Practice Relating to Rule 116. Accounting for the Dead
Section E. Information concerning the dead
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’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.