Practice Relating to Rule 88. Non-Discrimination

Geneva Convention III
Article 14, second paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention III provides: “Women shall be treated with all regard due to their sex and shall in all cases benefit by treatment as favourable as that granted to men.” 
Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 14, second para.
Geneva Convention III
Article 16 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III provides:
All prisoners of war shall be treated alike by the Detaining Power, without any adverse distinction based on race, nationality, religious belief or political opinions, or any other distinction founded on similar criteria. 
Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 16.
Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners
Rule 6(1) of the 1955 Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners provides:
The following rules shall be applied impartially. There shall be no discrimination on grounds of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. 
Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, adopted by the 1st UN Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, Geneva, 30 August 1955, UN Doc. A/CONF/6/1, Annex I, A, adopted on 30 August 1955, approved by the UN Economic and Social Council, Res. 663 C (XXIV), 31 July 1957, extended by Res. 2076 (LXII), 13 May 1977 to persons arrested or imprisoned without charge, Rule 6(1).
European Prison Rules
Rule 2 of the 1987 European Prison Rules provides: “The rules shall be applied impartially. There shall be no discrimination on grounds of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, birth, economic or other status”. 
Recommendation No. R (87) 3 of the Committee of Ministers to Member States of the Council of Europe on the European Prison Rules, adopted by the Committee of Ministers at the 404th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies, Strasbourg, 12 February 1987, Rule 2.
Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment
Principle 5 of the 1988 Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment provides:
These principles shall be applied to all persons within the territory of any given State, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion or religious belief, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, birth or other status. 
Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, adopted by the UN General Assembly, Res. 43/173, 9 December 1988, Principle 5.
Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners
Paragraph 2 of the 1990 Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners provides: “There shall be no discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.” 
Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners, adopted by the UN General Assembly, Res. 45/111, 14 December 1990, § 2.
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Paragraph 3 of the 1991 Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia provides: “Captured combatants shall enjoy the treatment provided for by [the 1949 Geneva Convention III].” 
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of International Humanitarian Law between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Geneva, 27 November 1991, § 3.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1969) provides: “All prisoners shall be treated in the same way by the detaining power, without any adverse distinction based on race, nationality, religion, political opinions or any other similar criteria.” 
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, § 2.015.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1989) provides: “Prisoners of war, at all times, shall be treated … equally without distinction based on rank, sex, race, nationality, age, religion, political opinion, professional skills, etc.” 
Argentina, 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, § 3.12.
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) states that one of the fundamental rules for the treatment of prisoners of war is that “any discrimination on the grounds of race, nationality, religious belief or political opinions is unlawful”. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 1002.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
10.2 The fundamental rules for the treatment of PW [prisoners of war] are:
- any discrimination on the grounds of race, nationality, religious belief or political opinions is unlawful.
10.21 All PW shall be treated without distinction based on race, nationality, religious belief or political opinions or any other distinction subject to privileged treatment which may be given to them by reason of their rank and sex, state of health, age or professional qualifications. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, §§ 10.2 and 10.21.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commander’s Manual (1994).
Benin
Benin’s Military Manual (1995) provides: “Prisoners of war … shall be treated alike.” 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule II, p. 13.
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states: “Prisoners of war must be treated without any distinction based on role, sex or religion.” 
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. 55.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states that members of the armed forces are obliged “to treat humanely and without distinction all regular combatants hors de combat”. 
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. 256, § 612.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) provides: “All POWs [prisoners of war] are to be treated alike without any adverse distinction based on race, nationality, religious belief, or political opinions, or any other distinction founded on similar criteria.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 10-3, § 18.
With regard to non-international armed conflict, the manual states: “The wounded and sick among [persons whose liberty has been restricted] are to be treated humanely.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 17-3 § 25.
Canada
Canada’s Code of Conduct (2001) states: “The standard of treatment which applies to all detained persons, without adverse distinction based on race, nationality, sex, religious belief or political opinion, is a long standing rule.” 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 4 June 2001, Rule 4, § 3.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on the treatment of prisoners of war (PWs):
Subject to specified advantageous differences in treatment based on rank, gender or health, all PWs are to be treated alike without any adverse distinction based on race, nationality, religious belief or political opinions, or any other distinction founded on similar criteria. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1015.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflicts, the manual restates the provisions of common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions:
By Common Article 3, the parties to a non-international armed conflict occurring in the territory of a party to the Conventions are obliged to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:
a. Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, gender, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1708.1.
In the same chapter, the manual further states:
1711. No Adverse Discrimination
1. [Additional Protocol II] applies without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, gender, language, religion or other opinion, national or social origin, wealth, birth or other status, or on any other similar criteria.
2. [Additional Protocol II] provides that all persons not participating in the conflict or who have ceased to do so are entitled, whether under restriction or not, to respect for their persons, honour and convictions, and religious practices, and are, in all circumstances, to be treated humanely and without adverse distinction. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1711.
Canada
Canada’s Prisoner of War Handling and Detainees Manual (2004) states that, with regards to constraints placed on the interrogation and tactical questioning of prisoners of war, “adverse treatment on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, or ethnic, religious or cultural background” is specifically prohibited. 
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, § 103.2.a.
Canada
Canada’s Code of Conduct (2005) instructs Canadian Forces (CF) personnel:
Rule 4
3. On occasion it may be necessary to detain civilians who as a result of their actions are considered to be opposing forces. For example, looters or other common criminals may have to be detained in order to protect the military compound. In certain circumstances, civilians who interfere with and prevent the CF from accomplishing the mission may also be detained when authorized by the ROE [rules of engagement]. These civilians become “detainees” and as such, shall be treated at least as well as any other detained persons (see Rule # 6).
Rule 6
3. The primary reasons for which members of the CF may be called upon to detain individuals in the course of an operation are to prevent their further participation in a conflict or, when authorized, to prevent them from interfering with the military mission. The reason for captivity is never related to revenge or punishment. The concept of humane treatment toward those under your control and the standard of treatment which applies to all detained persons, without adverse distinction based on race, nationality, sex, religious belief or political opinion, is a long standing rule. 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 2005, Rule 4, § 3 and Rule 6, § 3.
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book III, Volume 2 (Instruction of second-year trainee officers):
Persons not or no longer participating in hostilities, including … persons rendered hors de combat by … detention … must in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any distinction founded on race, religion, faith, sex, social class, or any other similar criteria. 
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.
In Book IV (Instruction of heads of division and company commanders), the Teaching Manual provides:
II.1.2. Adverse discrimination prohibited
Subject to certain advantageous differences in treatment based on rank, sex or health, all POWs [prisoners of war] shall be treated alike, without any adverse distinction based on race, nationality, religious belief or political opinions, or any other distinction founded on similar criteria. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre IV: Instruction du chef de section et du commandant de compagnie, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 61.
Ecuador
Ecuador’s Naval Manual (1989) provides: “When prisoners of war are given medical treatment, no distinction among them will be based on any grounds other than medical ones.” 
Ecuador, Aspectos Importantes del Derecho Internacional Marítimo que Deben Tener Presente los Comandantes de los Buques, Academia de Guerra Naval, 1989, § 11.8.
Germany
Germany’s Soldiers’ Manual (1991) recalls the prohibition of any distinction based on race, nationality, religion or political opinions in the treatment of captured combatants. 
Germany, Taschenkarte, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Grundsätze, Bearbeitet nach ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, Zentrum Innere Führung, June 1991, p. 7, § 4.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) provides that, with regard to the treatment of prisoners of war, one of the fundamental rules is the unlawfulness of any discrimination on the grounds of race, nationality, religious belief or political opinions or similar criteria. 
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 KonfliktenHandbuch, August 1992, § 704.
Germany
Germany’s Soldiers’ Manual (2006) states under the heading “Protection of prisoners of war”: “Distinctions based on race, nationality, religion or political reasons are impermissible.” 
Germany, Druckschrift Einsatz Nr. 03, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Grundsätze, Erarbeitet nach ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch , DSK SF009320187, Bundesministerium der Verteidigung, R II 3, August 2006, p. 7.
Ireland
Ireland’s Basic LOAC Guide (2005) states that prisoners of war “must be treated alike by the Detaining Power, without regard to race, nationality, religious beliefs, political opinions, etc.” 
Ireland, Basic Guide to the Law of Armed Conflict, TP/TRG/01-2005, Director of Defence Forces Training, Department of Defence, July 2005, p. 9.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands states:
Prisoners shall be treated with equality, without any distinction based on race, nationality, religion, political beliefs or any other criteria. The only exception is the preferential treatment based on the health situation, age … 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. VII-3, § 2.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states: “Captivity in war is not a punishment, but only a means of preventing the opponent from playing any further part in the conflict.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0224(b).
The manual further states:
In principle, prisoners of war must be treated alike, without adverse distinction based on race, nationality, religious belief, political opinions or any other similar criteria. An exception to this principle exists when preferential treatment is desirable due to gender (see point 0719), state of health, age or special skill. Different treatment on the grounds of military rank is permitted, and even mandatory to a certain degree. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0712.
In its chapter on peace operations, the manual states: “Detainees must also be treated equally.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 1226.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992), under the heading “Adverse discrimination prohibited”, recalls:
By Article 16 of [the 1949 Geneva Convention III], subject to differences in treatment based on rank, sex, or health, all prisoners are to be treated alike without any adverse distinction based on race, nationality, religious belief or political opinions, or any other distinction founded on similar criteria. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 914.
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Manual on the Laws of War provides that no discrimination with regard to prisoners of war is permitted. 
Nigeria, The Laws of War, by Lt. Col. L. Ode PSC, Nigerian Army, Lagos, undated, § 37.
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states:
Under any circumstances international humanitarian law ensures humane treatment during an armed conflict of persons not directly involved in combat operations, including those who have been rendered hors de combat by … detention … without adverse distinction for reasons of race, colour, faith, birth, wealth or any other similar criteria. 
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, § 4.
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Instructor Manual (2007) provides: “All POWs [prisoners of war] must be treated humanely and without discrimination based on sex, nationality, race, religion, or political belief.” 
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. 42.
South Africa
South Africa’s LOAC Teaching Manual (2008) states:
1.5 Application of LOAC [law of armed conflict] during armed conflict []to the position of participants and non-participants
- Minimum Protection of Persons Who Participated in Hostilities. Article 45.3 read with article 75.1 Additional Protocol I determines that any person who has taken part in hostilities and any other person who is in the power of a Party to a conflict, who is not entitled [to] POW [prisoner-of-war] status and who does not benefit from more favourable treatment under the Conventions and the Protocol shall be treated humanely and shall enjoy, as a minimum, the protection of fundamental judicial guarantees without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.
Conclusion
Any person in the power of a Party to a conflict, who is not entitled [to] POW status and who does not benefit from more favourable treatment under the LOAC shall be treated humanely and shall enjoy, as a minimum, the protection of fundamental judicial guarantees without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria. 
South Africa, Advanced Law of Armed Conflict Teaching Manual, School of Military Justice, 1 April 2008, as amended to 25 October 2013, Learning Unit 1, pp. 36 and 40–41.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) lists among the rules for the basic treatment of prisoners of war the prohibition of any “discrimination based on sex, race, nationality or political opinion”. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, División de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 8.4.a.(1).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) lists among the rules for the general treatment of prisoners of war: “They must … not be discriminated against on the grounds of sex, race, nationality or political opinion.” 
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, § 8.4.a.(1).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) recalls: “No adverse distinction can be based on race, nationality, religion, political opinions, language, colour, social condition, birth or other similar criteria.” 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 97.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Regulation on Legal Bases for Conduct during an Engagement (2005) states:
Prisoners must be humanely treated at any time and in any place. Any act of torture, physical or mental ill-treatment, degrading treatment or discrimination as well as measures of reprisal are prohibited. The State is responsible for the treatment of prisoners; each individual may be held liable for violations. 
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, § 187.
[emphasis in original]
Togo
Togo’s Military Manual (1996) provides: “Prisoners of war … shall be treated alike.” 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule II, p. 13.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) prohibits discrimination in the treatment of prisoners of war and restates the provisions of common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions. The Military Manual also quotes Article 14 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, §§ 39 and 133.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981) prohibits discrimination in the treatment of prisoners of war and restates the provisions of common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions. 
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 8, §§ 2 and 9.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states:
Prisoners of war must be humanely treated and their persons and honour respected at all times. “Women shall be treated with all the regard due to their sex and shall in all cases benefit by treatment as favourable as that granted to men.” 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 8.28.
The manual further states:
There must be no adverse discrimination towards prisoners of war based on race, nationality, religious belief, political opinions or similar criteria. However, the detaining power is permitted to allow privileged treatment to prisoners of war by virtue of their rank, state of health, age or professional qualifications as well as the special rules already mentioned relating to women. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 8.31.
In its chapter on internal armed conflict, the manual restates the provisions of common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions:
Under the terms of Common Article 3, the parties to a non-international armed conflict occurring in the territory of a party to the Conventions are obliged to apply ‘as a minimum’, the following provisions:
(1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 15.4.
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) provides: “All POWs [prisoners of war] shall be treated alike without any adverse distinction based on race, nationality, religious belief or political opinions, or any other distinction founded on similar criteria.” 
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, § 92.
United States of America
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) prohibits any adverse distinction with regard to prisoners of war. 
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) and 13-2.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (1995) provides: “When prisoners of war are given medical treatment, no distinction among them will be based on any grounds other than medical ones.” 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-2.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Transportation, US Coast Guard, October 1995 (formerly NWP 9 (Rev. A)/FMFM 1-10, October 1989), § 11-7.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states: “Humane treatment is … [to] be afforded to all detained persons without adverse distinction based on race, color, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria”. 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-12.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, July 2007, § 11.2.
The Handbook also states: “When prisoners of war are given medical treatment, no distinction among them will be based on any grounds other than medical ones.” 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-12.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, July 2007, § 6.2.6(6); see also § 11.3.1.
United States of America
The US Manual on Detainee Operations (2008) states:
DODD 2310.01E [Department of Defense Directive, The Department of Defense Detainee Program] requires that all DOD [Department of Defense] personnel and contractors will apply, without regard to a detainee’s legal status, at a minimum, the standards articulated in Common Article 3 to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 …
Article 3 Common to the Geneva Conventions of 1949
In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:
(1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities … shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria. 
United States, Manual on Detainee Operations, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 30 May 2008, pp. III-11–III-12.
The manual also states:
The detaining power is … prohibited from imposing any adverse distinctions within the detainee population based on religion. In this regard, it should be noted that in some situations, segregating the detainee population based on religious affiliation may be beneficial and therefore not prohibited, particularly when conflict has been based in part on religious affiliation. 
United States, Manual on Detainee Operations, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 30 May 2008, pp. III-8.
Afghanistan
Afghanistan’s Law on Juvenile Rehabilitation and Training Centres (2009) states regarding the detention of juveniles:
Article 4. Observance of Human Rights
1. Employees of Juvenile Justice Department Centres (JJDC) & Juvenile Rehabilitation Centres (JRCs), prosecutors, judges and other individuals who are dealing with the juveniles … must communicate with convicted juveniles impartially and … without any discrimination. 
Afghanistan, Law on Juvenile Rehabilitation and Training Centres, 2009, Article 4(1).
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s Law concerning the Protection of Civilian Persons and the Rights of Prisoners of War (1995) provides that in international and non-international armed conflicts:
Persons detained by an individual, a group of persons, some organization or military unit from the Republic of Azerbaijan as a party to the conflict, are entitled to respect for their dignity and honour irrespective of their status, nationality, religion, language, political opinions, their belonging to a defined social group or other similar criteria. 
Azerbaijan, Law concerning the Protection of Civilian Persons and the Rights of Prisoners of War, 1995, Article 18.
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 14 and 16 of the Geneva Convention III, is a punishable offence. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Japan
Japan’s Law concerning the Treatment of Prisoners of War and Other Detainees in Armed Attack Situations (2004) states:
The protection to be given to prisoners of war and other detainees pursuant to the provisions of this Act (including orders based on this Act) shall not be unjustly discriminative based on race, nationality, religious or political opinions or any other similar criteria. 
Japan, Law concerning the Treatment of Prisoners of War and Other Detainees in Armed Attack Situations, 2004, Article 2(2).
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).
Peru
Peru’s Code of Military and Police Justice (2006) states: “In a Military and Police Confinement Centre, any form of discrimination based on nationality, age, gender, race, religion, economic or social status, legal status, military or police rank, or other ground shall be prohibited.” 
Peru, Code of Military and Police Justice, 2006, Article 470.
Peru
Peru’s Decree on the Use of Force by the Armed Forces (2010) states:
Persons who have laid down their arms as well as persons placed hors de combat by … detention … must in all circumstances be treated … without any unfavourable distinction based on race, colour, religion or belief, sex, birth, socio-economic status or any other similar criterion. 
Peru, Decree on the Use of Force by the Armed Forces, 2010, Article 8.2.1.
Serbia
Serbia’s Law on Enforcement of Penal Sanctions (2005) states: “A prisoner shall not be discriminated [against] on grounds of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other convictions, ethnic or social origin, financial status, education, social or other personal status.” 
Serbia, Law on Enforcement of Penal Sanctions, 2005, Article 7.
Somalia
Somalia’s Military Criminal Code (1963) states:
A commander who causes serious harm to lawful enemy belligerents who have fallen into his power … by not according them the treatment prescribed by law or by international agreements … shall be punished, unless the act constitutes a more serious offence, by military confinement for not less than three years. 
Somalia, Military Criminal Code, 1963, Article 382.
South Africa
South Africa’s Implementation of the Geneva Conventions Act (2012) states: “A protected prisoner of war who is in the custody of the South African National Defence Force must be granted the protection of the [1949] Third [Geneva] Convention or the [1949] Fourth [Geneva] Convention, as the case may be.” 
South Africa, Implementation of the Geneva Conventions Act, 2012, Section 12(2).
The Act defines a “protected prisoner of war” as a “person protected by the Third Convention or a person who is protected as a prisoner of war under [the 1977 Additional] Protocol I”. 
South Africa, Implementation of the Geneva Conventions Act, 2012, Section 1.
Spain
Spain’s Royal Ordinances for the Armed Forces (2009) states that members of the armed forces “[m]ust treat and care for … prisoners [and] detainees … that are in their power without any adverse distinction.” 
Spain, Royal Ordinances for the Armed Forces, 2009, Article 107.
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Denmark
In 2006, in a report on the detention and transfer of persons in Afghanistan in 2002, when discussing the protection afforded to prisoners of war under the 1949 Geneva Convention III, the Danish Ministry of Defence stated:
In addition, prisoners of war must at all times be treated humanely and treated equally, meaning that there is a prohibition against discrimination, although subject to preferential treatment based on rank, sex, health status, age or professional qualifications. 
Denmark, Report on Factual and Legal Matters Relating to Danish Forces’ Detention and Transfer of Persons in Afghanistan in the First Half of 2002, Ministry of Defence, 13 December 2006, p. 3.
Switzerland
In 2010, in its Report on IHL and Current Armed Conflicts, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated:
3.4 [Increasing use] of anti-guerrilla tactics
Apart from the direct fight against insurgents, international humanitarian law also addresses other anti-guerrilla tactics. … If members of militias or opposition groups fall into the hands of the government they benefit from the protection of art. 75 of [the 1977] Additional Protocol I as well as that of art. 3 common to the [1949] Geneva Conventions. 
Switzerland, Federal Council, Report on IHL and Current Armed Conflicts, 17 September 2010, Section 3.4, p. 15.
[footnotes in original omitted]
Switzerland
In 2012, Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs issued a press release entitled “Appeal by the Swiss authorities for compliance with international humanitarian law in Syria”, which stated: “Persons who are not or no longer taking part in the hostilities must be treated humanely without any discrimination. This is especially important in the case of detainees.” 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, “Appeal by the Swiss authorities for compliance with international humanitarian law in Syria”, Press Release, 15 November 2012.
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ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that:
All prisoners of war must be treated alike, subject … to the provisions of [the 1949 Geneva Convention III and the 1977 Additional Protocol I] relating to rank, sex and age … [and] to any privileged treatment accorded to them by reason of their state of health, age or professional qualification. 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 667.
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