Practice Relating to Rule 87. Humane Treatment
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands provides that protected persons shall be treated humanely. With respect to non-international armed conflicts in particular, the manual states that persons protected by common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions “shall in all circumstances be treated humanely”.
The Military Handbook (1995) of the Netherlands provides for the punishment of “a war law violation which contains inhuman treatment”.
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states that “the humanitarian law of war” limits “military force in order to avoid inhumane use of violence and unnecessary suffering”.
The manual lists “humane conduct” as one of five “generally accepted principles of the humanitarian law of war”.
The manual states:
0224. Humane conduct
People who are outside the conflict or no longer able to take part in battle should be protected and humanely treated. The humane treatment of persons is not only a principle of the humanitarian law of war, but also of humanitarian law in general. This means that the principle is not only developed in the humanitarian law of war, but also, for example, in human rights conventions, the law of refugees and other areas of law. A number of standards deriving from human rights conventions or refugee law thus also apply during armed conflicts, especially internal armed conflict or occupation.
d. The individual is entitled to respect for his life, physical, mental and moral integrity and whatever is inseparable from his personality.
In its chapter on methods and means of warfare, the manual states that “[t]he question whether a non-lethal weapon can be used as a form of warfare will primarily depend on whether such a weapon”, inter alia
, “does not conflict with the [principle] of humane treatment”.
In its chapter on the protection of the civilian population, the manual states: “Protected persons must be humanely treated in all circumstances.”
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states:
Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, and Article 4 of AP II [1977 Additional Protocol II], contain a number of fundamental guarantees of humane treatment that relate to all who are not participating directly in the hostilities, or have ceased to do so. Primarily this means civilians, but also members of the armed forces, dissident militias and armed groups who, due to wounds, sickness or capture, are no longer taking part in the combat or have been placed hors de combat
. They must be treated without any negative discrimination on any grounds whatsoever.
In its chapter on peace operations, the manual states that the use of methods and means which “violate the principles of humanitarian treatment” must be avoided.