Section 1. Beginning of
Art 17. Every prisoner of war, when questioned on the subject, is bound
to give only his surname, first names and rank, date of birth, and army,
regimental, personal or serial number, or failing this, equivalent
If he wilfully infringes this rule, he may render himself liable to a
restriction of the privileges accorded to his rank or status.
Each Party to a conflict is required to furnish the persons under its
jurisdiction who are liable to become prisoners of war, with an identity
card showing the owner's surname, first names, rank, army, regimental,
personal or serial number or equivalent information, and date of birth. The
identity card may, furthermore, bear the signature or the fingerprints, or
both, of the owner, and may bear, as well, any other information the Party
to the conflict may wish to add concerning persons belonging to its armed
forces. As far as possible the card shall measure 6.5 x 10 cm. and shall be
issued in duplicate. The identity card shall be shown by the prisoner of war
upon demand, but may in no case be taken away from him.
No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be
inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind
whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened,
insulted, or exposed to unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind.
Prisoners of war who, owing to their physical or mental condition, are
unable to state their identity, shall be handed over to the medical service.
The identity of such prisoners shall be established by all possible means,
subject to the provisions of the preceding paragraph.
The questioning of prisoners of war shall be carried out in a language
which they understand.
Art 18. All effects and articles of personal use, except arms, horses,
military equipment and military documents, shall remain in the possession of
prisoners of war, likewise their metal helmets and gas masks and like
articles issued for personal protection. Effects and articles used for their
clothing or feeding shall likewise remain in their possession, even if such
effects and articles belong to their regulation military equipment.
At no time should prisoners of war be without identity documents. The
Detaining Power shall supply such documents to prisoners of war who possess
Badges of rank and nationality, decorations and articles having above all
a personal or sentimental value may not be taken from prisoners of war.
Sums of money carried by prisoners of war may not be taken away from them
except by order of an officer, and after the amount and particulars of the
owner have been recorded in a special register and an itemized receipt has
been given, legibly inscribed with the name, rank and unit of the person
issuing the said receipt. Sums in the currency of the Detaining Power, or
which are changed into such currency at the prisoner's request, shall be
placed to the credit of the prisoner's account as provided in Article 64.
The Detaining Power may withdraw articles of value from prisoners of war
only for reasons of security; when such articles are withdrawn, the
procedure laid down for sums of money impounded shall apply.
Such objects, likewise sums taken away in any currency other than that of
the Detaining Power and the conversion of which has not been asked for by
the owners, shall be kept in the custody of the Detaining Power and shall be
returned in their initial shape to prisoners of war at the end of their
Art 19. Prisoners of war shall be evacuated, as soon as possible after
their capture, to camps situated in an area far enough from the combat zone
for them to be out of danger.
Only those prisoners of war who, owing to wounds or sickness, would run
greater risks by being evacuated than by remaining where they are, may be
temporarily kept back in a danger zone.
Prisoners of war shall not be unnecessarily exposed to danger while
awaiting evacuation from a fighting zone.
Art 20. The evacuation of prisoners of war shall always be effected
humanely and in conditions similar to those for the forces of the Detaining
Power in their changes of station.
The Detaining Power shall supply prisoners of war who are being evacuated
with sufficient food and potable water, and with the necessary clothing and
medical attention. The Detaining Power shall take all suitable precautions
to ensure their safety during evacuation, and shall establish as soon as
possible a list of the prisoners of war who are evacuated.
If prisoners of war must, during evacuation, pass through transit camps,
their stay in such camps shall be as brief as possible.
Section II. Internment of
Prisoners of War
Chapter I. General Observations
Art 21. The Detaining Power may subject prisoners of war to internment.
It may impose on them the obligation of not leaving, beyond certain limits,
the camp where they are interned, or if the said camp is fenced in, of not
going outside its perimeter. Subject to the provisions of the present
Convention relative to penal and disciplinary sanctions, prisoners of war
may not be held in close confinement except where necessary to safeguard
their health and then only during the continuation of the circumstances
which make such confinement necessary.
Prisoners of war may be partially or wholly released on parole or
promise, in so far as is allowed by the laws of the Power on which they
depend. Such measures shall be taken particularly in cases where this may
contribute to the improvement of their state of health. No prisoner of war
shall be compelled to accept liberty on parole or promise.
Upon the outbreak of hostilities, each Party to the conflict shall notify
the adverse Party of the laws and regulations allowing or forbidding its own
nationals to accept liberty on parole or promise. Prisoners of war who are
paroled or who have given their promise in conformity with the laws and
regulations so notified, are bound on their personal honour scrupulously to
fulfil, both towards the Power on which they depend and towards the Power
which has captured them, the engagements of their paroles or promises. In
such cases, the Power on which they depend is bound neither to require nor
to accept from them any service incompatible with the parole or promise
Art 22. Prisoners of war may be interned only in premises located on land
and affording every guarantee of hygiene and healthfulness. Except in
particular cases which are justified by the interest of the prisoners
themselves, they shall not be interned in penitentiaries.
Prisoners of war interned in unhealthy areas, or where the climate is
injurious for them, shall be removed as soon as possible to a more
The Detaining Power shall assemble prisoners of war in camps or camp
compounds according to their nationality, language and customs, provided
that such prisoners shall not be separated from prisoners of war belonging
to the armed forces with which they were serving at the time of their
capture, except with their consent.
Art 23. No prisoner of war may at any time be sent to, or detained in
areas where he may be exposed to the fire of the combat zone, nor may his
presence be used to render certain points or areas immune from military
Prisoners of war shall have shelters against air bombardment and other
hazards of war, to the same extent as the local civilian population. With
the exception of those engaged in the protection of their quarters against
the aforesaid hazards, they may enter such shelters as soon as possible
after the giving of the alarm. Any other protective measure taken in favour
of the population shall also apply to them.
Detaining Powers shall give the Powers concerned, through the
intermediary of the Protecting Powers, all useful information regarding the
geographical location of prisoner of war camps.
Whenever military considerations permit, prisoner of war camps shall be
indicated in the day-time by the letters PW or PG, placed so as to be
clearly visible from the air. The Powers concerned may, however, agree upon
any other system of marking. Only prisoner of war camps shall be marked as
Art 24. Transit or screening camps of a permanent kind shall be fitted
out under conditions similar to those described in the present Section, and
the prisoners therein shall have the same treatment as in other camps.
Chapter II. Quarters, Food and
Clothing of Prisoners of War
Art 25. Prisoners of war shall be quartered under conditions as
favourable as those for the forces of the Detaining Power who are billeted
in the same area. The said conditions shall make allowance for the habits
and customs of the prisoners and shall in no case be prejudicial to their
The foregoing provisions shall apply in particular to the dormitories of
prisoners of war as regards both total surface and minimum cubic space, and
the general installations, bedding and blankets.
The premises provided for the use of prisoners of war individually or
collectively, shall be entirely protected from dampness and adequately
heated and lighted, in particular between dusk and lights out. All
precautions must be taken against the danger of fire.
In any camps in which women prisoners of war, as well as men, are
accommodated, separate dormitories shall be provided for them.
Art 26. The basic daily food rations shall be sufficient in quantity,
quality and variety to keep prisoners of war in good health and to prevent
loss of weight or the development of nutritional deficiencies. Account shall
also be taken of the habitual diet of the prisoners.
The Detaining Power shall supply prisoners of war who work with such
additional rations as are necessary for the labour on which they are
Sufficient drinking water shall be supplied to prisoners of war. The use
of tobacco shall be permitted.
Prisoners of war shall, as far as possible, be associated with the
preparation of their meals; they may be employed for that purpose in the
kitchens. Furthermore, they shall be given the means of preparing,
themselves, the additional food in their possession.
Adequate premises shall be provided for messing.
Collective disciplinary measures affecting food are prohibited.
Art 27. Clothing, underwear and footwear shall be supplied to prisoners
of war in sufficient quantities by the Detaining Power, which shall make
allowance for the climate of the region where the prisoners are detained.
Uniforms of enemy armed forces captured by the Detaining Power should, if
suitable for the climate, be made available to clothe prisoners of war.
The regular replacement and repair of the above articles shall be assured
by the Detaining Power. In addition, prisoners of war who work shall receive
appropriate clothing, wherever the nature of the work demands.
Art 28. Canteens shall be installed in all camps, where prisoners of war
may procure foodstuffs, soap and tobacco and ordinary articles in daily use.
The tariff shall never be in excess of local market prices.
The profits made by camp canteens shall be used for the benefit of the
prisoners; a special fund shall be created for this purpose. The prisoners'
representative shall have the right to collaborate in the management of the
canteen and of this fund.
When a camp is closed down, the credit balance of the special fund shall
be handed to an international welfare organization, to be employed for the
benefit of prisoners of war of the same nationality as those who have
contributed to the fund. In case of a general repatriation, such profits
shall be kept by the Detaining Power, subject to any agreement to the
contrary between the Powers concerned.
Chapter III. Hygene and Medical
Art 29. The Detaining Power shall be bound to take all sanitary measures
necessary to ensure the cleanliness and healthfulness of camps and to
Prisoners of war shall have for their use, day and night, conveniences
which conform to the rules of hygiene and are maintained in a constant state
of cleanliness. In any camps in which women prisoners of war are
accommodated, separate conveniences shall be provided for them.
Also, apart from the baths and showers with which the camps shall be
furnished prisoners of war shall be provided with sufficient water and soap
for their personal toilet and for washing their personal laundry; the
necessary installations, facilities and time shall be granted them for that
Art 30. Every camp shall have an adequate infirmary where prisoners of
war may have the attention they require, as well as appropriate diet.
Isolation wards shall, if necessary, be set aside for cases of contagious or
Prisoners of war suffering from serious disease, or whose condition
necessitates special treatment, a surgical operation or hospital care, must
be admitted to any military or civilian medical unit where such treatment
can be given, even if their repatriation is contemplated in the near future.
Special facilities shall be afforded for the care to be given to the
disabled, in particular to the blind, and for their. rehabilitation, pending
Prisoners of war shall have the attention, preferably, of medical
personnel of the Power on which they depend and, if possible, of their
Prisoners of war may not be prevented from presenting themselves to the
medical authorities for examination. The detaining authorities shall, upon
request, issue to every prisoner who has undergone treatment, an official
certificate indicating the nature of his illness or injury, and the duration
and kind of treatment received. A duplicate of this certificate shall be
forwarded to the Central Prisoners of War Agency.
The costs of treatment, including those of any apparatus necessary for
the maintenance of prisoners of war in good health, particularly dentures
and other artificial appliances, and spectacles, shall be borne by the
Art 31. Medical inspections of prisoners of war shall be held at least
once a month. They shall include the checking and the recording of the
weight of each prisoner of war.
Their purpose shall be, in particular, to supervise the general state of
health, nutrition and cleanliness of prisoners and to detect contagious
diseases, especially tuberculosis, malaria and venereal disease. For this
purpose the most efficient methods available shall be employed, e.g.
periodic mass miniature radiography for the early detection of tuberculosis.
Art 32. Prisoners of war who, though not attached to the medical service
of their armed forces, are physicians, surgeons, dentists, nurses or medical
orderlies, may be required by the Detaining Power to exercise their medical
functions in the interests of prisoners of war dependent on the same Power.
In that case they shall continue to be prisoners of war, but shall receive
the same treatment as corresponding medical personnel retained by the
Detaining Power. They shall be exempted from any other work under Article
Chapter IV. Medical Personnel and
Chaplains Retained to Assist Prisoners of War
Art 33. Members of the medical personnel and chaplains while retained by
the Detaining Power with a view to assisting prisoners of war, shall not be
considered as prisoners of war. They shall, however, receive as a minimum
the benefits and protection of the present Convention, and shall also be
granted all facilities necessary to provide for the medical care of, and
religious ministration to prisoners of war.
They shall continue to exercise their medical and spiritual functions for
the benefit of prisoners of war, preferably those belonging to the armed
forces upon which they depend, within the scope of the military laws and
regulations of the Detaining Power and under the control of its competent
services, in accordance with their professional etiquette. They shall also
benefit by the following facilities in the exercise of their medical or
(a) They shall be authorized to visit periodically prisoners of war
situated in working detachments or in hospitals outside the camp. For
this purpose, the Detaining Power shall place at their disposal the
necessary means of transport.
(b) The senior medical officer in each camp shall be responsible to
the camp military authorities for everything connected with the
activities of retained medical personnel. For this purpose, Parties to
the conflict shall agree at the outbreak of hostilities on the subject
of the corresponding ranks of the medical personnel, including that of
societies mentioned in Article 26 of the Geneva Convention for the
Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in
the Field of August 12, 1949. This senior medical officer, as well as
chaplains, shall have the right to deal with the competent authorities
of the camp on all questions relating to their duties. Such authorities
shall afford them all necessary facilities for correspondence relating
to these questions.
(c) Although they shall be subject to the internal discipline of the
camp in which they are retained, such personnel may not be compelled to
carry out any work other than that concerned with their medical or
During hostilities, the Parties to the conflict shall agree concerning
the possible relief of retained personnel and shall settle the procedure to
None of the preceding provisions shall relieve the Detaining Power of its
obligations with regard to prisoners of war from the medical or spiritual
point of view.
Chapter V. Religious, Intellectual
and Physical Activities
Art 34. Prisoners of war shall enjoy complete latitude in the exercise of
their religious duties, including attendance at the service of their faith,
on condition that they comply with the disciplinary routine prescribed by
the military authorities.
Adequate premises shall be provided where religious services may be held.
Art 35. Chaplains who fall into the hands of the enemy Power and who
remain or are retained with a view to assisting prisoners of war, shall be
allowed to minister to them and to exercise freely their ministry amongst
prisoners of war of the same religion, in accordance with their religious
conscience. They shall be allocated among the various camps and labour
detachments containing prisoners of war belonging to the same forces,
speaking the same language or practising the same religion. They shall enjoy
the necessary facilities, including the means of transport provided for in
Article 33, for visiting the prisoners of war outside their camp. They shall
be free to correspond, subject to censorship, on matters concerning their
religious duties with the ecclesiastical authorities in the country of
detention and with international religious organizations. Letters and cards
which they may send for this purpose shall be in addition to the quota
provided for in Article 71.
Art 36. Prisoners of war who are ministers of religion, without having
officiated as chaplains to their own forces, shall be at liberty, whatever
their denomination, to minister freely to the members of their community.
For this purpose, they shall receive the same treatment as the chaplains
retained by the Detaining Power. They shall not be obliged to do any other
Art 37. When prisoners of war have not the assistance of a retained
chaplain or of a prisoner of war minister of their faith, a minister
belonging to the prisoners' or a similar denomination, or in his absence a
qualified layman, if such a course is feasible from a confessional point of
view, shall be appointed, at the request of the prisoners concerned, to fill
this office. This appointment, subject to the approval of the Detaining
Power, shall take place with the agreement of the community of prisoners
concerned and, wherever necessary, with the approval of the local religious
authorities of the same faith. The person thus appointed shall comply with
all regulations established by the Detaining Power in the interests of
discipline and military security.
Art 38. While respecting the individual preferences of every prisoner,
the Detaining Power shall encourage the practice of intellectual,
educational, and recreational pursuits, sports and games amongst prisoners,
and shall take the measures necessary to ensure the exercise thereof by
providing them with adequate premises and necessary equipment.
Prisoners shall have opportunities for taking physical exercise,
including sports and games, and for being out of doors. Sufficient open
spaces shall be provided for this purpose in all camps.
Chapter VI. Discipline
Art 39. Every prisoner of war camp shall be put under the immediate
authority of a responsible commissioned officer belonging to the regular
armed forces of the Detaining Power. Such officer shall have in his
possession a copy of the present Convention; he shall ensure that its
provisions are known to the camp staff and the guard and shall be
responsible, under the direction of his government, for its application.
Prisoners of war, with the exception of officers, must salute and show to
all officers of the Detaining Power the external marks of respect provided
for by the regulations applying in their own forces.
Officer prisoners of war are bound to salute only officers of a higher
rank of the Detaining Power; they must, however, salute the camp commander
regardless of his rank.
Art 40. The wearing of badges of rank and nationality, as well as of
decorations, shall be permitted.
Art 41. In every camp the text of the present Convention and its Annexes
and the contents of any special agreement provided for in Article 6, shall
be posted, in the prisoners' own language, in places where all may read
them. Copies shall be supplied, on request, to the prisoners who cannot have
access to the copy which has been posted.
Regulations, orders, notices and publications of every kind relating to
the conduct of prisoners of war shall be issued to them in a language which
they understand. Such regulations, orders and publications shall be posted
in the manner described above and copies shall be handed to the prisoners'
representative. Every order and command addressed to prisoners of war
individually must likewise be given in a language which they understand.
Art 42. The use of weapons against prisoners of war, especially against
those who are escaping or attempting to escape, shall constitute an extreme
measure, which shall always be preceded by warnings appropriate to the
Chapter VII. Rank of Prisoners of
Art 43. Upon the outbreak of hostilities, the Parties to the conflict
shall communicate to one another the titles and ranks of all the persons
mentioned in Article 4 of the present Convention, in order to ensure
equality of treatment between prisoners of equivalent rank. Titles and ranks
which are subsequently created shall form the subject of similar
The Detaining Power shall recognize promotions in rank which have been
accorded to prisoners of war and which have been duly notified by the Power
on which these prisoners depend.
Art 44. Officers and prisoners of equivalent status shall be treated with
the regard due to their rank and age.
In order to ensure service in officers' camps, other ranks of the same
armed forces who, as far as possible, speak the same language, shall be
assigned in sufficient numbers, account being taken of the rank of officers
and prisoners of equivalent status. Such orderlies shall not be required to
perform any other work.
Supervision of the mess by the officers themselves shall be facilitated
in every way.
Art 45. Prisoners of war other than officers and prisoners of equivalent
status shall be treated with the regard due to their rank and age.
Supervision of the mess by the prisoners themselves shall be facilitated
in every way.
Chapter VIII. Transfer of Prisoners
of War after their Arrival in Camp
Art 46. The Detaining Power, when deciding upon the transfer of prisoners
of war, shall take into account the interests of the prisoners themselves,
more especially so as not to increase the difficulty of their repatriation.
The transfer of prisoners of war shall always be effected humanely and in
conditions not less favourable than those under which the forces of the
Detaining Power are transferred. Account shall always be taken of the
climatic conditions to which the prisoners of war are accustomed and the
conditions of transfer shall in no case be prejudicial to their health.
The Detaining Power shall supply prisoners of war during transfer with
sufficient food and drinking water to keep them in good health, likewise
with the necessary clothing, shelter and medical attention. The Detaining
Power shall take adequate precautions especially in case of transport by sea
or by air, to ensure their safety during transfer, and shall draw up a
complete list of all transferred prisoners before their departure.
Art 47. Sick or wounded prisoners of war shall not be transferred as long
as their recovery may be endangered by the journey, unless their safety
imperatively demands it.
If the combat zone draws closer to a camp, the prisoners of war in the
said camp shall not be transferred unless their transfer can be carried out
in adequate conditions of safety, or unless they are exposed to greater
risks by remaining on the spot than by being transferred.
Art 48. In the event of transfer, prisoners of war shall be officially
advised of their departure and of their new postal address. Such
notifications shall be given in time for them to pack their luggage and
inform their next of kin.
They shall be allowed to take with them their personal effects, and the
correspondence and parcels which have arrived for them. The weight of such
baggage may be limited, if the conditions of transfer so require, to what
each prisoner can reasonably carry, which shall in no case be more than
twenty-five kilograms per head.
Mail and parcels addressed to their former camp shall be forwarded to
them without delay. The camp commander shall take, in agreement with the
prisoners' representative, any measures needed to ensure the transport of
the prisoners' community property and of the luggage they are unable to take
with them in consequence of restrictions imposed by virtue of the second
paragraph of this Article.
The costs of transfers shall be borne by the Detaining Power.
Section III. Labour of
Prisoners of War
Art 49. The Detaining Power may utilize the labour of prisoners of war
who are physically fit, taking into account their age, sex, rank and
physical aptitude, and with a view particularly to maintaining them in a
good state of physical and mental health.
Non-commissioned officers who are prisoners of war shall only be required
to do supervisory work. Those not so required may ask for other suitable
work which shall, so far as possible, be found for them.
If officers or persons of equivalent status ask for suitable work, it
shall be found for them, so far as possible, but they may in no
circumstances be compelled to work.
Art 50. Besides work connected with camp administration, installation or
maintenance, prisoners of war may be compelled to do only such work as is
included in the following classes:
(b) industries connected with the production or
the extraction of raw materials, and manufacturing industries, with the
exception of metallurgical, machinery and chemical industries; public
works and building operations which have no military character or
(c) transport and handling of stores which are not military
in character or purpose;
(d) commercial business, and arts and
(e) domestic service;
(f) public utility services having
no military character or purpose.
Should the above provisions be infringed, prisoners of war shall be
allowed to exercise their right of complaint, in conformity with Article 78.
Art 51. Prisoners of war must be granted suitable working conditions,
especially as regards accommodation, food, clothing and equipment; such
conditions shall not be inferior to those enjoyed by nationals of the
Detaining Power employed in similar work; account shall also be taken of
The Detaining Power, in utilizing the labour of prisoners of war, shall
ensure that in areas in which such prisoners are employed, the national
legislation concerning the protection of labour, and, more particularly, the
regulations for the safety of workers, are duly applied.
Prisoners of war shall receive training and be provided with the means of
protection suitable to the work they will have to do and similar to those
accorded to the nationals of the Detaining Power. Subject to the provisions
of Article 52, prisoners may be submitted to the normal risks run by these
Conditions of labour shall in no case be rendered more arduous by
Art 52. Unless he be a volunteer, no prisoner of war may be employed on
labour which is of an unhealthy or dangerous nature.
No prisoner of war shall be assigned to labour which would be looked upon
as humiliating for a member of the Detaining Power's own forces.
The removal of mines or similar devices shall be considered as dangerous
Art 53. The duration of the daily labour of prisoners of war, including
the time of the journey to and fro, shall not be excessive, and must in no
case exceed that permitted for civilian workers in the district, who are
nationals of the Detaining Power and employed on the same work.
Prisoners of war must be allowed, in the middle of the day's work, a rest
of not less than one hour. This rest will be the same as that to which
workers of the Detaining Power are entitled, if the latter is of longer
duration. They shall be allowed in addition a rest of twenty-four
consecutive hours every week, preferably on Sunday or the day of rest in
their country of origin. Furthermore, every prisoner who has worked for one
year shall be granted a rest of eight consecutive days, during which his
working pay shall be paid him.
If methods of labour such as piece work are employed, the length of the
working period shall not be rendered excessive thereby.
Art 54. The working pay due to prisoners of war shall be fixed in
accordance with the provisions of Article 62 of the present Convention.
Prisoners of war who sustain accidents in connection with work, or who
contract a disease in the course, or in consequence of their work, shall
receive all the care their condition may require. The Detaining Power shall
furthermore deliver to such prisoners of war a medical certificate enabling
them to submit their claims to the Power on which they depend, and shall
send a duplicate to the Central Prisoners of War Agency provided for in
Art 55. The fitness of prisoners of war for work shall be periodically
verified by medical examinations at least once a month. The examinations
shall have particular regard to the nature of the work which prisoners of
war are required to do.
If any prisoner of war considers himself incapable of working, he shall
be permitted to appear before the medical authorities of his camp.
Physicians or surgeons may recommend that the prisoners who are, in their
opinion, unfit for work, be exempted therefrom.
Art 56. The organization and administration of labour detachments shall
be similar to those of prisoner of war camps.
Every labour detachment shall remain under the control of and
administratively part of a prisoner of war camp. The military authorities
and the commander of the said camp shall be responsible, under the direction
of their government, for the observance of the provisions of the present
Convention in labour detachments.
The camp commander shall keep an up-to-date record of the labour
detachments dependent on his camp, and shall communicate it to the delegates
of the Protecting Power, of the International Committee of the Red Cross, or
of other agencies giving relief to prisoners of war, who may visit the camp.
Art 56. The treatment of prisoners of war who work for private persons,
even if the latter are responsible for guarding and protecting them, shall
not be inferior to that which is provided for by the present Convention. The
Detaining Power, the military authorities and the commander of the camp to
which such prisoners belong shall be entirely responsible for the
maintenance, care, treatment, and payment of the working pay of such
prisoners of war.
Such prisoners of war shall have the right to remain in communication
with the prisoners' representatives in the camps on which they depend.
Section IV. Financial
Resources of Prisoners of War
Art 58. Upon the outbreak of hostilities, and pending an arrangement on
this matter with the Protecting Power, the Detaining Power may determine the
maximum amount of money in cash or in any similar form, that prisoners may
have in their possession. Any amount in excess, which was properly in their
possession and which has been taken or withheld from them, shall be placed
to their account, together with any monies deposited by them, and shall not
be converted into any other currency without their consent.
If prisoners of war are permitted to purchase services or commodities
outside the camp against payment in cash, such payments shall be made by the
prisoner himself or by the camp administration who will charge them to the
accounts of the prisoners concerned. The Detaining Power will establish the
necessary rules in this respect.
Art 59. Cash which was taken from prisoners of war, in accordance with
Article 18, at the time of their capture, and which is in the currency of
the Detaining Power, shall be placed to their separate accounts, in
accordance with the provisions of Article 64 of the present Section.
The amounts, in the currency of the Detaining Power, due to the
conversion of sums in other currencies that are taken from the prisoners of
war at the same time, shall also be credited to their separate accounts.
Art 60. The Detaining Power shall grant all prisoners of war a monthly
advance of pay, the amount of which shall be fixed by conversion, into the
currency of the said Power, of the following amounts:
Category I : Prisoners ranking below sergeants: eight Swiss francs.
Category II : Sergeants and other non-commissioned officers, or
prisoners of equivalent rank: twelve Swiss francs.
Category III: Warrant officers and commissioned officers below the
rank of major or prisoners of equivalent rank: fifty Swiss francs.
Category IV : Majors, lieutenant-colonels, colonels or prisoners of
equivalent rank: sixty Swiss francs.
Category V : General officers or prisoners of war of equivalent rank:
seventy-five Swiss francs.
However, the Parties to the conflict concerned may by special agreement
modify the amount of advances of pay due to prisoners of the preceding
Furthermore, if the amounts indicated in the first paragraph above would
be unduly high compared with the pay of the Detaining Power's armed forces
or would, for any reason, seriously embarrass the Detaining Power, then,
pending the conclusion of a special agreement with the Power on which the
prisoners depend to vary the amounts indicated above, the Detaining Power:
(a) shall continue to credit the accounts of the prisoners with the
amounts indicated in the first paragraph above;
(b) may temporarily
limit the amount made available from these advances of pay to prisoners
of war for their own use, to sums which are reasonable, but which, for
Category I, shall never be inferior to the amount that the Detaining
Power gives to the members of its own armed forces.
The reasons for any limitations will be given without delay to the
Art 61. The Detaining Power shall accept for distribution as
supplementary pay to prisoners of war sums which the Power on which the
prisoners depend may forward to them, on condition that the sums to be paid
shall be the same for each prisoner of the same category, shall be payable
to all prisoners of that category depending on that Power, and shall be
placed in their separate accounts, at the earliest opportunity, in
accordance with the provisions of Article 64. Such supplementary pay shall
not relieve the Detaining Power of any obligation under this Convention.
Art 62. Prisoners of war shall be paid a fair working rate of pay by the
detaining authorities direct. The rate shall be fixed by the said
authorities, but shall at no time be less than one-fourth of one Swiss franc
for a full working day. The Detaining Power shall inform prisoners of war,
as well as the Power on which they depend, through the intermediary of the
Protecting Power, of the rate of daily working pay that it has fixed.
Working pay shall likewise be paid by the detaining authorities to
prisoners of war permanently detailed to duties or to a skilled or
semi-skilled occupation in connection with the administration, installation
or maintenance of camps, and to the prisoners who are required to carry out
spiritual or medical duties on behalf of their comrades.
The working pay of the prisoners' representative, of his advisers, if
any, and of his assistants, shall be paid out of the fund maintained by
canteen profits. The scale of this working pay shall be fixed by the
prisoners' representative and approved by the camp commander. If there is no
such fund, the detaining authorities shall pay these prisoners a fair
working rate of pay.
Atr 63. Prisoners of war shall be permitted to receive remittances of
money addressed to them individually or collectively.
Every prisoner of war shall have at his disposal the credit balance of
his account as provided for in the following Article, within the limits
fixed by the Detaining Power, which shall make such payments as are
requested. Subject to financial or monetary restrictions which the Detaining
Power regards as essential, prisoners of war may also have payments made
abroad. In this case payments addressed by prisoners of war to dependents
shall be given priority.
In any event, and subject to the consent of the Power on which they
depend, prisoners may have payments made in their own country, as follows:
the Detaining Power shall send to the aforesaid Power through the Protecting
Power, a notification giving all the necessary particulars concerning the
prisoners of war, the beneficiaries of the payments, and the amount of the
sums to be paid, expressed in the Detaining Power's currency. The said
notification shall be signed by the prisoners and countersigned by the camp
commander. The Detaining Power shall debit the prisoners' account by a
corresponding amount; the sums thus debited shall be placed by it to the
credit of the Power on which the prisoners depend.
To apply the foregoing provisions, the Detaining Power may usefully
consult the Model Regulations in Annex V of the present Convention.
Art. 64 The Detaining Power shall hold an account for each prisoner of
war,showing at least the following:
(1) The amounts due to the prisoner or received by him as advances of
pay, as working pay or derived from any other source; the sums in the
currency of the Detaining Power which were taken from him; the sums
taken from him and converted at his request into the currency of the
(2) The payments made to the prisoner in cash, or in any other
similar form; the payments made on his behalf and at his request; the
sums transferred under Article 63, third paragraph.
Art 65. Every item entered in the account of a prisoner of war shall be
countersigned or initialled by him, or by the prisoners' representative
acting on his behalf.
Prisoners of war shall at all times be afforded reasonable facilities for
consulting and obtaining copies of their accounts, which may likewise be
inspected by the representatives of the Protecting Powers at the time of
visits to the camp.
When prisoners of war are transferred from one camp to another, their
personal accounts will follow them. In case of transfer from one Detaining
Power to another, the monies which are their property and are not in the
currency of the Detaining Power will follow them. They shall be given
certificates for any other monies standing to the credit of their accounts.
The Parties to the conflict concerned may agree to notify to each other
at specific intervals through the Protecting Power, the amount of the
accounts of the prisoners of war.
Art 66. On the termination of captivity, through the release of a
prisoner of war or his repatriation, the Detaining Power shall give him a
statement, signed by an authorized officer of that Power, showing the credit
balance then due to him. The Detaining Power shall also send through the
Protecting Power to the government upon which the prisoner of war depends,
lists giving all appropriate particulars of all prisoners of war whose
captivity has been terminated by repatriation, release, escape, death or any
other means, and showing the amount of their credit balances. Such lists
shall be certified on each sheet by an authorized representative of the
Any of the above provisions of this Article may be varied by mutual
agreement between any two Parties to the conflict.
The Power on which the prisoner of war depends shall be responsible for
settling with him any credit balance due to him from the Detaining Power on
the termination of his captivity.
Art 67. Advances of pay, issued to prisoners of war in conformity with
Article 60, shall be considered as made on behalf of the Power on which they
depend. Such advances of pay, as well as all payments made by the said Power
under Article 63, third paragraph, and Article 68, shall form the subject of
arrangements between the Powers concerned, at the close of hostilities.
Art 68. Any claim by a prisoner of war for compensation in respect of any
injury or other disability arising out of work shall be referred to the
Power on which he depends, through the Protecting Power. In accordance with
Article 54, the Detaining Power will, in all cases, provide the prisoner of
war concerned with a statement showing the nature of the injury or
disability, the circumstances in which it arose and particulars of medical
or hospital treatment given for it. This statement will be signed by a
responsible officer of the Detaining Power and the medical particulars
certified by a medical officer.
Any claim by a prisoner of war for compensation in respect of personal
effects monies or valuables impounded by the Detaining Power under Article
18 and not forthcoming on his repatriation, or in respect of loss alleged to
be due to the fault of the Detaining Power or any of its servants, shall
likewise be referred to the Power on which he depends. Nevertheless, any
such personal effects required for use by the prisoners of war whilst in
captivity shall be replaced at the expense of the Detaining Power. The
Detaining Power will, in all cases, provide the prisoner of war with a
statement, signed by a responsible officer, showing all available
information regarding the reasons why such effects, monies or valuables have
not been restored to him. A copy of this statement will be forwarded to the
Power on which he depends through the Central Prisoners of War Agency
provided for in Article 123.
Section V. Relations of
Prisoners of War With the Exterior
Art 69. Immediately upon prisoners of war falling into its power, the
Detaining Power shall inform them and the Powers on which they depend,
through the Protecting Power, of the measures taken to carry out the
provisions of the present Section. They shall likewise inform the parties
concerned of any subsequent modifications of such measures.
Art 70. Immediately upon capture, or not more than one week after arrival
at a camp, even if it is a transit camp, likewise in case of sickness or
transfer to hospital or to another camp, every prisoner of war shall be
enabled to write direct to his family, on the one hand, and to the Central
Prisoners of War Agency provided for in Article 123, on the other hand, a
card similar, if possible, to the model annexed to the present Convention,
informing his relatives of his capture, address and state of health. The
said cards shall be forwarded as rapidly as possible and may not be delayed
in any manner.
Art 71. Prisoners of war shall be allowed to send and receive letters and
cards. If the Detaining Power deems it necessary to limit the number of
letters and cards sent by each prisoner of war, the said number shall not be
less than two letters and four cards monthly, exclusive of the capture cards
provided for in Article 70, and conforming as closely as possible to the
models annexed to the present Convention. Further limitations may be imposed
only if the Protecting Power is satisfied that it would be in the interests
of the prisoners of war concerned to do so owing to difficulties of
translation caused by the Detaining Power's inability to find sufficient
qualified linguists to carry out the necessary censorship. If limitations
must be placed on the correspondence addressed to prisoners of war, they may
be ordered only by the Power on which the prisoners depend, possibly at the
request of the Detaining Power. Such letters and cards must be conveyed by
the most rapid method at the disposal of the Detaining Power; they may not
be delayed or retained for disciplinary reasons.
Prisoners of war who have been without news for a long period, or who are
unable to receive news from their next of kin or to give them news by the
ordinary postal route, as well as those who are at a great distance from
their homes, shall be permitted to send telegrams, the fees being charged
against the prisoners of war's accounts with the Detaining Power or paid in
the currency at their disposal. They shall likewise benefit by this measure
in cases of urgency.
As a general rule, the correspondence of prisoners of war shall be
written in their native language. The Parties to the conflict may allow
correspondence in other languages.
Sacks containing prisoner of war mail must be securely sealed and
labelled so as clearly to indicate their contents, and must be addressed to
offices of destination.
Art 72. Prisoners of war shall be allowed to receive by post or by any
other means individual parcels or collective shipments containing, in
particular, foodstuffs, clothing, medical supplies and articles of a
religious, educational or recreational character which may meet their needs,
including books, devotional articles, scientific equipment, examination
papers, musical instruments, sports outfits and materials allowing prisoners
of war to pursue their studies or their cultural activities.
Such shipments shall in no way free the Detaining Power from the
obligations imposed upon it by virtue of the present Convention.
The only limits which may be placed on these shipments shall be those
proposed by the Protecting Power in the interest of the prisoners
themselves, or by the International Committee of the Red Cross or any other
organization giving assistance to the prisoners, in respect of their own
shipments only, on account of exceptional strain on transport or
The conditions for the sending of individual parcels and collective
relief shall, if necessary, be the subject of special agreements between the
Powers concerned, which may in no case delay the receipt by the prisoners of
relief supplies. Books may not be included in parcels of clothing and
foodstuffs. Medical supplies shall, as a rule, be sent in collective
Art 73. In the absence of special agreements between the Powers
concerned on the conditions for the receipt and distribution of collective
relief shipments, the rules and regulations concerning collective shipments,
which are annexed to the present Convention, shall be applied.
The special agreements referred to above shall in no case restrict the
right of prisoners' representatives to take possession of collective relief
shipments intended for prisoners of war, to proceed to their distribution or
to dispose of them in the interest of the prisoners.
Nor shall such agreements restrict the right of representatives of the
Protecting Power, the International Committee of the Red Cross or any other
organization giving assistance to prisoners of war and responsible for the
forwarding of collective shipments, to supervise their distribution to the
Art 74. All relief shipments for prisoners of war shall be exempt from
import, customs and other dues.
Correspondence, relief shipments and authorized remittances of money
addressed to prisoners of war or despatched by them through the post office,
either direct or through the Information Bureaux provided for in Article 122
and the Central Prisoners of War Agency provided for in Article 123, shall
be exempt from any postal dues, both in the countries of origin and
destination, and in intermediate countries.
If relief shipments intended for prisoners of war cannot be sent through
the post office by reason of weight or for any other cause, the cost of
transportation shall be borne by the Detaining Power in all the territories
under its control. The other Powers party to the Convention shall bear the
cost of transport in their respective territories. In the absence of special
agreements between the Parties concerned, the costs connected with transport
of such shipments, other than costs covered by the above exemption, shall be
charged to the senders.
The High Contracting Parties shall endeavour to reduce, so far as
possible, the rates charged for telegrams sent by prisoners of war, or
addressed to them.
Art 75. Should military operations prevent the Powers concerned from
fulfilling their obligation to assure the transport of the shipments
referred to in Articles 70, 71, 72 and 77, the Protecting Powers concerned,
the International Committee of the Red Cross or any other organization duly
approved by the Parties to the conflict may undertake to ensure the
conveyance of such shipments by suitable means (railway wagons, motor
vehicles, vessels or aircraft, etc.). For this purpose, the High Contracting
Parties shall endeavour to supply them with such transport and to allow its
circulation, especially by granting the necessary safe-conducts.
Such transport may also be used to convey:
(a) correspondence, lists and reports exchanged between the Central
Information Agency referred to in Article 123 and the National Bureaux
referred to in Article 122;
(b) correspondence and reports relating to prisoners of war which the
Protecting Powers, the International Committee of the Red Cross or any
other body assisting the prisoners, exchange either with their own
delegates or with the Parties to the conflict.
These provisions in no way detract from the right of any Party to the
conflict to arrange other means of transport, if it should so prefer, nor
preclude the granting of safe-conducts, under mutually agreed conditions, to
such means of transport.
In the absence of special agreements, the costs occasioned by the use of
such means of transport shall be borne proportionally by the Parties to the
conflict whose nationals are benefited thereby.
Art 76. The censoring of correspondence addressed to prisoners of war or
despatched by them shall be done as quickly as possible. Mail shall be
censored only by the despatching State and the receiving State, and once
only by each.
The examination of consignments intended for prisoners of war shall not
be carried out under conditions that will expose the goods contained in them
to deterioration; except in the case of written or printed matter, it shall
be done in the presence of the addressee, or of a fellow-prisoner duly
delegated by him. The delivery to prisoners of individual or collective
consignments shall not be delayed under the pretext of difficulties of
Any prohibition of correspondence ordered by Parties to the conflict,
either for military or political reasons, shall be only temporary and its
duration shall be as short as possible.
Art 77. The Detaining Powers shall provide all facilities for the
transmission, through the Protecting Power or the Central Prisoners of War
Agency provided for in Article 123 of instruments, papers or documents
intended for prisoners of war or despatched by them, especially powers of
attorney and wills.
In all cases they shall facilitate the preparation and execution of such
documents on behalf of prisoners of war; in particular, they shall allow
them to consult a lawyer and shall take what measures are necessary for the
authentication of their signatures.
Section VI. Relations Between
Prisoners of War and the Authorities
Chapter I. Complaints of Prisoners of War Respecting the Conditions of
Art 78 Prisoners of war shall have the right to make known to the
military authorities in whose power they are, their requests regarding the
conditions of captivity to which they are subjected.
They shall also have the unrestricted right to apply to the
representatives of the Protecting Powers either through their prisoners'
representative or, if they consider it necessary, direct, in order to draw
their attention to any points on which they may have complaints to make
regarding their conditions of captivity.
These requests and complaints shall not be limited nor considered to be a
part of the correspondence quota referred to in Article 71. They must be
transmitted immediately. Even if they are recognized to be unfounded, they
may not give rise to any punishment.
Prisoners' representatives may send periodic reports on the situation in
the camps and the needs of the prisoners of war to the representatives of
the Protecting Powers.
Chapter II. Prisoner of War
Art 79. IIn all places where there are prisoners of war, except in those
where there are officers, the prisoners shall freely elect by secret ballot,
every six months, and also in case of vacancies, prisoners' representatives
entrusted with representing them before the military authorities, the
Protecting Powers, the International Committee of the Red Cross and any
other organization which may assist them. These prisoners' representatives
shall be eligible for re-election.
In camps for officers and persons of equivalent status or in mixed camps,
the senior officer among the prisoners of war shall be recognized as the
camp prisoners' representative. In camps for officers, he shall be assisted
by one or more advisers chosen by the officers; in mixed camps, his
assistants shall be chosen from among the prisoners of war who are not
officers and shall be elected by them.
Officer prisoners of war of the same nationality shall be stationed in
labour camps for prisoners of war, for the purpose of carrying out the camp
administration duties for which the prisoners of war are responsible. These
officers may be elected as prisoners' representatives under the first
paragraph of this Article. In such a case the assistants to the prisoners'
representatives shall be chosen from among those prisoners of war who are
Every representative elected must be approved by the Detaining Power
before he has the right to commence his duties. Where the Detaining Power
refuses to approve a prisoner of war elected by his fellow prisoners of war,
it must inform the Protecting Power of the reason for such refusal.
In all cases the prisoners' representative must have the same
nationality, language and customs as the prisoners of war whom he
represents. Thus, prisoners of war distributed in different sections of a
camp, according to their nationality, language or customs, shall have for
each section their own prisoners' representative, in accordance with the
Art 80. Prisoners' representatives shall further the physical, spiritual
and intellectual well-being of prisoners of war.
In particular, where the prisoners decide to organize amongst themselves
a system of mutual assistance, this organization will be within the province
of the prisoners' representative, in addition to the special duties
entrusted to him by other provisions of the present Convention.
Prisoners' representatives shall not be held responsible, simply by
reason of their duties, for any offences committed by prisoners of war.
Art 81. Prisoners' representatives shall not be required to perform any
other work, if the accomplishment of their duties is thereby made more
Prisoners' representatives may appoint from amongst the prisoners such
assistants as they may require. All material facilities shall be granted
them, particularly a certain freedom of movement necessary for the
accomplishment of their duties (inspection of labour detachments, receipt of
Prisoners' representatives shall be permitted to visit premises where
prisoners of war are detained, and every prisoner of war shall have the
right to consult freely his prisoners' representative.
All facilities shall likewise be accorded to the prisoners'
representatives for communication by post and telegraph with the detaining
authorities, the Protecting Powers, the International Committee of the Red
Cross and their delegates, the Mixed Medical Commissions and the bodies
which give assistance to prisoners of war. Prisoners' representatives of
labour detachments shall enjoy the same facilities for communication with
the prisoners' representatives of the principal camp. Such communications
shall not be restricted, nor considered as forming a part of the quota
mentioned in Article 71.
Prisoners' representatives who are transferred shall be allowed a
reasonable time to acquaint their successors with current affairs.
In case of dismissal, the reasons therefor shall be communicated to the
Chapter III. Penal and Disciplinary
I. General Provisions
Art 82. A prisoner of war shall be subject to the laws, regulations and
orders in force in the armed forces of the Detaining Power; the Detaining
Power shall be justified in taking judicial or disciplinary measures in
respect of any offence committed by a prisoner of war against such laws,
regulations or orders. However, no proceedings or punishments contrary to
the provisions of this Chapter shall be allowed.
If any law, regulation or order of the Detaining Power shall declare acts
committed by a prisoner of war to be punishable, whereas the same acts would
not be punishable if committed by a member of the forces of the Detaining
Power, such acts shall entail disciplinary punishments only.
Art 83. In deciding whether proceedings in respect of an offence alleged
to have been committed by a prisoner of war shall be judicial or
disciplinary, the Detaining Power shall ensure that the competent
authorities exercise the greatest leniency and adopt, wherever possible,
disciplinary rather than judicial measures.
Art 84. A prisoner of war shall be tried only by a military court, unless
the existing laws of the Detaining Power expressly permit the civil courts
to try a member of the armed forces of the Detaining Power in respect of the
particular offence alleged to have been committed by the prisoner of war.
In no circumstances whatever shall a prisoner of war be tried by a court
of any kind which does not offer the essential guarantees of independence
and impartiality as generally recognized, and, in particular, the procedure
of which does not afford the accused the rights and means of defence
provided for in Article 105.
Art 85. Prisoners of war prosecuted under the laws of the Detaining Power
for acts committed prior to capture shall retain, even if convicted, the
benefits of the present Convention.
Art 86. No prisoner of war may be punished more than once for the same
act or on the same charge.
Art 87. Prisoners of war may not be sentenced by the military authorities
and courts of the Detaining Power to any penalties except those provided for
in respect of members of the armed forces of the said Power who have
committed the same acts.
When fixing the penalty, the courts or authorities of the Detaining Power
shall take into consideration, to the widest extent possible, the fact that
the accused, not being a national of the Detaining Power, is not bound to it
by any duty of allegiance, and that he is in its power as the result of
circumstances independent of his own will. The said courts or authorities
shall be at liberty to reduce the penalty provided for the violation of
which the prisoner of war is accused, and shall therefore not be bound to
apply the minimum penalty prescribed.
Collective punishment for individual acts, corporal punishment,
imprisonment in premises without daylight and, in general, any form of
torture or cruelty, are forbidden.
No prisoner of war may be deprived of his rank by the Detaining Power, or
prevented from wearing his badges.
Art 88. Officers, non-commissioned officers and men who are prisoners of
war undergoing a disciplinary or judicial punishment, shall not be subjected
to more severe treatment than that applied in respect of the same punishment
to members of the armed forces of the Detaining Power of equivalent rank.
A woman prisoner of war shall not be awarded or sentenced to a punishment
more severe, or treated whilst undergoing punishment more severely, than a
woman member of the armed forces of the Detaining Power dealt with for a
In no case may a woman prisoner of war be awarded or sentenced to a
punishment more severe, or treated whilst undergoing punishment more
severely, than a male member of the armed forces of the Detaining Power
dealt with for a similar offence.
Prisoners of war who have served disciplinary or judicial sentences may
not be treated differently from other prisoners of war.
II. Disciplinary Sanctions
Art 88. The disciplinary punishments applicable to prisoners of war are
(1) A fine which shall not exceed 50 per cent of the advances of pay
and working pay which the prisoner of war would otherwise receive under
the provisions of Articles 60 and 62 during a period of not more than
(2) Discontinuance of privileges granted over and above
the treatment provided for by the present Convention.
duties not exceeding two hours daily.
The punishment referred to under (3) shall not be applied to officers.
In no case shall disciplinary punishments be inhuman, brutal or dangerous
to the health of prisoners of war.
Art 90. The duration of any single punishment shall in no case exceed
thirty days. Any period of confinement awaiting the hearing of a
disciplinary offence or the award of disciplinary punishment shall be
deducted from an award pronounced against a prisoner of war.
The maximum of thirty days provided above may not be exceeded, even if
the prisoner of war is answerable for several acts at the same time when he
is awarded punishment, whether such acts are related or not.
The period between the pronouncing of an award of disciplinary punishment
and its execution shall not exceed one month.
When a prisoner of war is awarded a further disciplinary punishment, a
period of at least three days shall elapse between the execution of any two
of the punishments, if the duration of one of these is ten days or more.
Art 91. The escape of a prisoner of war shall be deemed to have succeeded
(1) he has joined the armed forces of the Power on which he depends,
or those of an allied Power;
(2) he has left the territory under the control of the Detaining
Power, or of an ally of the said Power;
(3) he has joined a ship flying the flag of the Power on which he
depends, or of an allied Power, in the territorial waters of the
Detaining Power, the said ship not being under the control of the last
Prisoners of war who have made good their escape in the sense of this
Article and who are recaptured, shall not be liable to any punishment in
respect of their previous escape.
Art 92. A prisoner of war who attempts to escape and is recaptured before
having made good his escape in the sense of Article 91 shall be liable only
to a disciplinary punishment in respect of this act, even if it is a
A prisoner of war who is recaptured shall be handed over without delay to
the competent military authority.
Article 88, fourth paragraph, notwithstanding, prisoners of war punished
as a result of an unsuccessful escape may be subjected to special
surveillance. Such surveillance must not affect the state of their health,
must be undergone in a prisoner of war camp, and must not entail the
suppression of any of the safeguards granted them by the present Convention.
Art 93. Escape or attempt to escape, even if it is a repeated offence,
shall not be deemed an aggravating circumstance if the prisoner of war is
subjected to trial by judicial proceedings in respect of an offence
committed during his escape or attempt to escape.
In conformity with the principle stated in Article 83, offences committed
by prisoners of war with the sole intention of facilitating their escape and
which do not entail any violence against life or limb, such as offences
against public property, theft without intention of self-enrichment, the
drawing up or use of false papers, or the wearing of civilian clothing,
shall occasion disciplinary punishment only.
Prisoners of war who aid or abet an escape or an attempt to escape shall
be liable on this count to disciplinary punishment only.
Art 94. If an escaped prisoner of war is recaptured, the Power on which
he depends shall be notified thereof in the manner defined in Article 122,
provided notification of his escape has been made.
Art 95. A prisoner of war accused of an offence against discipline shall
not be kept in confinement pending the hearing unless a member of the armed
forces of the Detaining Power would be so kept if he were accused of a
similar offence, or if it is essential in the interests of camp order and
Any period spent by a prisoner of war in confinement awaiting the
disposal of an offence against discipline shall be reduced to an absolute
minimum and shall not exceed fourteen days.
The provisions of Articles 97 and 98 of this Chapter shall apply to
prisoners of war who are in confinement awaiting the disposal of offences
Art 96. Acts which constitute offences against discipline shall be
Without prejudice to the competence of courts and superior military
authorities, disciplinary punishment may be ordered only by an officer
having disciplinary powers in his capacity as camp commander, or by a
responsible officer who replaces him or to whom he has delegated his
In no case may such powers be delegated to a prisoner of war or be
exercised by a prisoner of war.
Before any disciplinary award is pronounced, the accused shall be given
precise information regarding the offences of which he is accused, and given
an opportunity of explaining his conduct and of defending himself. He shall
be permitted, in particular, to call witnesses and to have recourse, if
necessary, to the services of a qualified interpreter. The decision shall be
announced to the accused prisoner of war and to the prisoners'
A record of disciplinary punishments shall be maintained by the camp
commander and shall be open to inspection by representatives of the
Art 97. Prisoners of war shall not in any case be transferred to
penitentiary establishments (prisons, penitentiaries, convict prisons, etc.)
to undergo disciplinary punishment therein.
All premises in which disciplinary punishments are undergone shall
conform to the sanitary requirements set forth in Article 25. A prisoner of
war undergoing punishment shall be enabled to keep himself in a state of
cleanliness, in conformity with Article 29.
Officers and persons of equivalent status shall not be lodged in the same
quarters as non-commissioned officers or men.
Women prisoners of war undergoing disciplinary punishment shall be
confined in separate quarters from male prisoners of war and shall be under
the immediate supervision of women.
Art 98. A prisoner of war undergoing confinement as a disciplinary
punishment, shall continue to enjoy the benefits of.the provisions of this
Convention except in so far as these are necessarily rendered inapplicable
by the mere fact that he is confined. In no case may he be deprived of the
benefits of the provisions of Articles 78 and 126.
A prisoner of war awarded disciplinary punishment may not be deprived of
the prerogatives attached to his rank.
Prisoners of war awarded disciplinary punishment shall be allowed to
exercise and to stay in the open air at least two hours daily.
They shall be allowed, on their request, to be present at the daily
medical inspections. They shall receive the attention which their state of
health requires and, if necessary, shall be removed to the camp infirmary or
to a hospital.
They shall have permission to read and write, likewise to send and
receive letters. Parcels and remittances of money however, may be withheld
from them until the completion of the punishment; they shall meanwhile be
entrusted to the prisoners' representative, who-will hand over to the
infirmary the perishable goods contained in such parcels.
III. Juridicial Proceedings
Art 99. No prisoner of war may be tried or sentenced for an act which is
not forbidden by the law of the Detaining Power or by international law, in
force at the time the said act was committed.
No moral or physical coercion may be exerted on a prisoner of war in
order to induce him to admit himself guilty of the act of which he is
No prisoner of war may be convicted without having had an opportunity to
present his defence and the assistance of a qualified advocate or counsel.
Art 100. Prisoners of war and the Protecting Powers shall be informed as
soon as possible of the offences which are punishable by the death sentence
under the laws of the Detaining Power.
Other offences shall not thereafter be made punishable by the death
penalty without the concurrence of the Power on which the prisoners of war
The death sentence cannot be pronounced on a prisoner of war unless the
attention of the court has, in accordance with Article 87, second paragraph,
been particularly called to the fact that since the accused is not a
national of the Detaining Power, he is not bound to it by any duty of
allegiance, and that he is in its power as the result of circumstances
independent of his own will.
Art 101. If the death penalty is pronounced on a prisoner of war, the
sentence shall not be executed before the expiration of a period of at least
six months from the date when the Protecting Power receives, at an indicated
address, the detailed communication provided for in Article 107.
Art 102. A prisoner of war can be validly sentenced only if the sentence
has been pronounced by the same courts according to the same procedure as in
the case of members of the armed forces of the Detaining Power, and if,
furthermore, the provisions of the present Chapter have been observed.
Art 103. Judicial investigations relating to a prisoner of war shall be
conducted as rapidly as circumstances permit and so that his trial shall
take place as soon as possible. A prisoner of war shall not be confined
while awaiting trial unless a member of the armed forces of the Detaining
Power would be so confined if he were accused of a similar offence, or if it
is essential to do so in the interests of national security. In no
circumstances shall this confinement exceed three months.
Any period spent by a prisoner of war in confinement awaiting trial shall
be deducted from any sentence of imprisonment passed upon him and taken into
account in fixing any penalty.
The provisions of Articles 97 and 98 of this Chapter shall apply to a
prisoner of war whilst in confinement awaiting trial.
Art 104. In any case in which the Detaining Power has decided to
institute judicial proceedings against a prisoner of war, it shall notify
the Protecting Power as soon as possible and at least three weeks before the
opening of the trial. This period of three weeks shall run as from the day
on which such notification reaches the Protecting Power at the address
previously indicated by the latter to the Detaining Power.
The said notification shall contain the following information:
(1) Surname and first names of the prisoner of war, his rank, his
army, regimental, personal or serial number, his date of birth, and his
profession or trade, if any;
(2) Place of internment or confinement;
(3) Specification of the charge or charges on which the prisoner of war
is to be arraigned, giving the legal provisions applicable;
Designation of the court which will try the case, likewise the date and
place fixed for the opening of the trial.
The same communication shall be made by the Detaining Power to the
If no evidence is submitted, at the opening of a trial, that the
notification referred to above was received by the Protecting Power, by the
prisoner of war and by the prisoners' representative concerned, at least
three weeks before the opening of the trial, then the latter cannot take
place and must be adjourned.
Art 105. The prisoner of war shall be entitled to assistance by one of
his prisoner comrades, to defence by a qualified advocate or counsel of his
own choice, to the calling of witnesses and, if he deems necessary, to the
services of a competent interpreter. He shall be advised of these rights by
the Detaining Power in due time before the trial.
Failing a choice by the prisoner of war, the Protecting Power shall find
him an advocate or counsel, and shall have at least one week at its disposal
for the purpose. The Detaining Power shall deliver to the said Power, on
request, a list of persons qualified to present the defence. Failing a
choice of an advocate or counsel by the prisoner of war or the Protecting
Power, the Detaining Power shall appoint a competent advocate or counsel to
conduct the defence.
The advocate or counsel conducting the defence on behalf of the prisoner
of war shall have at his disposal a period of two weeks at least before the
opening of the trial, as well as the necessary facilities to prepare the
defence of the accused. He may, in particular, freely visit the accused and
interview him in private. He may also confer with any witnesses for the
defence, including prisoners of war. He shall have the benefit of these
facilities until the term of appeal or petition has expired.
Particulars of the charge or charges on which the prisoner of war is to
be arraigned, as well as the documents which are generally communicated to
the accused by virtue of the laws in force in the armed forces of the
Detaining Power, shall be communicated to the accused prisoner of war in a
language which he understands, and in good time before the opening of the
trial. The same communication in the same circumstances shall be made to the
advocate or counsel conducting the defence on behalf of the prisoner of war.
The representatives of the Protecting Power shall be entitled to attend
the trial of the case, unless, exceptionally, this is held in camera in the
interest of State security. In such a case the Detaining Power shall advise
the Protecting Power accordingly.
Art 106. Every prisoner of war shall have, in the same manner as the
members of the armed forces of the Detaining Power, the right of appeal or
petition from any sentence pronounced upon him, with a view to the quashing
or revising of the sentence or the reopening of the trial. He shall be fully
informed of his right to appeal or petition and of the time limit within
which he may do so.
Art 107. Any judgment and sentence pronounced upon a prisoner of war
shall be immediately reported to the Protecting Power in the form of a
summary communication, which shall also indicate whether he has the right of
appeal with a view to the quashing of the sentence or the reopening of the
trial. This communication shall likewise be sent to the prisoners'
representative concerned. It shall also be sent to the accused prisoner of
war in a language he understands, if the sentence was not pronounced in his
presence. The Detaining Power shall also immediately communicate to the
Protecting Power the decision of the prisoner of war to use or to waive his
right of appeal.
Furthermore, if a prisoner of war is finally convicted or if a sentence
pronounced on a prisoner of war in the first instance is a death sentence,
the Detaining Power shall as soon as possible address to the Protecting
Power a detailed communication containing:
(1) the precise wording of the finding and sentence;
summarized report of any preliminary investigation and of the trial,
emphasizing in particular the elements of the prosecution and the
(3) notification, where applicable, of the establishment
where the sentence will be served.
The communications provided for in the foregoing sub-paragraphs shall be
sent to the Protecting Power at the address previously made known to the
Art 108.Sentences pronounced on prisoners of war after a conviction has
become duly enforceable, shall be served in the same establishments and
under the same conditions as in the case of members of the armed forces of
the Detaining Power. These conditions shall in all cases conform to the
requirements of health and humanity.
A woman prisoner of war on whom such a sentence has been pronounced shall
be confined in separate quarters and shall be under the supervision of
In any case, prisoners of war sentenced to a penalty depriving them of
their liberty shall retain the benefit of the provisions of Articles 78 and
126 of the present Convention. Furthermore, they shall be entitled to
receive and despatch correspondence, to receive at least one relief parcel
monthly, to take regular exercise in the open air, to have the medical care
required by their state of health, and the spiritual assistance they may
desire. Penalties to which they may be subjected shall be in accordance with
the provisions of Article 87, third paragraph.