Practice Relating to Rule 129. The Act of Displacement
Section B. Evacuation of the civilian population
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands provides: “The occupying power may undertake the evacuation of a given area if the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand.”
With respect to non-international armed conflicts in particular, the manual states: “Forced displacement … is only authorized if the security of the civilians involved or imperative military reasons so demand.”
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states that “the occupier may evacuate an area if the security of the population or compelling military reasons so require”.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states:
In principle, forced displacement of civilians (the civilian population) is prohibited. It is permitted only if the safety of the affected civilians or compelling military reasons dictate. Civilians may not be forced to leave their locality for reasons relating to internal armed conflict. Although it is permitted temporarily to evacuate civilians, it is prohibited to move them for reasons relating to race, skin colour, religion or belief, gender, birth or social status or any other such criterion.
The Population Evacuation Act (1988) of the Netherlands provides that in the event of war or threat of war, a Royal Decree may be issued entitling government ministers to order the evacuation of the population in order to ensure its safety, ensure the continued functioning of society or to enable the armed forces to perform their tasks.