentioned.
Consequently, the certificate should bear a date of issue.
Model of indentity card for Articles 1 and 2
[Graphic document non reproduced in the database]
4010 The particulars referred to in Article 1
' (Identity card for permanent civilian medical and religious personnel), ' paragraph 1,
sub-paragraphs (a) to (h), appear on either the front or the reverse
side of the model. Enough space was left to include additional
particulars as an aid to precise identification of the holder,
namely, height, eyes and hair.
4011 A person may be described as short, of average height or tall, but it is certainly preferable for the height to be expressed in
metric terms. Eyes and hair are characterized by their colour; a bald
person may be so described. It is not compulsory for these
particulars to be given; they are not mentioned in Article 1
' (Identity card for permanent civilian medical and religious
personnel), ' paragraph 1, sub-paragraphs (a) to (h).
4012 The item "Other distinguishing marks or information" could be used, for example, to list any distinguishing physical marks or
provide information about the holder's profession. 4013 The Technical Sub-Committee considered that it was not necessary for the holder's blood group to be entered on the identity card because, if the need arises, it is preferable to check the blood
group rather than to rely on previous information from a source which
may be unverifiable.
' Ph. E. '
NOTES (1) [(1) p.1162] Cf. commentary Art. 8 of the Protocol, sub-paras. (c), (d), (k), supra, pp. 124, 127 and 132;