Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War

Albania

Reservation made upon signature and maintained upon ratification:
Article 10:" The People's Republic of Albania will not recognize a request by a Detaining Power to a humanitarian organization or to a neutral State to take the place of a Protecting Power, as being in order, unless the Power of which the prisoners of war are nationals has given its consent."
Article 12: "The People's Republic of Albania considers that in case of prisoners of war being transferred to another Power by the Detaining Power, the responsibility for the application of the Convention to such prisoners of war will continue to rest with the Power which captured them."
Article 85: "The People's Republic of Albania considers that persons convicted under the law of the Detaining Power, in accordance with the principles of the Nuremberg trial, of war crimes and crimes against humanity, must be treated in the same manner as persons convicted in the country in question. Albania does not, therefore, consider herself bound by Article 85 so far as the category of persons mentioned in the present reservation is concerned".

Angola

Reservation made upon accession:
"In acceding to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, the People's Republic of Angola reserves the right not to extend the benefits deriving from Article 85 of the Convention concerning the treatment of prisoners of war to persons who have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity as defined in Article VI of the "Nuremberg Principles" as formulated in 1950 by the International Law Commission on the instructions of the United Nations General Assembly"

Australia

Declaration made upon ratification:
"(...)I am instructed by the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia to refer to the reservations made to Article 85 of the Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War by the following:
"The People's Republic of Albania
"The Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic
"The Bulgarian People's Republic
"The Czechoslovak Republic
"The Hungarian People's Republic
"The Polish Republic
"The Romanian People's Republic
"The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic
"The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
and to the reservations to Article 12 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War and to Article 45 of the Convention relative to the Treatment of Civilian Persons in Time of War made by all the above-mentioned and by the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia.
"I am instructed by the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia to state that whilst they regard all the above-mentioned as being parties to the above-mentioned Conventions they do not regard the above-mentioned reservations as valid and will therefore regard any application of any of those reservations as constituting a breach of the Convention to which the reservation relates.
"I am further instructed by the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia to refer to notifications concerning the "German Democratic Republic", the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea", the "Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam" and the "People's Republic of China". While the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia does not recognise any the foregoing it has taken note of their acceptance of the provisions of the Conventions and their intention to apply them. The position of the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia towards the reservations referred to above applies equally in relation to the similar reservations attached to such acceptance."

Bangladesh

Declaration made on December 20, 1988:
"The Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the United Nations in Geneva has brought to the knowledge of the Swiss Government, by note dated 20 December 1988, the decision of the Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh to use henceforth the red crescent instead of the red cross as the emblem and distinctive sign."

Barbados

Declaration made upon succession:
"The Government of Barbados notes that the following countries have made reservations with respect to Article 85 of the Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Albania, Byelorussia, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Rumania, Ukraine, and Soviet Union; and Yugoslavia has made reservations with respect to Article 12 of the Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War and to Article 45 of the Convention Relative to the Treatment of Civilian Persons in Time of War. The Government of Barbados states that whilst it regards all the abovementioned States as being parties to abovementioned Conventions it does not regard the abovementioned reservations thereto made by those States as valid and will therefore regard any application of any of those reservations as constituting a breach of the Convention to which the reservation relates.
The Government of Barbados notes that the People's Republic of China has deposited a reservation in respect to Article 85 of the Convention relative to the treatment of Prisoners of War but considers that China is a party to the Convention and does not accept the validity of any reservations made by the Government of the People's Republic."

China

Reservation made upon ratification:
"Regarding Article 10 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of August 12, 1949, the People's Republic of China will not recognize as valid a request by the Detaining Power of prisoners of war to a neutral State or to a humanitarian organization, to undertake the functions which should be performed by a Protecting Power, unless the consent has been obtained of the government of the State of which the prisoners of war are nationals. Regarding Article 12, the People's Republic of China holds that the original Detaining Power which has transferred prisoners of war to another Contracting Power, is not for that reason freed from its responsibility for the application of the Convention while such prisoners of war are in the custody of the Power accepting them. Regarding Article 85, the People's Republic of China is not bound by Article 85 in respect of the treatment of prisoners of war convicted under the laws of the Detaining Power in accordance with the principles laid down in the trials of war crimes or crimes against humanity by the Nuremberg and the Tokyo International Military Tribunals."

Democratic People's Republic of Korea

Reservations made upon accession:
On Article 10 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of August 12, 1949:
"In the event of a Power detaining prisoners of war requesting a neutral State, or a humanitarian organization, to undertake the functions incumbent on a Protecting Power, the Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea will not consider it a legal request unless an approval is obtained from the Government of the State on which the prisoners of war concerned depend."
On Article 12 of the same Convention:
"The Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea considers that, even during the period in which the Power detaining prisoners of war have transferred the prisoners of war to other Powers which are parties to the present Convention to be in their custody, responsibility as an original Detaining Power for the application of the present Convention towards the prisoners of war concerned will not be released."
On Article 85 of the same Convention:
"The Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea will not be bound by Article 85, in regard to the treatment of the prisoners of war convicted under the laws of the Detaining Power of prisoners of war for having committed war crimes or inhumane offences, based on the principles of Nuremberg and the Tokyo Far East International Military Tribunal."

Germany

Objection to the reservation made upon accession by Guinea-Bissau to the Geneva Conventions I, II and III. Notification effected with the Government of Switzerland on 3 March 1975:
"The reservation formulated in this connexion by the Republic of Guinea-Bissau concerning (...)
Article 4 (2) of the third Geneva convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War
exceed, in the opinion of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, the purpose and intent of these Conventions and are therefore unacceptable to it. This declaration shall not otherwise affect the validity of the said Geneva Conventions under international law as between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Guinea-Bissau."

Guinea-Bissau

Reservations made upon accession:
Article 4:
"The Council of State of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau does not recognize "the conditions" provided for in paragraph A (2) of this article concerning "members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements", because these conditions are not suited to the people's wars waged today."
Article 10:
"The Council of State of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau does not recognize as legal the request addressed by the Detaining Power to a neutral country or a humanitarian organization to undertake the functions performed by a Protecting Power, unless the State on which the prisoners depend has already agreed to that request."

Iran (Islamic Republic of)

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran presents its compliments to the Embassy of Switzerland in Tehran and with reference to Note No. 904/73/4840/18, dated September 3, 1980 has the honor to state:
The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran announced via the aforementioned note that in a bid to prevent multiplicity of Distinctive International Emblems for aid and charity related affairs and in order to contribute to the unification of these Distinctive Emblems, it would not practice its right of using the “Red Lion and Sun” as one of the three official emblems of the International Union of the Red Cross and will rather use the “Red Crescent” emblem for this purpose. The measure was adopted with the understanding that all government would oblige themselves to accepting one of the two Red Cross or Red Crescent emblems and once an open violation of this is observed, the right will remain for the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to use its distinctive emblem at national and international levels again.
In view of the prevailing developments in line with increasing the number of emblems, it is emphasized that in the case of approval and increase of new distinctive emblems, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran will according to Article 38 of the 1949 Geneva Convention on improving the situation of those wounded in the armed forces during military expedition in which, mention has been made of the three emblems of Red Cross, Red Crescent and Red Lion and Sun, maintain its right of using the Red Lion and Sun emblem once again.
In view of the fact that the Government of that Embassy is the depository of the four August 12, 1949 Geneva Conventions on supporting war victims, it would be appreciated if the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland is informed of the contents of this Note, reiterating the maintenance of the right of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to use the “Red Lion and Sun” emblem once again so that consequently, the 1949 Geneva Conventions’ member states are officially informed.
Availing itself of this opportunity to renew the assurances of its highest consideration.
Wishing the victory of the oppressed over the oppressor."

Israel

Declaration relating to the declaration made upon accession by Democratic Yemen:
"The Government of Israel takes note that by declarations dated 10 February 1977, and received by the Swiss Government on 25 May 1977, the Popular Democratic Republic of Yemen adhered to the four Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 relating to the protection of war victims.
"The said instruments were accompanied by a declaration of a political character in respect to Israel. In the view of the Government of Israel, this is not the proper place for making such political pronouncements, which are, moreover, in flagrant contradiction to the principles, objects and purposes of the said Conventions. The said declaration cannot in any way affect whatever obligations are binding upon the Popular Democratic Republic of Yemen under general international law or under particular treaties."

Declaration relating to the declaration made upon accession by Kuwait:
"The Government of Israel has noted the political character of the statement made by the Government of Kuwait on the occasion of the accession to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 for the protection of war victims. In the opinion of the Government of Israel, that declaration is unacceptable and the Government of Israel expresses its formal objections to this statement and regards its relations with Kuwait, it reserves the right to act on the basis of strict reciprocity with respect to matters that are subject to these Conventions. The Government of Israel requests that the text of this note be circulated to all signatories of the Conventions and all States that have ratified or acceded to."

Kuwait

Declaration made upon accession:
"This Accession (...) does not imply recognition of Israel or entering with it into relations governed by the Conventions thereto acceded."

Portugal

Declaration made upon ratification:
"At the time of deposit with the Swiss Federal Council of the instrument of ratification of the Geneva Conventions for the protection of War victims of August 12, 1949, the undersigned, Ruy Teixeira Guerra, Ambassador of Portugal to Switzerland, declares that his Government has decided to withdraw the reservations made at the time of signature of these Conventions in respect of article 3, common to the four Conventions, article 13 of Convention I and Article 4 of Convention III, and article 60 of Convention III.
On the other hand, the Portuguese Government only accepts article 10 of Conventions I, II and III and article 11 of Convention IV with the reservation that requests by the Detaining Power to a neutral State or to a humanitarian organization to undertake the functions normally performed by Protecting Powers are made with the consent or agreement of the Government of the country of which the persons to be protected are nationals (Countries of origin)."

Republic of Korea

Reservation and declaration made upon accession:
Concerning Article 118 of the Convention relative to the treatment of prisoners of war:
"The Republic of Korea interprets the provisions of Article 118, paragraph 1, as not binding upon a Power detaining prisoners of war to forcibly repatriate its prisoners against their openly and freely expressed will"
Concerning Article 68 of the Convention relative to the protection of civilian persons in time of war:
"The Republic of Korea reserves the right to impose the death penalty in accordance with the provisions of Article 68, paragraph 2, without regard to whether the offences referred to therein are punishable by death under the law of the occupied territory at the time the occupation begins"
"Furthermore, the Government of the Republic of Korea do hereby declare that it is the only lawful Government in Korea, as set forth in General Assembly Resolution 195 (III) of 12 December 1948, and its accession shall not be construed as recognizing any Contracting Party thereto which the Republic of Korea has not hitherto recognized."

Russian Federation

Reservations made upon signature and maintained upon ratification:
General SLAVIN, Head of the Delegation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics:
On signing the Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics makes the following reservations:
Article 10:" The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics will not recognize the validity of requests by the Detaining Power to a neutral State or to a humanitarian organization, to undertake the functions performed by a Protecting Power, unless the consent of the Government of the country of which the prisoners of war are nationals has been obtained."
Article 12: "The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics does not consider as valid the freeing of a Detaining Power, which has transferred prisoners of war to another Power, from responsibility for the application of the Convention to such prisoners of war while the latter are in the custody of the Power accepting them."
Article 85: "The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics does not consider itself bound by the obligation, which follows from Article 85, to extend the application of the Convention to prisoners of war who have been convicted under the law of the Detaining Power, in accordance with the principles of the Nuremberg trial, for war crimes and crimes against humanity, it being understood that persons convicted of such crimes must be subject to the conditions obtaining in the country in question for those who undergo their punishment."

the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia deposited on 18 October 1996 to succeed to the reservations and declarations made by the Former Republic of Yugoslavia.
Reservations made upon signature and maintained upon ratification:
Mr Milan RISTIC, Yugoslav Minister in Switzerland, made the following declaration:
"On signing the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, I declare that the Government of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia adheres to the said Convention, with reservations in respect of Article 10 and 12.
"In regard to Article 10, The Government of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia will not consider as legal a request by the Detaining Power that a neutral State or an international organization or a humanitarian organization should undertake the functions performed under the present Convention by the Protecting Powers, on behalf of prisoners of war, unless the Government whose nationals they are has given its consent."
"In regard to Article 12 the Government of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia will not consider that the Power which has effected the transfer of prisoners of war is freed from its responsibility for the application of the Convention, even for time which such prisoners are in the custody of the Power accepting them."

United Kingdom

Objection made on March 28, 1985:
"With reference to the reservation made by the Government of the People's Republic of Angola to Article 85 to the Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Her Majesty's Government, recalling their previous declaration in relations to similar reservations by other States, wish to state that, whilst they do not oppose the entry into force of the Convention in question between the United Kingdom and the People's Republic of Angola, they are unable to accept the reservation because, in the view of the Government of the United Kingdom, this reservation is not of the kind which intending parties to the Convention are entitled to make."

Objection by the United Kingdom in relation with the reservations made by the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam. Notification addressed to the Swiss Government November 19, 1975:
"In relation with the reservations made by the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam to Articles 12 and 85 of the Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (...) made by the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, recalling their declaration on ratification in relation to similar reservations by other States, wish to state that, whilst they do not oppose the entry into force of the two Conventions in question between the United Kingdom and the Republic of South Vietnam and the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, they are unable to accept the above-mentioned reservations thereto made by those States because, in the view of the Government of the United Kingdom, these reservations are not of the kind which intending Parties to the Convention are entitled to make.
"The Government of the United Kingdom wish also to place on record that they take the same view of the similar reservations made by the Swiss Minister in London on 8 January 1957, and by the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, notified by the Swiss Ambassador in London on 24 August 1957.
"In relation to the reservation made by the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam and the Republic of Guinea-Bissau to Article 4 of the Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (...) the Government of the United Kingdom wish to state that they are likewise unable to accept those reservations."

Declaration made upon ratification:
"I am further instructed by Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom to refer to the reservations made on Article 85 of the Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War by the following States:
The People's Republic of Albania, the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, the Bulgarian People's
Republic, the People's Republic of China, the Czechoslovak Republic, the Polish Republic, the
Rumanian People's Republic, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, the Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics
and to the reservations to Article 12 of the Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (...) made by all the above-mentioned States and by the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia.
I am instructed by Her Majesty's Government to state that whilst they regard all the above-mentioned States as being parties to the above-mentioned Conventions, they do not regard the above-mentioned reservations thereto made by those States as valid, and will therefore regard any application of any of those reservations as constituting a breach of the Convention to which the reservation relates."

United States of America

Declaration relating to the accession of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Viet-Nam, December 31, 1974:
"(...) The Government of the United States of America recognizes the Government of the Republic of Viet-Nam and does not recognize the 'Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Viet-Nam' as a government. The United States Government therefore does not recognize that the 'Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Viet-Nam' is qualified to accede to the Geneva Conventions. Bearing in mind, however, that it is the purpose of the Geneva Conventions that their provisions should protect war victims in armed conflicts, the Government of the United States of America notes that the 'Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Viet-Nam' has indicated its intention to apply them subject to certain reservations. The reservations expressed with respect to the Third Geneva Convention go far beyond previous reservations, and are directed against the object and purpose of the Convention. Other reservations are similar to reservations expressed by others previously and concerning which the Government of the United States has previously declared its views. The Government of the United States rejects all the expressed reservations.
"The Government of the United States notes that the views expressed in this note should not be understood as implying any withdrawal from the policy heretofore pursued by its armed forces in according the treatment provided by the Conventions to hostile armed forces"

Objection to the reservations made upon accession by Guinea-Bissau:
"The Department of State refers to the note of March 5, 1974 from the Embassy of Switzerland enclosing the notification of the Swiss Federal Political Department concerning the accession of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau to the Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949 for the protection of war victims, subject to certain reservations.
The reservations are similar to the reservations expressed by others previously with respect to the same or different conventions and concerning which the government of the United States has previously declared its views. The attitude of the Government of the United States with respect to all the reservations by the Republic of Guinea-Bissau parallels its attitude toward such other reservations. The Government of the United States, while rejecting the reservations, accepts treaty relations with the Republic of Guinea-Bissau."

Declaration made upon ratification:
"Rejecting the reservations which States have made with respect to the Geneva Convention relative to the treatment of prisoners of war, the United States accepts treaty relations with all parties to that Convention, except as to the changes proposed by such reservations."

Uruguay

Reservation made upon ratification (Convention III and IV):
"(...) With express reservations in respect of Articles 87, 100 and 101 of Geneva Convention III, and of Article 68 of Geneva Convention IV, in so far as they involve the imposition and execution of the death penalty."

Viet Nam

Reservations made upon accession on December 3, 1973 by the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Viet-Nam:
"With regard to the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of 12 August 1949:
Ad Article 4:
The Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Viet-Nam does not recognize the 'conditions' lay down in item (2) of this article concerning "members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements", because these conditions are not suited to cases of people's wars in the world of today.
Ad article 10:
The Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Viet-Nam recognizes as lawful a request by the Detaining Power to a neutral country, or a humanitarian organization, to assume the functions performed by Protecting Powers only when the State on which the prisoners of war depend shall have given prior consent to such a request.
Ad Article 12:
The Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Viet-Nam declares that the transfer of prisoners of war by the Detaining Power to a Power which is a party to the Convention does not release the Detaining Power from its responsibility for the application of the provisions of the Convention.
Ad Article 85:
The Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Viet-Nam declares that prisoners of war prosecuted and convicted for crimes of aggression, crimes of genocide or war crimes, and crimes against humanity in accordance with the principles established by the Nuremberg Tribunal shall not benefit from the provisions of the present Convention."

Reservations made upon accession of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam on June 28, 1957:
"As regards the Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949 relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War:
Article 4: 'The Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Viet Nam does not recognize the provisions set forth in section 2 of said article relative to members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, because these provisions do not apply to the people's wars in the contemporary world.'
Article 10: A request by the Detaining Power to a neutral Power or to an organization providing guarantees of impartiality and effectiveness, to undertake the functions entrusted to the Protecting Powers by the Convention, will not be recognized as lawful by the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, unless the State of which the wounded and sick in armed forces in the field are nationals has approved the request.
Article 12: The Democratic Republic of Vietnam declares that the transfer by the Detaining Power of prisoners of war to a Power which is a party to the Convention does not release the Detaining Power from its responsibility for the application of the provisions of the Convention to such prisoners.
Article 85: The Democratic Republic of Vietnam declares that prisoners of war tried and convicted of war crimes or crimes against humanity, in accordance with the principles laid down by the Nuremberg Judicial Tribunal, shall not benefit from the provisions of the present Convention as is specified in Article 85."

Yemen

Declaration made upon accession:
"The Government of the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen declares that the accession of the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen to this Conventions by no means implies recognition of Israel."