Practice Relating to Rule 129. The Act of Displacement
Section A. Forced displacement
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides: “In no circumstances may a protected person be transferred to a State where he has reason to fear persecution on account of his political opinions or religious beliefs.”
The manual states that some provisions continue in effect until the occupation is in fact terminated, such as articles preserving “protection against forced transfers, evacuations and deportations”.
The manual specifies that “impermissible measures of population control include: … e. deportations”.
The manual also states: “In the case of civilians in the hands of the adverse Party … it is also a grave breach: a. unlawfully to deport or transfer a protected civilian”.
With respect to non-international armed conflicts in particular, the manual states: “It is forbidden to displace the civilian population for reasons connected with the conflict.”
New Zealand’s Geneva Conventions Act (1958), as amended in 1987, provides:
Any person who in New Zealand or elsewhere commits, or aids or abets or procures the commission by another person of, a grave breach of any of the [1949 Geneva] Conventions or of [the 1977 Additional Protocol I] is guilty of an indictable offence.
Under New Zealand’s International Crimes and ICC Act (2000), genocide includes the crimes defined in Article 6(e) of the 1998 ICC Statute, crimes against humanity include the crimes defined in Article 7(1)(d) of the Statute, and war crimes include the crimes defined in Article 8(2)(a)(vii), (b)(viii) and (e)(viii) of the Statute.
In 1993, during a debate in the UN Security Council, New Zealand condemned the forced displacement in the former Yugoslavia.