The Protection of Civilian Hospitals

posted in: News | 0


The Geneva Convention provides for the protection of civilian hospitals. Parties to a conflict should try to establish local arrangements for the removal of civilians from encircled or besieged areas. Hospitals may be considered civilian if they do not take part in hostilities or carry out work of a military character. The protection of civilian hospitals must be maintained and respected by the parties to the conflict. In cases where a civilian hospital is attacked by an armed group, the Parties to the conflict should make every effort to evacuate it.

A civil hospital’s emblem must be clearly visible to the occupying force. Hospitals must be identifiable to enemy air and naval forces. It is not allowed to requisition the material or stores of civilian hospitals. Moreover, hospitals must not be located near military objectives because they may be exposed to a variety of risks. Hence, the parties to the conflict should take measures to protect civilian hospitals. They must also allow religious leaders to render spiritual assistance to the civilian population and accept consignments of their needs.

The Protecting Power should notify the Protecting Power before transferring a protected person. The Occupying Power should not transfer part of its civilian population into the territory it occupies. A civilian organization must also facilitate the functioning of all child care institutions. These requirements must be fulfilled in all cases. It may be difficult to achieve this as a result of military considerations. However, the civil population must be provided with adequate facilities to care for their needs.