Practice Relating to Rule 87. Humane Treatment
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) states: “[The 1977 Additional Protocol I] provides that all persons in the power of a party to the conflict are entitled to at least a minimum humane treatment.”
With regard to non-international armed conflicts, the manual incorporates the provisions of common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions.
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states:
Persons rendered hors de combat
(out of combat) and those not directly participating in hostilities shall be respected, protected and treated humanely. This principle specifies three duties towards the victims of war: to respect them, protect them and treat them humanely. These three requirements constitute a harmonious whole. To understand what they imply requires only common sense and good faith. It is the minimum treatment, which must be accorded to allow the individual to lead an acceptable existence.
In its chapter on the treatment of civilians in the hands of a party to the conflict or an occupying power and, more specifically, in a section entitled “Provisions common to the territories of the parties to the conflict and to occupied territories”, the manual states:
The person, honour, family rights, religious conventions and practices, and manners and customs of protected persons must in all circumstances be respected.
They must be humanely treated and protected against all acts or threats of violence, and against insults and public curiosity.
In the same chapter, in a section entitled “Additional Protocol I”, the manual further states:
[Additional Protocol I] provides that all persons in the power of a party to the conflict are entitled to at least a minimum of humane treatment without adverse discrimination on grounds of race, gender, language, religion, political discrimination or similar criteria.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflicts, the manual restates the provisions of common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions:
By Common Article 3, the parties to a non-international armed conflict occurring in the territory of a party to the Conventions are obliged to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:
Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat
by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, gender, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.