Practice Relating to Rule 29. Medical Transports
Section C. Respect for and protection of hospital ships
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “‘Means of medical transportation’ means any transport used for medical (sanitary) transportation by land, sea or air … [M]eans of medical transportation may be escorted by guard or convoy.”
The manual further states: “Objects protected by international humanitarian law [include] means of medical transportation … Attacks against such objects shall be prohibited.”
The capture of hospital ships, if not justified by military necessity, is considered to be a “serious violation” of international humanitarian law.