In cases where they deem it advisable in the interest of protected
persons, particularly in cases of disagreement between the Parties
to the conflict as to the application or interpretation of the provisions
of the present Convention, the Protecting Powers shall lend their
good offices with a view to settling the disagreement.
For this purpose, each of the Protecting Powers
may, either at the invitation of one Party or on its own initiative,
propose to the Parties to the conflict a meeting of their representatives,
and in particular of the authorities responsible for protected persons,
possibly on neutral territory suitably chosen. The Parties to the
conflict shall be bound to give effect to the proposals made to
them for this purpose. The Protecting Powers may, if necessary,
propose for approval by the Parties to the conflict a person belonging
to a neutral Power, or delegated by the International Committee
of the Red Cross, who shall be invited to take part in such a meeting.
General Protection of Populations Against Certain Consequences of
The provisions of Part II cover the whole of the populations
of the countries in conflict, without any adverse distinction based,
in particular, on race, nationality, religion or political opinion,
and are intended to alleviate the sufferings caused by war.
In time of peace, the High Contracting Parties and, after the outbreak
of hostilities, the Parties thereto, may establish in their own
territory and, if the need arises, in occupied areas, hospital and
safety zones and localities so organized as to protect from the
effects of war, wounded, sick and aged persons, children under fifteen,
expectant mothers and mothers of children under seven.
Upon the outbreak and during the course of
hostilities, the Parties concerned may conclude agreements on mutual
recognition of the zones and localities they have created. They
may for this purpose implement the provisions of the Draft Agreement
annexed to the present Convention, with such amendments as they
may consider necessary.
The Protecting Powers and the International
Committee of the Red Cross are invited to lend their good offices
in order to facilitate the institution and recognition of these
hospital and safety zones and localities.
Any Party to the conflict may, either direct or through a neutral
State or some humanitarian organization, propose to the adverse
Party to establish, in the regions where fighting is taking place,
neutralized zones intended to shelter from the effects of war the
following persons, without
(a) wounded and sick combatants or non-combatants;
(b) civilian persons who take no part in hostilities, and who, while
they reside in the zones, perform no work of a military character.
When the Parties concerned have agreed upon
the geographical position, administration, food supply and supervision
of the proposed neutralized zone, a written agreement shall be concluded
and signed by the representatives of the Parties to the conflict.
The agreement shall fix the beginning and the duration of the neutralization
of the zone.
The wounded and sick, as well as the infirm, and expectant mothers,
shall be the object of particular protection and respect.
As far as military considerations allow, each
Party to the conflict shall facilitate the steps taken to search
for the killed and wounded, to assist the shipwrecked and other
persons exposed to grave danger, and to protect them against pillage
The Parties to the conflict shall endeavour to conclude local agreements
for the removal from besieged or encircled areas, of wounded, sick,
infirm, and aged persons, children and maternity cases, and for
the passage of ministers of all religions, medical personnel and
medical equipment on their way to such areas.
Civilian hospitals organized to give care to the wounded and sick,
the infirm and maternity cases, may in no circumstances be the object
of attack but shall at all times be respected and protected by the
Parties to the conflict.
States which are Parties to a conflict shall
provide all civilian hospitals with certificates showing that they
are civilian hospitals and that the buildings which they occupy
are not used for any purpose which would deprive these hospitals
of protection in accordance with Article 19.
Civilian hospitals shall be marked by means of the
emblem provided for in Article 38 of the Geneva Convention for the
Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces
in the Field of 12 August 1949, but only if so authorized by the
The Parties to the conflict shall, in so far as
military considerations permit, take the necessary steps to make
the distinctive emblems indicating civilian hospitals clearly visible
to the enemy land, air and naval forces in order to obviate the
possibility of any hostile action.
In view of the dangers to which hospitals may be
exposed by being close to military objectives, it is recommended
that such hospitals be situated as far as possible from such objectives.