Practice Relating to Rule 116. Accounting for the Dead

Note: For practice concerning respect for family rights, see Rule 105. For practice concerning the right of the families to know the fate of their relatives, see Rule 117, Section D.
Geneva Convention (1929)
Article 4 of the 1929 Geneva Convention provides:
Belligerents … shall ensure that the burial or cremation of the dead is preceded by a careful, and if possible medical, examination of the bodies, with a view to confirming death, establishing identity and enabling a report to be made. 
Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armies in the Field, Geneva, 27 July 1929, Article 4.
Geneva Convention I
Article 16, first and second paragraphs, of the 1949 Geneva Convention I provides:
Parties to the conflict shall record as soon as possible, in respect of each … dead person of the adverse Party falling into their hands, any particulars which may assist in his identification.
These records should if possible include:
a) designation of the Power on which he depends;
b) army, regimental, personal or serial number;
c) surname;
d) first name or names;
e) date of birth;
f) any other particulars shown on his identity card or disc;
g) date and place of capture or death;
h) particulars concerning wounds or illness, or cause of death. 
Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 16, first and second paras.
Geneva Convention I
Article 17, first paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention I provides:
Parties to the conflict shall ensure that burial or cremation of the dead, carried out individually as far as circumstances permit, is preceded by a careful examination, if possible by a medical examination, of the bodies, with a view to confirming death, establishing identity and enabling a report to be made. One half of the double identity disc, or the identity disc itself if it is a single disc, should remain on the body. 
Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 17, first para.
Geneva Convention II
Article 19, first paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention II provides:
The Parties to the conflict shall record as soon as possible, in respect of each … dead person of the adverse Party falling into their hands, any particulars which may assist in his identification. These records should if possible include:
a) designation of the Power on which he depends;
b) army, regimental, personal or serial number;
c) surname;
d) first name or names;
e) date of birth;
f) any other particulars shown on his identity card or disc;
g) date and place of capture or death;
h) particulars concerning wounds or illness, or cause of death. 
Convention (II) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 19, first para.
Geneva Convention II
Article 20 of the 1949 Geneva Convention II provides:
Parties to the conflict shall ensure that burial at sea of the dead, carried out individually as far as circumstances permit, is preceded by a careful examination, if possible by a medical examination, of the bodies, with a view to confirming death, establishing identity and enabling a report to be made. Where a double identity disc is used, one half of the disc should remain on the body.
If dead persons are landed, the provisions of the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of August 12, 1949, shall be applicable. 
Convention (II) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 20.
Geneva Convention III
Article 120, second and third paragraphs, of the 1949 Geneva Convention III provides:
Death certificates in the form annexed to the present Convention, or lists certified by a responsible officer, of all persons who die as prisoners of war shall be forwarded as rapidly as possible to the Prisoner of War Information Bureau established in accordance with Article 122. The death certificates or certified lists shall show particulars of identity as set out in the third paragraph of Article 17, and also the date and place of death, the cause of death, the date and place of burial and all particulars necessary to identify the graves.
The burial or cremation of a prisoner of war shall be preceded by a medical examination of the body with a view to confirming death and enabling a report to be made and, where necessary, establishing identity. 
Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 120, second and third paras.
Geneva Convention IV
Article 129, second and third paragraphs, of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides:
Deaths of internees shall be certified in every case by a doctor, and a death certificate shall be made out, showing the causes of death and the conditions under which it occurred.
An official record of the death, duly registered, shall be drawn up in accordance with the procedure relating thereto in force in the territory where the place of internment is situated, and a duly certified copy of such record shall be transmitted without delay to the Protecting Power as well as to the Central Agency referred to in Article 140. 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 129, second and third paras.
Panmunjom Armistice Agreement
Article III(58)(a) of the 1953 Panmunjom Armistice Agreement provides:
The Commander of each side shall furnish to the Commander of the other side as soon as practicable, but not later than ten (10) days after this Armistice Agreement becomes effective, the following information concerning prisoners of war:
(2) Insofar as practicable, information regarding name, nationality, rank, and other identification data, date and cause of death, and place of burial, of those prisoners of war who died while in custody. 
Agreement between the Commander-in-Chief, United Nations Command, on the one hand, and the Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army and the Commander of the Chinese People’s Volunteers, on the other hand, concerning a Military Armistice in Korea, Panmunjom, 27 July 1953, Article III(58)(a).
NATO Standardization Agreement 2132
The 1974 NATO Standardization Agreement 2132 describes the procedures to be followed with respect to documentation relative to medical evacuation, treatment and cause of death of patients. 
Standardization Agreement 2132, Edition 2, Documentation Relative to Medical Evacuation, Treatment and Cause of Death of Patients, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Military Agency for Standardization, Brussels, 7 August 1974.
Additional Protocol I
Article 33 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, with regard to the search for missing persons, provides:
2. In order to facilitate the gathering of information [regarding missing persons], each Party to the conflict shall, with respect to persons who would not receive more favourable consideration under the [1949 Geneva] Conventions and this Protocol:
(a) record the information specified in Article 138 of the Fourth [Geneva] Convention in respect of such persons who … have died during any period of detention;
(b) to the fullest extent possible, facilitate and, if need be, carry out the search for and the recording of information concerning such persons if they have died in other circumstances as a result of hostilities or occupation.
4. The Parties to the conflict shall endeavour to agree on arrangements for teams to … identify … the dead from battlefield areas. 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 33. Article 33 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.37, 24 May 1977, p. 71.
NATO Standardization Agreement 2070
The 1999 NATO Standardization Agreement 2070 provides:
11. An appropriate (religious) marker high enough to be seen is to be erected. At its base, a bottle, can, or other suitable container is to be half buried, open end downwards, containing a paper on which is recorded such information listed below as is available:
a. Name (surname, prefix and forename or initials).
b. Rank or Grade.
c. Gender.
d. Service Number.
e. National Force, Unit, and Place of Birth, if desired.
f. Date and cause of death, if known.
g. Date buried.
h. By whom buried.
i.Religious faith.
j.Nature of contamination.
12. In the case of trench and group burials a marker and list in a suitable container endorsed accordingly is to be placed at each end of the grave and the distance of the remains from the marker is to be shown against the relevant entry in the list. In group burials the number of bodies buried must be recorded, with the names of the known but unidentifiable dead listed.
15. Unidentifiable dead should be buried and reported as others except that the word “unknown” is to be used in place of the name. Particular care must be taken to list all information which may assist identification later. The fullest possible physical, especially dental, description is to be recorded and fingerprints taken if possible. Details of numbers and markings on uniforms, equipment, vehicles or aircraft, and particulars of IDENTIFIABLE DEAD in the vicinity should be noted.
16. In all cases an emergency burial report must be completed by the unit responsible. The type of report form to be used is given at Annex A. This is not a prescribed format, but shows generally the information most nations consider essential to have, provided it is available.
18. … One identification tag/disc must be buried with the corpse. The second identification tag/disc, or the removable part, is placed in the receptacle with the personal effects. In the case of United States personnel, all personal effects and one identification tag are buried with the remains and the second identification tag affixed to the grave marker. 
Standardization Agreement 2070, Edition 4, Emergency War Burial Procedures, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Military Agency for Standardization, Brussels, 6 April 1999, §§ 11, 12, 15, 16 and 18.
[emphasis in original]
Oxford Manual
Article 20 of the 1880 Oxford Manual provides: “The dead should never be buried until all articles on them which may serve to fix their identity, such as pocket-books, numbers, etc., shall have been collected.” 
The Laws of War on Land, adopted by the Institute of International Law, Oxford, 9 September 1880, Article 20.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1969) provides that the dead shall be identified prior to their disposal. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, RC-46-1, Público, II Edición 1969, Ejército Argentino, Edición original aprobado por el Comandante en Jefe del Ejército, 9 May 1967, § 3.005; see also Law of War Manual (1989), §§ 2.06, 6.01 and 6.04.
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) provides:
As soon as is practical following the death of a combatant, a belligerent shall record the following information to aid identification …
a) nationality;
b) regimental or serial number and rank;
c) surname and all first names;
d) date of birth, religion and any other particulars shown on the body’s identity card or identity discs; and
e) the date, cause and place of death and if the body is given a field burial, the exact location of the remains to enable future exhumation of the body, or remains if necessary. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 9-101.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
As soon as is practical following the death of a combatant, a belligerent shall record the following information to aid identification. Such information is to be passed to the national bureau direct, or through a protecting power to the Central Tracing Agency of the ICRC as follows:
• nationality;
• regimental or serial number and rank;
• surname and all first names;
• date of birth, religion and any other particulars shown on the body’s identity card or identity discs; and
• the date, cause and place of death and if the body is given a field burial, the exact location of the remains to enable future exhumation of the body, or remains if necessary. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 9.106.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Belgium
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) states: “The belligerents must … identify the dead”. 
Belgium, Droit Pénal et Disciplinaire Militaire et Droit de la Guerre, Deuxième Partie, Droit de la Guerre, Ecole Royale Militaire, par J. Maes, Chargé de cours, Avocat-général près la Cour Militaire, D/1983/1187/029, 1983, p. 49.
Benin
Benin’s Military Manual (1995) provides: “The dead must be identified.” 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule II, pp. 9 and 12.
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states: “The dead must be identified (name, first name, rank, regimental number, origin).” 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 25.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (1992) states that, when the tactical situation permits, the dead should be buried after identification and medical examination. It also states: “All the dead must be listed.” 
Cameroon, Droit international humanitaire et droit de la guerre, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les Forces Armées, Présidence de la République, Ministère de la Défense, Etat-major des Armées, Troisième Division, Edition 1992, p. 44, § 163(2) and p. 118, § 431(2).
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states: “If the tactical situation permits, and after identification, the dead must be buried, incinerated or buried at sea, as appropriate.” 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 122, § 403; see also p. 60, § 251, p. 85, § 341, p. 117, § 391, p. 159, § 452 and p. 164, § 463.
The manual further states: “In the case of [burial] at sea, the entire double [identity] disc must be retained.” 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 122, § 403; see also p. 164, § 463.
The manual, under the heading “The Case of Deceased Prisoners of War”, also provides that “[a]ll dead must be registered”. 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 264, § 621.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) provides: “Parties to the conflict shall endeavour to reach agreements to allow teams to … identify … the dead from battlefield areas.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 9-5, § 53.
The manual further states: “Burial or cremation must be preceded by a careful examination of the bodies (if possible by a medical examination), with a view to confirming death, establishing identity and enabling a report to be made.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 9-6, § 56.
Canada
Canada’s Code of Conduct (2001) provides: “Burial must be preceded by a careful examination, and if possible, by a medical examination of the bodies in order to confirm death, establish identity and make appropriate reports.” 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 4 June 2001, Rule 7, § 5.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on the treatment of the wounded, sick and shipwrecked:
924. Search for missing and dead
1. The Geneva Conventions impose certain obligations on Detaining Powers with regard to the burial and reporting of dead personnel belonging to the adverse party. [The 1977 Additional Protocol I] also imposes obligations to search for the missing and to report upon the disposal of the remains of the dead.
3. To facilitate the finding of missing personnel, parties to the conflict shall endeavour to reach agreements to allow teams to search for, identify and recover the dead from battlefield areas. They may also attach to such teams representatives of the adverse party when the search is taking place in areas controlled by the adverse party. While carrying out these duties, members of the teams shall be respected and protected.
925. Care of remains
3. Burial or cremation must be preceded by a careful examination of the bodies (if possible by a medical examination), with a view to confirming death, establishing identity and enabling a report to be made. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, §§ 924.1 and 3 and 925.3.
Canada
Canada’s Prisoner of War Handling and Detainees Manual (2004) states:
As a general principle, subject to any religious or ethnic variations, the funeral arrangements for a PW [prisoner of war] are to be the same as those, which would be made for a member of the Canadian Forces dying in the AOO [Area of Operations]. In particular, the disposal of the remains of a deceased PW are to be carried out [as follows]:
a. … Before burial or cremation takes place, there is to be a medical examination of the body in order to confirm death and, where necessary, to identify the remains. It will be normal practice for an NIS [National Investigation Service] Investigator to be present during this post mortem investigation. 
Canada, Prisoner of War Handling, Detainees, Interrogation and Tactical Questioning in International Operations, B-GJ-005-110/FP-020, National Defence Headquarters, 1 August 2004, § 3F17.5.
Canada
Canada’s Code of Conduct (2005) states: “Burial must be preceded by a careful examination, and if possible, by a medical examination of the bodies in order to confirm death, establish identity and make appropriate reports.” 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 2005, Rule 7, § 5.
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Instructor’s Manual (1999) states in Volume 2 (Instruction for group and patrol leaders): “The dead must be identified … Identity cards must be removed and kept. One half of a double identity disc remains with the body; the other half must be removed and kept. … Ashes and personal effects should be collected and removed and kept.” 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 2: Formation pour l’obtention du certificat technique No. 2 (Chef de Groupe), du certificat Inter-Armé (CIA), du certificat d’aptitude de Chef de Patrouille (CACP), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter III, Section II, § 2.3; see also Chapter II, Section III, § 3.1.
In Volume 3 (Instruction for non-commissioned officers studying for the level 1 and 2 certificates and for future officers of the criminal police), the manual states: “The identity cards of the dead and their personal effects must be sent to the hierarchical superior.” 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 3: Formation pour l’obtention du Brevet d’Armes No. 1, du Brevet d’Armes No. 2 et le stage d’Officier de Police Judiciaire (OPJ), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter I, Section II, § 2.3.
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book III, Volume 2 (Instruction of second-year trainee officers):
I.2.3. The dead
Before burial, bodies shall, to the greatest extent practicable, be the object of a careful examination, if possible by a medical examination, with a view to confirming death, establishing identity and enabling a report to be made. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 2: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 2ème année, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 24.
Croatia
Croatia’s LOAC Compendium (1991) states: “The dead shall be identified according to the circumstances.” 
Croatia, Compendium “Law of Armed Conflicts”, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1991, p. 47.
Croatia
Croatia’s Commanders’ Manual (1992) provides: “As a rule, the dead shall be identified.” 
Croatia, Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflicts – Commanders’ Manual, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1992, § 76; see also § 89.
France
France’s LOAC Summary Note (1992) and LOAC Teaching Note (2000) provide that the dead must be identified. 
France, Fiche de Synthèse sur les Règles Applicables dans les Conflits Armés, Note No. 432/DEF/EMA/OL.2/NP, Général de Corps d’Armée Voinot (pour l’Amiral Lanxade, Chef d’Etat-major des Armées), 1992, § 2.1; Fiche didactique relative au droit des conflits armés, Directive of the Ministry of Defence, 4 January 2000, annexed to the Directive No. 147 of the Ministry of Defence of 4 January 2000, p. 3.
France
France’s LOAC Manual (2001) reproduces Article 17 of the 1949 Geneva Convention I. 
France, Manuel de droit des conflits armés, Ministère de la Défense, Direction des Affaires Juridiques, Sous-Direction du droit international humanitaire et du droit européen, Bureau du droit des conflits armés, 2001, p. 121.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) provides: “Burial or cremation of the dead shall be preceded by an examination of the bodies with documentation.” 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, August 1992, § 611.
Hungary
Hungary’s Military Manual (1992) states: “The dead shall be identified according to the circumstances.” 
Hungary, A Hadijog, Jegyzet a Katonai, Föiskolák Hallgatói Részére, Magyar Honvédség Szolnoki Repülötiszti Föiskola, 1992, p. 77.
India
India’s Police Manual (1986) provides that, in cases of death resulting from a clash, the police are required to hold an inquest and to send the body for post-mortem examination. 
India, Police Manual for Handling Civil Disturbances, Home Ministry, Government of Maharashtra, Bombay, 1986, Article 13(xviii), p. 39.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Laws of War (1998) states:
It is incumbent on each party to keep a record of a fallen soldier’s personal details and particulars of death, and hand over to the other side half of the dog-tag worn by the fallen soldier, as well as a death certificate. 
Israel, Laws of War in the Battlefield, Manual, Military Advocate General Headquarters, Military School, 1998, p. 61.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states:
Each side has the duty to record details of the fallen and details of the death, and to send to the other side half the identity tag worn by the fallen, his personal possessions and the death certificate. 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 39.
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
Italy
Italy’s LOAC Elementary Rules Manual (1991) provides: “As a general rule, the dead shall be identified.” 
Italy, Regole elementari di diritto di guerra, SMD-G-012, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, § 76.
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) provides: “The dead shall be identified. After identification, the dead shall be buried … Identity cards shall be evacuated.” 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 3, p. 11.
Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994) provides: “Generally, the dead shall be identified.” 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 7-O, § 23; see also Fiche No. 8-O, § 25, Fiche No. 6-SO, § B and Fiche No. 2-T, § 22.
Mexico
Mexico’s Army and Air Force Manual (2009), in a section on the 1949 Geneva Convention I, states:
Parties to the conflict must ensure that burial on land or at sea or cremation of the dead, carried out individually as far as circumstances permit, is preceded by an examination, if possible a medical examination, of the bodies, with a view to confirming death and establishing identity. 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, § 92.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands provides:
Parties to the conflict are obliged to ensure that burial or cremation of the dead … is preceded for each dead by a careful examination, if possible by a medical examination, of the body, with a view to confirming death and establishing identity. One half of the double identity disc or the identity disc itself if it is a single disc, should remain on the body. 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. VI-2.
Netherlands
The Military Handbook (1995) of the Netherlands provides: “The identification of the dead must be done.” 
Netherlands, Handboek Militair, Ministerie van Defensie, 1995, p. 7-37.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
The parties to a conflict are bound to ensure that burial or cremation of the dead … is, in any case, preceded by careful examination of the body (also medically if possible), to establish cause of death and identity. One half of the double identity disc (or the whole of a single disc) must remain attached to the body. Cremation of a corpse is permitted for pressing hygienic or religious reasons. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0609.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) states: “To facilitate the finding of the missing personnel, Parties to the conflict endeavour to reach agreement to allow teams to … identify … the dead from battlefield areas.” 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1011(3).
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Manual on the Laws of War provides: “The belligerents have to register as soon as possible all the particulars that can help to identify an enemy soldier who is wounded, sick or dead.” 
Nigeria, The Laws of War, by Lt. Col. L. Ode PSC, Nigerian Army, Lagos, undated, § 35.
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states: “Prior to their burial at sea or land or their incineration, the dead must be subjected to a careful and thorough medical examination if possible, with a view to … establishing identity”. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 77(b), p. 277; see also p. 427.
Philippines
The Philippine Army Soldier’s Handbook on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (2006) provides:
After an engagement:
4. Identify the dead. Pursue the identification of the dead. Enemy forces often bring with them documents that carry their identities. After identification, inform the nearest of kin and respect their cultural traditions. 
Philippines, Philippine Army Soldier’s Handbook on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, A Practical Guide for Internal Security Operations, 2006, p. 61, § 4.
Poland
Poland’s Procedures Governing the Interment of Soldiers Killed in Action (2009) states in the section on “Marking the graves”:
A container should be placed on top of each grave, containing basic information to facilitate the identification of the remains buried there. It is recommended that information relating to the buried bodies be written in indelible ink on paper … and include the following details:
- Surname and name, initials or other information pertaining to the deceased, such as a pseudonym
- Rank or professional post held
- Gender
- Service number
- Number of military unit
- Date and cause of death (if known)
- Date of burial
- Name of person who performed the burial
- Religious faith
- Nature of contamination (if any occurred and can be described)
- Circumstances of death and names of witnesses, if known
When digging group or trench graves, the following principles shall be respected:
- Draft lists relating to the deceased persons buried in the grave …
If the remains cannot be identified, the aim should be to at least indicate the number of bodies in each grave. 
Poland, Norma Obronna NO-02-A053:2004, Działania wojenne Procedury pochówku poległych i zmarłych, enacted by decision No. 134/MON related to the Approval and Enforcement of Regulatory Instruments in Respect of State Defence and Security, 21 April 2009, published in the Official Gazette of the Ministry of National Defence, No. 8, Item 99, April 2009, Section 2.3.
The Procedures also states: “Civilian members of the armed forces who had not participated in hostilities shall be buried in line with procedures established for the burial of the bodies of soldiers.” 
Poland, Norma Obronna NO-02-A053:2004, Działania wojenne Procedury pochówku poległych i zmarłych, enacted by decision No. 134/MON related to the Approval and Enforcement of Regulatory Instruments in Respect of State Defence and Security, 21 April 2009, published in the Official Gazette of the Ministry of National Defence, No. 8, Item 99, April 2009, Section 2.4.2.
The Procedures further states: “If an emergency burial has taken place, a report shall be drawn up by the army unit performing the burial. … The chaplain performing the burial, irrespective of their faith, should record the deceased in the register of births and deaths, in the section pertaining to the deaths.” 
Poland, Norma Obronna NO-02-A053:2004, Działania wojenne Procedury pochówku poległych i zmarłych, enacted by decision No. 134/MON related to the Approval and Enforcement of Regulatory Instruments in Respect of State Defence and Security, 21 April 2009, published in the Official Gazette of the Ministry of National Defence, No. 8, Item 99, April 2009, Section 2.5.1.
The Procedures also states:
In the case of identity tags belonging to deceased United States nationals (soldiers):
- One tag shall be placed with the body
- The second tag shall be placed on the grave.
Identity tags belonging to deceased members of the national or allied armed forces shall be split in two parts, and
- one part shall be placed with the body, preferably in the mouth of the deceased. 
Poland, Norma Obronna NO-02-A053:2004, Działania wojenne Procedury pochówku poległych i zmarłych, enacted by decision No. 134/MON related to the Approval and Enforcement of Regulatory Instruments in Respect of State Defence and Security, 21 April 2009, published in the Official Gazette of the Ministry of National Defence, No. 8, Item 99, April 2009, Section 2.7.
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) provides in its chapter on logistic support:
164. Search for, collection, identification and burial of the dead members of the enemy armed forces as well as of other victims of armed conflicts shall be organized immediately, as soon as the situation permits, and carried out … to establish the identity of the dead …
165. Burial of the dead members of the enemy armed forces and other victims of armed conflicts shall be organized by the deputy division (regiment) commander for logistics. Collection, identification and burial of the dead as well as the graves (gravesites) registration shall be performed by the units (teams) headed by officers appointed by a division (regiment) commander’s order. Such units (teams) commanders shall be provided with transport, tools, materials and disinfectants.
166. Bodies of the dead enemy servicemen and those of other victims of armed conflicts shall be gathered in the assigned areas.
Whenever possible, the fact of death shall be confirmed by a representative of the medical service. In the course of identification, if the identification information is available (documents, personal identification number – identity disc), lists of names of the dead shall be drawn up, including nationality (citizenship); service or personal number; surname; first name or names; date of birth; any other particulars shown on the identity card or disc; date and place of death; particulars concerning wounds (mutilation) or illness and the cause of death.
If identification is impossible and if the situation permits, the appearance of the dead shall be described, prints of his fingers and palms taken, a card filled in and full face and profile photos taken in order to identify the dead person in the future.
167. A half of a double identity disc or the identity disc itself if it is a single disc, should remain on the body both when buried or cremated.
A two-copy inventory shall be made of the identity disk or one half of the double identity disc, if any, last wills or other documents of importance to the next of kin, money and in general all articles of an intrinsic or sentimental value, which are found on the dead. All these articles shall be sealed into a parcel with the second copy of the inventory enclosed and sent, according to the established procedure, together with the burial acts and the lists of the names of the dead. 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, §§ 164–167; see also § 151 (logistic support).
Senegal
Senegal’s IHL Manual (1999) provides that, in situations of internal troubles, “the dead shall be identified”. 
Senegal, Le DIH adapté au contexte des opérations de maintien de l’ordre, République du Sénégal, Ministère des Forces Armées, Haut Commandement de la Gendarmerie et Direction de la Justice Militaire, Cabinet, 1999, p. 18, § 6.
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Instructor Manual (2007) states:
It is therefore the responsibility that at the end of every engagement soldiers should …
b. Identify the dead by checking his identity card or disc.
j. The above mentioned actions shall be applied to all dead persons, whether civilian or military, own or enemy forces. 
Sierra Leone, The Law of Armed Conflict. Instructor Manual for the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Armed Forces Education Centre, September 2007, pp. 38–39.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) states: “The dead must be identified.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 5.2.d.(6).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “The dead must be identified. … If the deceased person has a double identity disc, one half must be returned and the other must remain on the body. If the deceased person has a single disc, it must remain on the body.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 5.2.d.(6).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) provides: “No corpse shall be buried or cremated without an examination, if possible medical, to certify the death and establish the identity of the deceased.” 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 76(1).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Aide-Memoire on the Ten Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflict (2005) states: “I recover and identify wounded, sick, shipwrecked and dead persons without discrimination as soon as the combat situation allows or the superior orders such.” 
Switzerland, The Ten Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflict, Aide-memoire 51.007/IIIe, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance for Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports dated 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, Rule 4.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Regulation on Legal Bases for Conduct during an Engagement (2005) states: “The deaths of prisoners must be reported immediately to the superior and a detailed report established.” 
Switzerland, Bases légales du comportement à l’engagement (BCE), Règlement 51.007/IVf, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance on the Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports of 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, § 192.
Togo
Togo’s Military Manual (1996) provides: “The dead must be identified.” 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule II, pp. 9 and 12.
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states:
2.5.3.1. … Measures to search for, collect, identify and bury the dead shall be organized as soon as the situation permits. Those measures shall be aimed at the … identification of the dead …
2.5.3.3. … During [the] identification process in [cases when] the relevant information is present (documents, identification disc or distinctive medallion), detailed lists of the deceased shall be made. Such lists shall include:
- nationality of the servicemen;
- military or personal number;
- surname, first name and patronymic;
- date of birth;
- other particulars shown on the ID card or identification disc;
- date and place of death;
- information relating to the character of injury (mutilation), illness and cause of death.
If identification proves to be impossible, if circumstances permit, the following actions shall be performed in order to enable his/her identification in future: a description of appearance of the deceased, printing of fingers and palms, photograph (full-face and half-face). 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, §§ 2.5.3.1 and 2.5.3.3.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) provides: “Belligerents must record as soon as possible any particulars which may assist in the identification of dead persons belonging to the opposing belligerent who fall into their hands.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 382.
The manual adds: “Before being buried or cremated, the bodies must be carefully examined to ensure that life is extinct, and also to establish identity and enable a report to be made.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 383.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) provides:
7.32. Since some injuries sustained in, or as a result of, combat produce symptoms resembling death, the parties to a conflict are required to ensure that, in so far as circumstances permit, bodies are given an individual medical examination. This is a task for medical personnel and the objects of such examination are to confirm the fact of death, to establish the identity of the deceased and to enable a report about the death to be made.
Identity discs
7.33. Where the deceased is in possession of two identity discs, one disc should remain on the body and the other should be sent with his personal effects to the information bureau. If the deceased was in possession of only one identity disc, that disc should remain on the body. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, §§ 7.32 and 7.33.
In its chapter on maritime warfare, the manual provides:
Burial at sea of the dead is to be carried out individually as far as circumstances permit and is to be preceded by a careful examination, preferably a medical examination, of the bodies to confirm death, establish identity and to enable a report to be made. Where a double identity disc is used, one half of the disc should remain on the body. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 13.130.
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) provides:
Parties to the conflict shall record as soon as possible, in respect of each … dead person of the adverse Party falling into their hands, any particulars which may assist in his identification.
These records should if possible include:
(a) designation of the Power on which he depends;
(b) army, regimental, personal or serial number;
(c) surname;
(d) first name or names;
(e) date of birth;
(f) any other particulars shown on his identity card or disc;
(g) date and place of capture or death;
(h) particulars concerning wounds or illness, or cause of death. 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 217; see also Operational Law Handbook (1993), p. Q-185.
The manual also provides:
Parties to the conflict shall ensure that burial or cremation of the dead … is preceded by a careful examination, if possible by a medical examination, of the bodies, with a view to confirming death, establishing identity and enabling a report to be made. 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 218.
United States of America
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) refers to Article 16 of the 1949 Geneva Convention I. 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 12-2(a).
United States of America
The US Manual on Detainee Operations (2008) states:
(5) When a detainee in U.S. custody dies, the commander, the staff judge advocate or legal adviser, and appropriate military investigative agency will be notified immediately. The attending medical officer will provide the commander the following information:
(a) Full name of deceased
(b) ISN [internment serial number] of deceased
(c) ICRC number of deceased, if available
(d) Date and place of death
(e) A statement as to the cause of death
(6) After coordination with the AFME [Armed Forces Medical Examiner], the detention facility’s senior medical officer available will sign the death certificate. This authority will not be delegated. Upon the death of a detainee, the internment facility, unit, or medical facility will immediately notify the TDRC [theater detainee reporting center] through the chain of command by the most expeditious means possible. 
United States, Manual on Detainee Operations, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 30 May 2008, p. IV-7.
The manual also states:
Detainee Categories
The DOD [Department of Defense] definition of the word “detainee” includes any person captured, detained, or otherwise under the control of DOD personnel (military, civilian, or contractor employee) … It does not include persons being held primarily for law enforcement purposes except where the United States is the occupying power …
a. Enemy Combatant. In general, a person engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners during an armed conflict. The term “enemy combatant” includes both “lawful enemy combatants” and “unlawful enemy combatants.”
b. Enemy Prisoner of War. Individual under the custody and/or control of the DOD according to Articles 4 and 5 of the … [1949 Geneva Convention III].
c. Retained Personnel … Personnel who fall into the following categories: official medical personnel of the armed forces exclusively engaged in the search for, or the collection, transport, or treatment of wounded or sick, or in the prevention of disease, and staff exclusively engaged in the administration of medical units and facilities; chaplains attached to enemy armed forces; staff of national Red Cross Societies and that of other volunteer aid societies duly recognized and authorized by their governments to assist medical service personnel of their own armed forces, provided they are exclusively engaged in the search for, or the collection, transport or treatment of, the wounded or sick, or in the prevention of disease, and provided that the staff of such societies are subject to military laws and regulations.
d. Civilian Internee … A civilian who is interned during an armed conflict, occupation, or other military operation for security reasons, for protection, or because he or she has committed an offense against the detaining power. 
United States, Manual on Detainee Operations, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 30 May 2008, pp. I-3–I-5; see also pp. viii and GL-3.
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s Law concerning the Protection of Civilian Persons and the Rights of Prisoners of War (1995) provides: “Each party buries [the dead] after they take all the measures for their identification.” 
Azerbaijan, Law concerning the Protection of Civilian Persons and the Rights of Prisoners of War, 1995, Article 29(3).
Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s International Crimes (Tribunal) Act (1973) states that the “violation of any humanitarian rules applicable in armed conflicts laid down in the Geneva Conventions of 1949” is a crime. 
Bangladesh, International Crimes (Tribunal) Act, 1973, Section 3(2)(e).
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).
Ireland
Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, provides that any “minor breach” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including violations of Articles 16 and 17 of the Geneva Convention I, Articles 19 and 20 of the Geneva Convention II, Articles 120 and 121 of the Geneva Convention III, Articles 129 and 131 of the Geneva Convention IV, and of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, including violations of Article 33, are punishable offences. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Italy
Italy’s Law of War Decree (1938), as amended in 1992, provides: “Commanders shall take all necessary measures to … ascertain [the] identity [of the dead].” 
Italy, Law of War Decree, 1938, as amended in 1992, Article 94.
Norway
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902) provides:
Anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 … [and in] the two additional protocols to these Conventions … is liable to imprisonment. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, § 108.
Argentina
In its judgment in the Military Juntas case in 1985, Argentina’s Court of Appeal referred to the rule that prior to burial or cremation, the dead should be examined, if possible by a doctor. 
Argentina, Court of Appeal, Military Juntas case, Judgment, 9 December 1985.
Colombia
In 1995, Colombia’s Council of State held that a report must be made concerning the circumstances of death: in the aftermath of a battle, the bodies of all those killed, whether combatants or non-combatants, must be treated in accordance with forensic requirements in order to “permit complete identification and establishment of the circumstances of death”. 
Colombia, Council of State, Case No. 10941, Judgment, 6 September 1995, pp. 37–42.
Israel
According to the Report on the Practice of Israel, in the Abu-Rijwa case in 2000, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) carried out DNA identification tests when asked by family members to repatriate remains. 
Report on the Practice of Israel, 1997, Chapter 5.1, referring to High Court, Abu-Rijwa case, Judgment, 15 November 2000.
Israel
In its ruling in the Barake case in 2002, dealing with the question of when, how and by whom the mortal remains of Palestinians who died in a battle in Jenin refugee camp should be identified and buried, Israel’s High Court of Justice stated that “once the identification process is over, the burial shall begin” and that “identifying … the bodies is a highly important humanitarian need”. 
Israel, High Court of Justice, Barake case, Ruling, 14 April 2002, §§ 8 and 9.
Russian Federation
In 2007, in the Burial case, the Russian Federation’s Constitutional Court was called upon to rule on the constitutionality of two laws related to the interment of suspected terrorists whose deaths resulted from the interception of their terrorist acts. The Court held that the restrictive measures introduced by these laws were in conformity with the Constitution. The Court stated:
3.1 … [T]he interest in fighting terrorism, in preventing terrorism in general and specific terms and in providing redress for the effects of terrorist acts, coupled with the risk of mass disorder, clashes between different ethnic groups and aggression by the next of kin of those involved in terrorist activity against the population at large and law-enforcement officials, and lastly the threat to human life and limb, may, in a given historical context, justify the establishment of a particular legal regime, such as that provided for by section 14(1) of the Federal Act [on Interment and Burial of 12 January 1996, as amended], governing the burial of persons who escape prosecution in connection with terrorist activity on account of their death following the interception of a terrorist act. …
3.2. Action to minimise the informational and psychological impact of the terrorist act on the population, including the weakening of its propaganda effect, is one of the means necessary to protect public security and the morals, health, rights and legal interests of citizens. It therefore pursues exactly those aims for which the Constitution of the Russian Federation and international legal instruments permit restrictions on the relevant rights and freedoms.
The burial of those who have taken part in a terrorist act, in close proximity to the graves of the victims of their acts, and the observance of rites of burial and remembrance with the paying of respects, as a symbolic act of worship, serve as a means of propaganda for terrorist ideas and also cause offence to relatives of the victims of the acts in question, creating the preconditions for increasing inter-ethnic and religious tension.
In the conditions which have arisen in the Russian Federation as a result of the commission of a series of terrorist acts which produced numerous human victims, resulted in widespread negative social reaction and had a major impact on the collective consciousness, the return of the body to the relatives … may create a threat to social order and peace and to the rights and legal interests of other persons and their security, including incitement to hatred and incitement to engage in acts of vandalism, violence, mass disorder and clashes which may produce further victims. Meanwhile, the burial places of participants in terrorist acts may become a shrine for certain extremist individuals and be used by them as a means of propaganda for the ideology of terrorism and involvement in terrorist activity.
In such circumstances, the federal legislature may introduce special arrangements governing the burial of individuals whose death occurred as a result of the interception of a terrorist act in which they were taking part. 
Russian Federation, Constitutional Court, Burial case, 28 June 2007, §§ 3.1–3.2.
The Court also stated:
The constitutional and legal meaning of the existing norms presupposes the possibility of bringing court proceedings to challenge a decision to discontinue, on account of the deaths of the suspects, a criminal case against or prosecution of participants in a terrorist act. Accordingly, they also presuppose an obligation on the court’s part to examine the substance of the complaint, that is, to verify [that] the decision and the conclusions therein [are lawful and well founded] as regards the participation of the persons concerned in a terrorist act, and to establish the absence of grounds for rehabilitating [the suspects] and discontinuing the criminal case. They thus entail an examination of the lawfulness of the application of the aforementioned restrictive measures. Until the entry into force of the court judgment the deceased’s remains cannot be buried; the relevant State bodies and officials must take all necessary measures … to ensure compliance prior thereto with the requirements concerning the identification of the deceased … and of the time, location and cause of death. 
Russian Federation, Constitutional Court, Burial case, 28 June 2007, § 87.
Malaysia
According to the Report on the Practice of Malaysia, the “bodies of enemies and civilians are identified, sent to a morgue and subsequently buried”. 
Report on the Practice of Malaysia, 1997, Chapter 5.1.
United States of America
In 1987, the Deputy Legal Adviser of the US Department of State affirmed: “We support … the principle that each party to a conflict permit teams to identify … the dead.” 
United States, Remarks of Michael J. Matheson, Deputy Legal Adviser, US Department of State, The Sixth Annual American Red Cross-Washington College of Law Conference on International Humanitarian Law: A Workshop on Customary International Law and the 1977 Protocols Additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, American University Journal of International Law and Policy, Vol. 2, 1987, p. 424.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1974 on assistance and cooperation in accounting for persons who are missing or dead in armed conflicts, the UN General Assembly:
2. Calls upon parties to armed conflicts, regardless of their character or location, during and after the end of hostilities and in accordance with the Geneva Conventions of 1949, to take such action as may be within their power to help locate and mark the graves of the dead [and] to facilitate the disinterment and the return of the remains, if requested by the families …
4. Calls upon all parties to armed conflicts to cooperate, in accordance with the Geneva Conventions of 1949, with Protecting Powers or their substitutes and with the International Committee of the Red Cross in providing information on the … dead in armed conflicts, including persons belonging to other countries not parties to the armed conflict. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 3220 (XXIX), 6 November 1974, §§ 2 and 4, voting record: 95-0-32-11.
UN Commission on Human Rights (Special Rapporteur)
In 1995, in a report on the situation of human rights in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, the Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights recommended that the Croatian authorities identify all those killed. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Former Yugoslavia, Periodic report, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1996/6, 5 July 1995, § 59.
UN Observer Mission in El Salvador
In 1991, in a report on El Salvador, the Director of the Human Rights Division of ONUSAL recommended that:
The immediate disposal of bodies should be avoided in cases of violent death or death in questionable circumstances and an adequate autopsy should be conducted in accordance with the conditions recommended in the Principles [on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-Legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions]. 
ONUSAL, Director of the Human Rights Division, Report, UN Doc. A/46/658-S/23222, 15 November 1991, Annex, § 151.
UN Commission of Experts Established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992)
In 1994, in its final report on grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and other violations of IHL committed in the former Yugoslavia, the UN Commission of Experts Established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992) stated, with respect to its investigation into mass graves:
For every deceased person who falls into the hands of the adverse party, the adverse party must record, prepare, and forward all identification information, death certificates … to the appropriate parties. Parties to a conflict must also ensure that deceased persons are autopsied. 
UN Commission of Experts Established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780, 1992, Final report, Annex Summaries and Conclusions, UN Doc. S/1994/674/Add.2 (Vol. I), 31 May 1995, § 503(b).
UN Commission on the Truth for El Salvador
In its report in 1993, the UN Commission on the Truth for El Salvador noted that, following a reported clash between Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN) troops and a military patrol, a member of the Salvadoran Armed Service Press Committee (COPREFA) photographed the bodies of the dead, and members of the National Police performed paraffin tests to see whether the persons had fired weapons.  
UN Commission on the Truth for El Salvador, Report, UN Doc. S/25500, 1 April 1993, p. 90.
Council of Europe Committee of Ministers
In 1999, the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers adopted a recommendation on the harmonization of medico-legal autopsy rules, without making any exception for situations of armed conflict. In particular, it stated that autopsies should be carried out “in all cases of obvious or suspected unnatural death, in particular arising out of violations of human rights such as suspicion of torture or any other form of ill-treatment and deaths in custody or death associated with police or military activities”. 
Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers, Rec. (99)3, Harmonisation of medico-legal autopsy rules, 2 February 1999, §§ 2(c) and (i).
League of Arab States Council
In a resolution adopted in 1997, the League of Arab States Council decided “to call for the implementation of the investigations provided for by the international conventions to be applied to the death of Lebanese detainees in Israeli detention camps and prisons”. 
League of Arab States, Council, Res. 5635, 31 March 1997, § 5.
European Union
In February 1995, in a statement before the Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe on the situation in Chechnya, the EU stated that the proposal to establish a “humanitarian truce” appeared essential in order to permit the identification of the victims. 
EU, Statement by France on behalf of the EU before the Permanent Council of the OSCE, Vienna, 2 February 1995, Politique étrangère de la France, February 1995, p. 155.
International Conference of the Red Cross (1981)
The 24th International Conference of the Red Cross in 1981 adopted a resolution on the wearing of identity discs in which it recalled that Articles 16 and 17 of the 1949 Geneva Convention I “provide for identity discs to be worn by members of the armed forces to facilitate their identification in case they are killed”. The Conference further:
1. urges the Parties to an armed conflict to take all necessary steps to provide the members of their armed forces with identity discs and to ensure that the discs are worn during service,
2. recommends that the Parties to an armed conflict should see that these discs give all the indications required for a precise identification of members of the armed forces such as full name, date and place of birth, religion, serial number and blood group; that every disc be double and composed of two separable parts, each bearing the same indications; and that the inscriptions be engraved on a substance as resistant as possible to the destructive action of chemical and physical agents, especially to fire and heat. 
24th International Conference of the Red Cross, Manila, 7–14 November 1981, Res. I, §§ 1 and 2.
International Conference of the Red Cross (1986)
The 25th International Conference of the Red Cross in 1986 urged the parties to every international armed conflict “to implement the provisions of Articles 16 and 17 of the First Geneva Convention, prescribing the wearing of identity discs by members of the armed forces, in order to facilitate the identification of the … dead”. 
25th International Conference of the Red Cross, Geneva, 23–31 October 1986, Res. XIII, § 1.
International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (1999)
The Plan of Action for the years 2000–2003 adopted in 1999 by the 27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent proposed that all the parties to an armed conflict take effective measures to ensure that “every effort is made … to identify dead persons”. 
27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Geneva, 31 October–6 November 1999, Res. I, Annex 2, Plan of Action for the years 2000–2003, Actions proposed for final goal 1.1, § 1(e).
European Court of Human Rights
In its judgment in Kaya v. Turkey in 1998, the European Court of Human Rights found that an autopsy on a man shot by Turkish security forces, who reportedly believed him to be a terrorist, was inadequate on the basis that the number of bullets in the body was not recorded, no tests for fingerprints or gunpowder traces were made and no attempt was made to identify the body. While acknowledging the difficult security conditions under which the examination was carried out, the European Court of Human Rights expressed surprise that the body had not been evacuated to a safer location for further examination. 
European Court of Human Rights, Kaya v. Turkey, Judgment, 19 February 1998, § 89.
European Court of Human Rights
In its judgment in Ergi v. Turkey in 1998, the European Court of Human Rights recalled the obligation pointed out in its previous judgments that:
Neither the prevalence of violent armed clashes nor the high incidence of fatalities can displace the obligation … to ensure that an effective, independent investigation is conducted into the deaths arising out of clashes involving the security forces, more so in cases … where the circumstances are in many respects unclear. 
European Court of Human Rights, Ergi v. Turkey, Judgment, 28 July 1998, § 85.
European Court of Human Rights
In its judgment in Yasa v. Turkey in 1998, the European Court of Human Rights recalled the obligation pointed out in its judgment in Kaya v. Turkey “to carry out an investigation” into the circumstances surrounding the death of individuals killed as a result of the use of force by the State authorities, even when arising in a climate marked by violent action. 
European Court of Human Rights, Yasa v. Turkey, Judgment, 2 September 1998, § 104.
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
In 1997, in a case concerning Argentina, in the context of a clash which the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights qualified as being of sufficient intensity to trigger the application of IHL, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights found that the autopsies were, according to expert evidence, superficial and did not make any serious attempt to examine the injuries, invoking instead the degree of putrefaction of the corpses as a bar to further examination. The Commission recognized that in certain situations of conflict, the collection of evidence may be difficult, but that this justification may not be used where, immediately following the incident, the State had absolute control over the evidence. 
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Case 11.137 (Argentina), Report, 18 November 1997, §§ 238–242 and 423.
Inter-American Court of Human Rights
In its judgment in the Neira Alegría and Others case in 1995, involving the disappearance of three prisoners following a riot in which control and jurisdiction of the prison was handed over to the army, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights stated:
The Court likewise considers it proven that the identification of the bodies was not undertaken with the required diligence, since only a few of those bodies recovered during the days immediately following the end of the conflict were identified. Of the rest, which were recovered over a span of nine months, certainly a long period, this was not done either although, according to the statement of the experts, identification could have been possible by applying certain techniques. This conduct on the part of the Government constitutes a serious act of negligence. 
Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Neira Alegría and Others case, Judgment, 19 January 1995, § 71.
ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that “the dead shall be identified”. 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, §§ 511 and 734.
No data.
Geneva Convention (1929)
Article 4, sixth and seventh paragraphs, of the 1929 Geneva Convention provides:
At the commencement of hostilities, [the belligerents] shall organize officially a graves registration service, to render eventual exhumations possible, and to ensure the identification of bodies whatever may be the subsequent site of the grave. After the cessation of hostilities they shall exchange the list of graves and of dead interred in their cemeteries and elsewhere. 
Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armies in the Field, Geneva, 27 July 1929, Article 4, sixth and seventh paras.
Geneva Convention I
Article 17, fourth and fifth paragraphs, of the 1949 Geneva Convention I provides:
[Parties to the conflict] shall further ensure that the dead are honourably interred, if possible according to the rites of the religion to which they belonged, that their graves are respected, grouped if possible according to the nationality of the deceased, properly maintained and marked so that they may always be found. For this purpose, they shall organize at the commencement of hostilities an Official Graves Registration Service, to allow subsequent exhumations and to ensure the identification of bodies, whatever the site of the graves, and the possible transportation to the home country. These provisions shall likewise apply to the ashes, which shall be kept by the Graves Registration Service until proper disposal thereof in accordance with the wishes of the home country.
As soon as circumstances permit, and at latest at the end of hostilities, these Services shall exchange, through the Information Bureau mentioned in the second paragraph of Article 16, lists showing the exact location and markings of the graves together with particulars of the dead interred therein. that lists showing the exact location and markings of the graves together with the particulars of the dead interred therein shall be made by the Graves Registration Service in order to allow subsequent exhumations, to ensure the identification of the bodies and the possible transportation to the home country. These lists are also meant to be forwarded to the Power on whom the deceased depended. 
Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 17, fourth and fifth paras.
Geneva Convention III
Article 120, second and sixth paragraphs, of the 1949 Geneva Convention III provides:
Death certificates in the form annexed to the present Convention, or lists certified by a responsible officer, of all persons who die as prisoners of war shall be forwarded as rapidly as possible to the Prisoner of War Information Bureau established in accordance with Article 122. The death certificates or certified lists shall show particulars of identity as set out in the third paragraph of Article 17, and also the date and place of death, the cause of death, the date and place of burial and all particulars necessary to identify the graves.
In order that graves may always be found, all particulars of burials and graves shall be recorded with a Graves Registration Service established by the Detaining Power. Lists of graves and particulars of the prisoners of war interred in cemeteries and elsewhere shall be transmitted to the Power on which such prisoners of war depended. Responsibility for the care of these graves and for records of any subsequent moves of the bodies shall rest on the Power controlling the territory, if a Party to the present Convention. These provisions shall also apply to the ashes, which shall be kept by the Graves Registration Service until proper disposal thereof in accordance with the wishes of the home country. 
Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 120, second and sixth paras.
Geneva Convention IV
Article 130, third paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides:
As soon as circumstances permit, and not later than the close of hostilities, the Detaining Power shall forward lists of graves of deceased internees to the Powers on whom the deceased internees depended, through the Information Bureaux provided for in Article 136. Such lists shall include all particulars necessary for the identification of the deceased internees, as well as the exact location of their graves. 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 130, third para.
Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Viet-Nam
Article 8(b) of the 1973 Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Viet-Nam contains provisions requiring the parties to determine the location of the graves of the dead so as to facilitate the exhumation and repatriation of the remains. 
Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Viet-Nam, signed on behalf of the United States of America, the Republic of Viet-Nam, the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam, and the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Viet-Nam, Paris, 27 January 1973, Article 8(b).
No data.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1969) provides:
When circumstances so permit and at latest at the end of the hostilities [the obituary] services shall communicate to each other, through the Information Office … the lists indicating the location and designation of the graves. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, RC-46-1, Público, II Edición 1969, Ejército Argentino, Edición original aprobado por el Comandante en Jefe del Ejército, 9 May 1967, § 3.005; see also Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, § 6.05.
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) provides:
As soon as is practical following the death of a combatant, a belligerent shall record the following information to aid identification … [including] the exact location of the remains to enable future exhumation of the body or remains if necessary. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 9-101.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states: “As soon as is practical following the death of a combatant, a belligerent shall record the following information to aid identification [including] the exact location of the remains to enable future exhumation of the body, or remains if necessary.” 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 9.106.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) states that the 1977 Additional Protocol I “also imposes obligations … to report upon the disposal of the remains of the dead”. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 9-5, § 51.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on the treatment of the wounded, sick and shipwrecked:
The Geneva Conventions impose certain obligations on Detaining Powers with regard to the burial and reporting of dead personnel belonging to the adverse party. [The 1977 Additional Protocol I] also imposes obligations to search for the missing and to report upon the disposal of the remains of the dead. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 924.1.
Canada
Canada’s Prisoner of War Handling and Detainees Manual (2004) states with regard to the funeral arrangements for prisoners of war: “Details of all burials and graves are [to be] recorded with the Graves Registration Service.” 
Canada, Prisoner of War Handling, Detainees, Interrogation and Tactical Questioning in International Operations, B-GJ-005-110/FP-020, National Defence Headquarters, 1 August 2004, § 3F17.5.c(5).
Chad
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states that “a Graves Registration Service must be set up to record information about burials and graves”. 
Chad, Droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces armées et de sécurité, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 91.
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) provides: “As soon as the tactical situation permits, a report on the death and the subsequent measures taken shall be established.” 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 3, p. 12.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands provides:
As soon as circumstances and the relation between the parties to the conflict permit, the parties, in whose territories graves of the persons who have died as a result of hostilities are located, shall conclude agreements in order … to facilitate access to the gravesites. 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. VI-3.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
As soon as circumstances and the relations between the parties to the conflict permit, the parties whose territory contains graves of persons who died during the conflict must conclude agreements in order:
- to facilitate access to the graves for family members and officials of graves associations; … 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0610; see also § 0751 (prisoners of war).
Poland
Poland’s Procedures Governing the Interment of Soldiers Killed in Action (2009) states: “Detailed information shall also be provided on the location of the grave [of the bodies of persons whose identity cannot be verified]”. 
Poland, Norma Obronna NO-02-A053:2004, Działania wojenne Procedury pochówku poległych i zmarłych, enacted by decision No. 134/MON related to the Approval and Enforcement of Regulatory Instruments in Respect of State Defence and Security, 21 April 2009, published in the Official Gazette of the Ministry of National Defence, No. 8, Item 99, April 2009, Section 2.4.3.
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) provides:
165. Burial of the dead members of the enemy armed forces and other victims of armed conflicts shall be organized by the deputy division (regiment) commander for logistics. Collection, identification and burial of the dead as well as the graves (gravesites) registration shall be performed by the units (teams) headed by officers appointed by a division (regiment) commander’s order. Such units (teams) commanders shall be provided with transport, tools, materials and disinfectants.
168. Gravesites and individual graves shall be located in open and dry areas (public gardens, squares, forest and grove edgings, road crossings). After proper recording, gravesites (graves) shall be conveyed by record to the local authorities or military commandants who shall henceforth be responsible for their maintenance.
169. After the burial, a proper statement shall be drawn up containing a description of the burial site (its precise coordinates), with enclosed lists of identified bodies, and specifying the number of unidentified bodies and their description. The statement shall be made in two copies.
The burial statement and the lists of the dead shall be certified by the signature of a person in charge of the burial, stamped with the official seal of the military unit (organization) and confirmed by the superior commander.
The first copy of the burial statement, as well as the first copies of the inventory of the personal effects of the deceased and a cover letter, shall be sent to the army headquarters. As soon as circumstances permit and at the latest at the end of hostilities, the second copy of the statement with the enclosures and the parcels containing the personal effects of the deceased shall be handed over through international channels to the competent authorities of the adverse party. 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, §§ 165, 168 and 169.
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Instructor Manual (2007) states:
It is therefore the responsibility that at the end of every engagement soldiers should …
e. Mark the gravesite with local material so that it can easily be located. Record the details.
j. The above mentioned actions shall be applied to all dead persons, whether civilian or military, own or enemy forces. 
Sierra Leone, The Law of Armed Conflict. Instructor Manual for the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Armed Forces Education Centre, September 2007, pp. 38–39.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) states: “The Graves Registration Service shall be responsible for recording all particulars concerning the deceased and their graves, as well as for the conservation of ashes.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 5.2.d.(6).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “An official graves registration service must be set up by each State involved in the conflict to record information relating to burials and gravesites and conserve the ashes of cremated remains. This service can act in coordination with the national information bureau.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 5.2.d.(6).
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states:
Following burial, the commander of the funeral detachment (grave registration unit) shall make a protocol of the burial with the description of its place (with precise geographical coordinates). Such a protocol shall be supplemented with detailed lists of identified bodies and information on the number of unidentified bodies and their description. Burial protocols and detailed lists of the deceased shall be signed by the person responsible for the burning, officially sealed and stamped and certified by the senior commander (commanding officer). 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, § 2.5.3.7.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) provides: “As soon as possible, and at latest at the end of the hostilities, these services must exchange lists showing the location and marking of the graves and giving particulars of the dead interred therein.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 383.
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) reproduces Article 17 of the 1949 Geneva Convention I. 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 218.
United States of America
The US Operational Law Handbook (1993) provides: “The Parties must … register grave sites, and, as soon as circumstances permit, relay to the affected Party, the exact location of burial and details of death.” 
United States, Operational Law Handbook, JA 422, Center for Law and Military Operations and International Law Division, The Judge Advocate General’s School, United States Army, Charlottesville, Virginia 22903-1781, 1993, p. Q-185.
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s Law concerning the Protection of Civilian Persons and the Rights of Prisoners of War (1995) provides:
The appropriate authorities and governmental bodies of the Azerbaijan Republic shall ensure that the necessary measures be taken that: … all the information regarding the burial and graves should be registered by the funeral parlour. 
Azerbaijan, Law concerning the Protection of Civilian Persons and the Rights of Prisoners of War, 1995, Article 29(3).
Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s International Crimes (Tribunal) Act (1973) states that the “violation of any humanitarian rules applicable in armed conflicts laid down in the Geneva Conventions of 1949” is a crime. 
Bangladesh, International Crimes (Tribunal) Act, 1973, Section 3(2)(e).
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).
Ireland
Under Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, any “minor breach” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including violations of Article 17 of the Geneva Convention I, Article 120 of the Geneva Convention III and Article 130 of the Geneva Convention IV, is a punishable offence. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Norway
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, provides:
Anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 … is liable to imprisonment. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, § 108(a).
Colombia
In 1995, the Colombian Council of State stated that the bodies of enemy dead must be placed at the disposal of the competent authority and may not be concealed. Commanders are bound to report the death of detainees and their place of burial. 
Colombia, Council of State, Case No. 11369, Judgment, 6 February 1997, pp. 20–25.
No data.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1974 on assistance and cooperation in accounting for persons who are missing or dead in armed conflicts, the UN General Assembly:
Calls upon parties to armed conflicts, regardless of their character or location, during and after the end of hostilities and in accordance with the Geneva Conventions of 1949, to take such action as may be within their power to help locate … the graves of the dead. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 3220 (XXIX), 6 November 1974, § 2, voting record: 95-0-32-11.
No data.
International Conference of the Red Cross (1965)
The 20th International Conference of the Red Cross in 1965 adopted a resolution on the tracing of burial places of persons killed during armed conflict in which it recommended “the exchange among National Societies in agreement with their respective Governments and in co-operation with the International Committee of the Red Cross, of all available data concerning these places of burial” and “the tracing, by any appropriate means, of places of burial which have not so far been registered”. 
20th International Conference of the Red Cross, Vienna, 2–9 October 1965, Res. XXIII, §§ 1 and 2.
International Conference of the Red Cross (1973)
The 22nd International Conference of the Red Cross in 1973 adopted a resolution on the missing and dead in armed conflicts in which it called on parties to armed conflicts “during hostilities and after cessation of hostilities, to help … care for the graves of the dead”. 
22nd International Conference of the Red Cross, Teheran, 8–15 November 1973, Res. V.
No data.
No data.
No data.
Geneva Convention (1929)
Article 4, fifth paragraph, of the 1929 Geneva Convention provides:
[Belligerents] shall further ensure that the dead are honourably interred, that their graves are respected and marked so that they may always be found. 
Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armies in the Field, Geneva, 27 July 1929, Article 4, fifth para..
Geneva POW Convention
Article 76, third paragraph, of the 1929 Geneva POW Convention provides:
The belligerents shall ensure that prisoners of war who have died in captivity are honourably buried, and that the graves bear the necessary indications and are treated with respect and suitably maintained. 
Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Geneva, 27 July 1929, Article 76, third para.
Geneva Convention I
Article 17, third paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention I provides:
[Parties to the conflict] shall further ensure that the dead are honourably interred, if possible according to the rites of the religion to which they belonged, that their graves are respected, grouped if possible according to the nationality of the deceased, properly maintained and marked so that they may always be found. 
Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 17, third para.
Geneva Convention III
Article 120, fourth paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention III provides:
The detaining authorities shall ensure that prisoners of war who have died in captivity are honourably buried, if possible according to the rites of the religion to which they belonged, and that their graves are respected, suitably maintained and marked so as to be found at any time. 
Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 120, fourth para.
Geneva Convention IV
Article 130, first paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides:
The detaining authorities shall ensure that internees who die while interned are honourably buried, if possible according to the rites of the religion to which they belonged, and that their graves are respected, properly maintained, and marked in such a way that they can always be recognized. 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 130, first para.
Additional Protocol I
Article 34 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides:
1. The remains of persons who have died for reasons related to occupation or in detention resulting from occupation or hostilities and those of persons not nationals of the country in which they have died as a result of hostilities shall be respected, and the gravesites of all such persons shall be … marked as provided for in Article 130 of the Fourth Convention, where their remains or gravesites would not receive more favourable consideration under the Conventions and this Protocol.
2. As soon as circumstances and the relations between the adverse Parties permit, the High Contracting Parties in whose territories graves and, as the case may be, other locations of the remains of persons who have died as a result of hostilities or during occupation or in detention are situated, shall conclude agreements in order:
(a) to facilitate access to the gravesites by relatives of the deceased and by representatives of official graves registration services and to regulate the practical arrangements for such access. 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 34. Article 34 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.37, 24 May 1977, p. 71.
NATO Standardization Agreement 2070
The 1999 NATO Standardization Agreement 2070 provides:
7.Graves are normally located as near as convenient to the scene of death. Sites should be selected as much as possible with reference to ease of subsequent relocation and identification. Graves should not be dispersed. Easy recovery is essential and protection from water is desirable.
11. An appropriate (religious) marker high enough to be seen readily is to be erected …
12. In the case of trench or group burials a marker and list in a suitable container endorsed accordingly is to be placed at each end of the grave. 
Standardization Agreement 2070, Edition 4, Emergency War Burial Procedures, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Military Agency for Standardization, Brussels, 6 April 1999, §§ 7, 11 and 12.
No data.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1969) provides that graves shall be “marked so that they can always be found”. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, RC-46-1, Público, II Edición 1969, Ejército Argentino, Edición original aprobado por el Comandante en Jefe del Ejército, 9 May 1967, § 3.005.
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) provides that the graves of the deceased “are to be correctly marked to allow future exhumation”. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 999.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states that the graves of the deceased “are to be correctly marked to allow future exhumation”. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 9.104.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Benin
Benin’s Military Manual (1995) provides: “The graves shall be marked so that they can be easily found.” 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule II, p. 12.
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states: “The graves must be … marked so that they can be easily found”. 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 105; see also Part I bis, p. 25.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (1992) states: “The graves shall be marked so that they can be easily found.” 
Cameroon, Droit international humanitaire et droit de la guerre, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les Forces Armées, Présidence de la République, Ministère de la Défense, Etat-major des Armées, Troisième Division, Edition 1992, p. 44, § 163(2).
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006), under the heading “The Dead”, states: “The graves must always be marked so that they can be easily found.” 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 122, § 403; see also p. 164, § 463 .
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) provides that the grave sites of the dead shall be marked. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 9-6, § 54.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on the treatment of the wounded, sick and shipwrecked:
The remains of all persons who have died as a result of hostilities or while in occupation or detention in relation thereto shall be respected, and their gravesites properly respected, maintained and marked. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 925.1.
Canada
Canada’s Prisoner of War Handling and Detainees Manual (2004) states with regard to the funeral arrangements for prisoners of war: “Their graves are [to be] respected, suitably maintained and marked so that they may be found at any time.” 
Canada, Prisoner of War Handling, Detainees, Interrogation and Tactical Questioning in International Operations, B-GJ-005-110/FP-020, National Defence Headquarters, 1 August 2004, § 3F17.5.c(2).
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Instructor’s Manual (1999) states in Volume 2 (Instruction for group and patrol leaders): “Graves must be marked so that they can be easily located.” 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 2: Formation pour l’obtention du certificat technique No. 2 (Chef de Groupe), du certificat Inter-Armé (CIA), du certificat d’aptitude de Chef de Patrouille (CACP), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter III, Section II, § 2.3.
Croatia
Croatia’s LOAC Compendium (1991) provides that one of the requirements after a conflict is to “mark … gravesites”. 
Croatia, Compendium “Law of Armed Conflicts”, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1991, p. 21.
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) provides: “The graves shall be marked so that they can be easily found (e.g. improvised wooden cross or similar).” 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 3, p. 12.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands provides: “Graves must be properly … marked.” 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, pp. VI-2 and VI-3.
The manual also provides:
As soon as circumstances and the relations between the parties to the conflict permit, the parties, in whose territories graves of the persons who have died as a result of hostilities are located, shall conclude agreements in order: to facilitate access to the gravesites by relatives of the deceased and by representatives of official Graves Registration Services. 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. VI-3.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
As soon as circumstances and the relations between the parties to the conflict permit, the parties whose territory contains graves of persons who died during the conflict must conclude agreements in order:
- to facilitate access to the graves for family members and officials of graves associations; … 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0610.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides that grave sites shall be properly marked. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1012(1).
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “Access to gravesites must be facilitated.”  
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 68.b.
The manual also states that “graves [must be] properly marked so that they can be recognized”. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 86.b.
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states that “access to gravesites must be facilitated”. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 69(b), p. 269.
The manual further states that “graves [must be] properly marked so that they can be recognized”. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 77(b), p. 277.
Philippines
The Philippine Army Soldier’s Handbook on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (2006) provides:
After an engagement:
6. Bring the bodies to the police, if possible and demand receipt. If possible, bring the dead to proper authorities. If not, bury them and mark their graves so they can be retrieved later. This will dispel any doubts of foul play. 
Philippines, Philippine Army Soldier’s Handbook on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, A Practical Guide for Internal Security Operations, 2006, p. 62, § 6.
Poland
Poland’s Procedures Governing the Interment of Soldiers Killed in Action (2009), in a section on “Marking the graves”, states:
A container should be placed on top of each grave, containing basic information to facilitate the identification of the remains buried there. …
The container shall be half-buried in the grave, with its lid pointing downwards.
When digging group or trench graves, the following principles shall be respected:
- Place a marker indicating the type of grave used. 
Poland, Norma Obronna NO-02-A053:2004, Działania wojenne Procedury pochówku poległych i zmarłych, enacted by decision No. 134/MON related to the Approval and Enforcement of Regulatory Instruments in Respect of State Defence and Security, 21 April 2009, published in the Official Gazette of the Ministry of National Defence, No. 8, Item 99, April 2009, Section 2.3.
The Procedures further states: “In the case of identity tags belonging to deceased United States nationals (soldiers): … The second tag shall be placed on the grave.” 
Poland, Norma Obronna NO-02-A053:2004, Działania wojenne Procedury pochówku poległych i zmarłych, enacted by decision No. 134/MON related to the Approval and Enforcement of Regulatory Instruments in Respect of State Defence and Security, 21 April 2009, published in the Official Gazette of the Ministry of National Defence, No. 8, Item 99, April 2009, Section 2.7.
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Instructor Manual (2007) states:
It is therefore the responsibility that at the end of every engagement soldiers should …
e. Mark the gravesite with local material so that it can easily be located. Record the details.
j. The above mentioned actions shall be applied to all dead persons, whether civilian or military, own or enemy forces. 
Sierra Leone, The Law of Armed Conflict. Instructor Manual for the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Armed Forces Education Centre, September 2007, pp. 38–39.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides: “Graves shall be marked so that they can always be found.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 5.2.d.(6).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “Gravesites must be marked so that they can always be found.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 5.2.d.(6); see also § 6.2.b.(3).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) provides that graves shall be “respected and marked with a distinctive sign” and “properly maintained and marked”. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 71(2) and Article 76, commentary.
Togo
Togo’s Military Manual (1996) provides: “The graves shall be marked so that they can be easily found.” 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule II, p. 12.
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “Following necessary documentation, gravesites (graves) shall be handed over to local representatives of the executive or to military commissariats who shall become responsible for their state. Appropriate protocols shall be made.” 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, § 2.5.3.5.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) provides that graves “must be marked so that they may always be found”. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 383.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states:
7.36. Graves must be respected and properly maintained. They must be marked so that they may always be found … Graves registration services must be officially established at the outbreak of hostilities and, as soon as circumstances permit, the adverse parties and any other concerned authorities are required to seek agreement for:
b. Access to those grave sites by relatives of the deceased and the representatives of the official graves registration services. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 7.36.
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) provides that the graves of the dead are “marked so that they may always be found”. 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 218.
United States of America
The Annotated Supplement to the US Naval Handbook (1997) requires that “as soon as circumstances permit, arrangement be made to facilitate access to grave sites by relatives”. 
United States, Annotated Supplement to the Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, prepared by the Oceans Law and Policy Department, Center for Naval Warfare Studies, Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, November 1997, § 11.4, footnote 19.
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s Law concerning the Protection of Civilian Persons and the Rights of Prisoners of War (1995) provides: “The places of burial of [the dead] … are signed with the purpose to find them any time.” 
Azerbaijan, Law concerning the Protection of Civilian Persons and the Rights of Prisoners of War, 1995, Article 29(3).
Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s International Crimes (Tribunal) Act (1973) states that the “violation of any humanitarian rules applicable in armed conflicts laid down in the Geneva Conventions of 1949” is a crime. 
Bangladesh, International Crimes (Tribunal) Act, 1973, Section 3(2)(e).
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Law on Missing Persons (2004) states: “The missing persons’ families or their associations shall have the right to demand that places of burial and exhumation (individual or mass graves) be marked regardless of the number of victims or missing persons.” 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Law on Missing Persons, 2004, Article 20.
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).
Ireland
Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, provides that any “minor breach” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including violations of Article 17 of the Geneva Convention I, Article 120 of the Geneva Convention III and Article 130 of the Geneva Convention IV, and of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, including violations of Article 34, are punishable offences. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Norway
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, provides:
Anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 … [and in] the two additional protocols to these Conventions … is liable to imprisonment. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, § 108.
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Interment and Burial Amendment Act (2002) states:
Persons against whom a criminal investigation concerning their terrorist activities has been closed on account of their death following interception of the said terrorist act shall be interred in accordance with the procedure established by the Government of the Russian Federation. … [T]he place of their burial shall not be disclosed. 
Russian Federation, Interment and Burial Amendment Act, 2002.
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Suppression of Terrorism Amendment Act (2002) states: “[T]he interment of terrorists who die as a result of the interception of a terrorist act shall be carried out in accordance with the procedure established by the Government of the Russian Federation. … [T]he place of their burial shall remain undisclosed.” 
Russian Federation, Suppression of Terrorism Amendment Act, 2002.
Russian Federation
In 2007, in the Burial case, the Russian Federation’s Constitutional Court was called upon to rule on the constitutionality of two laws related to the interment of suspected terrorists whose deaths resulted from the interception of their terrorist acts. The Court held that the restrictive measures introduced by these laws were in conformity with the Constitution. The Court stated:
3.1 … [T]he interest in fighting terrorism, in preventing terrorism in general and specific terms and in providing redress for the effects of terrorist acts, coupled with the risk of mass disorder, clashes between different ethnic groups and aggression by the next of kin of those involved in terrorist activity against the population at large and law-enforcement officials, and lastly the threat to human life and limb, may, in a given historical context, justify the establishment of a particular legal regime, such as that provided for by section 14(1) of the Federal Act [on Interment and Burial of 12 January 1996, as amended], governing the burial of persons who escape prosecution in connection with terrorist activity on account of their death following the interception of a terrorist act. …
3.2. Action to minimise the informational and psychological impact of the terrorist act on the population, including the weakening of its propaganda effect, is one of the means necessary to protect public security and the morals, health, rights and legal interests of citizens. It therefore pursues exactly those aims for which the Constitution of the Russian Federation and international legal instruments permit restrictions on the relevant rights and freedoms.
The burial of those who have taken part in a terrorist act, in close proximity to the graves of the victims of their acts … serve as a means of propaganda for terrorist ideas and also cause offence to relatives of the victims of the acts in question, creating the preconditions for increasing inter-ethnic and religious tension.
… [T]he burial places of participants in terrorist acts may become a shrine for certain extremist individuals and be used by them as a means of propaganda for the ideology of terrorism and involvement in terrorist activity.
In such circumstances, the federal legislature may introduce special arrangements governing the burial of individuals whose death occurred as a result of the interception of a terrorist act in which they were taking part. 
Russian Federation, Constitutional Court, Burial case, 28 June 2007, §§ 3.1–3.2.
The Court also stated:
The constitutional and legal meaning of the existing norms presupposes the possibility of bringing court proceedings to challenge a decision to discontinue, on account of the deaths of the suspects, a criminal case against or prosecution of participants in a terrorist act. Accordingly, they also presuppose an obligation on the court’s part to examine the substance of the complaint, that is, to verify [that] the decision and the conclusions therein [are lawful and well founded] as regards the participation of the persons concerned in a terrorist act, and to establish the absence of grounds for rehabilitating [the suspects] and discontinuing the criminal case. They thus entail an examination of the lawfulness of the application of the aforementioned restrictive measures. Until the entry into force of the court judgment the deceased’s remains cannot be buried. 
Russian Federation, Constitutional Court, Burial case, 28 June 2007, § 87.
United States of America
In 1987, the Deputy Legal Adviser of the US Department of State affirmed: “We support … the principle that … the remains of the dead be … marked … [and] as soon as circumstances permit, arrangements be made to facilitate access to grave sites by relatives.” 
United States, Remarks of Michael J. Matheson, Deputy Legal Adviser, US Department of State, The Sixth Annual American Red Cross-Washington College of Law Conference on International Humanitarian Law: A Workshop on Customary International Law and the 1977 Protocols Additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, American University Journal of International Law and Policy, Vol. 2, 1987, p. 424.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1974 on assistance and cooperation in accounting for persons who are missing or dead in armed conflicts, the UN General Assembly:
Calls upon parties to armed conflicts, regardless of their character or location, during and after the end of hostilities and in accordance with the Geneva Conventions of 1949, to take such action as may be within their power to help … mark the graves of the dead. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 3220 (XXIX), 6 November 1974, § 2, voting record: 95-0-32-11.
UN Commission of Experts Established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992)
In 1994, in its final report on grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and other violations of IHL committed in the former Yugoslavia, the UN Commission of Experts Established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992) stated, with respect to its investigation into mass graves, that the “graves [of victims should] … be marked so that they can be easily found”. 
UN Commission of Experts Established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780, 1992, Final report, Annex Summaries and Conclusions, UN Doc. S/1994/674/Add.2 (Vol. I), 31 May 1995, § 503(b).
No data.
No data.
No data.
ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that: “Graves shall be … marked so that they can be easily found.” 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 736.
No data.
Geneva Convention (1929)
Article 4, sixth paragraph, of the 1929 Geneva Convention provides:
[A]t the commencement of hostilities, [the belligerents] shall organize officially a graves registration service, to render eventual exhumations possible, and to ensure the identification of bodies whatever may be the subsequent site of the grave. 
Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armies in the Field, Geneva, 27 July 1929, Article 4, sixth para.
Geneva Convention I
Article 17, third paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention I provides that parties to the conflict “shall organize at the commencement of hostilities an Official Graves Registration Service, to allow subsequent exhumation and to ensure the identification of bodies, whatever the site of the graves”. 
Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 17, third para.
Additional Protocol I
According to Article 34(4) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, exhumation is allowed only where it is “a matter of overriding public necessity, including cases of investigative necessity”. 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 34(4). Article 34 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.37, 24 May 1977, p. 71, § 36.
Plan of Operation of the Joint Commission to Trace Missing Persons and Mortal Remains
Proposal 1.2 of the 1991 Plan of Operation for the Joint Commission to Trace Missing Persons and Mortal Remains in the context of the former Yugoslavia provides: “At the request of the party on which the deceased depend, the parties to the conflict shall … allow the identification of the [mortal remains of the] deceased by the adverse party.” Proposal 1.3 provides: “By mutual agreement, the parties may decide on the participation of foreign medical experts in identifying the deceased.” 
Plan of Operation Designed to Ascertain the Whereabouts or Fate of the Military and Civilian Missing, Annex to the Joint Commission to Trace Missing Persons and Mortal Remains: Rules of Procedure and Plan of Operation, established on the Basis of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Republic of Croatia, Republic of Serbia, Yugoslav People’s Army and the International Committee of the Red Cross, Pècs, 16 December 1991, Proposal 1.2 and 1.3.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1969) provides: “An official Graves Registration Service must be established from the commencement of hostilities in order to allow possible exhumations, to ensure the identity of the bodies.” 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, RC-46-1, Público, II Edición 1969, Ejército Argentino, Edición original aprobado por el Comandante en Jefe del Ejército, 9 May 1967, § 3.005; see also Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, § 6.05.
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) states that the graves “are to be correctly marked to allow future exhumation”. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 999.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states that the graves of the deceased “are to be correctly marked to allow future exhumation”. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 9.104.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states concerning the burial of dead combatants: “One half of the metal identity disc must remain with the body while the other must be retrieved.” 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 25.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006), under the heading “The Dead”, states: “The identity cards and discs [of deceased persons] must be retained. In the case of double [identity] discs, one half must remain with the body.” 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 122, § 403; see also p. 164, § 463.
The manual also states that “[t]he dead … may be incinerated after identification, and their ashes must be repatriated at the same time as their identity cards or discs”. 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 159, § 452.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states: “One half of the double identity disc (or the whole of a single disc) must remain attached to the body.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0609.
Poland
Poland’s Procedures Governing the Interment of Soldiers Killed in Action (2009) states: “In the case of an emergency burial, the following principles shall apply: … Facilitate the exhumation and identification of bodies”. 
Poland, Norma Obronna NO-02-A053:2004, Działania wojenne Procedury pochówku poległych i zmarłych, enacted by decision No. 134/MON related to the Approval and Enforcement of Regulatory Instruments in Respect of State Defence and Security, 21 April 2009, published in the Official Gazette of the Ministry of National Defence, No. 8, Item 99, April 2009, Section 2.1.
The Procedures further states: “When selecting the burial site and digging the graves, the aim should be to ensure that: … [they] are laid out in such a way as to facilitate the exhumation and identification of bodies.” 
Poland, Norma Obronna NO-02-A053:2004, Działania wojenne Procedury pochówku poległych i zmarłych, enacted by decision No. 134/MON related to the Approval and Enforcement of Regulatory Instruments in Respect of State Defence and Security, 21 April 2009, published in the Official Gazette of the Ministry of National Defence, No. 8, Item 99, April 2009, Section 2.2.
The Procedures also states: “Civilian members of the armed forces who had not participated in hostilities shall be buried in line with procedures established for the burial of the bodies of soldiers.” 
Poland, Norma Obronna NO-02-A053:2004, Działania wojenne Procedury pochówku poległych i zmarłych, enacted by decision No. 134/MON related to the Approval and Enforcement of Regulatory Instruments in Respect of State Defence and Security, 21 April 2009, published in the Official Gazette of the Ministry of National Defence, No. 8, Item 99, April 2009, Section 2.4.2.
The Procedures further states:
The bodies of persons whose identity cannot be verified shall be buried in the same way as unidentified bodies. … In the place where the name and surname of the fallen or deceased person is recorded, the word “unknown” shall be written …
If information is available that could help to identify the body, it shall be noted down as accurately as possible. This information should refer to the physical characteristics of the fallen or deceased person, such as their gender, estimated age, height, dentition, etc., as well as a description of the numbers and insignia on their uniform, the equipment the deceased had carried and any vehicles they would have driven (in combat).
Detailed information shall also be provided on the location of the grave and, if circumstances permit, fingerprints shall be taken from the deceased. 
Poland, Norma Obronna NO-02-A053:2004, Działania wojenne Procedury pochówku poległych i zmarłych, enacted by decision No. 134/MON related to the Approval and Enforcement of Regulatory Instruments in Respect of State Defence and Security, 21 April 2009, published in the Official Gazette of the Ministry of National Defence, No. 8, Item 99, April 2009, Section 2.4.3.
The Procedures also states: “If it is not possible to establish the personal details of the deceased, their personal effects, and half of their identity tag shall be sent to the Records Office.” 
Poland, Norma Obronna NO-02-A053:2004, Działania wojenne Procedury pochówku poległych i zmarłych, enacted by decision No. 134/MON related to the Approval and Enforcement of Regulatory Instruments in Respect of State Defence and Security, 21 April 2009, published in the Official Gazette of the Ministry of National Defence, No. 8, Item 99, April 2009, Section 2.6.2.
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “One half of the double identity disc, or the identity disc itself if it is a single disc, should remain on the body either during burial or cremation.” 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, § 2.5.3.4.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) provides:
Graves Registration Services must be officially established at the outbreak of hostilities, to allow of exhumations and to ensure the identification of the bodies and their possible transportation to the home country. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 383.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states:
7.33. Where the deceased is in possession of two identity discs, one disc should remain on the body and the other should be sent with his personal effects to the information bureau. If the deceased was in possession of only one identity disc, that disc should remain on the body.
7.37 Exhumation is permitted only (a) in accordance with an agreement on the matters dealt with in paragraph 7.36 [relating to respect for and maintenance of graves]; or (b) in accordance with overriding public necessity (which may include “medical or investigative necessity”). In such circumstances, the authorities of the territory in which the grave sites are situated are required to respect the remains and to give notice to the home state of the intended exhumation together with details of the intended place of re-interment. However, these provisions do not prevent the exhumation of temporary graves for the purpose of moving the remains to permanent graves in dignified, properly maintained cemeteries, such as those of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, §§ 7.33 and 7.37.
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) provides that the belligerents “shall organize at the commencement of hostilities an Official Graves Registration Service, to allow subsequent exhumations and to ensure the identification of bodies, whatever the site of the graves, and the possible transportation to the home country”. 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 218.
Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s International Crimes (Tribunal) Act (1973) states that the “violation of any humanitarian rules applicable in armed conflicts laid down in the Geneva Conventions of 1949” is a crime. 
Bangladesh, International Crimes (Tribunal) Act, 1973, Section 3(2)(e).
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).
Ireland
Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, provides that any “minor breach” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including violations of Article 17 of the Geneva Convention I, and of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, including violations of Article 34(4), are punishable offences. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Norway
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, provides:
Anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 … [and in] the two additional protocols to these Conventions … is liable to imprisonment. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, § 108.
Israel
According the Report on the Practice of Israel, in the Abu-Rijwa case, the Israel Defense Forces carried out DNA identification tests on the remains of two “terrorists” buried in Israel at the request of a Jordanian family who petitioned the Israeli High Court in 1992 for the purpose of repatriating the remains of their son. 
Report on the Practice of Israel, 1997, Chapter 5.1, referring to High Court, Abu-Rijwa case, Judgment, 15 November 2000.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Report on the Practice of Bosnia and Herzegovina states:
During the aggression on Bosnia and Herzegovina, a large number of persons were registered as missing and the tracing process is still ongoing. It is assumed that the majority of the missing persons were killed by the aggressor and thrown into mass graves in different locations … The State Commission for the Exchange of Prisoners of War has undertaken huge efforts to locate mass graves, to exhume and identify bodies of innocent victims. Allegations of mass graves are received from eyewitnesses of the committed massacres. 
Report on the Practice of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2000, Chapter 5.2.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
In 2008, a training manual by the Prosecutor at the Military High Court for magistrates on techniques for investigating sexual crimes, including war crimes, was adopted as part of the Programme on Investigating Sexual Crimes of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. When addressing the issue of mass graves used for the concealment of evidence of human rights violations committed during armed conflicts, the training manual states:
b. Objectives [of the exhumation of mass graves]:
- collect evidence to identify the victims[.] 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Training manual by the Prosecutor at the Military High Court for magistrates on techniques for investigating sexual crimes, adopted as part of the Programme on Investigating Sexual Crimes of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Military Justice seminar, 2008, p. 35.
The training manual also states:
[When] the investigation of war crimes, genocide or crimes against humanity involves collective graves, the identification of individual victims, although useful, should not necessarily be the starting point of the investigation.
For such crimes, it might happen that certain persons became victims because of the manner in which they were perceived culturally … In this case, it suffices to simply identify the victims according to a certain category (such as ethnic origin, religion or political opinion) and prove that they were killed because of such characteristics.
Unfortunately, positive individual identification is often impossible in the context of poor countries in a post-conflict situation, where the infrastructure, in particular medical infrastructure, is destroyed or inexistent.
Indeed, for almost 500 individuals examined following the exhumation of collective graves in Kibuye, in Rwanda, after the genocide of 1994, only 17 persons were identified …
However, for 28.500 persons disappeared during the Bosnian war (mainly Muslims), the remains of 16.500 individuals were found and 11.500 were identified. 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Training manual by the Prosecutor at the Military High Court for magistrates on techniques for investigating sexual crimes, adopted as part of the Programme on Investigating Sexual Crimes of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Military Justice seminar, 2008, pp. 40–41.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1996 in the context of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, the UN Commission on Human Rights welcomed the establishment of the Expert Group on Exhumation and Missing Persons chaired by the Office of the High Representative. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1996/71, 23 April 1996, preamble, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights (Special Rapporteur)
In 1995, in a report on the situation of human rights in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, the Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights recommended that the Croatian authorities identify all those killed, including by exhumation, which, whenever necessary, should be carried out under the supervision of international experts. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Former Yugoslavia, Periodic report, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1996/6, 5 July 1995, § 59.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
In 1996, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, in a briefing on the investigation of violations of international law, noted that a project was arranged by the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the former Yugoslavia, in coordination with the Expert on Missing Persons, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the governments of Finland and the Netherlands, to recover and identify remains of the dead in a particular area, with the humanitarian aim of identifying persons for the sake of their relatives. The Expert emphasized the problem of mass graves and called upon the parties and the international community to intensify efforts to clarify the fate of missing persons using every possible means, including exhumation of mortal remains where necessary. 
Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Briefing on Progress Reached in Investigation of Violations of International Law in the Areas of Srebrenica, Žepa, Banja Luka and Sanski Most pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1034 (1995), 22 August 1996, §§ 9–12.
Expert for the Special Process on Missing Persons in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia
In 1997, the Expert for the Special Process on Missing Persons in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia drew the attention of the UN Commission on Human Rights to the fact that “governments were apparently growing less hostile to the use of forensic methods to elucidate the fate of disappeared persons”. 
Expert for the Special Process on Missing Persons in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia, Statement before the UN Commission on Human Rights, 26 March 1997, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1997/SR.25, 13 May 1997, § 9.
UN Observer for Croatia
In 1997, the UN Observer for Croatia stated before the UN Commission on Human Rights that “the exhumation of [certain] mass graves … which had resulted in the exhumation and identification of the remains of some 200 disappeared persons [was] a step in the right direction”. 
UN Observer for Croatia, Statement before the UN Commission on Human Rights, 26 March 1997, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1997/SR.25, 13 May 1997, § 17.
High Representative for the Implementation of the Peace Agreement on Bosnia and Herzegovina
In 1996, the High Representative for the Implementation of the Peace Agreement on Bosnia and Herzegovina reported that national authorities and international mechanisms and organizations dealing with the issue of mass graves had undertaken considerable efforts to establish the fate of the dead bodies found in mass grave sites. 
High Representative for the Implementation of the Peace Agreement on Bosnia and Herzegovina, Report, UN Doc. S/1996/542, 10 July 1996, Annex, § 41.
No data.
International Conference of the Red Cross (1965)
The 20th International Conference of the Red Cross in 1965 adopted a resolution on the tracing of burial places of persons killed during armed conflict in which it recommended “recourse, in the event of exhumation, to all possible identification procedures with the help of specialist services”. 
20th International Conference of the Red Cross, Vienna, 2–9 October 1965, Res. XXIII, § 3.
No data.
No data.
No data.
Geneva Convention (1929)
Article 4, second paragraph, of the 1929 Geneva Convention provides that belligerents “shall establish and transmit to each other the certificates of death”. 
Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armies in the Field, Geneva, 27 July 1929, Article 4, second para.
Geneva Convention I
Article 16 of the 1949 Geneva Convention I provides:
Parties to the conflict shall record as soon as possible, in respect of each wounded, sick or dead person of the adverse Party falling into their hands, any particulars which may assist in his identification.
These records should if possible include:
a) designation of the Power on which he depends;
b) army, regimental, personal or serial number;
c) surname;
d) first name or names;
e) date of birth;
f) any other particulars shown on his identity card or disc;
g) date and place of capture or death;
h) particulars concerning wounds or illness, or cause of death.
As soon as possible the above mentioned information shall be forwarded to the Information Bureau described in Article 122 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of August 12, 1949, which shall transmit this information to the Power on which these persons depend through the intermediary of the Protecting Power and of the Central Prisoners of War Agency.
Parties to the conflict shall prepare and forward to each other through the same bureau, certificates of death or duly authenticated lists of the dead. They shall likewise collect and forward through the same bureau one half of a double identity disc, last wills or other documents of importance to the next of kin, money and in general all articles of an intrinsic or sentimental value, which are found on the dead. These articles, together with unidentified articles, shall be sent in sealed packets, accompanied by statements giving all particulars necessary for the identification of the deceased owners, as well as by a complete list of the contents of the parcel. 
Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 16.
Geneva Convention I
Article 17, third and fourth paragraphs, of the 1949 Geneva Convention I provides:
[The Parties to the conflict] shall organize at the commencement of hostilities an Official Graves Registration Service, to allow subsequent exhumations and to ensure the identification of bodies, whatever the site of the graves, and the possible transportation to the home country. These provisions shall likewise apply to the ashes, which shall be kept by the Graves Registration Service until proper disposal thereof in accordance with the wishes of the home country.
As soon as circumstances permit, and at latest at the end of hostilities, these Services shall exchange, through the Information Bureau mentioned in the second paragraph of Article 16, lists showing the exact location and markings of the graves together with particulars of the dead interred therein. 
Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 17, third and fourth paras.
Geneva Convention II
Article 19 of the 1949 Geneva Convention II provides:
The Parties to the conflict shall record as soon as possible, in respect of each shipwrecked, wounded, sick or dead person of the adverse Party falling into their hands, any particulars which may assist in his identification. These records should if possible include:
a) designation of the Power on which he depends;
b) army, regimental, personal or serial number;
c) surname;
d) first name or names;
e) date of birth;
f) any other particulars shown on his identity card or disc;
g) date and place of capture or death;
h) particulars concerning wounds or illness, or cause of death.
As soon as possible the above-mentioned information shall be forwarded to the information bureau described in Article 122 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of August 12, 1949, which shall transmit this information to the Power on which these persons depend through the intermediary of the Protecting Power and of the Central Prisoners of War Agency.
Parties to the conflict shall prepare and forward to each other through the same bureau, certificates of death or duly authenticated lists of the dead. They shall likewise collect and forward through the same bureau one half of the double identity disc, or the identity disc itself if it is a single disc, last wills or other documents of importance to the next of kin, money and in general all articles of an intrinsic or sentimental value, which are found on the dead. These articles, together with unidentified articles, shall be sent in sealed packets, accompanied by statements giving all particulars necessary for the identification of the deceased owners, as well as by a complete list of the contents of the parcel. 
Convention (II) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 19.
Geneva Convention III
Article 120, second and fifth paragraphs, of the 1949 Geneva Convention III provides:
Death certificates in the form annexed to the present Convention, or lists certified by a responsible officer, of all persons who die as prisoners of war shall be forwarded as rapidly as possible to the Prisoner of War Information Bureau established in accordance with Article 122. The death certificates or certified lists shall show particulars of identity as set out in the third paragraph of Article 17, and also the date and place of death, the cause of death, the date and place of burial and all particulars necessary to identify the graves.
In order that graves may always be found, all particulars of burials and graves shall be recorded with a Graves Registration Service established by the Detaining Power. Lists of graves and particulars of the prisoners of war interred in cemeteries and elsewhere shall be transmitted to the Power on which such prisoners of war depended. Responsibility for the care of these graves and for records of any subsequent moves of the bodies shall rest on the Power controlling the territory, if a Party to the present Convention. These provisions shall also apply to the ashes, which shall be kept by the Graves Registration Service until proper disposal thereof in accordance with the wishes of the home country. 
Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 120, second and fifth paras.
Geneva Convention IV
Article 130, third paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides:
As soon as circumstances permit, and not later than the close of hostilities, the Detaining Power shall forward lists of graves of deceased internees to the Powers on whom the deceased internees depended, through the Information Bureaux provided for in Article 136. Such lists shall include all particulars necessary for the identification of the deceased internees, as well as the exact location of their graves. 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 130, third paragraph.
Additional Protocol I
Article 33 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides:
2. In order to facilitate the gathering of information pursuant to the preceding paragraph, each Party to the conflict shall, with respect to persons who would not receive more favourable consideration under the Conventions and this Protocol:
(a) record the information specified in Article 138 of the Fourth Convention in respect of … persons who have … died during any period of detention;
(b) to the fullest extent possible, facilitate and, if need be, carry out the search for and the recording of information concerning such persons if they have died in other circumstances as a result of hostilities or occupation. 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 33. Article 33 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.37, 24 May 1977, p. 71.
NATO Standardization Agreement 2132
Paragraph 9 of the 1974 NATO Standardization Agreement 2132 describes the “procedure for reporting on allied patients to parent nations”. Paragraph 10 states: “In the case of death of a member of NATO forces if examined by a medical officer, the medical officer should determine the cause of death and report … to the deceased’s parent nation.” 
Standardization Agreement 2132, Edition 2, Documentation Relative to Medical Evacuation, Treatment and Cause of Death of Patients, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Military Agency for Standardization, Brussels, 7 August 1974, §§ 9 and 10.
Plan of Operation for the Joint Commission to Trace Missing Persons and Mortal Remains
In proposal 1.1 of the 1991 Plan of Operation for the Joint Commission to Trace Missing Persons and Mortal Remains, the parties to the conflict in the former Yugoslavia agreed that they
shall provide to the adverse party/parties, through the intermediary of the ICRC and National Information Bureaux and, as rapidly as possible, all available information regarding: the identification of deceased persons [and] the gravesites of deceased persons belonging to the adverse parties. 
Plan of Operation Designed to Ascertain the Whereabouts or Fate of the Military and Civilian Missing, Annex to the Joint Commission to Trace Missing Persons and Mortal Remains: Rules of Procedure and Plan of Operation, established on the Basis of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Republic of Croatia, Republic of Serbia, Yugoslav People’s Army and the International Committee of the Red Cross, Pècs, 16 December 1991, Proposal 1.1.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1969) provides: “One half of a double identity disc or the whole disc if it is a single disc, shall remain on the body.” 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, RC-46-1, Público, II Edición 1969, Ejército Argentino, Edición original aprobado por el Comandante en Jefe del Ejército, 9 May 1967, § 3.005; see also Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, §§ 6.03 and 6.04.
The manual also states:
When circumstances so permit and at latest at the end of the hostilities, [the obituary] services shall communicate to each other, through the Information Office … the lists indicating … the details relative to the dead. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, RC-46-1, Público, II Edición 1969, Ejército Argentino, Edición original aprobado por el Comandante en Jefe del Ejército, 9 May 1967, § 3.005; see also Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, § 6.05.
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) states:
997. Particulars of Missing Persons. In order to facilitate the search for missing combatants, protected persons, civilians and persons who would not receive more favourable considerations under either the Geneva Conventions of Additional Protocols, each of the protagonists shall:
a. record the following information for each person … who has died:
(1) surname, all first names and nationality;
(2) place and date of birth;
(3) location of last residence and any distinguishing features;
(4) the first name of the father and the maiden name of the mother;
(5) the circumstances of captivity of detainment, including the date and place of detainment;
(6) the address to which correspondence may be sent to the captive or detainee; and
(7) the name and address of the person to be informed.
999. … Bodies shall be buried with one half of a double identity disc placed in the mouth of the deceased. The other half is to be kept for records by Graves Registration. In the event of only one identity disc, that is to remain with the body
9-101. As soon as is practical following the death of a combatant, a belligerent shall record the following information to aid identification. Such information is to be passed to the National Bureau direct, or through a Protecting Power to the Central Tracing Agency of the ICRC as follows:
a. nationality;
b. regimental or serial number and rank;
c. surname and all first names;
d. date of birth, religion and any other particulars shown on the body’s identity card of identity disc; and
e. the date, cause and place of death and if the body is given a field burial, the exact location of the remains to enable future exhumation of the body, or remains if necessary. 
Australia Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, §§ 997, 999 and 9-101.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
9.102 Particulars of missing persons. In order to facilitate the search for missing combatants, protected persons, civilians and persons who would not receive more favourable considerations under either the Geneva Conventions or Additional Protocols, each of the protagonists shall:
• record the following information for each person detained, imprisoned or otherwise held in captivity for a period of two weeks, or who has died:
– surname, all first names and nationality;
– place and date of birth;
– location of last residence and any distinguishing features;
– the first name of the father and the maiden name of the mother;
– the circumstances of captivity or detainment, including the date and place of detainment;
– the address to which correspondence may be sent to the captive or detainee; and
– the name and address of the person to be informed.
9.104 … Bodies shall be buried with one half of a double identity disc placed in the mouth of the deceased. The other half is to be kept for records by Graves Registration. In the event of only one identity disc, that is to remain with the body.
9.106 As soon as is practical following the death of a combatant, a belligerent shall record the following information to aid identification. Such information is to be passed to the national bureau direct, or through a protecting power to the Central Tracing Agency of the ICRC as follows:
• nationality;
• regimental or serial number and rank;
• surname and all first names;
• date of birth, religion and any other particulars shown on the body’s identity card or identity discs; and
• the date, cause and place of death and if the body is given a field burial, the exact location of the remains to enable future exhumation of the body, or remains if necessary. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, §§ 9.102, 9.104 and 9.106.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Belgium
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) provides: “The belligerents are obliged to exchange the information collected about the dead of the adverse party under their power.” 
Belgium, Droit Pénal et Disciplinaire Militaire et Droit de la Guerre, Deuxième Partie, Droit de la Guerre, Ecole Royale Militaire, par J. Maes, Chargé de cours, Avocat-général près la Cour Militaire, D/1983/1187/029, 1983, p. 49.
Belgium
Belgium’s Specific Procedure on the Prisoners of War Information Bureau (2007) states that the tasks of the PWIB (Prisoners of War Information Bureau) include:
c. Receiving and transmitting … [personal] information concerning … the dead of the adverse party who are in the power of the Belgian army. The information transmitted shall include that appearing on the identity card or tag of the deceased, as well as the date … place … and … cause of death …
d. Concerning Belgian … dead in the power of an enemy nation:
- Receiving from the CTA [Central Tracing Agency] all relevant information;
- Transmitting the information received to the HRG [Personnel Management Division within the Belgian Defence Headquarters] and to the units/civilian authorities concerned;
- Transmitting the information received to the families concerned, in accordance with any previously expressed wishes of deceased.
e. Replying to all enquiries addressed to the Bureau concerning prisoners of war, including those who have died in captivity. The PWIB will undertake or commission the necessary investigations in order to acquire missing information. 
Belgium, Structure et fonctionnement du Bureau de Renseignements sur les prisonniers de guerre, Procédure spécifique, Ministère de la Défense, 2007, p. 7, § 7(c), (d) and (e).
Benin
Benin’s Military Manual (1995) states: “One half of a double identity disc should remain on the body; the other half should be evacuated.” 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule II, p. 12.
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states that “any information concerning the burials, graves, incinerations or transfer of bodies and their remains must be registered with the Graves Registration Service”. 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 105.
The Regulations also states: “The wills of [deceased] prisoners of war must be established in accordance with the conditions of validity required by the legislation of the State of origin; they must be forwarded without delay to the National Information Bureau.” 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 25; see also Part I bis, p. 105.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006), under the heading “The Dead”, states: “The ashes and personal effects must be evacuated. A report must be written about the deceased and the measures subsequently taken.” 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 122, § 403; see also p. 164, § 463.
The manual also states: “Means of identification that have been taken from the dead or otherwise found (identity card, identity disc), must be passed through an appropriate channel (e.g. personnel channel) to the National Information Bureau.” 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 166, § 463; see also p. 124, § 404 and p. 137, § 412.
The manual further states: “The National Information Bureau in liaison with the responsible officer must establish exhaustive lists of all deceased prisoners of war.”  
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 265, § 621.
The manual also provides: “After their death, the will of a prisoner of war must be transmitted without delay to the Protecting Power and a certified copy must be sent to the National Information Bureau.” 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 264, § 621.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) provides: “The Geneva Conventions impose certain obligations on Detaining Powers with regard to burial and reporting of dead personnel belonging to the adverse party.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 9-5, § 51.
The manual further states: “One half of a double disc, or the identity disc itself if it is a single disc, should remain on the body.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 9-6, § 57.
Canada
Canada’s Code of Conduct (2001) provides: “One half of the double identity disc, or the identity disc itself if it is a single disc, should remain with the body.” 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 4 June 2001, Rule 7, § 5.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on the treatment of the wounded, sick and shipwrecked:
924. Search for missing and dead
1. The Geneva Conventions impose certain obligations on Detaining Powers with regard to the burial and reporting of dead personnel belonging to the adverse party. [The 1977 Additional Protocol I] also imposes obligations to search for the missing and to report upon the disposal of the remains of the dead.
925. Care of remains
4. One half of the double identity disc, [or] the identity disc itself if it is a single disc, should remain on the body. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, §§ 924.1 and 925.4.
Canada
Canada’s Code of Conduct (2005) states: “One half of the double identity disc, or the identity disc itself if it is a single disc, should remain with the body.” 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 2005, Rule 7, § 5.
Croatia
Croatia’s LOAC Compendium (1991) provides that, with respect to the dead on land with a single identity disc, the disc shall remain on the body or with the urn containing the ashes. The single identity disc of dead at sea shall be evacuated. With respect to the dead bearing a double identity disc (on land and at sea), one half shall remain on the body or with the urn containing the ashes and the other half evacuated. 
Croatia, Compendium “Law of Armed Conflicts”, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1991, p. 47.
France
France’s LOAC Manual (2001) reproduces Article 17 of the 1949 Geneva Convention I. 
France, Manuel de droit des conflits armés, Ministère de la Défense, Direction des Affaires Juridiques, Sous-Direction du droit international humanitaire et du droit européen, Bureau du droit des conflits armés, 2001, p. 121.
The manual also provides for the creation of a national information bureau, which would be in liaison with the Central Information Agency. 
France, Manuel de droit des conflits armés, Ministère de la Défense, Direction des Affaires Juridiques, Sous-Direction du droit international humanitaire et du droit européen, Bureau du droit des conflits armés, 2001, p. 34.
Hungary
Hungary’s Military Manual (1992) provides that with respect to the dead on land with a single identity disc, the disc shall remain on the body or with the urn containing the ashes. The single identity disc of dead at sea shall be evacuated. With respect to the dead bearing a double identity disc (on land and at sea), one half shall remain on the body or with the urn containing the ashes and the other half evacuated. 
Hungary, A Hadijog, Jegyzet a Katonai, Föiskolák Hallgatói Részére, Magyar Honvédség Szolnoki Repülötiszti Föiskola, 1992, p. 77.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Laws of War (1998) states:
It is incumbent on each party to keep a record of a fallen soldier’s personal details and particulars of death, and hand over to the other side half of the dog-tag worn by the fallen soldier … as well as a death certificate. 
Israel, Laws of War in the Battlefield, Manual, Military Advocate General Headquarters, Military School, 1998, p. 61.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states:
Each side has the duty to record details of the fallen and details of the death, and to send to the other side half the identity tag worn by the fallen, his personal possessions and the death certificate. The Additional Protocols indicate the right of the families to know the fate of [their relatives] and provide that each side is required to search for the enemy’s missing in action and allow access to search parties. 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 39.
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) states:
Identity cards shall be evacuated. With respect to the dead bearing a double identity disc, one half shall remain on the body (or with the urn containing the ashes) and the other half evacuated. With respect to the dead with a single identity disc, the whole disc shall remain on the body (or with the urn containing the ashes) … As soon as the tactical situation permits, a report on the death and the subsequent measures taken shall be established. 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 3, pp. 11 and 12.
Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994) provides: “Information concerning the identification of the … dead must be recorded.” 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 2-T, § 23.
Mexico
Mexico’s Army and Air Force Manual (2009), in a section on the 1949 Geneva Convention I, states:
Parties to the conflict must record as soon as possible any particulars of the wounded, sick and dead of the adverse party which may assist in their identification, including the designation of the power on which they depend and the following details:
A. number;
B. surname;
C. first name(s);
D. date of birth;
E. any other particulars shown on their identity card or disc;
F. date and place of capture or death;
G. particulars concerning wounds or illness or cause of death. 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, § 93.
In a section on the 1949 Geneva Convention III, the manual also states: “Death certificates [of prisoners of war] must be forwarded as rapidly as possible to the respective Prisoner of War Information Bureau.” 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, § 199.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
Death of prisoners of war
If a prisoner of war dies in detention, information (notification of death) must in all cases be passed to the information bureau (see point 0752; G III Article 120, Annex IV.D). Where applicable, the protecting power must also be informed. This information should consist specifically of the name, rank, date of birth and registration number, date and place of death, cause of death, date and place of burial, and all particulars necessary to locate the grave. A will of a prisoner of war should be forwarded direct to the information bureau after his death, and possibly also to the protecting power. All particulars of funerals and graves should be registered by a graves service (in the Netherlands the Royal Dutch Army Recovery and Identification Service). 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0751.
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Manual on the Laws of War provides:
The belligerents have to register as soon as possible all the particulars that can help to identify an enemy soldier who is … dead. These registration records together with identification tags, documents … must be forwarded to the enemy. 
Nigeria, The Laws of War, by Lt. Col. L. Ode PSC, Nigerian Army, Lagos, undated, § 35.
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states:
Each party to the conflict must record, as soon as possible, the information required to identify the dead of the adverse party in its power. The information must include the same details as listed above for the wounded, sick and shipwrecked. It must also include the place and date of death and any information on the cause of death. The involvement of the medical personnel is essential in this task.
As soon as possible, this information must be sent to the national information bureau (or to the ICRC delegation if there is no national information bureau), which must convey it, via the ICRC Central Tracing Agency, to the power on which the person concerned depends.
Death certificates, lists of the dead, half of the identity disc (the other half must remain on the body), last wills and any other documents of importance to the next of kin, money and, in general, all objects of an intrinsic or sentimental value found on the body, details of the exact location of their gravesites and the information marked on them must also be sent. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 85.c.
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states:
Each party to the conflict must record, as soon as possible, the information required to identify the dead of the adverse party in its power. The information must include the same details as listed above for the wounded, sick and shipwrecked. It must also include the place and date of death and any information on the cause of death. The involvement of the medical personnel is essential in this task.
As soon as possible, this information must be sent to the national information bureau (or to the ICRC delegation if there is no national information bureau), which must convey it, via the ICRC Central Tracing Agency, to the power on which the person concerned depends.
Death certificates, lists of the dead, half of the identity disc (the other half must remain on the body), last wills and any other documents of importance to the next of kin, money and, in general, all objects of an intrinsic or sentimental value found on the body, details of the exact location of their gravesites and the information marked on them must also be sent. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 76(a), pp. 274–275.
Philippines
The Military Instructions (1989) of the Philippines provides that, upon evacuation of the deceased to the nearest morgue, “the next of kin if at all possible” should be informed. 
Philippines, Safety of Innocent Civilians and Treatment of the Wounded and Dead, Directive to Commanders of Major Services and Area Commands, Office of the Chief of Staff, General Headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Ministry of National Defence, 6 September 1989, p. 27, § 4.
Philippines
The Philippine Army Soldier’s Handbook on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (2006) provides:
After an engagement:
3. Report the circumstances of the death or wounding of the enemies. If it is possible and the circumstances permit, report to your superiors in writing the detailed circumstances of the death or wounding of the enemy.
4. Identify the dead. Pursue the identification of the dead. Enemy forces often bring with them documents that carry their identities. After identification, inform the nearest of kin and respect their cultural traditions. 
Philippines, Philippine Army Soldier’s Handbook on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, A Practical Guide for Internal Security Operations, 2006, pp. 60–61, §§ 3–4.
Poland
Poland’s Procedures Governing the Interment of Soldiers Killed in Action (2009) states:
A copy of the [burial] report should be sent to:
- in the case of the burial of fallen or deceased members of the allied forces: NATO headquarters, who will pass the report on to national headquarters.
- the Military Personnel Records Office or the Information Bureau of the Polish Red Cross.
The Records Office should also receive a report on the burial of soldiers belonging to enemy forces, together with a list of buried allied and enemy soldiers. 
Poland, Norma Obronna NO-02-A053:2004, Działania wojenne Procedury pochówku poległych i zmarłych, enacted by decision No. 134/MON related to the Approval and Enforcement of Regulatory Instruments in Respect of State Defence and Security, 21 April 2009, published in the Official Gazette of the Ministry of National Defence, No. 8, Item 99, April 2009, Section 2.5.2.
The Procedures also states: “Identity tags belonging to deceased members of the national or allied armed forces shall be split in two parts, and … [one] part should be sent to the headquarters of the unit responsible for the burial of the fallen and the dead.” 
Poland, Norma Obronna NO-02-A053:2004, Działania wojenne Procedury pochówku poległych i zmarłych, enacted by decision No. 134/MON related to the Approval and Enforcement of Regulatory Instruments in Respect of State Defence and Security, 21 April 2009, published in the Official Gazette of the Ministry of National Defence, No. 8, Item 99, April 2009, Section 2.7.
Senegal
Senegal’s IHL Manual (1999) provides that, in situations of internal troubles: “The dead shall be identified. This information shall be sent to civil authorities. Red Cross or Red Crescent organisations are entitled to collect such information.” 
Senegal, IHL Manual (1999), p. 18, § 6.
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Instructor Manual (2007) states:
It is therefore the responsibility that at the end of every engagement soldiers should …
f. Evacuate the identity card or disc [from the dead]. Those with double disc, one shall remain and evacuate the other. This is to inform the family, who have a right to know what has happened to their relative.
j. The above mentioned actions shall be applied to all dead persons, whether civilian or military, own or enemy forces. 
Sierra Leone, The Law of Armed Conflict. Instructor Manual for the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Armed Forces Education Centre, September 2007, pp. 38–39.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “Reports on deaths and subsequent measures taken must be sent to the national information bureau.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 5.2.d.(6).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) provides: “Half of the double identity disc, or the whole disc if single, shall remain on the body.” 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 76, commentary.
The manual further states: “All elements helping to identify the … dead enemy … shall be recorded and communicated without delay to the Official Information Office.” 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 77.
The information to be collected includes, for instance, the date and place of death, indications concerning the death and all other information on the identity card or the half of a double identity disc. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 77, commentary.
Togo
Togo’s Military Manual (1996) states: “One half of a double identity disc should remain on the body; the other half should be evacuated.”  
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule II, p. 12.
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states:
2.5.3.4. … Half of the double identity disc, last will and other documents relevant for the family of the deceased, money, things found on the body of an intrinsic or sentimental value shall be included into the list made in two copies and sealed in a packet together with a copy of the list. Such packets, together with burial certificates and lists of the dead shall be transmitted to the National Information Bureau.
2.5.3.7. … As soon as circumstances permit but no later than the general end of hostilities those protocols, lists and packets with the belongings of the dead (deceased) shall be transmitted to the competent authorities of the other parties in accordance with the established procedure. 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, §§ 2.5.3.4 and 2.5.3.7.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) provides:
Belligerents must record as soon as possible any particulars which may assist in the identification of dead persons belonging to the opposing belligerent who fall into their hands. This information must be forwarded to the information bureau described in the P.O.W. Convention, Article 122. The belligerents must also forward to each other through that bureau certificates of death or duly authenticated lists of the dead; one half of the identity discs found on the bodies (the other half to be left on the body) … 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 382; see also LOAC Manual (1981), Section 6, p. 22, § 4.
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) provides:
As soon as possible the … information [recorded by the parties to the conflict on the dead person of the adverse party] shall be forwarded to the Information Bureau described in Article 122 [of the 1949 Geneva Convention I], which shall transmit this information to the Power on which these persons depend … Parties to the conflict shall prepare and forward to each other through the same bureau, certificates of death or duly authenticated lists of the dead. 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 217; see also Operational Law Handbook, JA 422, Center for Law and Military Operations and International Law Division, The Judge Advocate General’s School, United States Army, Charlottesville, Virginia 22903-1781, 1993, p. Q-185.
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s Law concerning the Protection of Civilian Persons and the Rights of Prisoners of War (1995) provides:
The appropriate authorities and governmental bodies of the Azerbaijan Republic shall ensure that the necessary measures be taken that:
3) … all the information regarding the burial and graves should be registered by the funeral parlour;
4) the list of the graves and all information concerning the prisoners of war buried in the cemeteries and other places should be given to the party the prisoners of war belong to. 
Azerbaijan, Law concerning the Protection of Civilian Persons and the Rights of Prisoners of War, 1995, Article 29(3)–(4).
Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s International Crimes (Tribunal) Act (1973) states that the “violation of any humanitarian rules applicable in armed conflicts laid down in the Geneva Conventions of 1949” is a crime. 
Bangladesh, International Crimes (Tribunal) Act, 1973, Section 3(2)(e).
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Criminal Code (2003), as amended in 2005, states: “Whoever, having knowledge of the location of a mass grave, fails to inform of its location, shall be punished by imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years.” 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Criminal Code, 2003, as amended in 2005, Article 231a.
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).
Ireland
Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, provides that any “minor breach” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including violations of Articles 16 and 17 of the Geneva Convention I, Article 19 of the Geneva Convention II, Article 120 of the Geneva Convention III and Article 130 of the Geneva Convention IV, and of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, including violations of Article 33(2), are punishable offences. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Italy
Italy’s Law of War Decree (1938), as amended in 1992, provides: “The Government of the King, in the way it considers appropriate, will make available to the enemy State news of the death of people belonging to the latter’s armed forces”. 
Italy, Law of War Decree, 1938, as amended in 1992, Article 94.
Norway
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, provides:
Anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 … [and in] the two additional protocols to these Conventions … is liable to imprisonment. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, § 108.
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s Prisons Ordinance (1878), as amended to 2005, states:
PART II
DUTIES OF OFFICERS
MEDICAL OFFICER
21. On the death of any prisoner the medical officer shall forthwith record in writing the following particulars, namely:–
(a) when the deceased was taken ill;
(b) when the medical officer was first informed of the illness;
(c) the nature of the disease;
(d) when the prisoner died;
(e) and (in cases where a post-mortem examination is made) an account of the appearances after death; together with any special remarks that may appear to the medical officer to be required.
JAILER
26. Upon the death of a prisoner the jailer shall give immediate notice thereof to the Superintendent and to the Magistrate having jurisdiction over the area in which the prison is situated, and also when practicable, to the nearest relative of the deceased. 
Sri Lanka, Prisons Ordinance, 1878, as amended to 2005, Articles 21 and 26.
These articles apply to persons deprived of their liberty under Sri Lanka’s Emergency Regulations (2005) pursuant to section 19 of these regulations.
No data.
Malaysia
The Report on the Practice of Malaysia states: “Unidentified bodies are briefly described (e.g. by age, sex, any distinguishing feature) and buried. Lists are made available to interested parties indicating burial sites of the unidentified dead.” 
Report on the Practice of Malaysia, 1997, Chapter 5.1.
Philippines
The Report on the Practice of the Philippines notes that it is the practice in the Philippines during clashes between government troops and insurgent forces for the military to account for the number of dead insurgents and of those taken prisoner. The information collected is then passed on to the authorities with a view to transmitting the names of the missing to the rebel side. This notification is, however, frequently subject to delay. 
Report on the Practice of the Philippines, 1997, Chapter 5.4, referring to Human Rights Update, Soldiers detain, torture 5 civilians, Vol. 10(8), November–December 1996.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1974 on assistance and cooperation in accounting for persons who are missing or dead in armed conflicts, the UN General Assembly stated:
Recognizing that one of the tragic results of armed conflicts is the lack of information on persons – civilians as well as combatants – who are missing or dead in armed conflicts.
Noting with satisfaction the resolution V, adopted by the twenty-second International Conference of the Red Cross held at Teheran from 28 October to 15 November 1973, calling on parties to armed conflicts to accomplish the humanitarian task of accounting for the dead …
Considering that … the provision of information on those who are missing … should not be delayed …
4. Calls upon all parties to armed conflicts to cooperate, in accordance with the Geneva Conventions of 1949, with protecting Powers or their substitutes, and with the ICRC, in providing information on the missing and dead in armed conflicts, including persons belonging to other countries not parties to the armed conflict. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 3220 (XXIX), 6 November 1974, preamble and § 4, voting record: 95-0-32-11.
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1992, the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights urged the Indonesian authorities, on humanitarian grounds, to cooperate with the families of victims of the fighting in East Timor by providing information about the dead and the whereabouts of their remains. 
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1992/20, 27 August 1992, § 7.
UN Commission on Human Rights (Special Rapporteur)
In 1995, in a report on the situation of human rights in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, the Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights recommended that the Croatian authorities identify all those killed and provide information to the families about the causes of death and the place of burial. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Former Yugoslavia, Periodic report, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1996/6, 5 July 1995, § 59.
UN Commission of Experts Established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992)
In 1994, in its final report on grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and other violations of IHL committed in the former Yugoslavia, the UN Commission of Experts Established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992) noted, with respect to its investigation into mass graves: “For every deceased person who falls into the hands of the adverse party, the adverse party must record, prepare, and forward all identification information, death certificates … to the appropriate parties.” 
UN Commission of Experts Established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992), Final report, Annex Summaries and Conclusions, UN Doc. S/1994/674/Add.2 (Vol. I), 31 May 1995, § 503(b).
No data.
International Conference of the Red Cross (1973)
The 22nd International Conference of the Red Cross in 1973 adopted a resolution on the missing and dead in armed conflicts in which it recognized that “one of the tragic consequences of armed conflicts is a lack of information on persons missing, killed or deceased in captivity”. The Conference further called on parties to conflicts to
co-operate with Protecting Powers, with the ICRC and its Central Tracing Agency, and with such other appropriate bodies as may be established for this purpose, and in particular National Red Cross Societies, to accomplish the humanitarian mission of accounting for the dead and missing, including those belonging to third countries not parties to the armed conflict. 
22nd International Conference of the Red Cross, Teheran, 8–15 November 1973, Res. V.
International Conference of the Red Cross (1981)
The 24th International Conference of the Red Cross in 1981 adopted a resolution on the wearing of identity discs in which it recalled that Articles 16 and 17 of the 1949 Geneva Convention I “provide for identity discs to be worn by members of the armed forces to facilitate … the communication of their deaths to the Power on which they depend”. The Conference further reminded “the Parties to an armed conflict that one half of each disc must, in case of death, be detached and sent back to the Power on which the member of the armed forces depended, the other half remaining on the body”. 
24th International Conference of the Red Cross, Manila, 7–14 November 1981, Res. I, § 3.
International Conference of the Red Cross (1986)
The 25th International Conference of the Red Cross in 1986 urged the parties to every international armed conflict “to implement the provisions of Articles 16 and 17 of the First Geneva Convention, prescribing the wearing of identity discs by members of the armed forces, in order to facilitate the forwarding of information concerning [the dead] to the Power on which they depend”. 
25th International Conference of the Red Cross, Geneva, 23–31 October 1986, Res. XIII, § 1.
Inter-American Court of Human Rights
In its judgment in the Velásquez Rodríguez case in 1988, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights found that the State was obliged to use the means at its disposal to inform the relatives of the location of the remains of the dead. 
Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Velásquez Rodríguez case, Judgment, 29 July 1988, § 181.
Inter-American Court of Human Rights
In its judgment in the Godínez Cruz case in 1989, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights stated that, where a person has been killed as a result of a disappearance, the State had an obligation to inform the relatives of the location of the remains. 
Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Godínez Cruz case, Judgment, 20 January 1989, § 191.
No data.
No data.