Practice Relating to Rule 55. Access for Humanitarian Relief to Civilians in Need
Section A. Access for humanitarian relief
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides:
Belligerents must allow the free passage of all consignments of medical and hospital stores and articles necessary for religious worship intended for civilians, including those of an opposing belligerent and all consignments of essential foodstuffs, clothing and tonics intended for children under 15, and expectant and nursing mothers. This obligation is subject to the condition that the belligerent concerned is satisfied that there are no serious grounds for fearing that:
a.the consignments may be diverted from their destination;
b.control may not be effective; or
c.the consignments may be of definite advantage to the military effort or economy of the enemy by permitting him to substitute them for goods which he would otherwise have to provide or produce himself.
According to the manual, the occupying power is under the same obligation to allow free passage of relief consignments intended for civilians in occupied territories.
The manual also states:
Within the limits of military or security considerations [the ICRC, the local national Red Cross (or equivalent) society or any other organisation that may assist protected persons] must be granted by belligerents all necessary facilities for giving assistance.
Under New Zealand’s International Crimes and ICC Act (2000), crimes against humanity include the crimes defined in Article 7(1)(b) and (2)(b) of the 1998 ICC Statute.