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.
[p.370] SECTION IV
' REGULATIONS FOR THE TREATMENT OF INTERNEES '
The regulations for the treatment of internees are contained in Section IV of Part III, Articles 79
In the Tokyo Draft (1) there were only two Articles dealing with internment. Having laid down the general rule that internment camps for enemy civilians shall be separate from internment camps for prisoners of war and that they were not to be set up in unhealthy districts (Article 16), the Draft merely said (Article 17): "Furthermore, the Convention of July 27, 1929, relative to the treatment of prisoners of war is by analogy applicable to civilian internees. The treatment of civilian internees shall in no case be inferior to that laid down in the said Convention".
The Diplomatic Conference considered, as the XVIIth International Red Cross Conference had done, that the Tokyo Draft was inadequate in this respect and that the Fourth Convention should incorporate special regulations concerning civilian internment, omitting any provisions which could apply only to members of armed forces (respect for rank, saluting, pay, etc.), and adding clauses applicable to civilians. Consequently the regulations concerning the treatment of internees comprise no fewer than fifty-seven Articles, or about one third of the Convention.
In general, however, the regulations applicable to civilians reproduce almost word for word the regulations relating to prisoners of war. This is in accordance with wartime experience and with the views expressed during preliminary discussions on the new Conventions. In particular, at the Preliminary Conference of Red Cross Societies, which met in Geneva in 1946, the regulations for both prisoners of war and civilian internees were discussed by the same Committee.
[p.371] Nevertheless several Articles -- e.g. Articles 114
(management of property), 115
(facilities for preparation and conduct of cases) and 116
(visits) -- have no counterpart in the Prisoners of War Convention, for they are intended to lessen the hardships of detention in the case of civilians who, not being subject to military discipline, may in certain instances be treated less strictly than prisoners of war. A further difference of prime importance in connection with labour conditions deserves notice. Whereas prisoners (with the exception of officers) may be forced to do work, internees need only work if they so desire. Apart from the fact that it is entirely voluntary, the work of internees is governed by the same rules as that of prisoners of war.
Notes: (1) [(1) p.370] See page 4;