Geneva Conventions, 1949 (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
The horrors of WORLD WAR II led nations to recognize that existing rules governing the conduct of warfare were inadequate to cover a prolonged and expanded conflict. The resulting efforts to codify new restrictions on belligerent conflict led to the four conventions concluded at Geneva, Switzerland, in 1949. These four treaties related to (1) the treatment of prisoners of war; (2) the alleviation of the suffering of wounded and sick combatants in the field; (3) the alleviation of the suffering of the wounded, sick, and shipwrecked members of the armed forces at sea; and (4) the protection of civilian persons during war.
The International Committee of the Red Cross was active in organizing the conferences and preparing draft treaties that resulted in the final conventions. In addition, the International Red Cross assumed responsibility under portions of the conventions to serve as a neutral party to observe compliance with the conventions and to perform humanitarian tasks.
According to Swedish researchers, 95 percent of all deaths in WORLD WAR I were suffered by soldiers. In World War II, the figure dropped to 50 percenthe remaining deaths were those of civilians when their cities (e.g., London, Coventry, Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki) were bombed. Unfortunately, the...
(The entire section is 540 words.)
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