Treaties, States Parties and Commentaries
  • Print page
Commentary of 2020 
Article 30 : Medical attention
Text of the provision*
(1) Every camp shall have an adequate infirmary where prisoners of war may have the attention they require, as well as appropriate diet. Isolation wards shall, if necessary, be set aside for cases of contagious or mental disease.
(2) Prisoners of war suffering from serious disease, or whose condition necessitates special treatment, a surgical operation or hospital care, must be admitted to any military or civilian medical unit where such treatment can be given, even if their repatriation is contemplated in the near future. Special facilities shall be afforded for the care to be given to the disabled, in particular to the blind, and for their rehabilitation, pending repatriation.
(3) Prisoners of war shall have the attention, preferably, of medical personnel of the Power on which they depend and, if possible, of their nationality.
(4) Prisoners of war may not be prevented from presenting themselves to the medical authorities for examination. The detaining authorities shall, upon request, issue to every prisoner who has undergone treatment, an official certificate indicating the nature of his illness or injury, and the duration and kind of treatment received. A duplicate of this certificate shall be forwarded to the Central Prisoners of War Agency.
(5) The costs of treatment, including those of any apparatus necessary for the maintenance of prisoners of war in good health, particularly dentures and other artificial appliances, and spectacles, shall be borne by the Detaining Power.
* Paragraph numbers have been added for ease of reference.
Reservations or declarations
None
Contents

  • A. Introduction
  • B. Paragraph 1: Infirmary
  • C. Paragraph 2: Serious diseases or medical conditions requiring specialist treatment
  • D. Paragraph 3: Nationality of attending personnel
  • E. Paragraph 4: Medical examinations and medical certificates
  • F. Paragraph 5: Treatment free of charge
  • Select bibliography
    A. Introduction
    2225  Article 30 elaborates on the medical attention that prisoners of war are entitled to receive. It specifies a number of measures the Detaining Power must take to fulfil its general obligation under Article 15 to provide for the maintenance of prisoners of war, including the medical attention required by their state of health.
    2226  Pursuant to the first paragraph of Article 30, every camp must have its own infirmary to attend to the health-care needs of prisoners of war. The second paragraph deals with the provision of health services, such as specialized medical treatment, that are not normally available in a camp and with the health-care and rehabilitation needs of prisoners with disabilities. The third paragraph – which must be read together with Articles 32 and 33 – addresses the question of the nationality of medical personnel attending to prisoners of war. The fourth paragraph covers specific aspects of medical attention, including medical examinations and their documentation. Under the fifth and final paragraph, the Detaining Power must bear the costs of medical treatment of prisoners of war, including the provision – free of charge – of any necessary assistive devices, such as dentures, wheelchairs, prostheses, hearing aids and spectacles.
    Back to top
    B. Paragraph 1: Infirmary
    1. First sentence: Adequacy and medical attention required
    2227  During the First World War, States adopted bilateral agreements containing rules governing medical attention for prisoners of war.[1] Subsequently, the 1929 Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War dealt with such matters in Article 14. Article 30 of the present Convention reproduces the essential provisions of its counterpart in the 1929 Convention, including that every camp is required to have an ‘infirmary’.
    2228  The term ‘infirmary’ in its ordinary meaning refers to ‘a place for the care of those who are ill or injured’.[2] This may be a hospital, a clinic or a dispensary. To be ‘adequate’, an infirmary must have medical capabilities that are proportionate to the number of prisoners of war in the camp and that are appropriate for their state of health.[3] The assessment of whether an infirmary is ‘adequate’ must be made in the context of the second paragraph of the present article, which provides that prisoners with more serious health conditions that require specialized treatment must be transferred to civil or military medical units, i.e. hospitals or clinics. Not every camp, therefore, needs to be equipped with an infirmary that meets the standard of, for instance, a hospital with different surgical specializations. An infirmary that is able to provide basic first aid for minor wounds and routine medical care for readily curable illnesses – and has the medical personnel, facilities, equipment and supplies for this purpose – may well be considered ‘adequate’, as long as prisoners requiring more specialized treatment can receive medical attention by other means, such as transfer to an external medical facility able to provide that treatment, in accordance with paragraph 2. This is without prejudice to any more sophisticated medical capabilities that infirmaries may possess, for instance in camps with larger prisoner populations. Thus, provided that the Detaining Power ensures that the prisoners in its hands receive the medical care required by their state of health, it is free to decide where and how to organize that care.[4]
    2229  In assessing the adequacy of camp infirmaries in international armed conflicts since the entry into force of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, the ICRC has taken account of:
    – the availability of medical personnel in numbers proportionate to the size of the prisoner-of-war population in the camp, including for treating superficial wounds or minor wound infections, as well as for diagnosing and treating routine ailments not requiring specialist or longer-term treatment, such as headaches, flu or minor cases of pneumonia or diarrhoea (with doctors not necessarily having to be permanently based in the camp, as long as they visit at reasonable intervals for consultations). In terms of dental services, practice has shown that often at least basic dental care is available in prisoner-of-war camps, while in some cases regular dental consultations have been provided by visiting specialists.[5] Mental health care is generally included in the health services required for prisoners of war; in this regard, some recent State practice (confirmed by ICRC observations) requires that on-site medical personnel have some experience in mental health,[6] while in other contexts mental health services were provided through regular visits by specialists;
    – the accessibility of emergency medical services at all times, especially also at night;
    – the availability and good functioning of equipment to carry out basic medical examinations, such as scales, measuring tapes and otoscopes (but not necessarily a fully fledged laboratory or X-ray equipment, as these would most likely be available in nearby hospitals to which prisoners could be referred);[7]
    – the availability and quality of essential drugs (within date and appropriately stored, and their regular supply secured);[8]
    – the sanitary conditions of camp medical facilities (in terms of their cleanliness, but also, more particularly, medical hygiene, including disinfection of wounds and proper sterilization of medical equipment).
    2230  In accordance with Article 14(2), whereby the Detaining Power must treat women with all the regard due to their sex, specific medical services for women, including gynaecological services, must be on hand.[9] This is especially true where women have become pregnant or given birth just prior to or during captivity. Moreover, the ICRC has observed that in some cases specific arrangements have been made to accommodate women prisoners of war who wish to be treated by medical personnel of the same gender; while in the best case this would entail the permanent presence of women medical personnel in the camp, in accordance with Article 30(2), this has also sometimes been accomplished by transferring women prisoners to external medical facilities or by having women medical personnel make regular visits to the camp. At the very least, women prisoners should be offered the option to have another woman, prisoner or guard, present when being examined by a man. In accordance with both Article 14(2) of the Third Convention and Article 12(4) of the First Convention, the Detaining Power must have the capacity generally to deal with the specific medical needs of both women and men prisoners of war. Thus, an infirmary’s lack of medical capacity may not be used as a blanket justification for being unable to address the specific needs of women prisoners.[10]
    2231  As for the level of medical care that an infirmary must be able to provide to be considered adequate, it is generally accepted that the Detaining Power should apply the same standards as it would to a similar infirmary for its own armed forces.[11] This does not necessarily imply, however, that prisoners should be evacuated for treatment in the home territory of the Detaining Power.[12] While medical standards may change over time, and there may be differences between Detaining Powers depending on a country’s level of development, a scarcity of finances or infrastructure does not in and of itself excuse a failure of prisoner-of-war camps to comply with the basic medical care requirements.[13]
    2232  In all cases, the provision of medical care must comply with the applicable standards of medical ethics. Notwithstanding that such standards may vary between countries and professions, some guidance may be derived from regulations adopted by the World Medical Association.[14] They include the duty to provide medical care impartially/without any adverse distinction, i.e. on the basis of clinical need only, also required by other rules of international humanitarian law.[15] On this basis, for instance, specific or prioritized treatment is not prohibited and may even be required: in addition to women prisoners of war, this might apply, for instance, to older prisoners or prisoners with disabilities. Standards of medical ethics would also address such issues as respect for the autonomy and agency of prisoners of war with regard to their voluntary and informed consent – or refusal – to undergo any medical procedure; respect for medical confidentiality, unless maintaining such confidentiality would result in a real and immediate threat to the person benefiting from health care or to others; and the prohibition on engaging – actively or passively – in acts that may amount to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.[16]
    2233  While not explicitly provided for in Article 30(1), to ensure the adequacy of health services dispensed in prisoner-of-war camps, some State practice envisages initial medical examinations of prisoners of war upon their arrival at a camp.[17] Such practice is closely related to the obligations of the Detaining Power to maintain prisoners in good health under Article 15 and to conduct regular medical inspections under Article 31. This also serves the purpose, in particular, of identifying any physical or mental health-care needs requiring immediate or ongoing attention, bearing in mind the need to ensure the continuity of health-care services. Initial medical examinations will also enable the Detaining Power to design, in accordance with Article 29, any sanitary measures necessary to prevent epidemics, through the detection of communicable diseases, and to decide on the separation, on the basis of Article 30(2), of prisoners of war presenting an infection risk to others. A secondary purpose of such examinations is to document any injuries present at the time of capture, which in turn provides a baseline for identifying any injuries sustained during subsequent internment, thereby facilitating any investigation into alleged ill-treatment of prisoners of war.[18]
    2234  The entitlement to adequate medical attention is specifically reiterated for prisoners of war undergoing confinement as a disciplinary punishment[19] and for those serving a judicial sentence.[20]
    2235  The requirement that prisoners of war receive an appropriate diet was first added at the 1947 Conference of Government Experts.[21] ‘Appropriate diet’ must be understood as being a diet – beyond what Article 26 requires for all prisoners of war in terms of quantity, quality and variety – that is tailored to meeting the health needs and aiding the recovery of prisoners of war who are sick or wounded, including those who are convalescing,[22] or to stabilizing certain chronic health conditions. In some international armed conflicts, the ICRC has recommended that camp authorities administer specific diets for certain health conditions, such as diabetes, gastrointestinal problems or jaundice.
    Back to top
    2. Second sentence: Isolation wards
    2236  While the 1929 Convention already contained the notion of setting aside isolation wards for prisoners suffering from ‘contagious’ diseases, the separation, where necessary, of prisoners of war with ‘mental disease’ was added at the 1949 Diplomatic Conference.[23]
    2237  The term ‘isolation ward’ in a health context is ordinarily understood to mean ‘a room or section of a hospital in which certain categories of patients, particularly those infected with acute contagious diseases, can be treated with a minimum of contact with the rest of the patients and hospital personnel’.[24] In light of this meaning and of the wording ‘setting aside’, it can be understood that the measure envisaged here consists in dedicating separate premises or individual rooms in the camp for affected prisoners of war.
    2238  The placing of prisoners of war in isolation wards is a restriction of liberty additional to what is permissible by the fact that they are subject to internment in general. However, this additional restriction of liberty is distinct from close confinement (whether in a compound with other prisoners or in single cells) imposed as a penal or disciplinary punishment under Section VI, Chapter III of the Convention.[25] In the present context, placing prisoners of war in isolation wards or close confinement is based on health considerations, and Article 30 follows the logic of Article 21 in this respect.[26] It is essentially conceived to prevent health risks to others (fellow prisoners and staff) from certain prisoners of war, especially the spread of epidemics. Because of these health risks, the underlying assumption is that close confinement becomes necessary. In accordance with the above-mentioned ordinary meaning of isolation wards and its character as a specific form of health-related close confinement, the term ‘isolation’ is not to be automatically equated with ‘solitary confinement’, i.e. deprivation of liberty in single cells without meaningful contact with other detainees, but it is also not excluded.[27]
    2239  Because of the strictly health-related nature of this form of close confinement, the decision as to whether it is necessary must be taken exclusively on the advice of a medical doctor or other appropriately qualified health professional.[28] The caveat of assigning affected prisoners of war to isolation wards only ‘if necessary’ also implies that such close confinement must be temporary. Thus, once the risk to the lives and health of the other prisoners has been contained, the isolation of the affected prisoners must end. In light of the obligation in Article 25(4) to separate women and men prisoners of war, where isolation of women prisoners is necessary, they should be held in isolation wards separate from men[29] and guarded by women.[30]
    2240  The first ground provided for under Article 30 on which isolation may be necessary, to prevent the spread of communicable diseases, does not pose particular difficulties owing to the overriding risk of infection for the rest of the camp population and, ultimately, of an epidemic that could spiral out of control. In fact, quarantine may already be required under Article 29 as a sanitary measure to prevent epidemics. In practice, the ICRC has observed, and recommended in certain contexts, isolation wards being allocated in prisoner-of-war camps to prevent or control the spread of infection or epidemics, including in cases of tuberculosis, dysentery, scabies, chicken pox and certain forms of hepatitis. Where the camp did not have the capacity to treat the communicable disease itself, for instance tuberculosis, prisoners of war were sent to nearby hospitals for diagnosis and treatment, as is consistent with Article 30(2).
    2241  However, imposing isolation on prisoners of war with mental health conditions is particularly problematic as it may violate the prohibition of adverse distinction based on a mental health condition or a psychosocial impairment. There is also the risk that it will be abused for what in reality constitutes close confinement, in particular solitary confinement, as a disciplinary punishment, which may in turn aggravate the person’s health condition.[31]
    2242  It bears emphasis that the imposition of any form of isolation, whether solitary confinement or other form of close confinement, on persons with mental health conditions would be prohibited under the Convention if it amounted to adverse distinction or to torture or other ill-treatment.[32] The isolation of such persons may especially violate the prohibition of adverse distinction where the dangerousness of a person is presumed on the basis of a mental health condition/an impairment.[33]
    2243  In certain contexts, the ICRC has encountered situations where solitary confinement, at times for prolonged periods, was used as a disciplinary punishment for actual or perceived non-compliance with disciplinary rules by prisoners of war with mental health conditions. This occurred because their behaviour, an outward manifestation of their mental health condition, was perceived to be disruptive or dangerous. Where such confinement was imposed, mental health services in the camp were often also inadequate. While solitary confinement has been documented to negatively affect the mental health of any person subjected to it, the impact on persons with pre-existing mental health conditions is especially severe. It may even amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, as it often leads to psychotic symptoms and/or significant functional impairments, self-harm or even suicide.[34]
    2244  Some States reserve the possibility of imposing close confinement on prisoners of war, including persons with mental health conditions, where this is deemed unavoidable in light of the danger that those persons pose to themselves (including suicide) or to others.[35] However, it should also be stressed that the possibility in Article 30 of isolating persons with mental health conditions ‘if necessary’ should be interpreted in the context of other obligations of the Detaining Power. The implementation of these other obligations would provide alternatives to isolation and thus help to avoid isolation being considered necessary.
    2245  Of these, first and foremost and in accordance with the first sentence of Article 30(1), prisoners of war must benefit from mental health services appropriate to their condition, without any adverse distinction and respectful of applicable standards of medical ethics, including the principle of voluntary and informed consent, especially their capacity to consent to any medical decision that may affect them. As part of its own mental health and psychosocial support activities, the ICRC has stressed the importance of appropriate screening and identification of mental health conditions upon a prisoner’s arrival in a place of detention and regularly thereafter;[36] initial health examinations, as well as the periodic medical inspections provided for in Article 31, may play a useful role in this regard.
    2246  Second, the ICRC has observed that counselling and other appropriate therapies such as psychotherapy – when employed to deal with a mental health condition rather than just the associated disruptive behaviours – can be effective in decreasing such behaviours and thus avoid the perceived need for isolation. Mental health specialists, where required, could also be made available through visits to a prisoner-of-war camp or through referral of the prisoner concerned to appropriate external service providers, as envisaged by Article 30(2). The ICRC has encountered some cases where prisoners with serious mental health conditions were referred to external services rather than being subjected to isolation. Prisoners with less serious mental health conditions could simply remain in the general prisoner population.
    2247  It is important to note that prisoners with a serious mental health condition that is either of an indeterminate character or will not be successfully treated within one year, or where their continued internment would further undermine their physical or mental health, cannot be held in captivity at all, let alone in isolation. Rather, they must be repatriated or accommodated in a neutral country, in accordance with Articles 109 and 110 and Annex I, section IA, unless such repatriation is against their will or accommodation in a neutral country would not improve their condition.[37] Practically, this means that repatriation or accommodation in a neutral country must be preceded by an assessment of whether the mental health services and support available for prisoners of war with mental health conditions upon repatriation or alternative accommodation would be more favourable than if they stayed in the prisoner-of-war camp. In the ICRC’s experience, repatriations have taken place and the prisoners concerned released into the care of their families so that they could benefit from appropriate mental health services.
    Back to top
    C. Paragraph 2: Serious diseases or medical conditions requiring specialist treatment
    1. First sentence: Admission to military or civilian medical facilities
    2248  The first sentence of Article 30(2) builds on Article 14, paragraph 5, of the 1929 Convention, with the addition that prisoners of war requiring specialist treatment should receive that care, even if they are due to be repatriated. This addition was adopted, at the ICRC’s suggestion, by the 1947 Conference of Government Experts.[38]
    2249  Under this provision, the Detaining Power is obliged to ensure the transfer of prisoners of war with serious health conditions to appropriate military or civilian ‘medical units’ outside the camp.[39] It is based on the assumption that the camp infirmary may not necessarily have the capacity to treat such conditions. The wording, ‘where such treatment can be given’, makes it clear that such transfers must only occur where the services provided by the external medical facility would be more favourable to improving the prisoner’s health condition than those provided by the infirmary. This follows from Article 30(1), according to which prisoners of war must receive the medical attention they require, in line with applicable standards of medical ethics.
    2250  The assessment of whether a prisoner has a health condition requiring transfer to an external hospital or clinic is purely medical. It also follows that only medical urgency would determine priority for any transfers deemed necessary. While establishing the timing of transfer of non-urgent cases will inevitably involve, apart from the availability of medical services in the camp, an assessment of practical and security considerations, medical personnel should be consulted and sign off on the planning of any medical evacuation.[40]
    2251  Although only transfer to external medical facilities is foreseen in the absence of specific health services in a camp, the ICRC has observed many instances where other health services have been provided through visits by medical specialists or through a temporary increase in the camp’s medical capacities. These are other possible options, as long as the prisoners’ medical care can be adequately ensured by these means.
    2252  The ICRC has also regularly witnessed and called for the transfer of prisoners of war with more serious health conditions or requiring more specialized diagnosis or treatment to external hospitals or clinics.[41] Transfers took place for serious diseases such as tuberculosis; for cardiac conditions; for health conditions requiring specialist treatment, such as psychiatry/psychotherapy, physiotherapy, ophthalmology or dentistry; or for injuries requiring hospital treatment, including complicated fractures or bullet or splinter wounds, or requiring neurosurgery or orthopaedic surgery. Some State practice also suggests the kind of medical capabilities available in external hospitals or clinics that would go beyond what would typically be provided in camp infirmaries, such as primary or specialized surgery, including heart or neurosurgery, advanced nursing and diagnostic capacities.[42] The ICRC has also found that, in many instances, hospitals or clinics were located close to a camp, making transfers easier.
    2253  Given that the Detaining Power has an obligation to transfer prisoners of war who have been diagnosed with a serious health condition or who require specialized treatment to military or civilian hospitals or clinics, it is also implicit in this sentence that it must take the necessary steps to effect a safe and, if needed, rapid transfer to such facilities, such as by ambulance.[43]
    2254  As expressly provided for in this sentence, the requirement of transfer to external hospitals or clinics applies even to those prisoners of war whose repatriation is contemplated in the near future.[44] This explicit reminder was inserted at the 1947 Conference of Government Experts in order to avoid – as had happened in the past – situations where prisoners would be denied needed surgical operations under the pretext of their imminent repatriation.[45]
    Back to top
    2. Second sentence: Prisoners of war with disabilities
    2255  The provision on specific facilities for prisoners of war with disabilities was added by the 1947 Conference of Government Experts and adopted by the 17th International Conference of the Red Cross in Stockholm in 1948.[46]
    2256  Prisoners of war with disabilities may have specific health-care needs, including certain medication or other ongoing medical attention. While prisoners of war with disabilities must not be equated automatically with being ‘wounded and sick’ under international humanitarian law, where they do so qualify, specific measures are required so that they can access, without adverse distinction, the medical care they need.[47]
    2257  Persons with disabilities may have difficulty accessing essential services, including medical ones, without adverse distinction, irrespective of whether their impairments – be they physical (such as losing a limb), psychosocial (such as psychosocial impairment sparked by traumatic experiences or a brain injury), or sensory (such as the total or partial loss of eyesight) – predate an armed conflict or have been acquired during an armed conflict.
    2258  In its ordinary meaning, the term ‘facility’ refers not only to a ‘building’, but also to a ‘service, or piece of equipment provided for a particular purpose’.[48] The word ‘special’ must be interpreted as providing, first, the express basis on which camp authorities must take appropriate measures to ensure that prisoners of war with disabilities have full and equal access to all camp services and facilities, including medical services, without adverse distinction to other prisoners of war. Second, the specific facilities must be understood as specialized health-care and rehabilitation services and support suited to the capacities and needs of the individual prisoner of war with disabilities.
    2259  The express mention of prisoners of war who are blind in this sentence was inserted in light of the experience of prisoners thus afflicted in the Second World War; it was thought that making specific provision for this group would act as a reminder of the need for early rehabilitation.[49] The ICRC has recommended that in certain instances prisoners of war with visual impairments be communicated information and be taught in Braille, which would make relevant information on services better accessible to those prisoners. Information could also be made accessible to prisoners of war with visual impairments or low vision through other formats, such as audio or large print.[50]
    2260  In terms of rehabilitation, ICRC delegates have regularly monitored whether the therapies necessary for prisoners with disabilities, such as physiotherapy, psychotherapy or psychosocial counselling, were provided so that they might attain and maintain their optimal physical and mental functioning in interaction with their environments. In addition, the supply of assistive devices such as prostheses or wheelchairs is an integral part of rehabilitation, which is covered in greater detail in Article 30(5).[51]
    2261  While rehabilitation has traditionally been perceived as a health-related measure,[52] it has come to be viewed increasingly as a broader concept permitting persons benefiting from those services to learn or relearn skills enabling them to seize, for instance, vocational or educational opportunities.[53] Such an approach contributes to the social and economic inclusion of, for instance, survivors of the use of certain weapons such as anti-personnel mines, cluster munitions or other explosive weapons, and more generally and irrespective of how they have acquired their impairments, the full inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in society. This is especially relevant for States party to particular international treaties.[54]
    2262  In accordance with the first sentence of Article 30(2), prisoners of war with disabilities who cannot benefit from the health services they require within the camp must be referred to more appropriate, specific services outside the camp. In addition, the services provided to prisoners of war with disabilities will only be temporary, pending their repatriation or accommodation in a neutral country if they so qualify under Articles 109 and 110 and Annex I, section IA, unless this is against their will or accommodation would not improve their individual condition and functioning. In that case, the prisoners must be repatriated as soon as they are able to travel.
    Back to top
    D. Paragraph 3: Nationality of attending personnel
    2263  Article 30(3), which expresses a preference for the treatment of prisoners of war by medical personnel of the same nationality, first made its appearance in the draft submitted to the 1948 Stockholm Conference.[55] This paragraph contains a recommendation, rather than a strict obligation, that medical services for prisoners of war be provided by medical personnel of the Power on which the prisoners depend or who are of their own nationality. The exhortatory nature of this paragraph is apparent from the words ‘preferably’ in relation to medical personnel of the Power on which the prisoners depend and ‘possibly’ in relation to their own nationality.
    2264  The provision must be read in conjunction with Articles 32 and 33, which clarify the various categories of medical personnel whose services the Detaining Power may use, i.e. medical personnel of the enemy’s military medical services or personnel who are not attached to the medical services but who have medical qualifications and depend on the same Power.[56] The implementation of this recommendation in practice would thus depend on whether such personnel are available in the prisoner-of-war camp. In a number of contexts, the ICRC has observed that medical care available in prisoner-of-war camps was provided by medical personnel not only of the nationality of the Detaining Power but also of the same nationality as the prisoners.
    2265  The recommendation expressed in Article 30(3) is primarily justified for linguistic and cultural reasons as it is in the interest of the prisoners themselves.[57] Relying on medical personnel of the Power on which the prisoners depend or of the same nationality as the prisoners facilitates communication between those personnel and patients. As the ICRC has observed, this helps ensure that prisoners are properly informed of their diagnosis and proposed treatment, which is indispensable for them to give their voluntary and informed consent to, or refuse, any proposed medical procedure, as required by applicable standards of medical ethics. Moreover, in some international armed conflicts, the ICRC has noted that prisoners of war did not trust medical personnel of the same nationality as the Detaining Power. In such cases, the resort to medical personnel of the same nationality as the prisoners may help create trust between them.
    2266  In the absence of medical personnel of the same nationality as the prisoners, interpreters have sometimes been used to provide prisoners with information relevant to their medical condition. The same result could be obtained by making medical personnel speaking their language available. Where interpreters are used, they must be suitably qualified, aware of ethical principles of health care in the relationship between medical personnel and patient, and respect medical confidentiality.
    2267  The use of medical personnel of the same nationality as the prisoners may also increase the availability, and potentially also the quality, of medical services in a camp, for instance where they have expertise in the treatment of endemic diseases unfamiliar to the Detaining Power or where being of the same cultural background may help to manage prisoners’ mental health conditions.[58]
    2268  From the perspective of the Detaining Power, being able to rely on medical personnel of the enemy Power may have the effect of reducing the burden on its own medical personnel. That said, the Detaining Power still needs to ensure that such persons have the necessary facilities to provide the expected medical care.[59] Any shifting of the burden to the advantage of the Detaining Power does not absolve it of its primary responsibility for the provision of medical care, in accordance with Article 33(4).[60]
    Back to top
    E. Paragraph 4: Medical examinations and medical certificates
    2269  The first sentence of Article 30(4) on the freedom of prisoners of war to present themselves for medical examination goes back to the draft submitted to the 1948 Stockholm Conference.[61]
    2270  The wording of this sentence, which uses the negative form, is sufficiently clear; it is contrary to the Convention to prevent attendance at medical examinations. This rule will be violated if the Detaining Power prohibits one or more prisoners of war from presenting themselves, but it can also be violated if obstacles are invoked in a way which, in effect, not only delays but actually denies them the opportunity of presenting themselves. This is an important corollary to Article 30(1), whereby prisoners of war must receive the medical attention they require, and a complement both to medical examinations on admission to the camp necessary by virtue of Article 30(1), as well as the regular medical inspections provided for in Article 31.
    2271  Accordingly, prisoners of war must have access to medical examinations. Such access can be facilitated by informing them, in a language they understand and in an accessible format, how to contact and make appointments with medical personnel and what medical services are available.[62] One common means of affording prisoners seeking medical advice the option of requesting medical examinations is the so-called daily ‘sick parade’ or ‘sick call’.[63] In the ICRC’s experience, this has involved medical personnel making themselves available for prisoners at a set time and place in the camp or doing daily rounds of all the places where prisoners are held. One challenge that has sometimes arisen in this respect is the restriction by camp authorities of the possibility of prisoners presenting themselves for medical examination by assigning unqualified personnel to draw up lists of prisoners requiring medical examinations; such restrictions appear to be incompatible with Article 30(4). Thus, it is not up to any of the camp’s non-medical staff to filter prisoners’ requests to see a doctor. Moreover, some States also consider that the practice of remotely prescribing medical treatment without examining the patient is generally undesirable and should not occur unless compelling operational reasons make it the only way to provide the prisoner with the required medical care.[64]
    2272  The entitlement of prisoners of war to present themselves for medical examinations is reiterated in the context of prisoners undergoing confinement as a disciplinary punishment, where it is specified that they ‘shall be allowed, on their request, to be present at the daily medical inspections’.[65]
    2273  The issuance, on the prisoner’s request, of an official certificate indicating the nature of the illness or injury and the duration and kind of treatment received, as provided for under the second sentence of Article 30(4), is closely connected to the importance, generally, of keeping accurate records at all stages of the delivery of medical care to prisoners of war. The maintenance of such records has first and foremost the purpose of facilitating the continuity of the medical care provided.[66] Moreover, there is a general obligation under the First Convention on Parties to an international armed conflict to record, inter alia, medical information for identification purposes to prevent members of armed forces from going missing, information that is essentially destined for the Power on which the prisoners depend or their families.[67] However, there is no explicit obligation in the Third Convention to record medical information for the purpose of ensuring the continuity of prisoners’ medical care or of pursuing legal claims for their own benefit after capture. That said, ICRC delegates have consistently stressed the necessity of keeping individual medical records on prisoners of war exclusively for the purpose of ensuring the continuity of their medical care, especially where they have been moved between camps and external medical facilities. Some States also require that medical records be established and maintained for prisoners of war, and it is considered to be an ethical task of health-care professionals that should be performed whenever possible.[68] Therefore, duly filled-out medical records may be regarded as a necessary corollary of ensuring prisoners of war receive the medical attention they require.
    2274  Besides, medical records provide an additional means of checking allegations that any medical procedures undertaken were not compatible with medical ethics. Such records would also contain information as to whether the prisoner had consented to a given medical procedure.[69] For States Parties, Additional Protocol I contains an obligation to endeavour to keep a record of all medical procedures undertaken with respect to any person who is interned, detained or otherwise deprived of their liberty as a result of an international armed conflict, and provides that such records must be available at all times for inspection by the Protecting Power.[70]
    2275  Access by former prisoners of war to the complete history of their medical treatment during captivity by virtue of the certificates mentioned in this sentence is also important after repatriation. This not only serves the continuity of medical care but also the filing of any claims for benefits, for example disability benefits, under the legislation of the State in whose armed forces the former prisoner served. There are specific instances, such as work-related injuries or sickness during captivity, where official medical certificates must be issued by the Detaining Power to justify their entitlement to compensation from the State in whose armed forces they serve after repatriation.[71]
    2276  Article 30(4) also requires that a duplicate of the medical certificates be forwarded to the Central Prisoners of War Agency (renamed the Central Tracing Agency in 1960). The purpose of inserting this obligation during the negotiation of the Convention was to prevent the confiscation of copies of medical certificates in prisoners’ possession upon repatriation, as had often happened during the Second World War; this obligation thus safeguards an additional means by which prisoners of war can claim their rights after repatriation.[72]
    Back to top
    F. Paragraph 5: Treatment free of charge
    2277  The references to specific kinds of assistive technologies contained in Article 30(5), particularly dentures and spectacles, first featured in the draft convention submitted to the 1948 Stockholm Conference.[73]
    2278  The obligation on the Detaining Power to bear the costs of any ‘apparatus necessary for the maintenance of prisoners of war in good health’ is a specific application of the general principle contained in Article 15, according to which the Detaining Power must provide for the maintenance and medical care of prisoners of war free of charge. The notion of ‘good health’ does not refer only to physical health but also to mental health. In terms of the latter, it includes the notion of psychological well-being, whereby individuals can function on a daily basis and thus are able to realize their potential within the constraints of the situation and to cope with psychological stress.[74] The term ‘apparatus’ may today be understood as ‘assistive devices’, i.e. any item, piece of equipment or product, whether it is acquired commercially, modified or customized, that is used to increase, maintain or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.[75] This is consistent with the above-mentioned understanding of ‘health’ as including mental health.
    2279  Assistive devices may include crutches, prostheses, orthoses, wheelchairs and other mobility devices, as well as hearing aids and cochlear implants, white canes and ocular devices.[76] All of these items may contribute to improving the daily functioning of prisoners with disabilities and thus help them maintain not only physical but also mental health, as having them may reduce psychological stress.[77] Dentures (i.e. dental prostheses) and spectacles are specifically mentioned in Article 30(5), as they were considered particularly important at the time of the adoption of the Convention.
    2280  Paragraph 5 does not draw a distinction between ‘temporary’ or ‘permanent’ assistive devices to maintain prisoners of war in good health, unlike the 1929 Convention, which explicitly required the Detaining Power to bear the expenses related to ‘temporary remedial apparatus’ only. Nevertheless, the 1960 ICRC commentary on this paragraph explicitly maintained – in relation to prostheses – that the Detaining Power was only required to provide temporary ones, as long as they were adequate to maintain the prisoner of war in good health, in the belief that, even if the repatriation of these prisoners was delayed, it was preferable that they be fitted with permanent prostheses in their own country.[78]
    2281  A ‘temporary’ or preparatory prosthesis may be understood as a temporary artificial limb that is fitted to the stump soon after amputation. It permits frequent adaptation during the first several weeks after surgery. A rigid removable dressing is usually applied, which allows for inspection of the stump for signs of haemorrhage or tissue deterioration before a permanent or definitive prosthesis is fitted.[79] A permanent or definitive prosthesis may be fitted once the residual limb has sufficiently healed and stabilized in volume. From the ICRC’s longstanding experience, in terms of functionality, temporary prostheses have all the same important characteristics as permanent prostheses except that they are not cosmetically finished and are less durable. Fitting a permanent prosthesis sooner rather than later may have the advantage of avoiding fitting several successive temporary prostheses. Moreover, even if repatriation is contemplated in the near future, prisoners of war requiring a prosthesis may not be furnished immediately with a permanent device in their own country. Against this background, the preference expressed in 1960 for temporary prostheses, or indeed for any temporary assistive device, no longer seems tenable today.[80]
    2282  Assistive devices are, of course, not sufficient to maintain prisoners of war in good health. Treatment free of charge also comprises other necessary rehabilitation measures, including therapies, with the personnel required to fulfil this purpose, in accordance with Article 30(2), second sentence.
    Back to top
    Select bibliography
    Bickenbach, Jerome and Skempes, Dimitrios, ‘Article 26: Habilitation and Rehabilitation’, in Ilias Bantekas, Michael Ashley Stein and Dimitris Anastasiou (eds), The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: A Commentary, Oxford University Press, 2018, pp. 734–763.
    Bretonnière, Maurice, L’application de la Convention de Genève aux prisonniers français en Allemagne durant la seconde guerre mondiale (typewritten thesis), 1949, pp. 120–121.
    Hart, Naomi, Crock, Mary, McCallum, Ron and Saul, Ben, ‘Making Every Life Count: Ensuring Equality and Protection for Persons with Disabilities in Armed Conflicts’, Monash University Law Review, Vol. 40, No. 1, 2014, pp. 148–174.
    Krähenmann, Sandra, ‘Protection of Prisoners in Armed Conflict’, in Dieter Fleck (ed.), The Handbook of International Humanitarian Law, 3rd edition, 2013, pp. 359–411, at 392–397.
    Levie, Howard S., ‘Prisoners of War in International Armed Conflict’, International Law Studies, US Naval War College, Vol. 59, 1978, pp. 131–137.
    Lord, Janet E., ‘Persons with Disabilities in International Humanitarian Law – Paternalism, Protectionism or Rights?’, in Michael Gill and Cathy J. Schlund-Vials (eds), Disability, Human Rights and the Limits of Humanitarianism, Ashgate, Farnham (UK), 2014, pp. 155–177.
    Maia, Catherine, Kolb, Robert and Scalia, Damien, La Protection des Prisonniers de Guerre en Droit International Humanitaire, Bruylant, Brussels, 2015.
    Motz, Stephanie, ‘Article 11: Situations of Risk and Humanitarian Emergencies’, in Ilias Bantekas, Michael Ashley Stein and Dimitris Anastasiou (eds), The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: A Commentary, Oxford University Press, 2018, pp. 314–337.
    Murphy, Sean D., Kidane, Won and Snider, Thomas R., Litigating War: Mass Civil Injury and the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 288–292.
    Noone, Gregory P. et al., ‘Prisoners of War in the 21st Century: Issues in Modern Warfare’, Naval War Review, Vol. 50, 2004, pp. 1–69.
    Priddy, Alice, Disability and armed conflict, Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Academy Briefing No. 14, April 2019.
    Sanna, Silvia, ‘Treatment of Prisoners of War’, in Andrew Clapham, Paola Gaeta and Marco Sassòli (eds), The Geneva Conventions: A Commentary, Oxford University Press, 2015, pp. 977–1011, at 998–1000.

    1 - See e.g. Agreement between Austria-Hungary and Serbia concerning Prisoners of War and Civilian Internees (1918), Article 51(1), and Agreement between the United States of America and Germany concerning Prisoners of War, Sanitary Personnel and Civilians (1918), Articles 63–66.
    2 - Concise Oxford English Dictionary, 12th edition, Oxford University Press, 2011, p. 728.
    3 - See e.g. Canada, Prisoner of War Handling Manual, 2004, p. 3F-8, para. 3F08. See also New Zealand, Military Manual, 2019, Vol. 4, p. 12-45, para. 12.10.32 (‘It may be necessary to cooperate with coalition partners in order to guarantee the appropriate level of medical care.’)
    4 - Levie, pp. 134–135. See also e.g. Canada, Prisoner of War Handling Manual, 2004, p. 3F-8, para. 3F08.
    5 - Some States require that at least basic dental care be provided in all kinds of prisoner-of-war internment facilities; see e.g. United Kingdom, Joint Doctrine Captured Persons, 2015, p. 3-13, para. 310(i), and United States, Internment and Resettlement Operations, 2010, p. 5-6.
    6 - See e.g. United Kingdom, Joint Doctrine Captured Persons, 2015, p. 3-13, para. 310(h); United States, Medical Support to Detainee Operations, 2007, p. 4-9, paras 4-43–4-45.
    7 - See e.g. United States, Internment and Resettlement Operations, 2010, Appendix I, p. I-6.
    8 - In one context, a UN mission found that ‘facilities were inadequate to cope with the health problems of POWs’ because medication appeared to be insufficient and doctors were provided with medications whose shelf-life had expired; UN Security Council, Prisoners of war in Iran and Iraq: The report of a mission dispatched by the Secretary-General, January 1985, UN Doc. S/16962, 22 February 1985, para. 231.
    9 - For more details, see the commentary on Article 14(2), section D.2.
    10 - On the specific medical needs of women, see the commentary on Article 12(4) of the First Convention, section H. See also Charlotte Lindsey-Curtet, Florence Tercier Holst-Roness and Letitia Anderson, Addressing the Needs of Women Affected by Armed Conflict: An ICRC Guidance Document, ICRC, Geneva, 2004.
    11 - See e.g. United Kingdom, Joint Doctrine Captured Persons, 2015, p. 3-11, para. 310(e); United States, Medical Support to Detainee Operations, 2007, p. 2-3, para. 2-4. For a general discussion of the principle of assimilation, see Introduction, section A.3.c.
    12 - See e.g. United Kingdom, Joint Doctrine Captured Persons, 2015, p. 3-11, para. 310(e).
    13 - Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, Prisoners of War, Eritrea’s Claim, Partial Award, 2003, para. 138. See also ibid. paras 115–119 and 128–137. Similarly, see Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, Prisoners of War, Ethiopia’s Claim, Partial Award, 2003, para. 125.
    14 - See, in particular, World Medical Association, Regulations in Times of Armed Conflict and Other Situations of Violence, adopted by the 10th World Medical Assembly, Havana, Cuba, October 1956, last revised at the 63rd World Medical Assembly in Bangkok, Thailand in October 2012. See also Ethical Principles of Health Care in Times of Armed Conflict and Other Emergencies (2014), and ICRC, Health Care in Danger: The Responsibilities of Health-Care Personnel Working in Armed Conflicts and Other Emergencies, ICRC, Geneva, 2012. See also the commentaries on Article 12 of the First Convention, para. 1385, and on Article 12 of the Second Convention, para. 1430.
    15 - See Article 16 of the Third Convention, as well as Article 12(2) of the First Convention. During the Second World War, while the men’s section of a camp had a hospital, the women’s section did not, which meant that seriously ill women remained in their cells; United Kingdom, Military Court at Singapore, Mikizawa case, 1946, Reference the proceedings of the trial, p. 2.
    16 - See also the explicit references to medical ethics in Article 16(1) and (2) of Additional Protocol I.
    17 - See e.g. Canada, Prisoner of War Handling Manual, 2004, p. 3F-9, para. 3F08(6); United Kingdom, Joint Doctrine Captured Persons, 2015, pp. 3-8–3-9, para. 309; Japan, Act on the Treatment of Prisoners of War and Other Detainees in Armed Attack Situations, 2004, Article 31(1).
    18 - See e.g. United Kingdom, Joint Doctrine Captured Persons, 2015, pp. 3-8–3-9, para. 309, and p. 3-13, para. 310; United States, Medical Support to Detainee Operations, 2007, p. 1-9, para. 1-29, and p. 1-14, paras 1-48–1-55.
    19 - Article 98(4). For further details, see the commentary on Article 98, section F.
    20 - Article 108(3). For further details, see the commentary on Article 108, section E.2.d.
    21 - See Report of the Conference of Government Experts of 1947, p. 145.
    22 - See ibid. and United States, Medical Support to Detainee Operations, 2007, pp. 4-5–4-6, paras 4-24–4-26.
    23 - See Final Record of the Diplomatic Conference of Geneva of 1949, Vol. II-A, p. 259. See also the example of one context during the Second World War, where the refusal to build isolation wards led to a dysentery epidemic in a camp; United Kingdom, Military Court at Singapore, Hachisuka case, 1946, Abstract of evidence, pp. 3–4.
    24 - Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, 9th edition, Elsevier, Missouri, 2012, p. 968.
    25 - On close confinement as a penal or disciplinary punishment, see the commentary on Article 89, section D.4.
    26 - For close confinement justifiable exceptionally for safeguarding the health of an individual prisoner of war, see, further, the commentary on Article 21, section C.3.
    27 - On solitary confinement, see the commentaries on Article 87, section E.4, and on Article 89, section D.4.
    28 - See e.g. United Kingdom, Joint Doctrine Captured Persons, 2015, p. 3-19, para. 316, and United States, Medical Support to Detainee Operations, 2007, p. 4-11, para. 4-56.
    29 - See the commentary on Article 25, section F.
    30 - For a similar provision explicitly providing for separate disciplinary confinement of women under the immediate supervision of women, see the commentary on Article 97, section F.
    31 - While the term ‘mental disease’ is not defined in international humanitarian law, ‘mental health condition’ is the more contemporary terminology. Mental health conditions may be described as alterations in thinking, mood or behaviour associated with distress or interference with personal functioning diagnosed by an appropriately qualified mental health professional. This understanding of mental health conditions is informed by World Health Organization (WHO) and World Bank, World Report on Disability, WHO, Geneva, 2011, p. 306. For more details on the ICRC’s position based on the mental health and psychosocial needs of persons deprived of their liberty, especially in armed conflict, see e.g. ICRC, Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support, ICRC, Geneva, 2018, pp. 85–97. Persons with mental health conditions must be distinguished from persons with disabilities, in light of the contemporary understanding of ‘disability’ as an interaction between a person’s individual condition, such as a mental health condition or a psychosocial impairment, and environmental factors, i.e. a variety of barriers, including environmental and attitudinal, as described in Article 1 of the 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which, by virtue of its Article 11, is explicitly applicable also in armed conflict.
    32 - See, in particular, Articles 13–16, 87(3) and 89(3).
    33 - In this regard, some have expressed the view that the presumption that persons with mental health conditions or psychosocial impairments are prone to violence is wrong and discriminatory, and to the extent that Article 30 keeps open this interpretation, it is discriminatory against persons with psychosocial impairments per se. The 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities provides that the existence of a disability may in no case justify a deprivation of liberty. See Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Thematic study on the rights of persons with disabilities under article 11 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, on situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies, UN Doc. A/HRC/31/30, 30 November 2015, paras 10, 47 and 55; Priddy, pp. 69–72; and Lord, p. 163. Article 14(1)(b) of the 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has been interpreted by a number of States and human rights experts, in particular the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, as establishing, for States party to that treaty, an absolute prohibition on any deprivation of liberty on the basis of an actual or perceived impairment, even if additional factors, including the danger to themselves or to others, are used to justify it. See Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Guidelines on article 14 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, September 2015. For a diverging view, held by some States and human rights experts, recognizing limited exceptions to the prohibition contained in Article 14 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, based on grounds such as protecting the person from serious harm to themselves or to others, see e.g. UN Human Rights Committee, General Comment No. 35 on Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Liberty and security of persons), UN Doc. CCPR/C/GC/35, 16 December 2014, para. 19.
    34 - The drafters of the 1958 ICRC commentary on the equivalent rule in the Fourth Convention clearly recognized that placing a person in isolation risked aggravating an existing mental health condition (albeit in terms that would no longer be acceptable under contemporary understandings of disability): ‘Segregation may seem somewhat cruel in this case, especially when it is remembered that internment itself may have been the cause of mental affliction (or have aggravated an already disturbed mental condition).’ See Pictet (ed.), Commentary on the Fourth Geneva Convention, ICRC, 1958, p. 399. Human rights experts, such as the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, are of the view that solitary confinement of any duration imposed on persons with mental health conditions constitutes cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment: see Interim report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, UN Doc. A/66/268, 5 August 2011, paras 67–68 and 78. See also Article 45(2) of the non-binding Mandela Rules (2015), which provides that solitary confinement should not be applied to detainees with ‘mental or physical disabilities’ when their condition would be exacerbated by such measures.
    35 - See e.g. United Kingdom, Joint Doctrine Captured Persons, 2015, p. 10-8, para. 1009, and United States, Medical Support to Detainee Operations, 2007, p. 4-10, para. 4-51, and p. 4-12, para. 4-64.
    36 - ICRC, Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support, ICRC, Geneva, 2018, p. 93.
    37 - See the commentaries on Article 109, section E, and on Article 110, section D.
    38 - See Report of the Conference of Government Experts of 1947, p. 148.
    39 - The importance of this rule was reinforced in several instances during the Second World War, when prisoners of war suffering from serious injuries were not transferred, or only transferred after several days of interrogation; see e.g. United Kingdom, Military Court at Singapore, Mabuchi case, 1946, Abstract of evidence, p. 1; and Orimo case, 1946, Reference the proceedings of the trial, para. 2.
    40 - See e.g. United States, Medical Support to Detainee Operations, 2007, p. 3-9, paras 3-50–3-54.
    41 - See e.g. UN Security Council, Prisoners of war in Iran and Iraq: the report of a mission dispatched by the Secretary-General, January 1985, UN Doc. S/16962, 22 February 1985, para. 44, and ICRC, Annual Report 1985, ICRC, Geneva, p. 29.
    42 - See e.g. NATO, Allied Joint Doctrine for Medical Support, AJP-4.10, Brussels, 2019, paras 2-42–2-46, which categorizes different types of military medical facilities according to their capabilities and the sophistication of the roles they are to perform. See also Canada, Prisoner of War Handling Manual, 2004, pp. 3F1-1–3F1-2, which also foresees different medical capabilities depending on the size of a camp. See, further, Levie, pp. 134–135 and accompanying footnotes; United States, Medical Support to Detainee Operations, 2007, p. 3-21, paras 3-112–3-113; and Maia/Kolb/Scalia, pp. 288–292.
    43 - On at least one occasion, the ICRC has insisted that a means be found to transfer prisoners of war for treatment in a hospital; ICRC, Annual Report 1984, ICRC, Geneva, p. 25.
    44 - For the conditions governing repatriation, see Articles 109 and 110, as well as Annex I of the Convention.
    45 - See Report of the Conference of Government Experts of 1947, p. 148.
    46 - Ibid. and Draft Conventions adopted by the 1948 Stockholm Conference, p. 64.
    47 - In this regard, see, in particular, Article 16. See also e.g. Article 12 of the First Convention. While the second sentence of Article 30(2) of the Third Convention uses the word ‘disabled’, this terminology was a product of the social and historical context of the time. However, it is certainly outdated in light of the contemporary understanding of disability referred to in fn. 31. This Commentary uses the term ‘persons with disabilities’ throughout.
    48 - Concise Oxford English Dictionary, 12th edition, Oxford University Press, 2011, p. 509.
    49 - See Final Record of the Diplomatic Conference of Geneva of 1949, Vol. II-A, p. 259.
    50 - For further examples, see World Health Organization and World Bank, World Report on Disability, WHO, Geneva, 2011, p. 74. This is similar to the basic principle in Article 2 of the 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which defines ‘reasonable accommodation’ as: ‘necessary and appropriate modification and adjustments not imposing a disproportionate or undue burden, where needed in a particular case, to ensure to persons with disabilities the enjoyment or exercise on an equal basis with others of all human rights and fundamental freedoms’. See also Lord, p. 162.
    51 - ICRC, Special Appeal 2018: Disability and Mine Action, February 2018; World Health Organization and World Bank, World Report on Disability, WHO, Geneva, 2011, pp. 95–123.
    52 - For a definition of health-related rehabilitation, see WHO, Rehabilitation in Health Systems, 2017, p. 35.
    53 - In its physical rehabilitation programmes, the ICRC has come to embrace this broader approach to rehabilitation, by facilitating, for example, vocational training. See e.g. ICRC, ‘Afghanistan: Landmine victim turns physiotherapist, pieces hope together’ (web article), 11 February 2019, and ‘Supporting social inclusion programme in Mardan for women with disabilities’ (web article), 25 May 2018.
    54 - See e.g. Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (1997), Article 6(3); Protocol V to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (2003), Article 8(2); and Convention on Cluster Munitions (2008), Article 5. The interrelated nature of the obligations of States party to these treaties on assistance to survivors/victims of the use of certain weapons is also matched by the 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which, apart from health-related rehabilitation, enshrines a more comprehensive concept of rehabilitation. Article 26 of the Convention prescribes the ultimate goal of rehabilitation under this treaty as being ‘to enable persons with disabilities to attain and maintain maximum independence, full physical, mental, social and vocational ability, and full inclusion and participation in all aspects of life’.
    55 - Draft Conventions submitted to the 1948 Stockholm Conference, p. 73.
    56 - See also Japan, Act on the Treatment of Prisoners of War and Other Detainees in Armed Attack Situations, 2004, Articles 33–37, which regulate recognition of the medical qualifications of prisoners of war.
    57 - See e.g. United Kingdom, Joint Doctrine Captured Persons, 2015, p. 3-6, para. 307.
    58 - Ibid.
    59 - Ibid.; Canada, Prisoner of War Handling Manual, 2004, p. 3F-8, para. 3F08.
    60 - See also Sanna, p. 1000.
    61 - Draft Conventions submitted to the 1948 Stockholm Conference, p. 73.
    62 - See e.g. Canada, Prisoner of War Handling Manual, 2004, p. 3F-9, para. 3F08(8); United Kingdom, Joint Doctrine Captured Persons, 2015, p. 3-12, para. 310(g).
    63 - See e.g. Canada, Prisoner of War Handling Manual, 2004, p. 3F-9, para. 3F08(8); United Kingdom, Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, 2004, p. 164, para. 8.56.1; and United States, Medical Support to Detainee Operations, 2007, pp. 3-19–3-20, paras 3-101–3-104 and 3-106.
    64 - See e.g. United Kingdom, Joint Doctrine Captured Persons, 2015, p. 3-14, para. 310(p).
    65 - Article 98(4). For further details, see the commentary on Article 98, section F.
    66 - Ibid. p. 3-23, para. 328. On medical records generally, see ICRC, Health Care in Danger: The Responsibilities of Health-Care Personnel Working in Armed Conflicts and Other Emergencies, ICRC, Geneva, 2012, pp. 75–78.
    67 - See Article 16 of the First Convention.
    68 - See e.g. United Kingdom, Joint Doctrine Captured Persons, 2015, p. 3-24, para. 330; Canada, Prisoner of War Handling Manual, 2004, p. 3F-9, para. 3F08(7); United States, Internment and Resettlement Operations, 2010, Appendix I, p. I-7; World Medical Association, Regulations in Times of Armed Conflict and Other Situations of Violence, adopted by the 10th World Medical Assembly, Havana, Cuba, October 1956, last revised at the 63rd World Medical Assembly in Bangkok, Thailand in October 2012; and ICRC, Health Care in Danger: The Responsibilities of Health-Care Personnel Working in Armed Conflicts and Other Emergencies, ICRC, Geneva, 2012, pp. 28 and 75–78.
    69 - See also Additional Protocol I, Article 11(5), second sentence, and United Kingdom, Joint Doctrine Captured Persons, 2015, p. 3-21, para. 321.
    70 - Additional Protocol I, Article 11(6).
    71 - See Articles 54(2) and 68(1).
    72 - See Report of the Conference of Government Experts of 1947, p. 147.
    73 - Draft Conventions submitted to the 1948 Stockholm Conference, p. 73.
    74 - This understanding of mental health in the Third Convention is informed by World Health Organization, Action Plan 2013–2020, 2013, paras 6 and 58. For more details on the ICRC’s position on mental health, see ICRC, Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support, ICRC, Geneva, 2018, p. 8.
    75 - World Health Organization and World Bank, World Report on Disability, WHO, Geneva, 2011, p. 101.
    76 - Ibid. For an understanding of prostheses and orthoses and how they are fitted in contemporary medical practice, see International Standard Organization, ISO 8549-1:1989, last revised 2011 (still current), Prosthetics and orthotics — Vocabulary — Part 1: General terms for external limb prostheses and external orthoses, and Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, 9th edition, Elsevier, Missouri, 2012.
    77 - See e.g. Bretonnière, p. 120. During the First World War, the failure to provide prisoners of war with dentures and/or assistive devices for amputees compromised their recovery.
    78 - Pictet (ed.), Commentary on the Third Geneva Convention, 1960, commentary on Article 30, p. 214.
    79 - ‘Preparatory prosthesis’, Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, Elsevier, Missouri, 2012.
    80 - See Report of the Conference of Government Experts of 1947, p. 146.