Geneva Conventions Adopted
Various coventions to protect those involved in armed conflict were adopted from the mid-19th century onwards.
However, they did not apply to civilian populations. The adoption of the 1949 Geneva Conventions expanded and formalised the existing conventions. The Geneva Conventions entered into force on October 21st 1950.
The Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols form the core of the international humanitarian law (IHL), the body of law that regulates the conduct of armed conflict and seeks to limit its effects. They are aimed specifically at the protection of those who are not taking part in the hostilities (civilians and aid workers) and those who are no longer able to fight such as wounded and sick soldiers and prisoners of war. The 1949 Geneva Conventions are divided into four parts. The first Geneva Convention protects wounded or sick soldiers on land during war and also provides for the protection of medical and religious personnel. The second Geneva Convention protects wounded, sick and shipwrecked military personnel at sea during war. The third Geneva Convention applies to prisoners of war and the fourth Geneva Convention provides for the protection of civilians, including in occupied territory.