GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – As events marking the 70th anniversary of the 1949 Geneva Conventions get underway, the International Committee of the Red Cross says these four landmark treaties delineating the law of war are as relevant today as they were when they came into force August 12, 1949.
The 1949 Geneva Conventions grew out of the horrors of World War II. It took only four months for the four treaties, which are universally ratified, to come into force. The treaties contain the core elements of the International Humanitarian Law, the law of war, which aims to reduce suffering in armed conflict.
The law requires all parties to a conflict to abide by provisions that include a prohibition against torture, appropriate treatment of civilians, caring for the wounded on the battlefield, and the dignified treatment of the remains of the dead.
ICRC Director of International Law and Policy, Helen Durham, recognizes the law