ICRC databases on international humanitarian law
Treaties and Documents
1949 Conventions and Additional Protocols, and their Commentaries
Historical Treaties and Documents
Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field. Geneva, 12 August 1949.
It is only reasonable that a belligerent who recognizes a zone established by the opposing party should be able to demand the setting up of a controlling body to ascertain, for example, if the obligations under Articles 4
of the Agreement are duly fulfilled.
The draft submitted to the Diplomatic Conference stipulated that this function should be entrusted to the Power protecting the interests of the State which had recognized the zone. It would have been possible in this way to utilize an organization ready to carry out the work on the spot. The Conference was nevertheless unwilling to agree to this [p.424] solution, as they considered that the Protecting Powers were already overburdened with multifarious tasks.
The Draft Agreement accordingly entrusts control to Special Commissions, Their composition is not indicated, however; nor is it said by whom their members will be appointed. These points will have to be settled at the time the Agreement is concluded. The members of the Commissions will no doubt be neutrals, chosen by mutual agreement between the belligerents and representing either the Protecting Powers or other neutral States.
The Agreement does not specify the qualifications or qualities which members of the Commissions must possess. As their main duty will be to supervise the execution of measures of a military nature, it will usually be desirable to obtain the assistance of officers, such as the military attachés of the Protecting Power or other neutral Powers. The participation of doctors would also appear to be indicated.
In order to be able to carry out their task, the members of the Commissions will at all times have free access to the various zones; they may even reside there permanently.