Practice Relating to Rule 35. Hospital and Safety Zones and Neutralized Zones
Sweden’s IHL Manual (1991) provides for the possibility in peacetime of declaring, by special agreement, a given part of a State’s territory a neutralized area. It explains that this means that “no acts of war whatsoever may be directed against or take place within that area. This restriction is intended to apply for the full duration of the conflict.” It adds:
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 children, old people, and the sick and the wounded.
The manual is guided by the rules embodied in Article 23 of the 1949 Geneva Convention I and Articles 14–15 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV.