Practice Relating to Rule 124. ICRC Access to Persons Deprived of Their Liberty
Mexico’s Army and Air Force Manual (2009), in a section on the 1949 Geneva Convention III, states:
205. Relief societies, the ICRC and the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies played such an important role in helping prisoners of war during the two World Wars that the [1949 Geneva] Convention [III] devotes an article to them, aimed at facilitating and encouraging their activity.
206. This provision requires States to grant them and their duly accredited delegates all the necessary facilities to visit prisoners, distribute relief supplies and religious, educational and recreational materials and help them organize leisure activities within the camps. The special status of the ICRC in this regard must be recognized and respected at all times.
207. The Convention provides that representatives of the Protecting Powers must be given permission to visit any place where prisoners of war are being held, particularly places of internment, imprisonment and labour. They must be given access to all premises used by prisoners. ICRC delegates enjoy the same prerogatives. The appointment of such delegates must be submitted for approval to the power detaining the prisoners of war to be visited.