Geneva Conventions and the Russia-Ukraine War

  Apr 18, 2022

Geneva Conventions and the Russia-Ukraine War

Q Why is it in News ?

A As the evidence of casualties in the civilian population continues to mount, the world will increasingly look to the Geneva Conventions in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Q What are Geneva Conventions Guidelines for Wartime ?

  1. Treatment of non-combatants and prisoners of war, and
  2. Not the use of conventional or biological and chemical weapons

Q What are the four Geneva Conventions?

A (1) First Geneva Convention: Health and Medical Issues

(2) Second Geneva Convention:  Offshore Protection

(3) Third Geneva Convention: Treatment of Prisoners of War (PoW)

It applies to prisoners of war, including a wide range of general protections such as humane treatment, maintenance and equality across prisoners, conditions of captivity, questioning and evacuation of prisoners, transit camps, food, clothing, medicines, hygiene and right to religious, intellectual, and physical activities of prisoners.

(4) Fourth Geneva Convention: Civilian protection of occupied territory ***

Q What is the extent of  Fourth Geneva Convention amid the Ukraine-Russia War ?

  1. General protection of populations against certain consequences of war
  2. Conduct of hostilities and the status and
  3. Treatment of protected persons
  4. Distinguishing between the situation of foreigners on the territory of one of the parties to the conflict and that of civilians in occupied territory

Q Which countries are signatories?

Q Is Russia a signatory to these  conventions ?

Q What would be the steps for potential prosecution under the Conventions?

Q To what extent have Geneva Conventions been upheld worldwide in recent years?

  1. US-led coalition’s bombing of Raqqa in Syria, which left more than 1,600 civilians dead
  2. Destruction of civilian infrastructure and lives in Aleppo and Idlib by Russian forces
  3. Leading to mass displacement of millions
  4. War in Yemen where the Saudi Arabia and the UAE-led coalition, backed by the West, killed and injured thousands of civilians, fuelling a full-blown humanitarian crisis