How many countries have violated the Geneva Conventions?

Arms control


This map layer with a timeline shows the point in time when individual countries ratified the Geneva Conventions.

The Geneva Conventions are considered a core element of international humanitarian law. They establish internationally binding rules for dealing with prisoners of war (Geneva Convention III), wounded soldiers (Geneva Convention I and II) and civilians (Geneva Convention IV) in wars.

The first part of the Geneva Conventions was drawn up in 1864 and expanded in 1929. In 1949 the Convention was revised and it came into force in 1950. In 1977 and 2005, changes were integrated into the conventions, each of which had to be ratified again, which led to the individual agreements and additional protocols being ratified by a different number of states at different times. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is the only controlling body. Possible violations of the provisions of the Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols have been investigated by an International Humanitarian Investigative Commission since 1991, which, however, has no sovereign powers. The conventions themselves do not impose any sanctions for violations. Punishments either take place within the framework of the national legislation of the signatory states (in Germany this has been the International Criminal Code since 2002); In certain cases, the International Criminal Court in The Hague can also prosecute (or prosecute) serious violations of the Geneva Conventions.