Practice Relating to Rule 109. Search for, Collection and Evacuation of the Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) provides: “At all times, and especially following an engagement, all means should be taken to search for and collect the wounded”.
The manual also states:
Local arrangements or a temporary cease-fire shall be concluded to permit the removal, exchange and transport of wounded and sick left on the battlefield and for the evacuation or exchange of wounded and sick from a besieged or encircled area.
Switzerland’s Aide-Memoire on the Ten Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflict (2005) states: “I recover and identify wounded, sick, shipwrecked and dead persons without discrimination as soon as the combat situation allows or the superior orders such. I give First Aid and evacuate the patients according to the orders of my superior.”
Switzerland’s Regulation on Legal Bases for Conduct during an Engagement (2005) states:
, the disarmament, rescue of and the provision of first aid to the wounded, sick and shipwrecked begins as soon as the situation allows. For security reasons this usually does not happen spontaneously. The superiors make the necessary arrangements. No distinction may be made between friend and enemy or between civilian and military personnel. Purely medical criteria determine the priority in medical treatment. No one may be punished for having cared for the wounded or sick.
Switzerland’s ABC of International Humanitarian Law (2009) states:
Wounded, sick and shipwrecked
Wounded and sick are defined as members of the armed forces or Civilians, who are in need of medical attention and who renounce all acts of hostility. According to this definition, a wounded combatant who continues to make use of a weapon does not qualify.
International humanitarian law calls on all parties to a conflict to treat the wounded and sick in a humane way, i.e. to shelter, rescue and protect them and to provide medical care. No distinction is to be made, except of a medical nature, and Women
are given special consideration. The same rules apply to shipwrecked persons, i.e. to all members of the armed forces and civilians in danger at sea or in any other body of water. Wounded, sick and shipwrecked Combatants
are to be accorded Prisoner of war status
In 2010, in its Report on IHL and Current Armed Conflicts, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated:
3.4 [Increasing use] of anti-guerrilla tactics
Apart from the direct fight against insurgents, international humanitarian law also addresses other anti-guerrilla tactics. … If members of militias or opposition groups fall into the hands of the government they benefit from the protection of art. 75 of [the 1977] Additional Protocol I as well as that of art. 3 common to the  Geneva Conventions.
[footnotes in original omitted]