Geneva Conventions

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Geneva Conventions,

series of treaties signed (1864–1949) in Geneva, Switzerland, providing for humane treatment of combatants and civilians in wartime. The first convention, signed by 16 nations, covered the protection of sick and wounded soldiers and medical personnel and facilities, and was instrumental in the development of the International Committee of the Red CrossRed Cross,
international organization concerned with the alleviation of human suffering and the promotion of public health; the world-recognized symbols of mercy and absolute neutrality are the Red Cross, the Red Crescent, and the Red Crystal flags and emblems.
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. Later conventions extended (1906) the first to naval warfare and covered (1929) the treatment of prisoners of warprisoner of war,
in international law, person captured by a belligerent while fighting in the military. International law includes rules on the treatment of prisoners of war but extends protection only to combatants.
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. As a result of World War II, particularly of the conduct of Germany and Japan, four conventions were adopted in 1949 to strengthen and codify earlier treaties and safeguard civilians. Amendments have since been made through additional protocols.