Treaties, States Parties and Commentaries
Treaties and Documents
Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Additional Protocols, and their Commentaries
Historical Treaties and Documents
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.
-- PROTECTION OF WORKERS (1)
PARAGRAPH 1. -- RECOURSE TO THE PROTECTING POWER
As was demonstrated in the commentary on Article 30
, anyone who is protected by the Convention is entitled to appeal to his Protecting Power.
The Occupying Power might find it advantageous to cut this link with the Protecting Power by forcing workers to renounce their rights in the matter. The present clause tries to meet that contingency by prohibiting any exception to the general principle, either in the case of protected persons who are compelled to work by the Occupying Power or in that of persons who have voluntarily entered the service [p.300] of that Power. Any clause in a contract which abrogates this right or hinders its exercise is therefore null and void.
It may be noted that this provision is only one case of the application of the principle of the inviolability of the rights accorded to protected persons. That principle is laid down in Article 8
and dominates the whole Convention.
PARAGRAPH 2. -- PROHIBITED MEASURES
This paragraph refers in particular to certain measures, taken during the Second World War, which had the effect of creating unemployment artificially or of lessening the possibility of finding work; such measures included the setting up of employment monopolies, the closing down of industries, the creation of a shortage of raw materials necessary for production, etc.
By forbidding recourse to such practices, Article 52 strengthens the fundamental principle set forth in the preceding Article
, that any compulsory labour must be carried out inside the occupied territory.
Notes: (1) [(2) p.299] For the discussions leading up to this
Article, see ' Final Record, ' Vol. I, p. 121; Vol. II-A,
pp. 665, 761; Vol. II-B, p. 417;