Thursday, August 13, 2009
August 12, 2009 marks the 60th anniversary of the signing of the four Geneva Conventions on the laws of war. The four conventions set forth rules for the treatment and protection of sick or wounded armed soldiers on land and at sea, prisoners of war, and civilians. All 194 States are parties to the Geneva Conventions, making them universally applicable. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is using the anniversary to call for better compliance with the Conventions. While violations of international humanitarian law are still committed too frequently, ICRC’s president, Jakob Kellenberger, notes that "many of these violations are no longer going unnoticed. Increasingly, those responsible are being held accountable for their actions and that is a sign of progress.” The ICRC press release may be found here.