The protocols additional to the Geneva Conventions were adopted in 1977. The first of these two treaties deals with international conflicts. The second covers non-international conflicts (civil wars, etc.). Both are intended to impose limits on the effects of war, especially on civilians.
The following photos illustrate some of the rules set out in the protocols.
" The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited.."
Distinction between civilians and combatants - " (…) the Parties to the conflict shall at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives and accordingly shall direct their operations only against military objectives."
Protection of medical personnel - " Medical and religious personnel shall be respected and protected and shall be granted all available help for the performance of their duties. They shall not be compelled to carry out tasks which are not compatible with their humanitarian mission. "
Protection of objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population - " It is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, such as food-stuffs, agricultural areas for the production of food-stuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installations and supplies (…)" PI Art 54, PII Art 14
Indiscriminate attacks - " Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited. Among others, the following types of attacks are to be considered as indiscriminate: (...)an attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects (…)"
Protection and care - "All the wounded, sick and shipwrecked, to whichever Party they belong, shall be respected and protected. In all circumstances they shall be treated humanely and shall receive, to the fullest extent practicable and with the least possible delay, the medical care and attention required by their condition. There shall be no distinction among them founded on any grounds other than medical ones." PI Art 10 PII Art 7
Missing persons - "As soon as circumstances permit, and at the latest from the end of active hostilities, each Party to the conflict shall search for the persons who have been reported missing by an adverse Party." PI Art 33
Reunion of dispersed families - "The High Contracting Parties and the Parties to the conflict shall facilitate in every possible way the reunion of families dispersed as a result of armed conflicts…" PI Art 74 "All appropriate steps shall be taken to facilitate the reunion of families temporarily separated." PII Art 4
Protection of women - "Women shall be the object of special respect and shall be protected in particular against rape, forced prostitution and any other form of indecent assault." PI Art 76
"... the following acts (…)are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever: outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment, rape, enforced prostitution and any form or indecent assault;" PII Art 4
Protection of children - " Children shall be the object of special respect and shall be protected against any form of indecent assault. The Parties to the conflict shall provide them with the care and aid they require, whether because of their age or for any other reason." PI Art 77
Child soldiers - "The Parties to the conflict shall take all feasible measures in order that children who have not attained the age of fifteen years do not take a direct part in hostilities and, in particular, they shall refrain from recruiting them into their armed forces." PI Art 77
"Children who have not attained the age of fifteen years shall neither be recruited in the armed forces or groups nor allowed to take part in hostilities" PII Art 4
Protection of the natural environment - " It is prohibited to employ methods or means of warfare which are intended, or may be expected, to cause widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment." PI Art 35
" Care shall be taken in warfare to protect the natural environment against widespread, long-term and severe damage." PI Art 55
Activities of the Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations - "The Parties to the conflict shall grant to the International Committee of the Red Cross all facilities, within their power so as to enable it to carry out the humanitarian functions assigned to it by the Conventions and this Protocol in order to ensure protection and assistance to the victims of conflicts " PI Art 81