Practice Relating to Rule 138. The Elderly, Disabled and Infirm

Geneva Convention IV
Article 17 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides: “The Parties to the conflict shall endeavour to conclude local agreements for the removal from besieged or encircled areas, of … aged persons”. 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 17.
Geneva Convention III
Articles 16, 44, 45 and 49 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III state in relation to the treatment of prisoners of war that their age should be taken into account. 
Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Articles 16, 44, 45 and 49.
Geneva Convention IV
Articles 27, 85 and 119 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV state in relation to the treatment of protected persons that their age should be taken into account. 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Articles 27, 85 and 119.
Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam
Article 3 of the 1990 Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam provides: “In the event of the use of force and in case of armed conflict, it is not permissible to kill non-belligerents such as old men.” 
Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, adopted at the 19th Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, Res. 49/19-P, Cairo, 5 August 1990, annexed to Letter dated 19 September 1990 from the permanent representative of Egypt to the UN addressed to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. A/45/421-S/21797, 20 September 1990, Article 3.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1969) provides: “The belligerents shall endeavour to conclude agreements for the removal from a besieged area of … the elderly”. 
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, § 1.014.
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) provides: “The opposing parties are required to try and conclude local agreements for the removal from besieged or encircled areas of … aged persons”. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 735; see also Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 926.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states that, in the context of siege warfare: “The opposing parties are required to try and conclude local agreements for the removal from besieged or encircled areas of … aged persons”. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 7.38.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Brazil
Brazil’s Operations Manual for the Evacuation of Non-Combatants (2007) states:
In case the Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not state who is to be evacuated with priority, the Joint Command shall follow this guidance:
b) the table below sets out who shall be evacuated with priority.
… Categories
C – The elderly (over 65 years of age). 
Brazil, Manual de Operações de Evacuação de Não-Combatentes, Ministério da Defesa, Estado-Maior de Defesa, MD33-M-08, Ordinance No. 1351/EMD/MD of 11 October 2007, published in Diário Oficial da União, No. 198, 15 October 2007, § 7.4.1(b).
The Operations Manual also states:
1.2.1 Non-Combatant Evacuation Operations are conducted by the Ministry of Defence, upon request by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for the evacuation of non-combatants whose lives are in danger, from their host country to a safe place of destination …
3.4.1 Non-Combatant Evacuation Operations … may be triggered by sudden changes in the government of the host country, changes in its political or military orientation with regard to Brazil, or hostile threats to Brazilian citizens by internal or external forces in that country.
Annex A. Rules of Engagement and the Law of Armed Conflict
3. The Law of Armed Conflict
According to the policy of the Ministry of Defence, the principles of the Law of Armed Conflict regulate the actions taken by the Joint Command in the defence of its personnel, property and equipment. 
Brazil, Manual de Operações de Evacuação de Não-Combatentes, Ministério da Defesa, Estado-Maior de Defesa, MD33-M-08, Ordinance No. 1351/EMD/MD of 11 October 2007, published in Diário Oficial da União, No. 198, 15 October 2007, §§ 1.2.1 and 3.4.1 and Annex A, § 3.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) provides: “If circumstances permit, the parties to a conflict must endeavour to conclude local agreements for the removal from besieged areas of … aged persons.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 6-4, § 35.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on land warfare: “If circumstances permit, the parties to a conflict must endeavour to conclude local agreements for the removal from besieged areas of … aged persons”. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 614.6.
Colombia
Colombia’s Basic Military Manual (1995) provides: “In these cases the IHL rules favour especially the civilian population so that assistance and protection, which the parties to the conflict shall bring, are given in priority to the most vulnerable persons or groups of persons, who are: … elderly”. 
Colombia, Derecho Internacional Humanitario – Manual Básico para las Personerías y las Fuerzas Armadas de Colombia, Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, 1995, p. 25.
El Salvador
El Salvador’s Soldiers’ Manual provides that it is prohibited to “attack and maltreat … the elderly”. It further states: “Every act of violence against … the elderly … is a criminal, cowardly and dishonourable act, punishable by serious disciplinary sanctions.” 
El Salvador, Manual del Combatiente, undated, pp. 3 and 4.
El Salvador
El Salvador’s Human Rights Charter of the Armed Forces provides: “The elderly must be protected.” 
El Salvador, Derechos Humanos. Decálogo de la Fuerza Armada de El Salvador, Ministerio de la Defensa Nacional, Departamento de Derecho Humanitario, undated, p. 7.
France
France’s LOAC Teaching Note (2000) provides: “Particular attention shall be paid to the protection of … the elderly.” 
France, 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. 4.
The Teaching Note further states: “Hospital zones are created, by mutual agreement between the belligerents, in order to protect from the effects of war … aged persons”. 
France, 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. 5; see also 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. 125.
France
France’s LOAC Manual (2001) provides: “The Parties to the conflict shall endeavour to conclude local agreements for the removal from besieged or encircled areas, of … aged persons”. 
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. 64.
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) provides: “A local cease-fire may be arranged for the removal from the besieged or encircled areas of … old persons”. 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 4, p. 5.
Morocco
Morocco’s Disciplinary Regulations (1974) provides that soldiers in combat are required to spare the elderly. 
Morocco, Règlement de Discipline Général dans les Forces Armées Royales, Dahir No. 1-74-383 du 15 rejeb 1394, 5 August 1974, Article 25(4).
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) refers to Article 17 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV, which “requires that belligerents endeavour to conclude local agreements for the removal from besieged or encircled areas of … aged persons”. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 508(3).
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states that the “the elderly must be treated with all the regard due to their sex and age”. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 32.f; see also § 84.c.
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states that “the elderly must be treated with all the regard due to their sex and age.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 33(f), p. 251; see also § 75(c), p. 274.
Philippines
The Rules for Combatants (1989) of the Philippines provides that all civilians, particularly the elderly, must be respected. 
Philippines, Rules for Combatants, in Handbook on Discipline, Annex C(II), General Headquarters, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City, 1989, Rule 1.
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Instructor Manual (2007) states:
Since civilians do not take part in hostilities, it is always our Duty to:
i. Respect them, particularly women, children and the aged. 
Sierra Leone, The Law of Armed Conflict. Instructor Manual for the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Armed Forces Education Centre, September 2007, p. 36.
[emphasis in original]
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides: “The law of armed conflicts provides a particular protection to … the elderly”. 
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.a.(2).
In addition, the manual states: “In besieged or encircled areas where there is a civilian population, it shall be endeavoured to conclude local agreements with the enemy to organize the evacuation of … aged persons”. 
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, § 9.4.a.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “The law of armed conflict grants special protection to … the elderly.” 
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.a.(2).(a).
In addition, the manual states: “In besieged or encircled areas where there are civilians, efforts must be made to conclude local agreements with the enemy for the evacuation of … the elderly.” 
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, § 9.4.a; see also § 1.3.c.(1).
Sweden
Sweden’s IHL Manual (1991) provides:
It is also possible for the parties to reach an agreement during a conflict that all acts of war shall cease temporarily within a given part of a conflict area. Such agreements are commonly made to afford protection to civilian populations, and specially to such exposed groups as … old people. 
Sweden, International Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflict, with reference to the Swedish Total Defence System, Swedish Ministry of Defence, January 1991, Section 3.4.1, p. 84.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) provides: “Belligerents shall conclude special agreements in order to evacuate the … elderly … from besieged areas.” It further provides: “Transports of civilian … aged persons … effected by vehicles and hospital trains, shall be respected in the same way as hospitals.” 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Articles 33 and 37.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Regulation on Legal Bases for Conduct during an Engagement (2005) states: “Women and children as well as elderly and disabled persons must be specially protected.” 
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, § 199.
(emphasis in original)
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) provides: “The belligerents should endeavour to conclude local agreements for the removal from besieged or encircled areas of … old persons”. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 29.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981) provides: “A local cease-fire may be arranged for the removal from besieged or encircled areas of … old persons”. 
United Kingdom, The Law of Armed Conflict, D/DAT/13/35/66, Army Code 71130 (Revised 1981), Ministry of Defence, prepared under the Direction of The Chief of the General Staff, 1981, Section 9, p. 34, § 3.
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) provides: “The Parties to the conflict shall endeavour to conclude local agreements for the removal from besieged or encircled areas of … aged persons”. 
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, § 256; see also § 44.
United States of America
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) provides: “Removal of … aged persons … from besieged or encircled areas is encouraged.” 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 14-3.
Afghanistan
Afghanistan’s Presidential Decree on Special Operations (2012) states:
Handing over the Special Operations from … NATO to [the] mixed – MoD [Ministry of Defence], MoI [Ministry of the Interior] and NDS [National Directorate of Security] – Afghan security forces was an essential [step] to ensure and guarantee the national sovereignty and rule of law in Afghanistan. Implementation of such operation[s] makes the responsibilities of the judicial and justice bodies harder, and requires them to have a[n] [in-]depth concentration on the fundamental rights and freedom[s] of the citizens, guaranteed in the Constitution and Criminal Procedure Code in [all] phases – inspection, detection, investigation, prosecution and trial.
Thus, I order observance of the following provisions … :
4. During the Special Operations … special measures [are to] be taken to protect juveniles, women and overage people … . 
Afghanistan, Presidential Decree on Special Operations, 2012, Article 4.
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s Law concerning the Protection of Civilian Persons and the Rights of Prisoners of War (1995) provides that, in case of evacuation of civilian persons from a besieged zone, “special attention is given to the old people, and they are taken great care of”. 
Azerbaijan, Law concerning the Protection of Civilian Persons and the Rights of Prisoners of War, 1995, Article 15.
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 Articles 16, 44, 45 and 49 of the Geneva Convention III and Articles 14, 17, 27, 85 and 119 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).
Venezuela
According to Venezuela’s Code of Military Justice (1998) as amended, it is a crime against international law to “make a serious attempt on the life of … elderly people”. 
Venezuela, Code of Military Justice, 1998, as amended, Article 474.
Venezuela
Venezuela’s Law against Kidnapping and Extortion (2009) states:
Article 9. Forcible enslistment
Anyone who, by means of threat or deception, holds, hides, takes or transfers by any means whatsoever, one or more persons for purposes of subjecting them to forcible enlistment, in order to include them in irregular armed groups, shall be punished with imprisonment of 15 to 20 years.
Article 10. Aggravating factors
The penalties for the offences envisaged in the preceding articles shall be increased by one third when:
1. The victim is … an older person[.] 
Venezuela, Law against Kidnapping and Extortion, 2009, Articles 9–10(1).
Colombia
In 2007, in the Constitutional Case No. C-291/07, the Plenary Chamber of Colombia’s Constitutional Court stated:
Taking into account … the development of customary international humanitarian law applicable in internal armed conflicts, the Constitutional Court notes that the fundamental guarantees stemming from the principle of humanity, some of which have attained ius cogens status, … [include] the obligation to respect the special rights of the elderly … affected by the armed conflict. 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. C-291/07, Judgment of 25 April 2007, p. 112.
[footnote in original omitted]
Djibouti
In 2011, in the History and Geography Textbook for 9th Grade, Djibouti’s Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, under the heading “Codes and wisdom”, stated: “One does not harm elderly persons.” 
Djibouti, Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, History and Geography Textbook for 9th Grade, 2011, p. 214.
Under the heading “Ethics of Debne warriors” [inhabitants of the Dikhil region in Djibouti], the ministry also stated: “Spare vulnerable persons (… [such as] the elderly) and release them.” 
Djibouti, Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, History and Geography Textbook for 9th Grade, 2011, p. 231.
Israel
In 2009, in a report on Israeli operations in Gaza between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009 (the “Gaza Operation”, also known as “Operation Cast Lead”), Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the operational order contained the following provision: “Special protection shall be provided to … the elderly.” 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Operation in Gaza 27 December 2008–18 January 2009: Factual and Legal Aspects, 29 July 2009, § 226.
Jordan
The Report on the Practice of Jordan states that special care is provided for the elderly. 
Report on the Practice of Jordan, 1997, Chapter 5.3.
Somalia
In 1998, an ICRC publication entitled “Spared from the Spear” recorded traditional Somali practice in warfare as follows:
The leader … gave out the following instructions which were to be strictly followed:
4. The weak and vulnerable members of the enemy such as … the aged should be left unharmed. 
Somalia, Spared from the Spear, 1998, p. 24.
The publication also described traditional Somali practice as follows:
In order to ensure that the values of honour and nobility were maintained at all times, traditional Somali society evolved a strict code of conduct that clearly defined the categories of people and things that were not to be abused in any way during a war. This convention of war, acknowledged and respected by almost all Somali pastoral nomads, is commonly known as xeerka biri-ma-geydada, or the “spared from the spear” code.
The traditional Biri-ma-geydo code covered certain categories of people who, far from being killed or harmed, were supposed to be cared for and assisted at all times. Adherence to this code was specially enjoined during hostilities. Among the types of persons afforded protection by this code were … the aged. 
Somalia, Spared from the Spear, 1998, p. 30.
The publication further described traditional Somali practice as follows:
When a man had grown so old that he was no longer capable of carrying weapons and taking part in a fight, he was considered to belong to the class of weak and vulnerable persons. Regardless of the intensity, duration and level of mutual enmity in any war, the killing of such a man, just like the killing of women and children, was cause for disgrace and for the further aggravation of hostilities. 
Somalia, Spared from the Spear, 1998, p. 33.
In 2011, in its comments on the concluding observations of the Human Rights Council concerning Somalia’s report, the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia referred to “Spared from the Spear” as its “own Geneva Conventions”:
In times of hostilities, the Biri-Ma-Geydo (Spared from the Spear), i.e. Somalia’s own “Geneva Conventions”[,] which existed long before the adoption of the Hague and Geneva Conventions, mitigated and regulated the conduct of clan hostilities and the treatment of immune groups. 
Somalia, Comments by the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia on the concluding observations of the Human Rights Council concerning the report of Somalia, submitted 21 September 2011, § 4.
Venezuela
In 2011, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Venezuela stated:
83. The Act against Kidnapping and Extortion, published in Gaceta Oficial No. 39194, of 5 June 2009, defines forcible enlistment as a criminal offence separate from kidnapping. Article 9 of the Act stipulates that anyone who, by means of threat or deception, holds, hides, takes or transfers by any means whatsoever, one or more persons for purposes of subjecting them to forcible enlistment, in order to include them in [irregular armed] groups, shall be punished with imprisonment of 15 to 20 years.
84. … Article 10, paragraph 1 provides that penalties for the offences envisaged in the preceding articles shall be increased by one third when: 1. The victim is … an older person[.] 
Venezuela, Initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, 12 September 2013, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/VEN/1, submitted 5 July 2011, §§ 83–84.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on reports of the Secretary-General on the Sudan, the UN Security Council:
condemns continued violent attacks on civilians, including displaced persons, refugees, women, children, the elderly and humanitarian workers; and reiterates in the strongest terms the need for all parties to the conflict in Darfur, including non-parties to the Darfur Peace Agreement, to put an end to the violence and atrocities in Darfur and the region. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1755, 30 April 2007, preamble, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations, the UN General Assembly:
Reaffirms the obligation of all States and parties to an armed conflict to protect civilians in armed conflicts in accordance with international humanitarian law, and invites States to promote a culture of protection, taking into account the particular needs of women, children, older persons and persons with disabilities. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 58/114, 17 December 2003, § 12, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on the strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations, the UN General Assembly:
Reaffirms the obligation of all States and parties to an armed conflict to protect civilians in armed conflicts in accordance with international humanitarian law, and invites States to promote a culture of protection, taking into account the particular needs of women, children, older persons and persons with disabilities. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 59/141, 15 December 2004, § 15, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on a new international humanitarian order, the UN General Assembly:
Reaffirms the obligation of all States and parties to armed conflicts to protect civilians in armed conflicts in accordance with international humanitarian law, and invites States to promote a culture of protection, taking into account the particular needs of women, children, older persons and persons with disabilities. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 59/171, 20 December 2004, § 2, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations, the UN General Assembly:
Reaffirms the obligation of all States and parties to an armed conflict to protect civilians in armed conflicts in accordance with international humanitarian law, and invites States to promote a culture of protection, taking into account the particular needs of women, children, older persons and persons with disabilities. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 60/124, 15 December 2005, § 3, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2006 on the strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations, the UN General Assembly:
Reaffirms the obligation of all States and parties to an armed conflict to protect civilians in armed conflicts in accordance with international humanitarian law, and invites States to promote a culture of protection, taking into account the particular needs of women, children, older persons and persons with disabilities. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 61/134, 14 December 2006, § 21, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on the strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations, the UN General Assembly:
Reaffirms the obligation of all States and parties to an armed conflict to protect civilians in armed conflicts in accordance with international humanitarian law, and invites States to promote a culture of protection, taking into account the particular needs of women, children, older persons and persons with disabilities. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 62/94, 17 December 2007, § 19, adopted without a vote.
UN Economic and Social Council
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations, ECOSOC:
Reaffirms the obligation of all States and parties to armed conflict to protect civilians in armed conflicts in accordance with international humanitarian law, and invites States to promote a culture of protection, taking into account the particular needs of women, children, older persons and persons with disabilities. 
ECOSOC, Res. 2003/5, 15 July 2003, preamble and § 3, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights (Special Rapporteur)
In 1997, 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 stated that the Croatian Office for Displaced Persons and Refugees had advised the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights that “emphasis in the immediate future will be placed on applications for return from relatives of elderly Serbs remaining in the former sectors, who require the assistance of younger family members to lead a normal life”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Former Yugoslavia, Periodic report, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1997/9, 22 October 1996, § 51.
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
In a recommendation adopted in 1995 on Turkey’s military intervention in northern Iraq, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly asked Turkey to guarantee the fundamental rights of civilians, with special reference to the more vulnerable, including the elderly. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Rec. 1266, 26 April 1995, § 5.
World Conference on Human Rights
In the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, the World Conference on Human Rights in 1993 expressed deep concern about “violations of human rights during armed conflicts, affecting the civilian population, especially … the elderly” and therefore called upon States and all parties to armed conflicts “strictly to observe international humanitarian law”.  
World Conference on Human Rights, Vienna, 14–25 June 1993, Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, UN Doc. A/CONF.157/23, 12 July 1993, § I(29).
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 requested that all the parties to an armed conflict take effective measures to ensure that “in the conduct of hostilities, every effort is made … to spare the life, protect and respect the civilian population, with particular protective measures for … groups with special vulnerabilities such as … the elderly”. 
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(a).
No data.
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DRC Pledge of Commitment
In 2008, the armed groups party to the DRC Pledge of Commitment, “deeply deploring the insecurity that has prevailed for a long time in the province of North Kivu, causing massive displacements of populations and enormous suffering of civilians as well as massive violations of human rights”, made a commitment to strictly observe “rules of international humanitarian law and human rights law, notably … [to] halt acts of violence, abuse, discrimination and exclusion, in any form … and in particular against … the elderly.” 
Acte d’engagement signé par le CNDP-Mouvement Politico-Militaire, la PARECO/FAP, les Mai-Mai Kasindien, les Mai-Mai Kifuafua, les Mai-Mai Vurondo, les Mai-Mai Mongol, l’UJPS, les Mai-Mai Rwenzori et le Simba avec l’engagement solennel des Représentants de la Communauté Internationale, facilitateurs du présent acte d’engagement – les Nations-Unies, la Conférence Internationale sur la Région des Grands Lacs, les Etats-Unis d’Amérique, l’Union Africaine, l’Union Européenne et le Gouvernement (Pledge of Commitment signed by the CNDP-Mouvement Politico-Militaire, PARECO/FAP, Mai-Mai Kasindien, Mai-Mai Kifuafua, Mai-Mai Vurondo, Mai-Mai Mongol, UJPS, Mai-Mai Rwenzori and Simba with the solemn commitment of the representatives of the international community, facilitators of this pledge of commitment – the United Nations, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, the United States of America, the European Union and the Government), Goma, 23 January 2008, Preamble and Article III, §§ 1–5.