Practice Relating to Rule 53. Starvation as a Method of Warfare
France’s LOAC Summary Note (1992) states: “It is prohibited to use starvation as a method of warfare against civilian persons.”
France’s LOAC Manual (2001) states: “It is prohibited to use starvation against civilians as a method of warfare.”
The manual further states that the recourse to starvation as a method of warfare may constitute a war crime.
France’s Penal Code (1992), as amended in 2010, states in its section on war crimes related to international armed conflict: “Using the starvation of civilians as a method of warfare, by depriving them of objects indispensable for their survival … is punishable by life imprisonment.”
At the CDDH, the representative of France stated:
All Article 27 [now Article 14 of the 1977 Additional Protocol II] contained was a purely humanitarian provision, which no one should oppose … His delegation would vote for the article, whose importance was borne out by many examples in history.
France’s LOAC Manual (2001), under the definition of siege, states: “The starvation of civilian populations as a method of warfare is prohibited.”
France’s LOAC Manual (2001) states that when carrying out a blockade, there is an obligation “to allow free passage for relief indispensable to the survival of the civilian population”.