To the fullest extent of the means available to it, the Occupying
Power has the duty of ensuring and maintaining, with the cooperation
of national and local authorities, the medical and hospital establishments
and services, public health and hygiene in the occupied territory,
with particular reference to the adoption and application of the
prophylactic and preventive measures necessary to combat the spread
of contagious diseases and epidemics. Medical personnel of all categories
shall be allowed to carry out their duties.
If new hospitals are set up in occupied territory
and if the competent organs of the occupied State are not operating
there, the occupying authorities shall, if necessary, grant them
the recognition provided for in Article 18. In similar circumstances,
the occupying authorities shall also grant recognition to hospital
personnel and transport vehicles under the provisions of Articles
20 and 21.
In adopting measures of health and hygiene
and in their implementation, the Occupying Power shall take into
consideration the moral and ethical susceptibilities of the population
of the occupied territory.
The Occupying Power may requisition civilian hospitals of hospitals
only temporarily and only in cases of urgent necessity for the care
of military wounded and sick, and then on condition that suitable
arrangements are made in due time for the care and treatment of
the patients and for the needs of the civilian population for hospital
The material and stores of civilian hospitals
cannot be requisitioned so long as they are necessary for the needs
of the civilian population.
The Occupying Power shall permit ministers of religion to give spiritual
assistance to the members of their religious communities.
The Occupying Power shall also accept consignments
of books and articles required for religious needs and shall facilitate
their distribution in occupied territory.
If the whole or part of the population of an occupied territory
is inadequately supplied, the Occupying Power shall agree to relief
schemes on behalf of the said population, and shall facilitate them
by all the means at its disposal.
Such schemes, which may be undertaken either by
States or by impartial humanitarian organizations such as the International
Committee of the Red Cross, shall consist, in particular, of the
provision of consignments of foodstuffs, medical supplies and clothing.
All Contracting Parties shall permit the free passage
of these consignments and shall guarantee their protection.
A Power granting free passage to consignments on
their way to territory occupied by an adverse Party to the conflict
shall, however, have the right to search the consignments, to regulate
their passage according to prescribed times and routes, and to be
reasonably satisfied through the Protecting Power that these consignments
are to be used for the relief of the needy population and are not
to be used for the benefit of the Occupying Power.
Relief consignments shall in no way relieve the Occupying Power
of any of its responsibilities under Articles 55, 56 and 59. The
Occupying Power shall in no way whatsoever divert relief consignments
from the purpose for which they are intended, except in cases of
urgent necessity, in the interests of the population of the occupied
territory and with the consent of the Protecting Power.
The distribution of the relief consignments referred to in the foregoing
Articles shall be carried out with the cooperation and under the
supervision of the Protecting Power. This duty may also be delegated,
by agreement between the Occupying Power and the Protecting Power,
to a neutral Power, to the International Committee of the Red Cross
or to any other impartial humanitarian body.
Such consignments shall be exempt in occupied territory
from all charges, taxes or customs duties unless these are necessary
in the interests of the economy of the territory. The Occupying
Power shall facilitate the rapid distribution of these consignments.
All Contracting Parties shall endeavour to permit
the transit and transport, free of charge, of such relief consignments
on their way to occupied territories.
Subject to imperative reasons of security, protected persons in
occupied territories shall be permitted to receive the individual
relief consignments sent to them.