Practice Relating to Rule 105. Respect for Family Life
Section B. Reunion of dispersed families
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) provides with respect to non-international armed conflicts in particular: “Children are to receive such aid and protection as required including: … b. steps to reunite them with their families”.
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001), in its chapter on the treatment of civilians in the hands of a party to the conflict or an occupying power, states:
1115. Family correspondence
All persons in the territory of the belligerent or in territory occupied by the belligerent must be enabled to transmit to and receive from members of their families, wherever they may be, news of a strictly personal nature. There must be no undue delay in forwarding such correspondence.
This correspondence is liable to censorship by the belligerent concerned. If the belligerents consider it necessary to restrict such correspondence the restrictions must be limited to prescribing the compulsory use of standard forms containing 25 freely chosen words, to be despatched at the rate of not less than one a month.
1117. Family enquiries
Belligerents must facilitate enquiries by members of families dispersed as a result of the war, with the object of renewing contact between them. They must also facilitate the work of approved organizations engaged in this task.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflicts, the manual states: “[The 1977 Additional Protocol II] provides that children are to receive such aid and protection as required including: … b. steps to reunite them with their families”.
The manual also provides: “Parties to conflicts are obligated to facilitate the reunion of families dispersed as a result of armed conflicts.”