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International Humanitarian Law: Treaties and Conventions

Sources of IHL: Treaties and Conventions

The most significant sources of International Humanitarian Law are the pertinent international treaties.

Online/Electronic Sources for IHLTreaties

Treaty-Related Materials

Citation Information for Geneva Conventions and Protocols

The four Geneva Conventions and their additional Protocols form the modern framework for the treatment of soldiers, prisoners of war and non-combatants during wartime. All except Protocol III should be cited to United States Treaties and/or United Nations Treaty Series.

United States Treaties and Other International Agreements (U.S.T.) is available in HeinOnline.

United Nations Treaty Series (U.N.T.S.) is available on HeinOnline.

Title Date UST citation UN TS citation
“Geneva I”
Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field
Aug. 12, 1949 6 U.S.T. 3114 75 U.N.T.S. 31
“Geneva II”
Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea
Aug. 12, 1949 6 U.S.T. 3217 75 U.N.T.S. 85
“Geneva III”
Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War
Aug. 12, 1949 6 U.S.T. 3316 75 U.N.T.S. 135
“Geneva IV”
Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Times of War
Aug. 12, 1949 6 U.S.T. 3516 75 U.N.T.S. 287
“Protocol I”
Protocol Additions to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts
June 8, 1977 No U.S.T. citation 1125 U.N.T.S. 3
“Protocol II”
Protocol II Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and Relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts
June 8, 1977 No U.S.T. citation 1125 U.N.T.S. 609
“Protocol III”
Protocol III Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Adoption of an Additional Distinctive Emblem.
Dec. 8, 2005 No U.S.T. citation; can be found on the ICRC website at: http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/FULL/615 No U.N.T.S. citation