Fourth Geneva Convention

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  • The Fourth Geneva Convention on Rules of War was adopted in 1949 by the international community in response to Nazi atrocities during World War II. The international treaty governs the treatment of civilians during wartime, including hostages, diplomats, spies, bystanders and civilians in territory under military occupation. The convention outlaws torture, collective punishment and the resettlement by an occupying power of its own civilians on territory under its military control. In the fifty years since its adoption, the Fourth Geneva Convention has never been used to condemn world atrocities including those in Bosnia, Rwanda, Kosovo, Tibet, etc.
  • Switzerland is the Depository for the 4th Geneva Convention. This means that the Swiss are technically responsible for organizing and convening a meeting of the signatory nations. However, the Swiss may only convene the meeting if a majority of the signatory nations agree to do so.