Practice Related to Rule 95. Forced Labour
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
12.21 Duties of officials. The occupying power may not alter the status of officials, nor apply any sanctions or take measures of coercion or discrimination against them if they decide to abstain on grounds of conscience from fulfilling their functions. A belligerent cannot compel officials to take part in military operations against their own country, even if they were in the belligerent’s service before the commencement of the armed conflict.
12.40 The occupying power may only compel persons over the age of 18 to work, and then only on the needs of the army of occupation, the public utility services, or for the feeding, clothing, sheltering, transportation or health of the population of the occupied territory.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Australia’s War Crimes Act (1945) provides that “forced labour of civilians in connection with the military operations of the enemy” is a war crime.
Under Australia’s War Crimes Act (1945), as amended in 2001, the deportation of a person to, or the internment of a person in, a death camp or a slave labour camp is a serious war crime.