Practice Relating to Rule 108. Mercenaries
Section B. Status of mercenaries
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands states: “A mercenary is not entitled to combatant or prisoner-of-war status.”
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states: “A mercenary is not entitled to combatant or prisoner-of-war status.”
The manual further states: “The fact that persons of other nationalities volunteer to join the armed forces of a State does not make them mercenaries. Such volunteers must normally be treated as combatants.”
At the CDDH, the Netherlands reiterated “the applicability to a mercenary of the fundamental guarantees” embodied in Article 65 of the draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 75).
In 1980, during a debate in the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, the representative of the Netherlands stated that the status of mercenaries under Article 47 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I was less than the Dutch delegation found desirable. He added that, notwithstanding their reprehensible activities, the human rights of mercenaries should be respected, as with every other human being.