Prisoner of war


August 8, 2022

Prisoner of war - in military affairs and international law - a person belonging to the Armed Forces of a party in a state of war, volunteers, partisans, members of the Resistance movement and other combatants, as well as some non-combatants - military correspondents, crew members of the merchant fleet and civil aviation and others who were in the power of the enemy during the war. Until the second half of the 19th century, there were no multilateral agreements in international law defining the regime of military prisoners. The first such convention was adopted at the 1st Peace Conference in The Hague in 1899. The 2nd Hague Peace Conference (1907) produced a new, more comprehensive convention. The First World War proved the need for further development of the norms of military captivity, in connection with which, in 1929, the Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War was adopted (the USSR was not a party to it). In 1949, the Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners of War was signed, aimed at humanizing the rules of warfare. According to the existing conventions [Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land (Annex 4 of the Hague Convention 1907) and the 1949 Geneva Convention relating to the Treatment of Prisoners of War] prisoners of war are in the power of an enemy government, not of individuals or military units, and require humane treatment behavior that categorically prohibits any discrimination based on race, nationality, religion, gender, political views, property status, etc. After the end of hostilities, prisoners of war are released and repatriated, with the exception of persons who have been prosecuted for crimes committed. The practice of the First and Second World Wars, other wars and armed conflicts proves that in almost any state, any army in the world grossly violates the provisions of conventions on prisoners of war.

Definition of the Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners of War

The Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners of War defines prisoners of war as persons captured by the enemy and belonging to one of the following categories: Personnel of the armed forces of the parties to the conflict, as well as members of the militia or volunteer units that are part of these armed forces. Members of others