Practice Relating to Rule 138. The Elderly, Disabled and Infirm
Section B. The disabled and infirm
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) refers to Article 17 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV, which “requires that belligerents endeavour to conclude local agreements for the removal from besieged or encircled areas of … [the] infirm”.
The manual further provides: “Special protection must be given to … the infirm”.
The manual also states: “Infirm internees … must not be transferred if the journey would seriously prejudice their health, except when their safety imperatively so demands.”
The manual further states: “Convoys of vehicles or hospital trains on land, and specially provided vessels at sea, conveying … the infirm … must be protected and respected in the same way as civilian hospitals.”
In addition, it is forbidden to attack “aircraft used for the removal of … the infirm”.