Geneva Convention Agreements

More than 180 States have acceded to the 1949 Conventions. Approximately 150 States are parties to Protocol I; more than 145 States are parties to Protocol II, but not the United States. In addition, more than 50 States have made declarations accepting the competence of international commissions of inquiry to investigate allegations of serious or other serious violations of the conventions or protocol I. The Geneva Convention was a series of international diplomatic meetings that gave rise to a series of agreements, including the Humanitarian Law on Armed Conflict, a group of international laws on the humane treatment of wounded or captured military personnel, medical personnel and non-military civilians during wars or armed conflicts. The agreements came into being in 1864 and were significantly updated in 1949, after World War II. Inspired by the wave of humanitarian and pacifist enthusiasm that followed the Second World War and by the outrage over the war crimes revealed by the Nuremberg trials, a series of conferences were held in 1949, reaffirming, expanding and updating the old Geneva and Hague Conventions. There were four different conventions: the previous proposal led to the creation of the Red Cross in Geneva. In 1864, the latter led to the Geneva Convention, the first codified international treaty covering sick and wounded soldiers on the battlefield. On August 22, 1864, the Swiss government invited the governments of all European countries as well as the United States, Brazil, and Mexico to an official diplomatic conference. Sixteen countries sent a total of twenty-six delegates to Geneva. On August 22, 1864, the Conference adopted the first Geneva Convention ”to improve the condition of the wounded in armies on the ground.” Representatives of 12 states and kingdoms signed the Convention:[3][4] As some belligerents abused the principles set out in previous conventions during World War II, an International Conference of the Red Cross in Stockholm in 1948 expanded and codified existing provisions.

The Conference elaborated four Conventions, adopted in Geneva on 12 August 1949: (1) the Convention for the A betterment of the condition of the wounded and sick in armed forces in the field; (2) the Convention for the A betterment of the wounded, sick and shipwrecked of armed forces at sea; (3) the Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners of War, and (4) the Convention on the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. . . .