Launch of the updated Commentary on the Third Geneva Convention
In light of the current global health situation, the launch of the Updated Commentary on the Third Geneva Convention in Malaysia will take place via a hybrid webinar. A live presentation will be given by Jean-Marie Henckaerts, Head of the Project to update ICRC Commentaries on the Geneva Conventions, and an expert panel discussion on how international humanitarian law protects prisoners of war taking into account existing practice and operational challenges.
In 2011, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) began to embark on a major project: updating the Commentaries on the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977. Since the first edition of the Commentaries on Geneva Convention I was published in 1952, there have been significant developments in how the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols are applied on the ground and interpreted in practice. The updated Commentaries thus seek to reflect these developments and the ICRC’s latest expression of its commitment to protecting hors de combat and civilians. As a result, the Updated Commentary on the First Geneva Convention was published in 2016 and the Updated Commentary on the Second Geneva Convention was published in 2017.
In June 2020, the ICRC is pleased to announce that it will publish its updated Commentary on the Third Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. Underpinning the protective framework of the Third Geneva Convention is the basic obligation to treat prisoners of war (POWs) humanely, respecting their person and their dignity. The Third Geneva Convention therefore provides for rules to determine status of POWs and general principles on the rights, obligations, protection and treatment of POWs, including concerning internment conditions, relief supplies, discipline and repatriation. The Updated Commentary to the Third Geneva Convention was launched on 16 June 2020 through a global webinar hosted by ICRC Headquarters in Geneva.
- Promote the Updated Commentary on the Third Geneva Convention as an interpretation tool of IHL, starting with a multidisciplinary and transversal expert panel discussion
- Position the ICRC in the development and implementation of the law and practice in relation to the Third Geneva Convention
- Engage and continue the dialogue with influential State and non-State actors, particularly on contemporary humanitarian issues in the region and the relevance of current national legal framework and measures in relation to the protection and treatment of POWs