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Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 1977.
Hospitals ships and coastal rescue craft
-- Hospitals ships and coastal rescue craft
1. The provisions of the Conventions relating to:
(a) vessels described in Articles 22
of the Second Convention,
(b) their lifeboats and small craft,
(c) their personnel and crews, and
(d) the wounded, sick and shipwrecked on board,
shall also apply where these vessels carry civilian wounded, sick and shipwrecked who do not belong to any of the categories mentioned in Article 13
of the Second Convention. Such civilians shall not, however, be subject to surrender to any Party which is not their own, or to capture at sea. If they find themselves in the power of a Party to the conflict other than their own they shall be covered by the Fourth Convention and by this Protocol.
2. The protection provided by the Conventions to vessels described in Article 25
of the Second Convention shall extend to hospital ships made available for humanitarian purposes to a Party to the conflict:
(a) by a neutral or other State which is not a Party to that conflict; or
(b) by an impartial international humanitarian organization,
provided that, in either case, the requirements set out in that Article are complied with.
3. Small craft described in Article 27
of the Second Convention shall be protected even if the notification envisaged by that Article has not been made. The Parties to the conflict are, nevertheless, invited to inform each other of any details of such craft which will facilitate their identification and recognition.
Commentary of 1987