Treaties, States Parties and Commentaries
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Commentary of 2020 
Section IV : Financial resources of prisoners of war
2841  Section IV of Part III is a refinement of the provisions of the 1929 Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War. With it, the drafters sought to remedy certain shortcomings and even contradictions in the 1929 text that had become apparent during the Second World War. One of the recommendations arising from the 1947 Conference of Government Experts was that credit balances should be made easily transferable to a prisoner’s next of kin.[1] On the advice of the Second Commission, all provisions relating to financial matters were assembled in a single section of the Convention.[2]
2842  By virtue of Article 58, the Detaining Power is entitled to determine the maximum amount of money that prisoners of war may have in their possession. Its purpose is both to ensure that they have a reasonable amount of money at their disposal for daily purchases and to limit that amount to prevent escapes or abuses. Any amount in excess of the maximum fixed must be placed on the prisoners’ accounts. The deposited amount may not be converted into another currency without the prisoner’s consent, to protect against exchange rate fluctuations. Article 58 also establishes a process by which prisoners of war may, with the permission of the Detaining Power, purchase goods or services from outside the camp.
2843  Article 59 recognizes the principle that money found on prisoners of war at the time of their capture is their private property.[3] Articles 59 and 64 together prescribe the establishment of individual accounts to which must be placed any cash in the currency of the Detaining Power, whether it be taken from the prisoner in that form or converted at their request.
2844  Article 60 on advances in pay is designed to ensure that prisoners of war continue to receive a part of their salaries for their personal use during captivity. The advances are for fixed amounts according to rank, or as otherwise agreed between the Detaining Power and the Power on which the prisoners depend. As set out in Article 67, these advances are considered as made on behalf of the Power on which the prisoners depend. They are to be settled between the two Powers at the close of hostilities, together with any payments from the prisoner back to their own country (Article 63(3)) and any compensation claims (Article 68).
2845  Article 61 recognizes the right of the Power on which the prisoners depend to issue them with supplementary pay. Such pay is to be credited by the Detaining Power to the prisoners’ individual accounts pursuant to Article 64. While supplementary pay does not relieve the Detaining Power of its obligations under the Convention, it may nonetheless constitute an important contribution to prisoners’ well-being.
2846  Article 62 connects Section III on the labour of prisoners of war with the present section by regulating the working pay of prisoners of war. Such pay must be both fair and above a specified minimum daily rate. Special provision is made for the pay of prisoners’ representatives and their assistants/advisers to come from canteen profits,[4] where these are available, to insulate them from any influence that the Detaining Power may seek to exert over them.
2847  Article 63 entitles prisoners of war both to receive remittances addressed to them and to make payments from their accounts. Recognizing the importance for prisoners’ dependents to receive remittances, Article 63 dictates that such payments be given priority.
2848  Pursuant to Article 64, the Detaining Power must hold a separate account for each prisoner of war showing, at the least, any amounts credited to and debited from the account.
2849  Article 65 contains rules on the management of prisoners’ accounts. Every item entered into an account must be verified by the prisoner or prisoners’ representative acting on their behalf. A prisoner must also have reasonable facilities for consulting their account. If a prisoner is transferred to another camp, the account follows. If a prisoner is transferred to another Detaining Power, sums not in the currency of the former Detaining Power follow the prisoner, who must also receive a certificate for any other sums remaining in their account. Parties to a conflict may agree to share information on prisoners’ accounts.
2850  Article 66 requires that the Detaining Power provide individual prisoners with a balance statement and the Power on which the prisoners depend with a certified summary of, among other things, the credit balances of all prisoners whose captivity has been terminated. At the end of the prisoners’ captivity, it is therefore not from the Detaining Power that they receive the money credited to their accounts. Rather, it is for the Power on which the prisoners depend to settle with them the amounts due to them by the Detaining Power.
2851  Article 67 aims to ensure fair reimbursement of the payments made by the Detaining Power according to Article 60 and by the Power on which the prisoners depend according to Articles 63(3) and 68. These matters are to form the subject of arrangements between the Powers concerned, at the close of hostilities.
2852  Article 68 establishes a detailed procedure for prisoners of war to claim compensation in respect of any work-related injury or disability, any personal effects, money or valuables impounded by the Detaining Power under Article 18 and not returned, or any other loss alleged to be due to the fault of the Detaining Power or any of its servants.
2853  According to Article 4B(2), this entire section need not be applied by a neutral Power, should it receive persons entitled to prisoner-of-war status.[5]

1 - See Report of the Conference of Government Experts of 1947, p. 157.
2 - Ibid.
3 - See also Article 18(4).
4 - See Article 28.
5 - For details, see the commentary on Article 4, para. 1088.