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Analysis for the Use of National Red Cross Societies

The Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949

In 1950, the International Committee of the Red Cross published a preliminary analysis of those provisions of the four Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949 which had a “direct interest” for the National Societies of the Red Cross. Volume I of this preliminary work provides, by chapter, and articles within each chapter, an analysis of select provisions of the First and Second Conventions. The Committee notes that because the “First Convention [wounded and sick] relates back to the original instrument from which all Red Cross law derives, a particularly detailed study of it was required.” The Committee also notes that because the Second Convention, which applies to naval warfare, “has the same object and the same general arrangement as the First Convention,” it has limited its analysis to only those provisions “differing notably” from the First Convention. Volume II is divided into three sections: Articles common to the four Geneva Conventions, Convention No. III, and Convention No. IV. The Committee notes that the first section is confined to a study of those provisions of the four Conventions “which fix the scope of the Conventions, or directly or indirectly interest the Red Cross, insofar as they modify or extend” other international treaties. Section two provides an analysis of the regulations applicable to the treatment of prisoners of war (Convention No. III), grouped under two headings: relations of prisoners of war with the exterior (including correspondence and relief supplies); and information bureaus and relief societies, including the Central Prisoners of War Agency at Geneva. Section three analyzes provisions of the entirely new Convention No. IV that addresses the protection of civilian persons. The Committee notes that it has, in its examination of select Articles of this Convention, “emphasized points which give [Red Cross] Societies an active part in implementing this new law and an influence in its future development.”

For a detailed commentary on the Conventions, see the four-volume authoritative work edited by Jean S. Pictet, which is also available on this Web site in full text: The Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949. Commentary.
(OCLC Number 503566327)

To view the PDF files, click the images below.

Volume I Volume II
Volume I
Volume II
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  July 16, 2010
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